Sunday Links

Sunday, April 3rd, 2011
  • Never leave your kid in the car, even for 30 seconds. Not because it’s dangerous, but because someone may call the cops on you.
  • I blame gay marriage.
  • “Patrol officers in some police agencies and the state highway patrol were evaluated and given pay increases, in part, according to how many traffic violations they issued to motorists. That can no longer be a basis for performance evaluation under the new law.” Rather unfortunate that this needs to be codified into law in the first place.
  • The “bite-mark experts” fight back.
  • The column itself is just inane. The police responses to it in the comments section are horrifying.
  • Sheriff’s deputy resigns after shooting, killing a vicious chihuahua.

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40 Responses to “Sunday Links”

  1. #1 |  Gonzo | 

    “The column itself is just inane.”

    Not only that, it’s a bloody master’s class in scare quotes. I don’t even know what the hell half of them are supposed to mean.

  2. #2 |  John Jenkins | 

    It always amazes me how very little the people who design government compensation programs utterly fail to grasp the concept of incentives (or, in the alternative, they are simply evil and know exactly what they’re doing: take your pick).

  3. #3 |  kant | 

    Actually as horrifying as the comments were, and to be fair there were some good one’s from cops, the article was pretty horrifying.

    The few comments I read basically revolved around her detention being ok because she refused to obey the officer’s commands. Which is obviously bad if it’s an unlawful command but isn’t necessarily bad (assuming the command is lawful)

    As I gathered from the article, the author believed that the police were in the clear for arresting her not because she broke the law but because she should have been more respectful.

    The article is arguably worse than the comments because While officers arresting people for not complying with unlawful commands is horrifying, officer commands are only unlawful part of the time (even if that part is the major). Whereas, an officer arresting you for “not being more respectful” is unlawful (and horrifying) all of the time.

  4. #4 |  Bill | 

    Where were the police when the police left the kids in the van for 12 hours?

  5. #5 |  Bill | 

    On the dog shooting – at least the Sheriff sounded reasonable. If this had happened in Prince George’s County the Sheriff would have defended the killing.

  6. #6 |  Gretchen | 

    The column for some reason assumes that being disrespectful is a crime and merits police action. Unfortunately, this is a pretty common assumption.

  7. #7 |  perlhaqr | 

    Just keep giving us more reasons to ‘love’ and ‘respect’ you, pigs.

  8. #8 |  Marty | 


    ‘She thought one of them bit her, shot him, and went outside. After realizing she was fine, she went back into the residence where McElrath says the dog was still acting aggressive, so she shot him again. The dog then went into his kennel, where she shot and killed him.’

    Because the homeowner gave the cop permission (for some stupid reason…) to search his home, I’m surprised he wasn’t charged with assault for putting the officer’s life in danger with the 3 vicious dogs…

  9. #9 |  Thom | 

    The #1 problem with police in this country is that the expect to be respected purely because of the job they have. I have no problem paying respect when it is deserved. But passing a civil service exam does not make you my better.

  10. #10 |  Jesse | 

    A THOUGHTFUL person would understand that police are not your parents, they are taxpayer-funded employees whose job is to deliver suspected lawbreakers to a judge, not enforce their own personal sense of decency on others.

    The kicker for me was the claim that they were attempting to save the sticken man from embarassment… They seem to have no trouble humiliating and degrading anyone that pisses them off at the drop of a hat normally, and now they suddenly develop this overriding sense of chivalry?

    Pardon me while I vomit.

  11. #11 |  FridayNext | 

    Is it inappropriate that, while the chihuahua shooting story is tragic, it is effing hilarious the shooter was Deputy Barks?

    Where was the shooting? BusyTown?

  12. #12 |  mad libertarian guy | 

    A policeman’s job is simple. Enforce the law.

    Do not presume that “enforce the law” translates to “give moral lessons”, especially since it seems to me that the entirety of the police as an institution is morally bankrupt.

  13. #13 |  Windy | 

    I have a 6 month Chihuahua puppy, she’s hyper and also skittish around strangers (tho if she knows you, she’ll lick you to death) so she barks and looks aggressive and she sounds vicious (tho she never has bitten anyone), but if a stranger takes a step toward her, she runs in the opposite direction, still barking. I would be devastated if a cop shot her the way Barks did that Chi male, and I would be finding the best attorney I could get to sue the shirt and pants right off the cop, and the department, too, for hiring such a thoughtless, heartless twit. But I would never willingly allow any cop access to my home without having read the search warrant specifically listing my name, my address, and the items being searched for; and then only after I had safely secured my dogs (preferably at the neighbor’s house). And premature entrance of my home by any cop would also result in a lawsuit.

  14. #14 |  zendingo | 

    one, wow a chihuahua. two, wow a chihuahua………

  15. #15 |  freedomfan | 

    I also had to take a second look at the chihuahua shooting story. Officer Barks, a ridiculous scenario, a story updated on April 1st… But it looks legit.

