Because You Can’t Make a Denver Omelet Without Cracking a Few Heads

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

T-shirt handed out by Denver’s police union to commemorate the 2008 Democratic National Convention:

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45 Responses to “Because You Can’t Make a Denver Omelet Without Cracking a Few Heads”

  1. #1 |  Mikestermike | 

    Anyone surprised?

    When does the New Professionalism become old hat?

  2. #2 |  Cynical In CA | 

    Got the police union chief’s e-mail address and/or phone number?

  3. #3 |  j.d. | 


    Scalia would stand up for the New Professionalism even if his own house was wrongfully raided, without a warrant, on grounds that two hired informants, paid to go into his house to find stash, saw a bottle of oregano in the spice drawer and reported back saying, ‘could be meth’.

  4. #4 |  flacmonkey | 

    Personally I want one like this: Courtesy of The War On Guns Blog.

  5. #5 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    Absolutely shameful. Here I am earnestly seeking a career in this field for the right reasons (remember “Serve and Protect” you cynical fucks) and currently serving morons do shit like this. Have the troglodytes from the DPD union ever considered that violence should be LESS a part of the police image than it currently is? Here’s a suggestion for the goons responsible. Stop re-living your high school jock/bully fantasies and choose another field. The job should be about problem solving and critical thinking you tools, not “beating crowds.” Get out now assholes! It will be easier for folks like me if you just fucking retire early!

  6. #6 |  annemg | 

    As much as it shouldn’t, crap like this shocks me every time.

  7. #7 |  Packratt | 

    Posted about this a few days ago and the odd, but unsurprising, thing is that a representative from the police union said that demand for the shirts was so high that he had to order more.

    …and people say police brutality isn’t a widespread problem?

  8. #8 |  Andrew | 

    They’ve pretty much dropped any pretense of being anything but bullies, thugs and an army of occupation.

    More and more people are realizing this. Not just Libertarians, Long Hairs, Inner City Blacks, Radical Conservatives or Leftists etc. but your run of the mill average citizen is becoming more and more contemptuous of cops. In fact the most vehement cop haters I personally know at the moment are several elderly white ladies. Farm wives and little old church going ladies from small rural towns. And when I say hate I really mean hate. They hate them with a passion. Why? Personal interactions with thuggish barbarians in blue.

    Congratulations! You’ve just about completely destroyed any sort of good will or support you’ve had among the “silent majority” out there. Way to go thugs. You’ve still got your cop apologists, uniform fetishists and the cop worshiping jock sniffer set who still defend cops but more and more people are waking up. Not enough yet, but the more people get abused the more people wake up.

    I suppose the only question is will enough wake up before it’s too late.

  9. #9 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    I used my earlier post (#5) to vent, but I’d also like to discuss the proper role of law enrocement during a political demonstration. Put succinctly, there should be a very limited role for police in these situations. As long as there is no violence, no interfering with the rights of others, and no property destruction occurring, officers on scene should do the following:

    1.) Monitor traffic flow. If demonstrators block traffic, negotiate for a brief period, then arrest those left behind (using minimal force) for obstructing traffic. This may be civil disobedience, but it is also dangerous and annoying to motorists (who also “own the streets”).

    2.) Maintain a small visible presence (plainclothes officers should generally not be used) and watch for actual security or safety hazards (fights, fires, ill or injured people, vandalism, etc.) . Don’t be overly obsessed with “order.” Real democracy can be disorderly, so if people aren’t hurting others or turning over cars, then don’t act. Arrest only for REAL violations.

    3.) If there is no trouble, officers should not be dressed in riot gear. The “Darth Vader” gear is provocative. It also dehumanizes the officer, and IMO, makes protestors more likely to attack. I would even argue that the current riot gear itself is an officer safety issue.

    4.) Remember, the feeling of anonimity while in a crowd may encourage lawlessness among protestors, but history shows it has the same effect on police, no matter how well trained they are. Officers must be taught from day one that they are accountable for their individual actions, even in a hectic crowd control situation.

