Morning Links

Monday, June 7th, 2010
  • Off-duty Baltimore cop kills a man who grabbed his girlfriend’s butt. Pretty sure if a non-cop had done this he’d have been in jail while the police department sorted out what happened.
  • Same prop newspaper shows up in multiple TV shows, movies.
  • A visit to Georgia’s Stalin Museum.
  • Eliot Spitzer: Abraham Lincoln would be ashamed of you for not wanting to pay more in taxes. The sneering condescension in that piece will raise your blood pressure about 10 points. Seems to be something about being born into money that makes people especially prone to lecture the rest of us about “shared sacrifice.”
  • Missouri cops harass guy with history of recording Missouri cops.
  • Nebraska crime scene investigator who manufactured evidence sentenced to “up to four years” in prison.

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88 Responses to “Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  Darkefang | 

    Why are we paying attention to Eliot Spitzer anyway? Did we run out of John Edwards and Larry Craig columns to discuss?

  2. #2 |  J sub D | 

    Given a choice between cop or marine as a friend, I would choose marine every time.

    I’m retired Navy, given a choice between almost anybody and a marine for a friend, I’d pick the jarhead. Don’t tell any of them I said that.

  3. #3 |  SBW | 

    Hello,

    I think too much is being read into the ‘former Marine’ description. I think about 2/3 of the people who join the Marine Corps only serve one 4 or 5 year tour (like me), are released from active duty, and then honorably discharged after 8 years. And former Marine would be a common description for a lot of us. I don’t know if that is the case here, however in the end it seems irrelevant. Ass-grabbing == punch. Not shot to death by a cop.

  4. #4 |  Big Texan | 

    Ah cops, you know seeing them interact with ex-military types is usually pretty funny. A friend of mine is a retired Army Ranger, now I’ll be the first to say, he has serious problems. Alcoholism mainly, but he was pulled over recently for a DWI was in complete compliance and never said anything even remotely threatening to the officer. When the cop pulled up his service records and saw what he had been and was capable of he called in back up. By the time I got there there was a helicopter circling the area. Seriously. A helicopter. Anyway the cops were terrified of him. They were literally shaking. Some fat, fat cop came over and started talking to me, and I thought he was going to cry. Literally start balling right there about how threatened they all were by him. He had no weapons, he was handcuffed. They were so afraid of him, I’m guessing because he was an actual killer, and not some fake coward that gets to play dress up with a gun. So the marine probably scared that small dicked cop to death, so he was literally fearing for his life. At least, that’s how I read it.

  5. #5 |  Aresen | 

    J sub D | June 7th, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    I’m retired Navy, given a choice between almost anybody and a marine for a friend, I’d pick the jarhead. Don’t tell any of them I said that.

    6?

  6. #6 |  scott | 

    #40

    My impression is that dishonorable discharge is the only way to become a “former” Marine, and that otherwise Marines are Marines for life.

    This’ll earn me the Pedant of the Day Award but “former Marine” is perfectly acceptable for any Marine who’s been honorably discharged. The pejorative you’re looking for is “ex Marine”.

  7. #7 |  BamBam | 

    “There is NFW that firing 13 shots at an unarmed man can be construed as “self defense”.”

    You never know if someone is unarmed until you are able to search their body. Even then some people are lethal without weapons because the human is always the weapon — some people train in hand to hand combat. However, in no way am I siding with the cop. My intention is to correct the myth of shooting an unarmed person and being unjustified.

  8. #8 |  croaker | 

    #15 Ironically, the original wording of the 16th Amendment specified a maximum rate of 10%. It was struck out on the fear that someone would set it that high.

    This proves only that there is an IQ ceiling for federal legislators only slightly higher than that established for law enforcement.

  9. #9 |  Duncan20903 | 

    “Nebraska crime scene investigator who manufactured evidence sentenced to “up to four years” in prison.

    But, but, but … that’s not how it works on TV.”

    Actually that’s exactly how it worked on CSI when Grissom proved that a fellow CSI was manufacturing evidence to collect his fat expert testimony fees and the ex-CSI was led out of the courtroom in handcuffs and the defendant convicted and sent off to justice.

    It’s real life where it usually doesn’t happen…those guys on TV run a tight ship, have unlimited time and budgets, and the most upstanding ethics any human could have only concerned about the truth and damn whatever the costs finding it. There’s a reason they call it fiction…

  10. #10 |  John Wilburn | 

    @Juice

    Not to split hairs or anything, but Baltimore cops carry Glock 22’s which are .40 caliber, and have 15 rounds in the mag (and usually one more in the pipe).

