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Rodney King - RIP


Ken H.

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I watched him only weeks ago on The Young Turks in regards to the Trayvon Martin case and he acquitted himself well in the interview. It is sad that he has passed away, but the lessons learned through his arrest and the subsequent trial were eye opening on race relations in the U.S.

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Shiny Side Up

I can remember the anger I felt at the way he was treated by police officers. It had a real impact on me and I've never trusted any of them since I saw that beating on TV. They were completely out of control.

He was no angel - but he did not deserve that.

When they were acquitted I was just furious.

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I also remember all the lawyers that jumped on the case and claimed to represent him. I believe at one point that a lawyer was suing the other lawyers because he had the earliest claim.

 

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Joe Frickin' Friday
I can remember the anger I felt at the way he was treated by police officers. It had a real impact on me and I've never trusted any of them since I saw that beating on TV. They were completely out of control.

He was no angel - but he did not deserve that.

When they were acquitted I was just furious.

 

Is it possible the news program you were watching showed just a tiny segment of the entire incident? Compare your memory with the Wikipedia account of the whole thing. Maybe that's biased in the other direction (in favor of the cops), so who knows? FWIW I remember seeing once a (literally) blow-by-blow narration of the events in the entire video tape, showing King trying repeatedly to get up instead of laying down and putting his hands behind him; the beating ended (and they moved in and cuffed him) when he finallly put his hands behind his head.

 

I don't believe it was about punishment, or revenge, or anything like that; IMHO it was a bunch of cops trying desperately to subdue a completely uncooperative suspect, one who had already demonstrated substantial physical strength and great will to resist. I won't say King got what he deserved that day, because under our legal system, being beaten to a bloody pulp is not the official penalty for resisting arrest (just as being shot to death is not the official penalty for pointing a gun at a cop), but I didn't have much sympathy for him; he made his choices that night - drove drunk while on parole, then doggedly resisted arrest - and that's what it got him.

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beemerman2k

What happened that night in Los Angeles (on the 210 freeway?) was tragic from any angle you care to view it, having said that, I am not comfortable pitching Rodney King as some sort of a "civil rights" icon. Such icons are supposed to be respectable citizens who are engaged in perfectly legal behavior who are then assulted or discriminated against because of some random factor such as race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or whatever. Now we have a "civil rights" case. But if the person in question is engaged in an illegal activity, sure he/she still has rights and those rights need to be respected, but I do not hold such a person in the same light as I do with a Rosa Parks, for instance.

 

In any case, may Rodney King rest in peace. I certainly do not stand in judgement of this man; my collection of vices are simply different than his, and no less prevalent in my life. I must also say that he earned my respect with his, "can we all just get along?" statement. He did not advocate anger, rioting, or revenge. He advocated peace. For that alone, I say, "rest in peace, Mr. King. Thank you for the good you attempted to do for the riot torn city of Los Angeles during that speech".

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He was drunk,

He ran.

He resisted.

 

He got lucky he ONLY got beaten.

 

The cops overreacted without doubt, but in the final accounting I believe this was by and large self inflicted.

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People tend to forget there were other occupants in the fleeing car who cooperated with the police when it was stopped.

 

He may indeed have been lucky as

Califonia leads the nation in deaths and injuries related to pursuit.

Pursuit+Chart+2+overall.jpg

 

some have trouble hearing RK mentioned without recalling Reginald Denny.

video link

 

link

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Cops can thank RK for the development and use of the Taser.

 

He was tased during the arrest but got back up. It's hard to keep a good man down.

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What happened that night in Los Angeles (on the 210 freeway?) was tragic from any angle you care to view it, having said that, I am not comfortable pitching Rodney King as some sort of a "civil rights" icon. Such icons are supposed to be respectable citizens who are engaged in perfectly legal behavior who are then assulted or discriminated against because of some random factor such as race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or whatever. Now we have a "civil rights" case. But if the person in question is engaged in an illegal activity, sure he/she still has rights and those rights need to be respected, but I do not hold such a person in the same light as I do with a Rosa Parks, for instance.

 

In any case, may Rodney King rest in peace. I certainly do not stand in judgement of this man; my collection of vices are simply different than his, and no less prevalent in my life. I must also say that he earned my respect with his, "can we all just get along?" statement. He did not advocate anger, rioting, or revenge. He advocated peace. For that alone, I say, "rest in peace, Mr. King. Thank you for the good you attempted to do for the riot torn city of Los Angeles during that speech".

 

That pretty much sums it up for me. I do have black role models - and he isn't one of them.

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Shiny Side Up
I can remember the anger I felt at the way he was treated by police officers. It had a real impact on me and I've never trusted any of them since I saw that beating on TV. They were completely out of control.

He was no angel - but he did not deserve that.

When they were acquitted I was just furious.