    To conclude, if the “anarchists” haven’t started setting fires yet, there should just be a handful of officers on hand to deal with traffic and to watch out for the small number of douche bags that attend any political demonstration. When they start their shit, be prepared to apprehend those responsible, and only those responsible. Liberal use of chemical irritants or bum rushing the entire crown should be completely discouraged. In law enforcement, the concept of “collateral damage” should be a completely foreign concept. The priorities in any police operation must be to preserve life, protect rights and protect property. Anyone who doesn’t take these priorities seriously should not apply for a position in law enforcement.

  10. #10 |  qwints | 

    Well said, Helmut.

    I’ve got no problem with police arresting protesters who are breaking the law – half the time, that’s the point. And I understand that riots are bad things where innocent people get hurt. Proper policing can prevent a riot. But the perverse paranoia of police who seem to believe that every demonstrator will attack them if they don’t use mace and rubber bullets seems to cause far more harm than it could ever prevent.

    I do want to point out that some police departments can be quite reasonable. The Austin Police Department does a good job handling protests (although they have plenty of other flaws.) Reasonable and content-neutral regulation of the time, place and manner of speech is o.k. But it’s important not to ruthlessly suppress speech which runs afoul of some city ordinance.

    All that said, there are some cops who truly deserve to be called pigs. The ones who are itching for an excuse to use their new toys on people. The ones who try to assert their authority for no good reason. The ones who enjoy taking a cheap shot at someone they’ve arrested. The ones who lie on the witness stand. And Joe Arpaio.

  11. #11 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    Yes, that’s some shirt. Makes me VERY glad I don’t live in Denver.


    Given the hype of the “Recreate ’68” nitwits, I can’t say I’m surprised. It never ceases to amaze me the degree to which people accept the Far Left’s version of the ’68 Chicago riots. The protesters went to Chicago specifically to provoke the police. In an ideal world the police wouldn’t have responded. The police who rioted were wrong. But that doesn’t mean that protesters were right. The Chicago police were criminal thugs but the protesters were violent idiots who richly deserved the pounding they got. It is ALWAYS possible for both sides of an issue to be swine. Indeed swinishness on one side tends to bring out swinishness on the other …. and they rush into each-others arms.

    “recreate ’68” fizzled, thank gods. The Denver police are jerks. They responded to the threat of other jerks by acting even worse.

    No surprise.

  12. #12 |  JJH2 | 


    Bullshit on that revisionist history one thousand times over. The Yippies were not to blame for the repeated, unconstitutional denials to grant them parade permits (itself a bullshit justification for preventing the free association of people). Nor were the Yippies “responsible” for their own arrests at the “Pigasus nomination” – at which they nominated a pig for president of the US. There was absolutely no excuse or justification for police action at the DNC ’68. And contrary to the disingenuous assertion, that’s hardly a “far left” version of events. Even the government’s own pointy-heads in the Walker Report blamed the violence on a “police riot.”

  13. #13 |  note2self | 

    We get up early, to beat the crowds

    I don’t think there’s supposed to be a comma after early. If not, maybe it should be We get up early to study punctuation.

    That’s typical. A cop stopped me for a “suspicious vehicle.” I’m not sure what he meant — if you’ve been stopped lately, you know they don’t have to answer you. I think it may have been because I was in a black neighborhood.

    I hate cops, all cops, without exception.

  14. #14 |  Scott | 

    The priorities in any police operation must be to preserve life, protect rights and protect property. Anyone who doesn’t take these priorities seriously should not apply for a position in law enforcement.

    This is why I love the anecdote (don’t know if it’s true or not) about the police chief asking for SWAT volunteers, then immediately disqualifying those that raised their hands. Too many of these clowns view ordinary people as “the enemy” with no rights, as opposed to citizens with rights that they are sworn to protect.

    “Protect and serve” is now “restrain and subdue”.

  15. #15 |  note2self | 

    Helmut, read The Triumvirate and the Plunderbund by William Norman Grigg. Follow the link “Ramon Perez” and see what happens to good cops. It is Mr. Grigg’s contention that they are getting rid of the older cops and recruiting new cops from vets returning from Iraq.

    Apparently, the older ones have too much of a conscience to taser old frail men who are not resisting, six-yr-olds, and eight month pregnant women. Unfortunately, it usually happens that they will change you before you change them.

  16. #16 |  Scott | 

    Ugh…forgot to close my italics block.

    Radley, why no “preview” functionality?