    Also, most of the cops that I’ve observed at the range are no better at shooting than they are at driving…

  11. #11 |  Duncan20903 | 

    Maryland cops don’t screw around if you annoy them. There was the PG County cop last year who offed a couple of guys who screwed upo his furniture delivery. Though IIRC he did get fired or forced to resign or something. Maybe he was suspended for a week.

  12. #12 |  Duncan20903 | 

    BamBam, yeah those furniture deliverymen are known for showing up armed and are known to be violent! Shoot them dead if they annoy you then find out if there was a risk, who in their right mind would do it differently? Hell, even if they weren’t dangerous that day they might have been dangerous on another. Better safe than sorry!

  13. #13 |  Bob | 

    “Maryland cops don’t screw around if you annoy them. There was the PG County cop last year who offed a couple of guys who screwed upo his furniture delivery. Though IIRC he did get fired or forced to resign or something. Maybe he was suspended for a week.”

    That was this guy:

    http://www.wtopnews.com/?nid=708&sid=1410556

    He was sentenced to 45 years in the slammer.

  14. #14 |  El Scorcho | 

    That PG Cop was named Keith Washington and was convicted of Involuntary Manslaughter among other charges in 2008. He faced up to 70 years, but i’m not sure how many he got.

  15. #15 |  Duncan20903 | 

    Oh ok, my bad memory. But isn’t interesting that I jumped to the conclusion that a cop could kill his deliveryman and get a slap on the wrist since I couldn’t recall the details? Oh yeah, then there was the fact that it wasn’t the first time this guy had such an incident, and also wasn’t the last.

  16. #16 |  Michael Chaney | 

    It’s interesting. I took the required class this past weekend to get a concealed carry permit. I found one taught by a police officer here in the area, and enjoyed it greatly.

    Talking about the legality of shooting an attacker, he made it clear that there’s no “shoot to kill”, it’s only “shoot to neutralize the threat”.

    His next statement was that, as an officer, after he’s done the minimum amount necessary to neutralize the threat, he’s then required by law to begin rendering first aid. He said this quite seriously.

    I was thinking about that when I first read about 13 shots. But there’s a difference between a guy who seems to care about his work and some drunk idiot with a gun who also happens to be a police officer.

  17. #17 |  DaveG | 

    On Baltimore cop, as Flatfoot Sam would say “Don’t monkey with another monkey’s monkey”. I have followed this nuanced philosophy for some time, with peaceful results

  18. #18 |  BamBam | 

    #61, you’re making disingenuous statements. Quit with the knee jerk reaction and read what I wrote.

  19. #19 |  BamBam | 

    Anyone who gives me a minus is obviously not thinking about what I wrote and/or doesn’t have any experience with a fight, whether it be hand to hand, knife, or gun, or any shooting experience. You cannot know someone is unarmed by looking at or asking them. Even if 2 people were naked, one may be trained in hand to hand combat and thus more of a threat to the other person.

    That being said, it is never ok to view anyone as a threat (scared of your shadow) and then take action. Educational moment: disparity of force can mean numbers (e.g. 1 vs 10), weapons (e.g. hands vs gun), or man vs woman.

  20. #20 |  KP | 

    @BSK Actually, we ARE talking about a cop. The only reason he was carrying a handgun in Baltimore was that he’s a cop. The only reason he’s not sitting in jail right now is that he’s a cop.

  21. #21 |  Ray | 

    Sweet Nike spot.

  22. #22 |  Matt | 

    Regarding the murderer Tshamba, Robert Cherry, the police union boss, says, “The refusal by him [Tshamba] to give a statement [or take a breath test] is not something that should raise people’s concerns that he is trying to hide something.”

    What do you suppose the chigger Cherry would say and do in response to Brett Darrow’s, “I don’t want to answer any more questions. Am I free to go?”

    Double standards between cops and those they consider to be little people are alive, well, and getting worse and more entrenched by the nanosecond.

  23. #23 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    My intention is to correct the myth of shooting an unarmed person and being unjustified.

    Fail.

  24. #24 |  JS | 

    Matt “Double standards between cops and those they consider to be little people are alive, well, and getting worse and more entrenched by the nanosecond.”

    Well put!

  25. #25 |  Laertes | 

    Russian teaching guides, under the malign influence of President Vladimir Putin, nudge teachers into apologetics, advising them “to show that Stalin acted in a concrete historical situation” and acted “entirely rationally—as the guardian of a system, as a consistent supporter of reshaping the country into an industrialized state.”

    Hold on a second. This is delivered with a sneer, and, you know, I know we all hate Stalin so he must’ve a bumbling incompetent who couldn’t do anything right and his feet smelled like milk that’s gone off and all that but…

    What’s the problem with that quote, exactly?

