Several Kinds of Cops

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Dear Mr. Peters:

Right on the money. I live in rural North Dakota and am repeatedly harassed when driving late at night. (It’s my work shift.) The deputy sheriff, who retires in a year, is sympathetic and tells me that he keeps telling the young deputies to cool off, but they keep telling him that they can’t catch the bad guys unless they constantly harass. This is in ND, for crying out loud.




    • It’s telling that few of these people ever engage. They post – and run. Now, I’d understand if the posters here were abusive or just childish. But that’s clearly not the case. The posts are thoughtful and civil – but they challenge cherished orthodoxies. And that’s what people such as that misled woman can’t bear dealing with.

      • Eric, ya know after reading your blog for several months now I only just recently realized that there is a notification button underneath this box. The entire “Leave a reply” space is quite large so if you work on a computer with a small screen—most laptops, for instance—you might not see the notification button and so you’d miss out on follow-up posts. And the option does not exist for subsequent replies to a thread so one has to follow-up “manually,” which is a pain.

        Don’t know what you can do about this short of a nasty html/css re-coding or installation of a new module or add-in, but there it is.

        (And of course lots of people are indeed chickenshits too so they wouldn’t have the courage to follow up anyway but you can’t do anything about that).

  1. Welcome to the new aristocracy which uses several kinds of animals to quarry commoner prey. Maybe keep a little jerky in your stagecoach for the occasion. Don’t be fooled by the grins and aw shucks. A beagling by packs of crime dogs can get ugly, you never know when a master will blow the fox horn. Also be mindful of DOJ hawks circling and monitoring at all time. Your kids and wives especially are vulnerable to the falcons of a hungry nanny state with millions of maws to feed.

  2. I just read your article about the young woman who filed the harassment suit against the cop for finding her address and leaving a note on her car. As the mother of a cop I find that a bit of an overreaction. I know some bad people are working as cops, but it sure seems like she was a wee bit paranoid. Maybe it is because it is Chicago. But my reaction to your article forces me to defend the bulk of cops. I have just been exposed to 6 fine young men, fathers and husbands who were critically wounded, one died, another will be permanently disfigured, in Ogden Utah. I pray constantly for the safety and well being of my son. Most of these people leave for work and kiss their families and don’t know if they will make it back home. Please don’t ridicule their “hero” status because of the actions of a very few. They are heroes especially to their spouses and children, and their mothers and fathers, and siblings, and friends, Don’t minimize that. One may save your life someday.

    • Well, here’s the thing: Most people don’t feel “safe” when a cop shows up – in their rearview mirror, let alone at their homes. They feel stressed, intimidated, even frightened. Cops are the enforcers of myriad ludicrous laws, including laws that specify “crimes” which have no victim. Cops spend a great deal of their time harassing and collecting rather than serving and protecting.

      Implicit in any interaction between a cop and a non-cop is the threat of officially sanctioned violence. A cop does not have to openly threaten you to be threatening. This is especially the case when you are the “offender” (as in the case of this woman) and even more so when the offender is female and the cop is male.

      I know you have a different view because your son is a cop and I am sure he is very nice to you. But I wonder whether he would treat you differently if you were just some lady – a speeder, perhaps. Or a seat-belt scofflaw. Perhaps a nice old lady who never harmed anyone in her life but was found to be growing a few pot plants in her back yard…?

      Doing a job you get paid to do does not make you a hero, by the way. And more, is it “heroic” to hood-slam, cuff and arrest peaceful, harming-no-one-people such as those who are trying to exercise their first amendment rights? Or who prefer not to wear a seatbelt? Or resent being stopped and made to “show papers” for absolutely no specific reason at all?

      PS: When seconds count, a cop is only minutes away. I rely on myself for protection because it’s my obligation to do so (and not a cop’s, by the way – read up on that) and also because as a purely practical matter there is no other choice. If a thug breaks into our house, it’s going to be up to me, because it would take a cop at least 15 minutes to get to our rural home. So I have guns and I know how to use them.

      I hate to disabuse you, but cops are law enforcers, not “protectors.” That’s the reality.