  17. #17 |  chance | 

    Yeah, that’s a horrible thing for cops to put on a shirt and all, but I still thought it was kinda funny.

  18. #18 |  Red Green | 

    Quess it’s no longer “safer” in Denver. The “beater” t-shirt will backfire. It’s evidence of how the pig really thinks about those whom he is supposed to be protecting. About time to sharpen that old guillotine.

  19. #19 |  Mike T | 

    Considering the sort of people that these protests often attract, I say let them fight it out. Let the socialists and police fight it out, as that’ll just make it easier for libertarians.

  20. #20 |  note2self | 

    Scott, italics or not, you are 100% correct that they are being brainwashed to view every citizen as a terrorist. This is largely due to Homeland Security. They assume that we, until we can prove otherwise, are “home-grown” terrorists without humanity, much like Ahmahdinejad. (I believe if it WERE possible to “prove” you weren’t a terrorist, they would treat you the same, because they have completely dehumanized us all.)

    They cannot use their common sense — a ten-year-old girl, a hospital-bound mental patient, a 90-year-old man, etc. etc. receive the same treatment as someone who looks like Osama bin Laden.

    omg, you should read some of their comments on a police forum. When three cops were called to handle a disturbance at a school, (a six-yr-old boy “brandishing” a shard of glass,) they tased him. The cops were discussing it on their forum, and you wouldn’t believe what bothered some of them: people would compain and the cops would be restricted from using tasers on certain age groups.

    Months before this, someone wrote in and asked “What does it feel like to be tased”? (Hint — it hurts.) A few months later, they were discussing the the 6-yr-old boy and later the tasing of a 13-yr-old girl. Most of them gave the Michelle-Malkin-interment-camp logic: WE WEREN’T THERE, SO IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO SECOND GUESS SOMEONE WHO WAS.

    Okay, I hate to make this longer, but here’s one of the replies: “I don’t see a whole lot of problem with the deployment of the taser. Perhaps there was another way, who knows. . . Sounds pretty textbook, though. The last I looked, my use of force policy does not specify ages, only perception of danger.”

    Really, just one more thing: You know how we are always saying that cops are supposed to use tasers only as a last resort before having to use deadly force? We make that up; the cops have never said it. This is typical of a couple of their answers on child tasing: “I love how the news of this story is a 6 yr old kid getting a taser used on him. . . not the fact that a 6 yr old was waving around a sharp object and causing harm to himself and threatening others. Consider this: Many department use of force puts the taser BEFORE HANDS ON. When you touch someone, a lot of things can go wrong. The taser safely avoids this. If you refuse a lawful order, in many jurisdictions you may see the laser from the taser hitting your chest next. . . follow the order or you are taking a ride!” (His emphasis.)

    They don’t see a 6-yr-old little boy. They see the spawn of sub-human home-grown terrorist monsters.

  21. #21 |  note2self | 

    I meant “internment” not “interment.”

  22. #22 |  Matt | 

    And our unbiased news media has given this atrocity a free pass. Can’t report anything that will taint the rise of the great one.

  23. #23 |  Chris in AL | 


    I admire that you want to join up and bring the right attitude to law enforecement. Unfortunately, I see it as about as likely as getting the vikings to give up rape and pillaging.

    My aunt was a cop for 30 years. She thought like you. She fought for what was right many times. She made it all the way to Detective in charge of Rape and Child Sex crimes in St Louis.

    Then came a case where a prominent rich persons white daughter at Wash U decided to have sex with a latino at a party and everyone knew about it. Her parents decided that it was so embarassing he should be charged with rape, though the entire party knew it wasn’t. His friend, the DA, agreed. My aunt refused to help. She was told if she didn’t play ball she would feel the pain. In the end she helped keep the kid out of jail, then got demoted and basically all the achievements of her 30 year career were wiped out. Because she refused to help imprison a man that every single person involved knew was entirely innocent.

    Once you are in, once your house payment, kids college, retirement etc…is all tied to that job, you will most likely play ball when called upon. You will protect cops that should be exposed. You will give false testimony on the stand. Because you will have too much to lose if you don’t.

  24. #24 |  Matt | 

    “Rogers said each Denver officer was given one of the shirts free…”

    And “free” here, of course, means paid for with tax dollars, so the citizens of Denver were compelled to subsidize that abomination. Nice.