    If I was playing Stalin’s position in a strategy game, if it wasn’t actual people getting hurt–that is, if I was playing as the sociopath that Stalin actually was–I’d do things more or less the way he did. His strategy, while monstrous, was brilliant. And successful. Consider:

    You’ve got a vast but desperately poor country. Despite abundant natural resources, your people are mostly occupied with subsistence farming and you’ve got little heavy industry. You share borders with hostile states, and your ideology makes you unpopular. What do you do:

    Q. Can I adopt a more sensible ideology and maybe make friends with some rich countries?

    A. No. Your position atop the junta is strong, but not unassailable. Any dramatic moves in that direction would quickly lead to your downfall.

    Q. Can I conquer the troublesome neighbors?

    A. With what, exactly? Sharpened sticks? No.

    Q. Can I build a small army from my urban base, just strong enough to defeat poorly organized peasant rabble, and then use them to plunder the countryside come harvest time, sell the grain on the world market, and use the cash to buy some serious manufacturing capacity?

    A. Yes. Several dozen millions will starve.

    Q. Great. Do that.

    A. New problem: A potent new ideology, Fascism, has arisen in Western Europe, and it’s an explicit rejection of your system. It’s making quite a splash. It’s taken over in several countries, and enjoys broad sympathy among ruling elites across the West.

    Q. Shit. Everywhere?

    A. Well, not quite everywhere. The American president hates them, and there’s this one cat in England who…

    Q. Stop. You had me at “American president.” I can work with that. I’ll team up with him against the fascists, and once we’ve destroyed fascism I’ll worry about the free-market democracies.

    A. You’re still not all that wealthy. Fighting the Wehrmacht will be a bloody affair. You’ll lose dozens of millions.

    Q. We’ve been over this before. I’ve got plenty of people, and a general who knows how to spend them. Let’s do this already.

    ========================

    He was a monster, a savage–by far history’s greatest murderer. The motherfucking devil incarnate. Where his shadow fell, flowers wilted and the earth never bore fruit again. But did he “[act] rationally” as the “guardian of a system” and “[reshape his] country into an industrialized state.” Damn right he did.

    Let’s not let our righteous hatred for the man and his blood-soaked legacy blind us to the fact that, by his lights, he was a smashing success. He crushed his enemies, reshaped a backwards nation into an modern state that beat the Wehrmacht and then turned right around and gave the Yankees a good run in a decades-long global struggle. He lived like a king for decades, and died in his bed. The dude won.

  26. #26 |  Marty | 

    ‘He lived like a king for decades, and died in his bed. The dude won.’

    now I’m all depressed because I was taught to live by a different set of rules. thanks.

    good post, though!

  27. #27 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    At #73,
    I use the same rational thought to explain why David Hasselhoff is both the greatest actor and singer in the history of the world (Brett Michaels is a close second).

    But seriously, “success” is completely subjective and (of course) can/is declared by just about everybody to defend their actions.

    You’ve got a vast but desperately poor country. Despite abundant natural resources, your people are mostly occupied with subsistence farming and you’ve got little heavy industry. You share borders with hostile states, and your ideology makes you unpopular. What do you do:

    Not resort to fascism, murder, and central planning. SUCCESS! (By my lights)

  28. #28 |  Big Texan | 

    There’s a quote from 3:10 to Yuma from the Bible that aptly describes Joseph Stalin: ‘A man’s ways are right in his own eyes, but the Lord judges the heart.’ The Bible can kick ass some times.

  29. #29 |  Laertes | 

    “Not resort to fascism, murder, and central planning.”

    Stalin was not a fascist. “Fascist” is often misused these days, as if it were a mere synonym for authoritarian. You get this goofiness from people all over the political spectrum, from clowns who cry “Fascist” every time they meet a cop to clowns who cry “Fascist” every time they meet a socialist.

    Fascism arose as an explicit rejection of Marxism/Leninism/Bolshevism. From a distance they bear a superficial similarity, but so do dolphins and sharks, and if Jonah Goldberg wanted to, he could write a very long book about the similarities. “Fins! Teeth! Bony skulls! The list goes on!”

    Jonah, dolphins breathe air. And give birth to live young.

    “TWO EYES! They both poop in the ocean!…”

  30. #30 |  hexag1 | 

    Laertes: I agree that Stalinism is not fascism. I also agree that the term fascism is thrown about far too easily. I have argued with friends that some if the jihadist groups we are seeing around the world could be called fascist, and sometimes I am told that it is the US that is fascist. These people use fascism when their dads tell them to get a haircut.