 

Is it possible the news program you were watching showed just a tiny segment of the entire incident? Compare your memory with the Wikipedia account of the whole thing. Maybe that's biased in the other direction (in favor of the cops), so who knows? FWIW I remember seeing once a (literally) blow-by-blow narration of the events in the entire video tape, showing King trying repeatedly to get up instead of laying down and putting his hands behind him; the beating ended (and they moved in and cuffed him) when he finallly put his hands behind his head.

 

I don't believe it was about punishment, or revenge, or anything like that; IMHO it was a bunch of cops trying desperately to subdue a completely uncooperative suspect, one who had already demonstrated substantial physical strength and great will to resist. I won't say King got what he deserved that day, because under our legal system, being beaten to a bloody pulp is not the official penalty for resisting arrest (just as being shot to death is not the official penalty for pointing a gun at a cop), but I didn't have much sympathy for him; he made his choices that night - drove drunk while on parole, then doggedly resisted arrest - and that's what it got him.

 

Not saying he was cooperating like a sheep led to slaughter - but - "a bunch of cops" doing their job is not what I saw. Taking turns to "desperately" subdue a suspect rings hollow to me.

 

IMHO - it was all about punishing him for daring to resist their sole authority.

As I said - he was no angel, but this is not the only account of police officers losing sight of who they are and how to conduct themselves. Am I holding them to a higher standard? You bet I am. Maybe not high enough considering what they are entrusted with.

As you said - he made his choice to drive drunk - no problem with arresting him and throwing him in the slammer!!

If we all told the truth, there are plenty of "choices" we've made that would get us arrested and put us standing before a judge. (Which includes the cop doing the arresting and the judge hearing the case)

I was no "goody 2 shoes" in my past and maybe I do have a biased view of law enforcement - it is what it is.

Again - My opinion...

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Back when it happened, the film clip they kept showing was out of context and without sound. When I found (And taped) the more complete clip, with sound, I used it as a teaching moment for my kids. The mistake Rodney made was he kept trying to get up, when he was repeatedly told to "STAY DOWN!" I explained to my kids that if a cop ever told them to STAY DOWN, it was extremely advisable to do so. I would never be a cop, but if someone his size continued in his attempts to get up despite the beating he was getting, it would have scared me silly.

 

The jury saw the entire film. I cannot argue with their verdict......Even though I have some experience with being beaten by a cop while doing exactly what he asked me to do. Just sayin'.

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He did more than "drive drunk".

He fled at speeds in excess of 100mph endangering the public, the LEO's, and his passengers.

His refusal to comply when the passengers did follow LEO directives is a matter of record.

He was a huge individual, under the influence.

He refused lawful directives and resisted with violence.

 

The final incident was the culmination of a night of law breaking behavior on his part wasn't his first, nor last involvement with authorities.

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I don’t think RK’s legacy is that night or what lead up to it. He said many times over the year how wrong he was.

 

I think his legacy is the way he turned himself around and tried to turn that night into a positive thing. It would be very easy for him to have turned the other way and gone down the ‘burn the city down’ road that many indeed did after the acquittals. He didn’t, he took the high road. And for that I respect.

 

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King had long struggled with drugs and alcohol. He called himself a recovering addict but had not stopped drinking, and possessed a doctor's clearance for medical marijuana.

 

How does a person with a drug problem get a doctor's clearance for medical marijuana? It can't be for pain sustained by his previous injuries because he was in a celebrity boxing match not that long ago...which he won by the way.

 

 

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Just so I am interpreting this post correctly:

 

So, if you go too far in endangering the public, police, and property, and you refuse to comply with their commands, then you are subject to whatever force deemed necessary to bring you under control AND then some for good measure. Because of your actions, the actions of the police are null and void and without consequence? Their response is totally appropriate after the suspect has been subdued due to the heat of the moment and adrenaline rushing through their hands holding the nightsticks?

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I don’t think RK’s legacy is that night or what lead up to it. He said many times over the year how wrong he was.

 

I think his legacy is the way he turned himself around and tried to turn that night into a positive thing. It would be very easy for him to have turned the other way and gone down the ‘burn the city down’ road that many indeed did after the acquittals. He didn’t, he took the high road. And for that I respect.

 

 

 

+1

 

I can't remember(pun intended) all the times coming out of a black out and thinking ... that was stupid, I'm never gonna do that again.... and than do it again.

 

Been quite awhile since I've been thumped by a baton

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Just so I am interpreting this post correctly:

 

So, if you go too far in endangering the public, police, and property, and you refuse to comply with their commands, then you are subject to whatever force deemed necessary to bring you under control AND then some for good measure. Because of your actions, the actions of the police are null and void and without consequence? Their response is totally appropriate after the suspect has been subdued due to the heat of the moment and adrenaline rushing through their hands holding the nightsticks?

