And That’s the Problem, Lt. Healy

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

The Philadelphia Daily News interviews nine men the city’s police department has arrested for carrying guns, even though all nine were carrying legally.

Eight of the men said that they were detained by police – two for 18 hours each. Two were hospitalized for diabetic issues while in custody, one of whom was handcuffed to a bed. Charges were filed against three of the men, only to be withdrawn by the District Attorney’s Office.

The civil-rights unit of the City Solicitor’s Office confirmed that it is handling eight such cases. Two of the men interviewed by the Daily News said that they rejected settlement offers from the city ranging from $3,500 to $7,500. One accepted a $5,000 offer.

Most of the cases hinge on what local authorities call the “Florida loophole,” under which a Pennsylvania resident can obtain a nonresident permit to carry a concealed weapon through the mail from another state, even without a permit in Pennsylvania.

The “loophole” is unpopular with Philadelphia cops, who say that it allows those denied a permit here or whose permits were revoked to circumvent Philadelphia authorities and obtain it elsewhere.

But proponents say that it’s necessary because Philadelphia has unusually strict criteria for obtaining a concealed-carry permit. Philadelphia, according to police and gun owners, relies heavily on a clause that allows denial of a permit based on “character and reputation” alone.

Agree or disagree with the law, it is the law, which the police are sworn to uphold. Some police officers in Philadelphia apparently feel they can simply ignore it. The department brass doesn’t seem particularly concerned.

Despite following the law, all of the men said that they were treated like criminals by city cops who either ignored their rights or didn’t know the laws.

Lt. Fran Healy, special adviser to the police commissioner, acknowledged that some city cops apparently are unfamiliar with some concealed-carry permits. But he said that it’s better for cops to “err on the side of caution.”

“Officers’ safety comes first, and not infringing on people’s rights comes second,” Healy said.

It doesn’t get more succint than that.

Digg it |  reddit |  del.icio.us |  Fark

70 Responses to “And That’s the Problem, Lt. Healy”

  1. #1 |  omar | 

    Officers’ safety comes first, and not infringing on people’s rights comes second

    Translation: I am a coward with a strong sense of entitlement.

  2. #2 |  Legate Damar | 

    Officers’ safetywhims comes first, and not infringing on people’s rights comes second

    I translated it for you.

  3. #3 |  Legate Damar | 

    ARRR! lousy tags…

  4. #4 |  rapscallion | 

    Qualified immunity needs to become much more qualified. If I can show that an officer knew or should have known that what he arrested me for was not a crime, he should have to pay me big time right out of his own pocket. I think that simple reform would do a lot to reduce the incidence of bullcrap arrests.

  5. #5 |  Mattocracy | 

    This would be a great time for the Justice Department to investigate the City of Philli for violating people’s civil rights. There was a time when it actually did that kind of stuff.

  6. #6 |  Highway | 

    And still again, we see the idea that ‘if you’re not convicted of anything, then there’s no harm to you’ from the DA and the police. Especially from the DA’s. Oh, hey, they dropped the charges on an illegal arrest. Good for them. But they don’t actually put any pressure on the cops to not charge for these things they keep dropping. Probably doesn’t cost them anything to keep letting the cops hang these fraudulent charges on people, and then drop them, so they keep their uniformed buddies happy.

    And the newspapers and politicians just seize on the “Well, he wasn’t charged / prosecuted / convicted” as evidence that there was no harm. Complete BS. The harm is shown there in the article. False imprisonment for most of a day. Medical crisis. Who knows what other trauma and harassment.

    I’d love to suggest something like “If an arrest is found to be fraudulent, then the police department / DA is liable for compensation to the arrestee.” Unfortunately I think that would just set up a system where the DA’s now have pressure to pursue these trumped up BS charges to avoid paying. Or the cops would pull some sort of work slowdown “Oh, I could arrest that guy who was caught shoplifting (both on camera and by the stuff in his pockets), but we’re on the hook if he’s not prosecuted, so we’ll just decline to arrest him.”