    Anyway. Fascism, nazism, and communism are in my view rightly collected under the umbrella term totalitarianism. When looked at that way the differences between fascism, nazism, and communism seem less important than their similarities.

  31. #31 |  JOR | 

    #75,

    You’d almost think he was, like, a Randian superman or something!

  32. #32 |  J.S. | 

    I’m sure Mr. Spitzer would have no problem suspending habeas corpus as Lincoln did.

  33. #33 |  BSK | 

    KP @ 70

    Well, obviously, yes, that is the case. My point is that, this man was not operating in any way that would qualify him as a cop. It’d be one thing if he was an on-duty officer overzealous about an arrest. But this was nothing like that. This was a drunk, angry boyfriend who went too far. Plain and simple. Yes, he’s getting the cop treatment, but he’s even less deserving of it than most of the dirty ones.

  34. #34 |  JOR | 

    “My point is that, this man was not operating in any way that would qualify him as a cop.”

    He shot someone else with apparent impunity. This is something that qualifies someone as a cop (in the real world).

  35. #35 |  BSK | 

    JOR-

    Indeed, after the fact. My point is that, by emphasizing the “cop shoots man” idea, it gives the implication that was an altercation between a cop and some random dude. It wasn’t. It was two random dudes. The cops themselves are playing up the cop angle to protect him and justify his actions. We should not play into this. Remove the fact that he was a cop from the situation, which OUGHT to be irrelevant, and we begin to change the narrative and demonstrate just how wrong this situation is.

    So, yes, this guy is enjoying all the privileges that come with being a cop, which typically includes a free pass on murder. So, let’s insist that we ignore the fact he was a cop because, as an off-duty drunk responding to a personal offense and not a law being broken, he wasn’t acting in that capacity.

    People see the headline, “Cop shoots man,” and immediately assume it was in the line of duty and probably justified. Change the narrative to a more ACCURATE headline, “Man shoots man,” and suddenly we’re looking at a different interpretation of events, one far more likely to be handled justly.

    If the sole justification being offered for his actions is that he was a cop, let’s just deny that. Because he wasn’t. And if the police continue to maintain that position, they’ll eventually have to acknowledge that simply holding a badge gives an individual carte blanche to murder. Use their own argument against them. Don’t accept that this is a function of being a cop and, thus, deserving of the protection of being a cop, because it was in no way, shape, or form, part of the function of being a cop.

  36. #36 |  JOR | 

    It was an altercation between two random dudes, one of whom happened to know his gang brothers would cover for him were he to come completely unglued and do something horrifying. Do you think that the cops’ culture of entitled, paranoid chauvinism and general policy of covering each others’ asses never influences these guys when they’re making ordinary everyday decisions, like, “Should I handle this situation like a grownup or completely lose all sense of proportion and blow this guy away?”

    So yes, he was acting in his capacity as a cop, because (in the real world) “cop” is a privileged warrior class you’re a part of all the time, not just some limited role you serve while you’re working your shift. If you’re a cop you’re one of the Chosen; if you’re one of the Chosen you can very often do pretty much whatever you want to anyone lower in the hierarchy than you are. To do so is act in one’s capacity as a cop.

  37. #37 |  BSK | 

    JOR-

    Well, now you are getting into ACTUAL vs OFFICIAL. I doubt that anywhere in the police manual does it outline that. As such, we can say, officially, he was not acting as a cop. If he still wants to claim that he was, he’ll have to refer to the unofficial guide, which is what you outlined above. Once there, we have them twisting in the wind as they attempt to justify actions that are unjustifiable.

    I think we’re a lot closer to agreeing then it might seem. I concur that this man’s experiences and association with the police informed his actions. Nonetheless, none of what he did fits the job description of the position he officially holds. If he wants to claim that actions outside of that are, in fact, the duties of a cop, then he’ll have to essentially sit there with a straight face and say, “Yes, murder is a cop’s job.”

    Let’s use their own bullshit against them. Hold up the job description of an officer. Hold up this guy’s actions. Find out where their is a disconnect. Demonstrate how this shows that his actions were not those of a cop. If he continues to insist they were, ask for the job description he refers to. Either one does not exist, thus refuting his argument -OR- one does exist that will confirm, officially, that cops believe the murder, harassment, and general lawlessness we see from some of them is a part of their job. Bammo. The great thing is, any guy stupid enough to do what he did is likely stupid enough to walk into this trap, too

  38. #38 |  buzz | 

    big texan, you’re so full of shit. Service records do not come up when someone is run thru the system. What are you, 12?
    And whoever said Lincoln destroyed this country? What are you smoking?