 

 

Actually, talk to a LEO about baton training back then.

If they wanted "and then some", bones in the wrist, elbow areas would have been broken.

The police actions were subject to consequences as there were criminal and civil trials.

I would hardly call that "without consequences".

 

To be fair, weigh in on Reginald Denny's beating and talk consequences please...

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I would hardly call that "without consequences".

 

Maybe I didn't make myself clear... would you not have prosecuted these officers for aggravated assault or whatever charges they were brought up on? Do you see it as excessive or just what was necessary for that instance, based on testimony and more importantly the video footage? That is what I am inferring...

 

Oh, and what happened to Denny was atrocious and those that did that to him are indefensible.

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Back when it happened, the film clip they kept showing was out of context and without sound. When I found (And taped) the more complete clip, with sound, I used it as a teaching moment for my kids. The mistake Rodney made was he kept trying to get up, when he was repeatedly told to "STAY DOWN!" I explained to my kids that if a cop ever told them to STAY DOWN, it was extremely advisable to do so. I would never be a cop, but if someone his size continued in his attempts to get up despite the beating he was getting, it would have scared me silly.

 

The jury saw the entire film. I cannot argue with their verdict......Even though I have some experience with being beaten by a cop while doing exactly what he asked me to do. Just sayin'.

Good point about seeing the entire video.

Here is another "Rodney King" moment that occurred more recently here in NorCal. The media only showed us the actual moment when pepper spray was used. This resulted in worldwide condemnation of the tactics used by the University of California police.

But when you see the 15 minutes of video that led up to the use of "OC" you will see the force was justified.

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Cops can thank RK for the development and use of the Taser.

 

He was tased during the arrest but got back up. It's hard to keep a good man down.

I meant this Taser.

taser-x26-ecd_4.png

 

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Chris,

I've dealt with people who were not acting in a normal manner due to intoxication, by many means.

I had a patient take another one hostage and hold a broken glass to the throat of the other patient and threaten to kill him.

Pushing glass into skin and drawing blood.

That individual was not thinking rationally, did not process information or feel physical sensations in a normal manner.

RK, a 6'3" 320 pound individual who was high, not just under the influence, would be nearly impossible to control, as evidenced by the video.

He refused to comply, refused to stay down, and continued to threaten the safety of the LEO's.

It may seem like he was under control but he wasn't, until the end.

Excessive use of force?

Apparently not as he had no serious internal injuries nor any broken bones.

Would you have liked it better if all the police backed off and let him back into his car?

How about backing off and letting him rush an officer?

How about backing off and letting him withdraw his hidden weapon and attack? (remember at this point no one knew if he was armed or not)

Any of the above would have resulted in the escalation of the incident and deadly force could have come into play.

Would that have been better?

The police did not incapacitate him with their batons by breaking bones and knocking him unconscious which they could have done.

A huge man under the influence can take a handful of trained law enforcement to control in the real world often resulting in injury to the LEO's.

King was raised by an abusive, alcoholic father.

Whether true or not, RK often related a childhood story of seeing police rough up a gang member and his father telling him to "never get in the back seat of a patrol car."

This same father took RK w/him on janitorial jobs and made RK do the work whilst he drank.

So, AFAIK, King could have had an abnormal fear of police and coupled with the intoxicants/drugs, and his massive size, a perfect storm was generated.

Ever been in that situation?

What would you have done differently?

How would you have done your civic duty and arrested this fleeing felon?

I've no doubt RK would have ripped me apart on that night.

The fact that police need to use force, at times significant force, to avoid the use of deadly force is ok by me if the criminal is clearly combative and uncooperative.

While the video, at least the part aired by media, is not pleasant to see, it is a reminder that our lives are threatened by individuals who would become intoxicated, break the law, flee, driving in a manner that threatens the safety of all.

(Ever notice how the passengers were never brought forward to defent their buddy's actions?)

The LEO's who have sworn to protect us from individuals like RK was that night have no way to do that sworn duty without the use of force, if the criminal wants it to go that way.

It is obvious RK would not go quietly that night.

So, again, what would you have done?

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This is a bit to digest, but in my interpretation of the events, both from the eyewitness testimony and the video, of which only a portion of the event is videotaped, is this:

 

They eventually had him subdued... he was no longer a threat and either had given up on his own or was officially "out cold." But they continue to beat on him past the point of being necessary. That, in my opinion, is what is at issue here. They went from using your definition of necessary force and moved into territory of excessive force, given the number of officers wailing on him. I think that was what the reasonable viewer of the event can take away it.

 

In your view and in many LEOs on this board say, once you cross the line and resist, all bets are off and you relinquish whatever protection to your physical body you may have, a carte blanche view of whatever it takes and then some. That is where I part ways with you and others.