    • Judi, what that cop did is creepy for any guy that the woman wasn’t attracted to. It becomes extra creepy because he’s a cop. Cops are often harassing, controlling, and vindictive. It is not unusual for the cops to make trouble for people forcing them to move to another town.

      I’ve had callers of cop charities make veiled threats when I declined. The last one started getting angry when I responded to his ‘how are you?’ with ‘not in the mood for spam calls’. I hung up quickly. Official interactions aren’t much better. A typical interaction with cops in Chicago and its suburbs is one of armed robbery or an attempt there of. Most are about extracting money at the side of the road. Imagine being contacted by a robber for a date?

      It may be their job but they signed up for it. I don’t know why someone would sign up for such work even if it were just the downside part of the job. It’s “law enforcement” now and that’s very different from “peace officer” or “serve and protect”. They are the bottom layer in a violence based system of control. The image and good will of the brand from the past is wearing off. The illusions are falling by the wayside as police move their true function as a occupying or standing army to the forefront. Their mannerisms, procedures, dress, appearance, etc is becoming that of military occupiers. Even their attitude at these checkpoints is one of occupiers.

      Occupying troops don’t exactly have a good record with their interactions with local women. While the woman in this case might not put it together that way the feelings could very well be there from previous interactions with cops.

      As to heros, being a hero or doing something heroic is an -individual- trait or action. A hero doesn’t need a state issued costume or license. Nor is a cop or anyone else a hero by group association.

      Lastly, it isn’t a minority of cops that make the majority look bad, it’s a majority that make a minority look bad when an ordinary person who doesn’t bother anyone finds nearly every interaction with a cop negative. Not only negative in getting busted for something government doesn’t approve of but harms no one but when actual crime happens they can’t be bothered to do anything.

    • Judi, I’ve had cops in my family as well. As the climate changed from peace keeping and solving actual crimes to “law enforcement”, they got out. The Virginia State Police investigator that came to my house in 1987 after my ex-wife shot a serial rapist needed to recover a bullet from our bedroom door frame. He was ill prepared so I brought him a large pair of hemostats from my jewelry bench to use. The first thing he did was inspect the tips for burns.

      I asked “Checking to see if they’ve been used for a roach clip?” He chuckled and said “Yeah”. I informed him that I’d used them for retrieving jewelry from pickling solution and if he’d like to run them they’d find residual sodium bisulfate, but nothing else. He said no, that was alright and picked the bullets out of the wall and door frame. That tells you right there he was more concerned about whether I was consuming a harmless herb rather than investigating the self defense shooting of a serial rapist. The serial rapist was going to cost the state money. A pot bust could result in fines and civil forfeitures; follow the money. That incident should really boost our faith in law enforcement’s concern for our well being, huh?

    • Spare me. Your mother-of-cop status may blind you to the harsh realities; being a cop isn’t even in the top ten list of the most dangerous occupations.

      Moreover, they enter the job knowing its (small) risks, and so should garner no sympathy.

      Furthermore, the typical cop’s attitude–belligerent, hyper-vigilant, aggressive, and confrontational–increases the risks of their job. If they were to adopt a more sane, calm, and de-escalating demeanor, they’d be much safer…not to mention less despised.

      The chances of a cop saving my life are infinitesimal compared to the chance of a random stranger doing so; hundreds of thousands of crimes are thwarted by citizen gun owners every year. On the other hand, I can expect a cop to do a bang-up job cleaning up the scene after a crime has already been committed.

      When seconds count, they’re only minutes away!

      Meantime, like Eric and others, my gut clenches every time I see one of our proud “protectors” marauding the streets, because I’m at risk of (at best) an untimely detention, a costly ticket for a bullshit “offense”, or if I’m in the mood to protect my rights, a potentially fatal beating.

      Madam, the best and most moral thing you can do as a mother of a cop is bury your head in shame that you allowed him to sink to the status of feral predatory tax-feeder, and instantly correct your mistake by urging him to join the productive class.

      If he wants to be a “hero”, let him be a private security guard, fireman, medic, nurse, teacher, road worker, ditch digger… Anything but cop. They have become despicable.