  7. #7 |  Ron | 

    “Officers’ safety comes first, and not infringing on people’s rights comes second,”

    Here;s anothe translation:

    “To Protect and Serve THEMSELVES”

  8. #8 |  perlhaqr | 

    10 out of 10 for honesty, I suppose.

    Minus several million for “getting it”, though.

  9. #9 |  Rhayader | 

    Officers’ safety comes first

    It’s like when people say “national security is of paramount importance.” Things like “officer safety” and “national security” are so goddamn important that an attempt to define them, or define situations in which they apply, is a slap in the face to any True American.

    Had to beat on that college kid for no reason? Officer safety. Had to put two hot ones in Fido? Officer safety. Had to arrest and detain law-abiding citizens? Officer safety. No explanation required, no questions asked. It’s a goldmine for these thugs.

  10. #10 |  Salt | 

    “Officers’ safety comes first, and not infringing on people’s rights comes second”

    Translated:

    We are members of an elite brotherhood. We are superior in all aspects of our existence as compared to those outside of our circle. We will with flagrant disregard for civil rights ensure that our elitism is maintained, constitutional protections be damned. You are mere citizens, individuals whose inferiority is tolerated only to pay the taxes which support us. We will take from you what we deem just and appropriate. We care nothing for your interests, rights, or humanity.

  11. #11 |  EH | 

    It should be grounds for firing/recall to value the police over the citizenry and the law.

    Highway:
    Probably doesn’t cost them anything to keep letting the cops hang these fraudulent charges on people

    They pay for it with asset-forfeiture funds.

  12. #12 |  SJE | 

    The stupid thing is that most people who are interested in legally carrying are, at least from my experience, the sort of people who would generally be sympathetic to core mission of the police. Protection of life and property, law and order. There are a lot who are ex military, small business owners, or concerned citizens in rough neighborhoods. The cops should ENCOURAGE these people to get guns, and meet with them to assist in training etc. That cops oppose them says a lot about the mindset of the police.

  13. #13 |  André | 

    This reminds me:

    “The streets are safe in Philadelphia, it’s only the people who make them unsafe.”
    -Frank Rizzo, former mayor of Philly.

  14. #14 |  Dante | 

    “Officers’ safety comes first, and not infringing on people’s rights comes second,” Healy said.”

    What happened to “We just enforce the laws”? Seems like the just enforce the laws they approve of, and violate the rest because nobody can stop them.

    I hate to say it, but the police in this country are becoming more and more like the SS in Germany during WWII – sadistic criminals with badges. I wonder what it will take to cleanse this stain from the fabric of America?

  15. #15 |  Stormy Dragon | 

    “Officers’ safety comes first, and not infringing on people’s rights comes second,” Healy said.

    Why even bother with a paid police force then? If the law is only to be enforced when there’s no risk in doing so, pretty much anyone can do it.

  16. #16 |  Chris in AL | 

    This is my problem with the whole ‘all officers are heroes’ and they ‘put their lives on the line everyday’ rhetoric.

    No they aren’t and no they don’t. Once you taser, shoot, or violate the rights of citizens at your whim to avoid at all costs putting your life on the line in the name of officer safety, you are absolutely not a hero.

    And when you manipulate the system to the point that you are never held accountable for any of the things you do, protected by your peers, the DA’s and a corrupt legal system, you are a scumbag, unworthy of respect or the admiration of the public.

  17. #17 |  B8ovin | 

    Oddly, I agree with the statement, “Officer safety come first, and not infringing on people’s rights comes second.” to a degree. I don’t think it is applicable to this situation, however, nor should it be used as a blanket excuse to protect officers who infringe on an individual’s rights with blatant disregard.

    I can imagine situations where an officer perceives a threat and he has to make a decision that weighs safety against personal rights of a suspect. If he is correct that he is threatened and does not act the results could be irreversible (his death or the death of the suspect or bystanders), while the suspect has recourse to seek justice if he is wrong.

    What I can’t imagine is a situation where an officer has the ability and time to examine a document showing legal permission for concealed carry and making an arrest. The only defense in this situation is ignorance of the law, and any police officer who makes an arrest based on his own ignorance should, at the very least, be suspended and made to take and pass legal code classes.