  25. #25 |  note2self | 

    Here are pictures of a slightly injured (scroll down) protester the cops have piled on. Even though she doesn’t appear to be all that hurt, the cops never call for medical help. It takes about four Kostumed Klowns to handcuff her; she won’t stop resisting. She was charged with assaulting an officer, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, and conspiring to, uh, conspire.

    “Helmut O’Hooligan?” Hmmm.

    Chris from AL: I’m from AL too. Aren’t you pround to live in the reddest state in the galaxy?

  26. #26 |  Brendan | 

    I think the fact that these shirts were given out by the police department to be despicable and very idiotic on their part.

    However, am I the only one thought the shirt was funny? I laughed out loud, not only at the shirt, but at the ridiculousness of the entire situation.

  27. #27 |  ktc2 | 


    If you have any soul or conscience pick another field.

    Understand it’s not a vocal minority that’s bad. It’s not a large majority that’s bad. It’s EVERY SINGLE ONE that’s bad. Because if you refuse to “play ball” you will just end up out on your ass unemployed, publicly disgraced (even if they have to make it up) and damn near unemployable.

    For your own sake, and your families if you have one, DONT DO IT.

    It’s like joining the gestapo to change it from the inside. It’s a lose-lose situation.

  28. #28 |  William | 

    Absolutely BEAUTIFUL evidence for a police brutality lawsuit. I hope this is spread to every lawyer so they can show the juries the REAL attitude of stupid brutality these PIGS have,

  29. #29 |  Edwin Sheldon | 

    I too am from AL, and I hardly think it’s the reddest state in the galaxy. There’s a fairly solid Blue belt of counties with large poor black populations. Of course, there is always a red majority that ensures most of our state and federal legislators are god-fearin’, terrorist-killin’, homo-hatin’ good ol’ boys.

  30. #30 |  William | 

    AND sue the Union for INCITING brutality/TERRORISM …………

  31. #31 |  Steve | 

    I’m confused. I went to that article but it was missing the part about the police chief and local politicians apologizing for the unprofessional t-shirt logos. It also cut off the part about them confiscating all of the offending shirts and reprimanding those involved.

    It must be my browser or something.

    Surely, the New Professionalism is, in part, the result of learning lessons from past embarrassments like the
    Good Ol’ Boy Roundup
    and the subsequent harsh punishments doled out.

  32. #32 |  note2self | 

    Come on people, Helmut is a cop.

    Edwin, it’s a toss-up — do the righteous republicans and neocons hate gays more than they hate knowing that someone, somewhere, might be playing bingo without permission? The AL Constitution is about 400 pages long with 800 “amendments.” Nineteen amendments mention bingo.

    One of the last amendments defines marriage as being between a man and a woman. I shudder to think what would happen if we had a gay bingo hall. Shazam.

    We also love to put people in jail for a long time. I think someone started a petition to just mail their guilty verdicts in and skip those pesky trials.

  33. #33 |  Chris in AL | 

    Hi Note2self

    What I don’t get is that Alabama is red on the federal level but both the House and Senate of the State Legislature is over 60% Democrat. In local politics the Dems win all the time.

  34. #34 |  Kevin | 

    I try to give the police the benefit of the doubt whenever I can, but this is definitely not one of those times. That shirt is a disgrace. It will get ugly if things like this continue.

  35. #35 |  RWW | 

    I hate cops, all cops, without exception.


  36. #36 |  Photographer and Biker | 


    If and when you become a cop, please remember that photography is not a crime. Even if the person is photographing you making an arrest.

    Riding a bike (motor or not) is also not a crime.

  37. #37 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    Thanks for the advice and supportive comments from all, though I disagree with some of the ideas expressed. To #32 Note to Self, I am not a police officer. Actually, I am a non-sworn healthcare security officer in the midwest, so my job has parallels to policing. While I believe that law enforcement is very troubled, I don’t believe it is beyond redemption at this point. I don’t think its fair to tar and feather a large group of people who work for approximately 17,000 agencies at various levels of government. If we end or even whittle away at the drug war, the field will improve. If we take the constitution (particularly amedments 1 and 4) seriously, the field will improve. If we raise hiring standards (prepare for a fight with the unions!) the field will improve. Until then, I will go forward with my career plans. I believe this job, like most, is what YOU make of it. However, if my principles are compromised, I will not hestitate to hang it up. My employment and educational background is solid, so I can certainly find related work elsewhere. And to #36, you have my word that I will never arrest anyone for photography or cycling. Thanks again.