      • Very well put Methyl. I had a cop in my family that was working a toll road on a motorcycle in New York years ago. An elderly couple pulled up to a toll booth and the old man dropped some of the change on the road. When he tried to get out to pick it up, the toll collector came out of the booth and started yelling at him to move; he was blocking traffic. Both he and his wife went hysterical so the toll collector called the cops. My cousin showed up in a helmet and high black boots and tried calm them down. They freaked out even worse and were basically paralyzed with fear. It turns out that they were Nazi concentration camp survivors and had a very real (and legitimate) incapacitating terror of men in uniform. Imagine that.

        With every instance of police beating, tazing and shooting unarmed and in many cases non-resisting “civilians”, this country marches that much farther down the totalitarian path. We know how this ends up because we’ve seen it so many times before in the 20th century alone. When the state gives sanction to a select group of citizens to wield lethal force with impunity, there will always be willing participants standing by for their turn with the truncheon. As is always the case, the problem is the state itself and therefore the state must be strictly limited in its power. We have failed to maintain Constitutional limits in Amerika and there are a lot of people, like your son Judi, who are now “just following orders” as a matter of “public policy” to all of our peril. Trouble is a lot of state functionaries were hanged by the neck until dead after the Nuremburg trials for doing that same thing. You either nip this militaristic police state in the bud now or you will live in a 1940’s German style dystopia. You can wake up, stand up and become part of the solution or you are the problem. Your choice Judi; no gray areas.

        • “Suddenly it all comes down, all at once. You see what you are, what you have done, or, more accurately, what you haven’t done, (for that was all that was required of most of us: that we do nothing). You remember the occasions in which maybe if you had stood others would have stood too. You remember everything now, and your heart breaks. Too late. You are compromised beyond repair.” They Thought They Were Free, The Germans, 1938-45 University of Chicago Press, 1955

      • I was working at the shop one day and there wasn’t shit to do. My lead tech’s name was Bud and he was/is the best under body/welding/pipe bending guy I’ve ever met. Anyhow, I told him I wanted a cold air intake on my ’94 Saturn, so he built me one from 3″ exhaust pipe stock. Then he was like “do you want an exhaust too?” I was like yeah. We had a $10 turbo muffler at the shop and he went from the exhaust manifold back and made me a badass exhaust with tha muffler on the end. In the middle of doing it my boy Dan called. Dan had a brand new Sports Truck Ram Hemi. I told him what time I was going to get off and to meet me on the on ramp and we’ll test the full power of the system. I told him we had to start from a 40 mile an hour roll though because I blew out first in my automatic tranny. So, we ran’em on the highway that evening. I even gave him the boot! I beat him on all four pulls we took. That night I became the “Shitbox Hero.” We’re all heroes! We’ll, not cops though. They’re assholes.

    • Judy, if I’m not mistaken, the cops that were killed and injured in Utah, broke and entered into the home of an American citizen because he was suspected of growing a plant! We are not slaves. We own our bodies and anyone threatening another’s life for gardening, had damn well better be prepared to suffer the consequences of their actions.

      Yet when cops shoot and kill a civilian, for which there is yet any evidence that he broke any bullshit law or even fired a single shot, the PD defends their actions. Where’s the murder case against the cops?

      You can take that shit Judi and stow it!

      You say cops are heroes to their families. Well who the hell isn’t? Every father is a hero to kids. People like you burn my ass. You’re immature, irresponsible and dangerous. Please stay away from my children. I can teach them the difference between right and wrong. I don’t need you or your hero cops doing that.

      • Interesting little snippet:

        Last night I happened to be watching one of those True Crime stories on TV (my wife likes them). This one was about a psychopath stalking a woman. The stalker leaves a recording on her target’s answering machine, explicitly stating her (the stalker is female) intention to kill the victim; that she is not safe, anywhere. So the victim goes to the cops. The best they can do for her is a restraining order. Fast forward. A week after this, the stalker makes a verbal threat against one of the cops investigating the case. Now the stalker is arrested and jailed – and subsequently prosecuted for threatening the saintly person of a law-enforcement officer.

        Lesson: We’re expendable. Cops, on the other hand, are spayshull.

      • Don,

        I haven’t touched pot in 20 years (since college, when I did touch it occasionally) but my back really gets about the “war on drugs.” That is, the war on liberty.