 

I think Harlan Ellison, noted author said it best in a lecture I attended years ago:

 

"A Police Officer will start out his career with the best of intentions, but as is so often the case, the authority they wield will invariably devolve into a god-complex that ultimately turns them into the person they so despise, a thug with a badge."

 

That statement stuck with me for the last couple of decades and I believe there is some truth in that statement. Not all officers that I have dealings with on occasion (speeding tickets) exhibit that mentality, but the vast majority I encounter make me wonder if Ellison had it right.

 

Based on what I have seen with the King incident, based on the evidence, I would concur with that quote.

 

Just my take on it.

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beemerman2k

Just for the record, my personal experiences with officers I know and others that I happen to meet, is the complete opposite. With each and every one of them, I'd never know they were an officer of the law unless someone told me. They are gentlemen, every one of them. And on the job? They are doing their job like everybody else, and thinking about their families or their plans for the weekend.

 

To me, the great problem we face is that of a communication gap. We need a means by which we can see situations from a police officers point of view. This way, we'd be a lot slower to rush to judgement. Speaking for myself, you cannot pay me enough to approach someone's car in any condition, but especially on a Friday or Saturday night. These guys have to approach gang banger cars, at night, that have tinted windows, and they have no idea what so ever what they'll encounter until it happens. I wonder how Harlan Ellison would handle this situation? Let's commission him to pull over that gang banger car at 2AM and cite them for speeding. Let's see how well he leaves any notion of "power" at home as he approaches them with the most Ghandian of hearts. I think Mr Ellison would learn alot about what actually impacts the thinking of LEO's if he'd but walk in their shoes for a bit.

 

What I would recommend is that if you are curious, check out PoliceOne.com. That is a web community, much like this one, except its for law enforcement officers. By reading their threads, you'll get a glimpse into the issues they discuss and debate. You'll come to see that their is no grand consipiracy to discriminate against any particular group (except, maybe, lawbreakers :smirk:), and that with most any issue, you'll find a wide range of opinions on how to best handle it. But also, what opened my eyes, is the fact that you'll see countless accounts from all over the nation where cops are literally being hunted down by hardened and/or mentally unstable people. They are called to an accident, and upon arrival they are ambushed, or some such scheme. THIS also has to have an effect on the mentality of the officer!

 

Ultimately, we are pretty ignorant of the issues LEO's face ever day in order to do their job. We all like to think we'd somehow be different, but I know that's not the case with me. Left to my own devices, I'd be way over the line! But the suspect would clearly understand, "your butt is mine until I either let you go, or I hand you over to jail officials. Any sudden movement might well be your last. Amen."

 

One of my most dear friends is a retired NYC police officer. By any measure, he is an outstanding man: serves his community, outspoken for the weak, a fitness leader to others. I was at his house recently, and a neighbor showed up who had a very unruly 4 year old daughter. This man seemed to have little interest in his girl, and therefore she seemed starved for attention. The way Ed (my ret-LEO friend) handled that situation was incredible! In that short window of time, he gave her love, attention, and discipline. She was eagerly and happily listening to him because he showed her how special she was to him. Can't say I ever seen anything like that encounter. But that's Ed'. over 20 years as a NYC LEO, and the most kind man you'll ever meet -- especially in NYC :Cool:

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We need a means by which we can see situations from a police officers point of view. This way, we'd be a lot slower to rush to judgement. Speaking for myself, you cannot pay me enough to approach someone's car in any condition, but especially on a Friday or Saturday night. These guys have to approach gang banger cars, at night, that have tinted windows, and they have no idea what so ever what they'll encounter until it happens. I wonder how Harlan Ellison would handle this situation? Let's commission him to pull over that gang banger car at 2AM and cite them for speeding. Let's see how well he leaves any notion of "power" at home as he approaches them with the most Ghandian of hearts. I think Mr Ellison would learn alot about what actually impacts the thinking of LEO's if he'd but walk in their shoes for a bit.

 

James, I think you are using these incidents as an excuse for abusive, if not criminal behavior by LEOs, of which, Ellison is referring to. Do police officers have stress and situations that I can't begin to relate to? Sure. I don't KNOW what it is like to do what they do, but that ignorance on my part doesn't give them a pass to cross the line from handling the situation as an enforcer of the law to going at it with malice.

 

And don't forget my earlier comment, as your situation reflects, there are indeed some great LEOs.... it is just a matter of perspective on the ration of good to bad. I would hope that I, and Harlan Ellison, have it wrong. My gut and more and more videos of police actions seem to say we are not.

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Chris,

 

We have ride-along programs in our community and citizen academies.

Both allow a civilian to participate in LEO activity, in particualr the ride-along.

 

Perhaps yours does too.

 

And you did not respond to my previous question.

 

What would you have done?