  18. #18 |  cw | 

    Is that what it says in the U.S. Constitution? I don’t remember a protected class of citizens! Cops are cowardly whimps!

    Highway, Your concerns are valid. The best way a society could solve the problem is to ostracize these criminals (cops) but that’s not going to happen anytime soon so we should work to see them convicted of their crimes and locked up! Not an easy thing to do with the foxes guarding the hen house. (My apologies to the Fantastic Mr. Fox and foxes everywhere for applying the metaphor to these slime balls.)

  19. #19 |  UCrawford | 

    “Officers’ safety comes first, and not infringing on people’s rights comes second,” Healy said.

    A phrase that should be used to identify someone too chickenshit to be a good police officer.

  20. #20 |  Mannie | 

    Why would you expect the cops to enforce the law? That’s not their job. It is to arrest people. They’re paid by the pound.

  21. #21 |  Judas Peckerwood | 

    Abusing citizens comes first. Making excuses for it comes second.

  22. #22 |  cw | 

    B8ovin,
    I just noticed that you seem to be advocating the “double standard of justice” for cops. Cops should not be permitted to commit actions that would get other citizens arrested, locked up, or even shot and killed. Unfortunately, there are double standards for cops aplenty: they may lie to us, but we may not lie to them; they may record us, but we may not record them; they may discharge firearms recklessly and endanger others; they may operate a motor vehicle in a reckess manner….

    Anyone who’s spent much time on this site knows th list is much longer than what I’ve just typed here off the top of my head.

  23. #23 |  Mo | 

    And still again, we see the idea that ‘if you’re not convicted of anything, then there’s no harm to you’ from the DA and the police. Especially from the DA’s.

    What’s interesting is that being arrested isn’t costless. Many job and college applications ask if you’ve ever been arrested, not convicted, of a crime. If you think that the people asking that question give two shits whether or not you were convicted, you’re kidding yourself. A few dozen wrongful arrest suits for this should shut down the practice. Especially if you sue for additional damages.

  24. #24 |  Dan Z | 

    Hey, at least they are being honest.

  25. #25 |  Michael Chaney | 

    Some police officers in Philadelphia apparently feel they can simply ignore it.

    They feel that way because it’s true. We need to severely limit “qualified immunity” to only cover officers who are doing their jobs at the time (hint: falsely arresting people isn’t part of their job, therefore not covered) and use the concept of “rule of law”.

    As it is, Healy has perfectly described “arbitrary rule”, which is antithetical to “rule of law”.

  26. #26 |  Mannie | 

    #23 | Mo | September 2nd, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    What’s interesting is that being arrested isn’t costless. Many job and college applications ask if you’ve ever been arrested, not convicted, of a crime.

    Not to mention the often thousands of dollars in legal costs required to prove your innocence.

  27. #27 |  KristenS | 

    [quote]Not to mention the often thousands of dollars in legal costs required to prove your innocence.[/quote]

    If you think about it, not only do you have to pay for your defense, you also have to pay for your own prosecution!

  28. #28 |  paranoiastrksdp | 

    Is it legal in PA to resist an unlawful arrest? What about using deadly force to do so? Would be sweet poetry if someone got off for shooting a cop because said cop was engaging in a wrongful arrest, and would set one hell of a precedent for the future.

  29. #29 |  Quote of the day « Muse Free | 

    [...] (Hat tip: Radley Balko) [...]

  30. #30 |  SJE | 

    “‘if you’re not convicted of anything, then there’s no harm to you’”
    Being stopped is inconvenient. Being arrested and held is another thing entirely. You might lose your job or your car while being held. People get beaten and killed in lockups with some frequency. At the very least, its a major nuisance.

    Police should be accountable for BS arrests. If it is “no harm,” then they should be jailed for as long as the person they arrested, right? I means, its “no harm”

  31. #31 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Why can’t I do:

    Citizens’ safety comes first, and not infringing on cops’ rights comes second

  32. #32 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    @#29,

    California beauty queens get killed and dumped in a ravine sometimes after being arrested and released.