  38. #38 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 


    “Revisionist History”?

    We KNOW from the record – documents written and published by he protest organizers, memoirs, etc. – that the intention was to provoke the cops. We know, in fact, that several of the protest organizers hoped that the rank and file protesters would get pounded, because they said so. That makes the protesters wrong. Doesn’t make the cops RIGHT, mind you. But that’s what I’m saying; BOTH SIDES WERE IN THE WRONG, and they fed off each-other.

    We have a tendency to assume that if one side is wrong, the other is right. More often than not they are both made up of thugs and fools.

  39. #39 |  Matt | 

    “…you have my word that I will never arrest anyone for photography or cycling.”

    That’s a nice sentiment, but does it include calling out your co-workers who *do* intimidate or arrest someone for photography or cycling? If does, you’re headed for a short and miserable career. And if it *doesn’t*, you’ll be an accessory to their brutality.

  40. #40 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    #39 Matt: It’s more than a statement, its a vow. And yes, if I see illegal activity I will stop it. I will directly intervene or I will call them on it. If that means a “short miserable career,” then so be it. As I stated, I have options.

  41. #41 |  RWW | 

    …if I see illegal activity I will stop it.

    Would that include drug “crimes”?

  42. #42 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    #41 RWW: That’s a fair question. This is where “officer discretion” can be very useful. Police officers I know tell me that it is not uncommon for officers to allow small amounts of weed to blow into the wind instead of making an arrest. In my city, I also hear reports of small packages of heroin or cocaine being dropped down sewers or thrown onto the roofs of housing projects, especially when officers aren’t 100% sure who it belongs to. The problem occurs when there are a lot of people watching or you’re dealing with a complainant that calls daily about drug activity. If you don’t “do something” then some in the neighborhood will make allegations that the police are in on the drug dealing. The drug war has put us all–police and citizens alike–in a very tough situation.

  43. #43 |  James | 


    I appreciate your coming here, learning more about the most extreme members of your professional fraternity and talking with all of us.

    But, as has often been said, by Radley, by “The Wire” producer and ex-cop Ed Burns, and many others, the problem has little at all to do with any individual police officers. The problem is with the institutions of law enforcement as they exist today. Those institutions are creating and promoting the harm, and little to no good can be achieved while they hold sway.

    I live in New York City. By all standards, the NYPD is one of the best police departments in the nation, and is particularly appealing compared to the DC police I grew up with during the first era of Marion Barry. But that still comes with nearly annual wrong-door SWAT raids leading to people getting killed, and an unarmed black man getting mowed down by a hail of gunfire, not to mention warrantless searches and a spy network costing New Yorkers millions to plant cops in peacenik meetings all over the country, not to mention loads of less fatal brutality.

    The most remarkable thing about this is not that it happens; some amount of it is inevitable in a city with over 50,000 cops. The most remarkable thing is that nothing ever changes. None of these shootings leads to better firearms training for cops. None of it leads to real oversight of the police department. Every year or so, another citizen shot down in a hail of bullets, and another long list of reasons why this shit just has to happen and there is nothing that can be done about it. The institution is incapable of learning or serving its employers better.

    The funny thing is that I know several NYPD officers. Good guys, all of them. But there simply is no way that I can possibly morally cooperate with the institution they represent. On anything. The NYPD village must be destroyed for us to have hope of saving it.

    I wish it was just the drug war. But I know better. Anyone who has peeked at the Hoover archives does. Before it was dope, it was commies, or Zoot suiters in LA, or people who were pissed because they couldn’t buy their way out of the draft during the Civil War. It isn’t merely the drug war which has put us all in a tough situation – your statement itself is evidence of that. Police are citizens, and nothing more. You are I aren’t any different, and a free society cannot afford to distinguish between us because of what we do for a living. As long as there is a real distinction between those who are subject to the law and those who enforce it, the system will always be broken. We cannot afford for there to be an “us” and a “them”.

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