 

Seems like you want to live in a world where the RK's make the rules.

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Tim,

 

Ride alongs are not in the cards for me as my schedule just won't permit it. Two jobs, two kids and saving what time I have to ride.

 

As to your question, I did not overlook it as I thought that my response was my answer.

 

Your question on what I would do if I was an officer in that situation facing Rodney King, who was out of control. My training, I would hope, would kick in and physical force would be necessary to subdue him. I haven't had any disagreement with that. What I have said repeatedly is once he is down for the count, back off with the night sticks. Or is that not official police policy? You hammer away at him that extra lick for good measure to show him you ARE the boss.

 

I have seen enough video of police going Armageddon on suspects as if THEY are high on the thrill of throwing their weight around.

 

And understand me on this, I think that some of my take on this is a reaction to the either perception or the reality of the increased militarization of police forces in general. I could expound on that more, but it may not be that pertinent to the now almost 20 year old case here, so I try to separate the mindset of the LA Police then and now.

 

Oh, and your last comment, well, I tend to have a natural empathy for those outside of the power elite, so yes, I favor at first those that are beaten upon, whether they act unruly or not (and in a lot of cases, "not" is the norm when you are of a certain background). But I also try to put myself in the situation of that exact moment and how would I react if I were an officer... I can say with a lot of certainty that for me to do what they did I would not be able to be an officer for long because my conscience would not allow me.

 

Does that answer your question?

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Just for the record, my personal experiences with officers I know and others that I happen to meet, is the complete opposite. With each and every one of them, I'd never know they were an officer of the law unless someone told me. They are gentlemen, every one of them.

Keep in mind though the Rodney King episode happened 21 years ago. A lot has changed since then as far as defining ‘the line’ where the actions of LEOs are now considered unacceptable. And a lot of that has happened because of the RK episode and similar incidents. His wasn’t the first, or the last for that matter, but it was one the woke the nation that this is something that needs to be looked at and addressed – when is the line (by LEO’s) crossed? I think we’re all better for it.

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I can remember the anger I felt at the way he was treated by police officers. It had a real impact on me and I've never trusted any of them since I saw that beating on TV. They were completely out of control.

He was no angel - but he did not deserve that.

When they were acquitted I was just furious.

 

How did you feel when the riots started?

Or when they pulled that truck driver out of his truck and beat the crap out of him?????

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lawnchairboy

"he made his choices that night - drove drunk while on parole, then doggedly resisted arrest - and that's what it got him."

 

exactly.

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Shiny Side Up

Was it right? No - Not justifiable - just like the "extra effort" on display by the officers.

 

It's easy to say a person deserves this or that because of a crime they've committed when there's no connection. Let the offender become your son, daughter, brother, etc and the mindset changes completely.

 

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beemerman2k

If one wants to argue that the actions of a particular LEO must be scrutinized, then I think that is a reasonable argument to make. In fact, if you check out PoliceOne.com, you'll see that they also evaluate how situations were handled and the lessons learned. But I have a major issue when one seeks to paint all LEO's with the broad brush of prejudice. That is just wrong on so many levels.

 

LEO's are people, too. Nothing more, nothing less. They have a unique perspective that has been forged by both education and experience that you and I do not share. Therefore, we are not always in the best position to second guess their actions. I am not making the case for quiet submission, only that we scrutinize with a giant sense of humility and solidarity with our law enforcement officials. I would like to think we're on the same team in that we have the same interests in a safe, well ordered society.

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Also,

There were multiple legal proceedings involving LEO's at the RK arrest.

Consequences, jobs lost, prison, etc.

 

In my line of work I can understand when I read about an out of control young student biting staff, grabbing scissors and using as a weapon, throwing dangerous objects who needs to be controlled/restrained.

There is approved training on the type of restraint allowed.

Yeah, right.

The general public seems to say oh it was just a 7 year old kid.

Shouldn't have any trouble.

Getting stabbed by that child is just as bad as an adult.

Sometimes it is a no win situation.

If you've never been there...

 

One of my proudest moments was difusing the hostage situation I had in the hospital with no loss of life or serious injury.

We didn't follow the book.

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Shiny Side Up

Are LEO's all "bad" - no - but I have yet to develop a system to identify which is which. Unique perspectives? Yeah - they have that all right. To me, they appear accountable to no one; certainly not the general public who they are supposed to serve.

I have a tainted view of LEO's and here's why.

 

I had a brother that was killed during a drug raid five years after coming home from Vietnam - they broke down the door of his house at 0300 with no warning and no announcement that they were police officers. Guess what - they were at the wrong house! Isn't it surprising what the letters E and W mean on a street address?

He did what any man would do and armed himself for a confrontation. When he saw who it was that had invaded his home, he lowered his revolver, but it was too late.