  33. #33 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Is it legal in PA to resist an unlawful arrest? What about using deadly force to do so?

    You will be kept in prison while a state agent (and you just killed a state agent) decides if the arrest was unlawful. There are hundreds of thousands of laws on the books and most of them vague enough to make every arrest lawful. And remember, it will be a state agent who decides this question. This makes the right to resist an unlawful arrest inconsequential.

    So, you’re fucked.

  34. #34 |  StrongStyle81 | 

    I have to wonder how long it will take before serious violence breaks out between people and law enforcement. I’m not advocating it, but you can only push some people so far before they start pushing back.

  35. #35 |  Kevin | 

    I don’t know what’s got everyone so riled up, we’ve all read the pre-amble to the Bill of Rights, which states:

    “All of these rights may be circumvented if the people in charge happen to think it’s really really necessary, or if they are just having a bad day, or if they are simply complete arses.”

    Wait. Are you telling me that’s not in there? Then how do you explain….? I mean, if that’s not in there, then how…? Hmmmm. Aha, you guys almost got me. It’s got to be in there, y’all are just pullin’ my leg.

    On a side note, it’s interesting how, in some cases, the same people who honor our troops for dying for our freedom also support the police who take it away in the arbitrary name of safety.

  36. #36 |  JOR | 

    Cops are part of the warrior class.

    There’s nothing more cowardly and paranoid than a warrior.

    Theoretically, the justification for having these fucks around is that we’re too cowardly or incompetent to protect ourselves from (self-employed) thugs. They’re the thin blue line, blah blah. But as soon as anyone displays any backbone, any willingness and ability to protect himself, the reaction of the cops is not to revise their belief that common citizens are worthy of nothing but contempt and in dire need of their “protection”, but to beat him down or lock him up in fear for their own worthless lives.

  37. #37 |  LoadToad | 

    #35 JOR

    Yeah… no. If such a thing as a “warrior class” exists, civilian cops sure as shit aren’t part of it. If throwing vast swaths of people into easily stereotyped groups and class warfare is your thing, cops should probably end up with politicians.

  38. #38 |  JOR | 

    The line between warriors and politicians is exceedingly thin, and always has been.

  39. #39 |  Michael Chaney | 

    Anyone who modded me down on #25 care to debate any of my points rather than hit “-“?

    Here they are to make it easy:

    1. Cops such as these ignore the law because they can. Period. Clearly, these aren’t men of integrity. Barring a moral base (which they don’t have), they have no reason to obey the law themselves. So they don’t.

    2. “Qualified immunity” is supposed to make police officers immune from prosecution when they are performing job duties and in relation to incidents that arise from that duty. I have no problem with that. It is never their duty to falsely arrest innocent people, so qualified immunity doesn’t apply. As you know, however, they would falsely claim that it does and the criminal justice system would likely back them up.

    3. That is the definition of “arbitrary rule”. We are supposed to operate under “rule of law”, which is the polar opposite of “arbitrary rule”.

  40. #40 |  LoadToad | 

    #37 JOR

    You mean like how the line between carpenters and hammers has always been thin?

    Also, just saw the Rizzo quote at #13. Pure class, that man. Anyone who bombs their own city deserves a special kind of cancer.

  41. #41 |  JOR | 

    1. & 2. are good points, but qualified immunity and the moral corruption of cops are the symptom, not the problem. The real problem is that they’re the ones in charge of what gets enforced; were anyone capable of holding them accountable, we’d have one of two things: either the people watching the watchers aren’t getting watched, in which case we just add another layer to the problem, or the people watching the watchers are being watched, and those people are being watched, and so on – everyone is being watched by everyone – everyone is accountable because nobody has any special privilege to kidnap, arrest, kill, etc. that nobody else has, in which case we have anarchy (yay).

    3. “Rule of law” is both a tautology and an oxymoron. Whatever rules is the law, and all rule is arbitrary and lawless, by definition (since if it is truly rule and truly law, nothing beyond it can be appealed to – any time something or someone else is successfully appealed to then that just becomes the new lawless and arbitrary rule).