        You have to be a moron – literally, an imbecile – to countenance the notion that “some” drugs (like alcohol) are “ok” for personal use, can be used responsibly and in moderation, etc. (thus, causing no harm to others) while others – arbitrarily defined – are “not ok” and even to merely possess a “not ok” drug amounts to a”crime.”

        Also: Almost everyone who is in their 50s or younger today has either sampled pot (and other “drugs”) themselves or personally knew/knows people who did/do – and knows that use, as such, does not make one a savage or cause more (and perhaps less) harm than legal drugs like alcohol. All my college-era friends, for example, smoked some pot Back in the Day. None of us went on murderous sprees as a result. We may have gotten the munchies. That aside, we all graduated, got jobs, got married, etc. – the whole “productive citizen” drill. We know pot is harmless – at least, not necessarily harmful. Certainly less so than alcohol. Yet the “war” continues as people in my cohort became cops and prosecutors and politicians – spewing evil bullshit and knowing they are spewing evil bullshit.

        When I was 20 I thought, ok, reason will prevail. The old coots who are in charge – people then in their 50s and 60s who probably never had any direct experience with “drugs” – will fade from the scene and when the younger crowd takes their place, the crowd that knows it’s all bullshit, the bullshit will go away.

        I’m now in my mid 40s and still waiting.

        If anything, the “war” is more vicious today than it was Back in the Day.

        • Isn’t amazing how so many people tossed aside their 1960s (and 70s) ideals for investment into the system? To profit from it. It’s really quite sickening.

          Also there is that ‘it was ok for me but not for you’ types out there.

          But I guess there’s one thing that may be different. from what I’ve learned it seems back 3+ decades it was the people who used drugs trying to argue they should be legal by comparison (benefit, harm, risk etc compared to legal substances). Now it’s often people who don’t arguing they should be legal on principle. I think that’s a significant advancement. Which is probably another factor in the increased hostilities of the war on some drugs. The violence of the drug war itself, the violence due to the illegality of the trade is now appears to be the primary argument for keeping these substances illegal.

          • The primary argument for keeping them legal is simply this: it is the shadow government profiting from the drug trade.

            Iran-Contra is admitted, open, completely public; a DEA schlub was on video apologizing in East LA a few years ago. Mean, Arkansas is still open for business. There was a recent CIA plane crash…with several tons of cocaine on board. Afghanistan had nearly eradicated poppy production before we arrived; they were making less than 10% of the world’s supply. Enter Uhmuhrikuh, and voila they’re producing 90%…and presto chango, they’ve magically learned to refine it to heroin–where before they were exporting the much less profitable raw opium.

            The worldwide drug trade is somewhere in the neighborhood of $1Trillion; the US side, about $500Billion. Guess who launders those vast fat stacks? Yep–the Too Big to Fail banks.

            The entire War on (some) Drugs is a farce designed to:
            * keep prices high (more profit for CIA/DEA/FBI etc)
            * exclude competition–only certain cartels are allowed to import
            * keep the prisons full of profitable slave labor

            It’s the second-biggest scam next to central banking.

            At this point it has NOTHING to do with a few old fogies who can’t comprehend the illogic of drugs vs. alcohol; it is a criminal collusion and it’s very, very profitable.

          • During the Clinton Administration I read that the DOJ realizes an annual $2 billion from the value of search-and-seized goods from the traffickers alone — planes, cars, jewelry, like that.

        • Eric, it goes back the old “follow the money” routine. With civil forfeiture laws in place, if the drug warriors identify you as a target for doing a little gardening or otherwise engage is what the Framers would see as free enterprise, they get to take and keep your shit. I read about a case years ago where a California man was shot and killed during a no-knock “marijuana” raid because he thought his home was being invaded (it was….by official thugs) and grabbed an antique pistol off the wall to defend himself. It turned out that the Sheriff was using the tax map and assessed values of various properties to determine who might be growing pot, not any credible evidence. What the cops are doing is theft and it’s rampant:

          Of cours if exercise what has been the common law right to defend yourself against unlawful arrest for centuries, you can expect to end up dead or in a cage:

          It’s long past time to stop this nonsense, rein in the offending “officials” and lock up the real thugs; the ones with badges that are wrongly kicking in doors, stealing private property and shooting people with impunity.


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