His wife and children were home at the time and watched him bleed to death from a shotgun wound that blew a 3 inch hole threw his chest. They were devastated and have never, nor will ever be the same. Both sides of our families still deal with that.

Oh yeah - Not one received more that what I consider a hand slap.

You can bet I scrutinize them if I have to be around one.

 

Please excuse me for the skepticism but I do not, nor will I ever trust any of them. PERIOD.

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Are LEO's all "bad" - no - but I have yet to develop a system to identify which is which. Unique perspectives? Yeah - they have that all right. To me, they appear accountable to no one; certainly not the general public who they are supposed to serve.

I have a tainted view of LEO's and here's why.

 

I had a brother that was killed during a drug raid five years after coming home from Vietnam - they broke down the door of his house at 0300 with no warning and no announcement that they were police officers. Guess what - they were at the wrong house! Isn't it surprising what the letters E and W mean on a street address?

He did what any man would do and armed himself for a confrontation. When he saw who it was that had invaded his home, he lowered his revolver, but it was too late.

His wife and children were home at the time and watched him bleed to death from a shotgun wound that blew a 3 inch hole threw his chest. They were devastated and have never, nor will ever be the same. Both sides of our families still deal with that.

Oh yeah - Not one received more that what I consider a hand slap.

You can bet I scrutinize them if I have to be around one.

 

Please excuse me for the skepticism but I do not, nor will I ever trust any of them. PERIOD.

Condolences for your brother but those are harsh words to generalize all law enforcement for an incident that occurred 35+ years ago.

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Are LEO's all "bad" - no - but I have yet to develop a system to identify which is which. Unique perspectives? Yeah - they have that all right. To me, they appear accountable to no one; certainly not the general public who they are supposed to serve.

I have a tainted view of LEO's and here's why.

 

I had a brother that was killed during a drug raid five years after coming home from Vietnam - they broke down the door of his house at 0300 with no warning and no announcement that they were police officers. Guess what - they were at the wrong house! Isn't it surprising what the letters E and W mean on a street address?

He did what any man would do and armed himself for a confrontation. When he saw who it was that had invaded his home, he lowered his revolver, but it was too late.

His wife and children were home at the time and watched him bleed to death from a shotgun wound that blew a 3 inch hole threw his chest. They were devastated and have never, nor will ever be the same. Both sides of our families still deal with that.

Oh yeah - Not one received more that what I consider a hand slap.

You can bet I scrutinize them if I have to be around one.

 

Please excuse me for the skepticism but I do not, nor will I ever trust any of them. PERIOD.

Condolences for your brother but those are harsh words to generalize all law enforcement for an incident that occurred 35+ years ago.

 

I'm sure you would feel the same if it was your brother that was killed. I know I would, and I bet anyone, ANYONE here would feel the same.

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Shiny Side Up
Are LEO's all "bad" - no - but I have yet to develop a system to identify which is which. Unique perspectives? Yeah - they have that all right. To me, they appear accountable to no one; certainly not the general public who they are supposed to serve.

I have a tainted view of LEO's and here's why.

 

I had a brother that was killed during a drug raid five years after coming home from Vietnam - they broke down the door of his house at 0300 with no warning and no announcement that they were police officers. Guess what - they were at the wrong house! Isn't it surprising what the letters E and W mean on a street address?

He did what any man would do and armed himself for a confrontation. When he saw who it was that had invaded his home, he lowered his revolver, but it was too late.

His wife and children were home at the time and watched him bleed to death from a shotgun wound that blew a 3 inch hole threw his chest. They were devastated and have never, nor will ever be the same. Both sides of our families still deal with that.

Oh yeah - Not one received more that what I consider a hand slap.

You can bet I scrutinize them if I have to be around one.

 

Please excuse me for the skepticism but I do not, nor will I ever trust any of them. PERIOD.

Condolences for your brother but those are harsh words to generalize all law enforcement for an incident that occurred 35+ years ago.

 

Sir, Thank you for the condolences. I was in a hospital in Japan, recovering from wounds when it happened. Couldn't get home for the funeral. However, regardless of the time that has elapsed, that it occurred at all is a preventable tragedy and I believe incidents like that still happen all to often.

If you would please read the first line of my post I did not generalize all LEOs as "bad". I said I don't have a system to identify the good from the bad, so I'm apprehensive about their intentions.

 

I'm respectful when around them and I'll give them no cause for alarm. I know what it's like to be shot at.

The last time I was stopped (tail light out on my truck) was at night. I make it a practice to turn on my inside light, rolled down my window and put my hands on the steering wheel. When asked for license, insurance and registration I first told the officer where it was at and then slowly produce what was required. I do understand that they never know what they might be getting into.

But "trust" them - no.