    All that said, I didn’t hit any karma button on #25. Just my thoughts on the matter.

  42. #42 |  JOR | 

    “You mean like how the line between carpenters and hammers has always been thin?”

    No. I mean like how the line between warriors and politicians has always been thin. Professional warriors who are not actively participating in deciding policy in some way are actually kind of rare, especially considering that “policy” really just reduces, for all practical purposes, to whatever enforcers decide to enforce.

  43. #43 |  Jim | 

    Add me to the choir. At best Officer safety should be forth on the list of job duties with a clear number one being ensuring peoples rights as this is the whole point of a police force in a democratic society under the social contract. Their second priority is upholding the law, third ensuring the safety of non officers and forth their own safety. Doing the first 3 has this crazy effect of helping number 4 more than anything else.

  44. #44 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    #40 JOR: “or the people watching the watchers are being watched, and those people are being watched, and so on – everyone is being watched by everyone – everyone is accountable because nobody has any special privilege to kidnap, arrest, kill, etc. that nobody else has, in which case we have anarchy (yay).”

    As a non-anarchist, here are my concerns. Maybe you can address them.

    The scenario you envision may sound good to those disgusted by police abuse of authority (and make no mistake about it, I am disgusted by police abuse of authority). However, when no one has any “special privilege” to arrest, I believe you may end up with more, not less, kidnapping and killing.

    Let me elaborate. A drunk stumbles onto your property, breaks windows, and makes his way into your living room. You order him to leave and show him a pistol. He laughs and sits down on your couch, daring you to shoot him. At this point, the drunk is tresspassing, but morally, you should not shoot, as he is unarmed and not an imminent physical threat to you. So you holster your weapon and try to drag him out of your house. He passively resists and goes limp. Frustrated, you hit him harder and harder, but he will not leave. If you want to protect yourself and property rights at this point, it seems like the only answer will be to beat him to the point of unconsciousness and/or death and drag him off your property. In our current system, screwed up as it may be, this situation could be resolved by a police arrest and conveyance to jail or detox.

    I could think of many similar scenarios, but I won’t go on too long. My point is, in a system of “anarchy,” people may be forced to use more force to protect their rights than current police officers would have to employ, or they will just have to tolerate intolerable situations. Spouse batterers will continue their violent ways, because “a man’s home is his castle.” Child abusers will be free to molest without those damn meddling cops and child protection investigators.

    JOR, I am not idealizing the current system. Indeed, I envision radical changes, but I focus more on transparency and accountability than “throwing the baby out with the bath water.” When I think of anarchistic legal systems I just see holes and the potential for worse problems than we already have. If these concerns aren’t warranted, please feel free to explain.

  45. #45 |  William | 

    At what point do these kinds of willful, flagrant, and unrepentant violations of the life and liberty of citizens cross the line from being shameful and become justifications for homicide?

    I mean, really, is there anyone here who would shout a warning or raise a hand to protect Lt. Healy if they saw a sniper dialing in on him?

  46. #46 |  GreginOz | 

    Helmut, you said “in a system of “anarchy,” people may be forced to use more force to protect their rights than current police officers would have to employ, or they will just have to tolerate intolerable situations.”

    Just when will Americans decide that THE POLICE are placing slaves, oops, Citizens, in intolerable situations?

    Just a thought…

  47. #47 |  Z | 

    I agree with the cop. After all, it’s better to be feared than loved right?

  48. #48 |  Mike Healy | 

    Just goes to show that I’m not the only worthless Healy in the world.

  49. #49 |  Larry Signor | 

    “Officers’ safety comes first, and not infringing on people’s rights comes second,” Healy said.

    Translation: Fuck you.

  50. #50 |  Guido | 

    Us vs. Them < Awesome.