 

This is exactly what I meant by "It's easy to say a person deserves this or that because of a crime they've committed when there's no connection. Let the offender become your son, daughter, brother, etc and the mindset changes completely."

 

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Are LEO's all "bad" - no - but I have yet to develop a system to identify which is which. Unique perspectives? Yeah - they have that all right. To me, they appear accountable to no one; certainly not the general public who they are supposed to serve.

I have a tainted view of LEO's and here's why.

 

I had a brother that was killed during a drug raid five years after coming home from Vietnam - they broke down the door of his house at 0300 with no warning and no announcement that they were police officers. Guess what - they were at the wrong house! Isn't it surprising what the letters E and W mean on a street address?

He did what any man would do and armed himself for a confrontation. When he saw who it was that had invaded his home, he lowered his revolver, but it was too late.

His wife and children were home at the time and watched him bleed to death from a shotgun wound that blew a 3 inch hole threw his chest. They were devastated and have never, nor will ever be the same. Both sides of our families still deal with that.

Oh yeah - Not one received more that what I consider a hand slap.

You can bet I scrutinize them if I have to be around one.

 

Please excuse me for the skepticism but I do not, nor will I ever trust any of them. PERIOD.

Condolences for your brother but those are harsh words to generalize all law enforcement for an incident that occurred 35+ years ago.

 

I'm sure you would feel the same if it was your brother that was killed. I know I would, and I bet anyone, ANYONE here would feel the same.

 

Using that logic, we should still hold modern Japanese in a bad light for their attack on Pearl Harbor. Should we hold those "not" trust issues with all Arabs, after all, it was Arabs that dropped a couple of towers.

 

I would not hold any ill feel toward the blue force as a whole, I would hold ill feelings toward the ones that were involved. There IS a difference.

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Are LEO's all "bad" - no - but I have yet to develop a system to identify which is which. Unique perspectives? Yeah - they have that all right. To me, they appear accountable to no one; certainly not the general public who they are supposed to serve.

I have a tainted view of LEO's and here's why.

 

I had a brother that was killed during a drug raid five years after coming home from Vietnam - they broke down the door of his house at 0300 with no warning and no announcement that they were police officers. Guess what - they were at the wrong house! Isn't it surprising what the letters E and W mean on a street address?

He did what any man would do and armed himself for a confrontation. When he saw who it was that had invaded his home, he lowered his revolver, but it was too late.

His wife and children were home at the time and watched him bleed to death from a shotgun wound that blew a 3 inch hole threw his chest. They were devastated and have never, nor will ever be the same. Both sides of our families still deal with that.

Oh yeah - Not one received more that what I consider a hand slap.

You can bet I scrutinize them if I have to be around one.

 

Please excuse me for the skepticism but I do not, nor will I ever trust any of them. PERIOD.

 

That sucks.

 

I bet that EVERY cop you have interacted with can sense that big assed chip on your shoulder and it taints the conversation

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beemerman2k

Using that logic,

 

It's not logic, it's emotion.

 

Having recently lost my brother, and being angry with the universe as a result, I can understand the anger that drives Shiny Side Up's viewpoint. But it's anything but logic, it's all emotion.

 

we should still hold modern Japanese in a bad light

 

He didn't say he held the police in a bad light, he said he doesn't trust them. Just pointing out the distinction.

 

I would not hold any ill feel toward the blue force as a whole, I would hold ill feelings toward the ones that were involved. There IS a difference.

 

I'd like to think I would do this as well.

 

This is the problem with such emotions: it condemns with such a broad brush you end up taking out the innocent with the guilty -- and feeling perfectly justified for doing so in the process! "All police are...all blacks are...all whites are...all Harley riders are...all women are...all men are..." -- next thing you know, you've offended countless people dear to you that you never intended to.

 

This isn't logic, it's emotion. And while we cannot turn emotions on and off like a light switch, admitting we have a problem is often considered the first step toward healing.

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Are LEO's all "bad" - no - but I have yet to develop a system to identify which is which. Unique perspectives? Yeah - they have that all right. To me, they appear accountable to no one; certainly not the general public who they are supposed to serve.

I have a tainted view of LEO's and here's why.

 

I had a brother that was killed during a drug raid five years after coming home from Vietnam - they broke down the door of his house at 0300 with no warning and no announcement that they were police officers. Guess what - they were at the wrong house! Isn't it surprising what the letters E and W mean on a street address?

He did what any man would do and armed himself for a confrontation. When he saw who it was that had invaded his home, he lowered his revolver, but it was too late.

His wife and children were home at the time and watched him bleed to death from a shotgun wound that blew a 3 inch hole threw his chest. They were devastated and have never, nor will ever be the same. Both sides of our families still deal with that.

Oh yeah - Not one received more that what I consider a hand slap.

You can bet I scrutinize them if I have to be around one.