  51. #51 |  JOR | 

    #43,

    Well, are those concerns really with anarchy per se? Even the original idea of urban police forces was not to have a clique of modern Spartans who can do as they please with the helots – it was to simply pay some dudes to do, full time, what everyone has a right and duty to be doing anyway. Right? So the concerns you raise seem to be issues more with radical propertarianism than legal egalitarianism (and they’re concerns I’d share – I don’t think radical propertarianism is morally plausible or practically desirable), and I’d think that the threshold of permitted uses of force would tend to depend on certain social consensus on when force is permitted, and how much – with or without a state. If you have an anarchic society where everyone thinks it’s okay for anyone to intervene on behalf of battered spouses (because it would be okay for a battered spouse to defend her – or him – self), and for anyone to eject intruders from their property, then those specific problems don’t seem to come up. For what it’s worth, I don’t think anarchy would even be attainable or sustainable in a culture where, among other things, people turned a blind eye to their neighbors battering their spouses. But with or without a state, that is most definitely a cultural issue.

    Or in other words, I don’t think anarchy would solve everything that’s wrong with the world; it’s orthagonal to many matters that happen to be very important. If most people think it’s okay for a man to beat his wife (or a wife her husband, or a man his husband, or a woman her wife, or whatever), then whether they have a state or not is really kind of a separate issue – the real problem is that these folks are just fucked up, and their ideas need to be changed. And that’s hard work, one way or the other.

  52. #52 |  BoogaFrito | 

    Many job and college applications ask if you’ve ever been arrested, not convicted, of a crime.

    It is against the law for an employer to ask an interviewee if they’ve been arrested. If this has happened, you have grounds for a lawsuit. They can only ask about convictions.

  53. #53 |  Chris | 

    Make violations of civil rights under color of authority a capital offense and this won’t happen anymore.

    And if individuals deem that they need to enforce my new coda on the police in their jurisdiction, I won’t shed a tear.

  54. #54 |  derfel cadarn | 

    When the police acting in this manner obstructing law abiding folks in their daily lives through ignorance of the law or direct malfeasance it is unacceptable.When the law no longer applies to public servants is it any wonder that they are hated and loathed.
    The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

    sic temper tyrannis

  55. #55 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    My point is, in a system of “anarchy,” people may be forced to use more force to protect their rights than current police officers would have to employ, or they will just have to tolerate intolerable situations. Spouse batterers will continue their violent ways, because “a man’s home is his castle.” Child abusers will be free to molest without those damn meddling cops and child protection investigators.

    I don’t believe the equation can be simplified like this. The current complaint is not that police are using too much for to protect rights. The current complaint is that the police are using so much force for all types of things (not just protection of rights) that they are now the biggest threat to public safety. The state protects the state with so much violence as to make the public better off without the state.

    Please remember that “those damn meddling cops and child protection investigators” that you reference do a tremendous amount of harm along with sometimes stopping child molestation.

  56. #56 |  Pablo | 

    #51–can you cite a statute prohibiting that?

    My understanding is that employment lawyers recommend against asking about arrests that did not result in a conviction because such would tend to disproportionately weed out minorities (another sad effect of the “war on drugs”). Maybe that is an EEOC guideline to but I’m not sure it is actually prohibited. I’ve seen applications that asked about ALL arrests, including charges that were dismissed or given first offender treatment. And if you take the bar exam (or apply for any professional license) anywhere, they go over your past with a fine-toothed comb.

  57. #57 |  Chris W | 

    #54

    The only application I’ve seen like that is for the Air Force Officer Training School. I would imagine the extensive background check for applying to the FBI, et al. would also be allowed cover that. I can’t say I’ve ever seen it on an application for anything in the private sector (defense contractors?).

  58. #58 |  Cynical in CA | 

    “Officers’ safety comes first, and not infringing on people’s rights comes second,” Healy said.

    I think it is well past the time that all human police officers were replaced by indestructible robots. That would lay the officer-safety issue to rest permanently. Then these fucking pussy human police officers could find a line of work more to their level of danger, like toll-booth operator or garbage picker.

  59. #59 |  Cynical in CA | 

    P.S. Glad to see a discussion of anarchism that I had nothing to do with.

    BTW, violence remains constant in any political system, it’s just a matter of how it’s directed. Of course those favored by the present political system want nothing to do with anarchy, what’s in it for them?