 

Please excuse me for the skepticism but I do not, nor will I ever trust any of them. PERIOD.

 

That sucks.

 

I bet that EVERY cop you have interacted with can sense that big assed chip on your shoulder and it taints the conversation

 

Once bitten, twice shy. My incident was certainly not as agregious, but was not a mistake, either. Failure to trust someone you don't know to do the right thing when they have ultimate power, with little or no oversight, is not unreasonable......Especially when you know how it can turn out.

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And to play devadvocate, maybe that attitude is why some LEO's cross the line.

Maybe they've had numerous experiences showing they can't trust the citizen in certain circumstances.

 

Doesn't make either POV correct.

Understandable but...

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Shiny Side Up

Mods - Sorry for somewhat hijacking this thread.

 

Gentlemen,

Thank you for the lively discussion. The First Amendment is alive and well!!

I have to leave for approximately two weeks. My company has a contract with the government of Mexico and I have to catch a plane on Saturday.

My assignment, with four other men, is, ironically, with the Policía Federal - how's that for timing!! Crazy - huh?

I promise to be professional and not exhibit an "attitude"...

 

Take care and God's Blessings

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I am lucky enough, (And smart enough) to have lived my life in such a way that most of my experience with LEOs has been by observation. When they go off the rails, they cause a lot of collateral damage to people's perceptions of them, as a group......Enough to solidify my attitude of skepticism, and caution when I have had to deal with them.

 

The "Us against them" attitude comes more from the LEO side than it does from civilians, in my experience. Yours may be different. I just know that getting badly beaten for absolutely no justifiable reason, makes one very careful around those in uniform.

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Dave McReynolds

Most LEO's either come directly out of a military background, or learn to act as if they did through the quasi-military training they receive to become LEO's. They obviously like it, just like career military people do, or they wouldn't stick with it as a career. Those of us who served in the military but didn't particularly like it, at least had enough of it rub off on us to play our role when we have involuntary interactions with LEO's. I would assume a fair number of people who were never in the military learn the same thing: it's really not that hard to keep your hands in plain view, not make any fast moves, and speak in a polite submissive tone of voice.

 

But that's not the way life is most of the time for most of us, and some folks undoubtedly find it hard to play a patently phony role, even though that's the best survival tactic. Sometimes it would be impossible to play that role. Most people these days are armed with some kind of weapon inside their house, and if people are trying to break in and you don't think they are policemen, you're going to try to shoot them. If they do happen to be policemen, then you're going to lose, no matter who shoots whom. One would think that it would be a good survival tactic for policemen to identify themselves as such before trying to break into a house, and I'm sure most of the time they do....most of the time.

 

I'm not sure it's really necessary for LEO's to act like they are drill sergeants, even as polite drill sergeants who communicate with body language that the "polite" is a thin veneer that will quickly evaporate if you don't play your appropriately compliant role. But I'm sure that it is necessary that they be tough in many situations where toughness is required, and that's probably difficult to turn on and off. In any event, it is what it is, and none of us are likely to change that behavior any time soon.

 

So yes, I agree in part with those who believe it is wise to treat their relationship with a LEO as tenuous, just like it is wise to treat your relationship with a car salesman, your lawyer, or your doctor as tenuous. Any of these people are capable of doing you great harm. If you die on the table or lose a big lawsuit or pay too much for a car, your car salesman or doctor or lawyer is still going to get paid unless they screw up big-time. None of these people are your friends, in general, although you could develop an individual friendship with a doctor, lawyer car salesman, or policeman outside of their jobs. All of these people, yes, even policemen, will say they are there to help you, and while it may be true that they all perform useful functions for society as a whole, that may not be the case for any particular interaction they have with you personally, and I think it is wise to keep that in mind.

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beemerman2k
Mods - Sorry for somewhat hijacking this thread.

 

Gentlemen,

Thank you for the lively discussion. The First Amendment is alive and well!!

I have to leave for approximately two weeks. My company has a contract with the government of Mexico and I have to catch a plane on Saturday.

My assignment, with four other men, is, ironically, with the Policía Federal - how's that for timing!! Crazy - huh?

I promise to be professional and not exhibit an "attitude"...

 

Take care and God's Blessings

 

 

Life has many twisted ironies, and here comes one for you!

 

Good luck down there. I know you'll do an outstanding job. You seem like a first class guy all the way :thumbsup:

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Once bitten, twice shy. My incident was certainly not as agregious, but was not a mistake, either. Failure to trust someone you don't know to do the right thing when they have ultimate power, with little or no oversight, is not unreasonable......Especially when you know how it can turn out.

 

YMMV seems appropriate here, albeit trite. I have been fortunate enough to only face LEOs in situations where holding my tongue and letting it go to court served it's purpose. Heat of the moment stuff escalates too uncontrollably.

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