  60. #60 |  Tom | 

    All you folks advocating better or tougher laws against false arrests etc. I don’t think y’all realize it is still an agent of the state who gets to decide if it was a false arrest. Even if the cop could under the law be held personally responsible, no prosecutor is going to file charges. They need the cops cooperation to boost their conviction rate. No Judge is going to find the cop guilty. They need them too.

    I wish I had a solution to this problem.

  61. #61 |  Pablo | 

    #57–I think what most of them are advocating for in this discussion is greater civil liability, which is a different issue than criminal liability (though more criminal liability would be nice too). Criminal charges are prosecuted by the police and DA’s while civil suits are pursued by private attorneys and decided by jurors.

    Due to the qualified immunity doctrine, it is very difficult to sue cops for even the most egregious behavior. Even when they are sued the settlement does not come out of their own pocket or pension–it is paid by the taxpayers. What most of us advocate for is to take away the qualified immunity doctrine and make it possible to go after the cop’s assets/pension to pay any damages.

  62. #62 |  EH | 

    It seems pretty simple to break this down: a citizen’s has rights only to the extent that a police officer isn’t scared. Once police departments are stocked with people dumb and paranoid, we’ll have no more rights.

  63. #63 |  Cynical in CA | 

    Whaddya mean, “once?”

    “Police departments are stocked with people dumb and paranoid — we have no more rights.”

    Fixed!!!

  64. #64 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    #51 JOR:
    Thank you for elaborating on your earlier points and engaging in productive discussion. Whether you or I agree on the “ultimate goal” (whatever that is), it is was a quality exchange of ideas.

  65. #65 |  2nd Ammendment - Alive and Well | 

    These are the times that we need to be reminded of the principles on which this country was founded. The “police” do not create the laws, they are merely public “servants” whose sole job is to enforce the laws which “we the people” allow to come to fruition. BTW – There are too many laws.. This government is overstepping its boundaries and needs to be reined in – immediately. We are more than capable of protecting ourselves. These cops are demonstrating more and more their pathetic cowardice – they are shameful examples of humanity. Keep resisting.

    Please, please wake up, America.

    Thomas Jefferson wrote:

    “All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.”

    “Every citizen should be a soldier. This was the case with the Greeks and Romans, and must be that of every free state.”

    “No freeman shall be debarred the use of arms.”

    “One loves to possess arms, though they hope never to have occasion for them.”

    “The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive.”

  66. #66 |  supercat | 

    //Qualified immunity needs to become much more qualified.//

    If judges followed the Constitution, they would recognize:

    -1- Unconstitutional actions are illegitimate.

    -2- Illegitimate actions by definition form no part of a government agent’s legitimate duties.

    -3- Agents have no legitimate immunity for actions outside their legitimate duties.

    If judges would recognize those things, that would take care of a lot.

  67. #67 |  Max D. | 

    OK, this situation sucks, but if they men were carrying CONCEALED, then how did the cops know they had guns?

  68. #68 |  jasonhellion | 

    #65

    i love when people quote thomas jefferson… what a real defender of freedom! well except for his slaves i guess…

  69. #69 |  Ken | 

    For whatever good it’ll do, I reckon I could shun Philadelphia, and make sure the city administration and Chamber of Commerce know that I won’t be applying for any tenure-track teaching positions there, thus won’t be available to serve as a tax battery, and neither will I be spending time or money there for any other reason. I’ll be sure to let ‘em know why, too.

    For whatever good it’ll do.

    As for remedies for the cases such as the ones in question, I’ve always favored permanent forfeiture of LEO commission. That way, a big-city bad actor can’t go become the problem of some small town or rural county elsewhere. Let ‘em do “Will that be grande or vente?” or “Welcome to Costco…I love you” for the rest of their days.

  70. #70 |  “Officers’ safety comes first, and not infringing on people’s rights comes second” | Cop Block | 

    [...] to Radley Balko of the The Agitator, The Philadelphia Daily News interviews nine men the city’s police department has arrested for [...]

Leave a Reply