    I agree with posters noting that the Sheriff in this case at least seems reasonable and upset at the officer’s extreme overreaction. There are plenty of places where the first reaction would be to circle the wagons and insist that the officer acted in accordance with procedure during a “life-threatening” situation, whether the animal involved was a grizzly or a gerbil. And, frankly, as disgusting as the officer’s actions were, at least she did the right thing and resigned when she (apparently) didn’t have to. How often do we see that?

    What I would really be curious to see is the reaction of the authoritarians over at policelink if the chihuahua story were posted there. There’s sort of a dilemma about which badge to respect. Would they defend the shooter and start making up details out of whole cloth about how the dog had disrespected the officer and refused to obey an order, or would they stand by the reaction of the sheriff?

  16. #16 |  TomG | 

    About the chihuahua shooting – she just “thought” she got bit and her reaction was to shoot the dog? and then, to shoot it 2 more times? I’m glad the sheriff didn’t try and defend her.
    Police need to be trained not to pull their gun on a dog – especially a small one! – unless it’s going for someone’s throat.

  17. #17 |  J.S. | 

    Wow, my parents would be in jail a few dozen times over if they’d ever been narc’d on for leaving me in the car for a few mere minutes when I was a kid. Heavens to betsy, its a kid waiting for their mom/dad to pick up their medicine in the pharmacy! I’d also wager that if this had been a father who had been tattled on, he’d have been arrested or visited by social services and forced to go through some bullshit parenting course.

  18. #18 |  Buddy Hinton | 

    at least she did the right thing and resigned when she (apparently) didn’t have to. How often do we see that?

    may be a strategic move so that she can work at a new agency with a “clean” file. The guy who hassled Moats got a job at another agency.

  19. #19 |  Buddy Hinton | 

    More chiwawa:

  20. #20 |  CharlesWT | 

    In contrast to PoliceLink, most of the commenters at PoliceOne (thanks Buddy) show a commendable attitude about their jobs and the public.

  21. #21 |  Mattocracy | 

    Read the free range kids website from the first link.

    If the nanny staters had their way, every kid would be treated like a retard and an ultra-violent criminal all at the same time. We’ve turned children into complete liabilities.

  22. #22 |  Billy Roberts | 

    Here in Oklahoma, I know of at least one reserve police officer who is paid $15 for each traffic citation he writes. Not surprisingly, Shamrock, Oklahoma is known as a speed trap town.

  23. #23 |  Jay | 

    I threw up in my mouth when I read the article on policelink. These commenters clearly don’t know the law. Being disrespectful, etc., isn’t illegal. Total tools.

  24. #24 |  Leah | 

    Re: the kids in cars one – I’ve been told I am lazy and irresponsible because I left my kids in the car while putting a cart back into a cart corral. Because I can’t physically haul a 4 year old, 2 year old, and baby through a parking lot safely. This crap is why no one returns carts, I guess.

    I checked the laws, in IL you’re legally allowed to leave kids in the car for 10 minutes. I am still worried that someone will call the cops, though, even though the kids are safer in their carseats than being dragged through parking lots every time.

  25. #25 |  kahr40 | 

    It took her three shots to kill a chihuahua? THREE SHOTS! That Sheriff has got more training problems than when his deputies are justified in shooting a dog.

  26. #26 |  Ken Hagler | 

    It’s certainly appropriate that a site called Police Link (“The nation’s law enforcement community”) is hosted by

  27. #27 |  Dylboz | 

    I had to go comment and leave a link to our “War On Cameras” link at, because JEEBUS! That was ridiculous! That poor girl did NOT “bring it on herself,” she had it brung by two overzealous, unlawful officers violating her rights and their oaths to uphold and defend the Constitution! Jagoffs in jackboots!

  28. #28 |  Greg C. | 

    To be honest, I would never leave a baby ( they are talking about babies in the links) alone in the car for any period of time. I think this has more to do with my parenting preferences than any danger, though. It’s different with an older ( say, 4-5 year old) kid that you can communicate with and have them understand what is going on, IMHO.

  29. #29 |  Kevin Carson | 

    “When a Police Officer askes you to do somthing you shouldnt think twice just do it.”

    Yes, because civilians taking orders without question from people in uniform is what made this country great. Or wait — this isn’t Nazi Germany?

    The Prussianization of American society proceeds apace, with a level of unthinking deference to all manifestations of uniformed authority that would have made the Revolutionary War generation sick to their stomachs.

    The worst part of it is that the commenter is a cop. Check out the profile, which includes a picture. That way if you get stopped by this guy, you’ll know to show your belly to the alpha male so you don’t get the Abner Louima treatment.

  30. #30 |  Buddy Hinton | 

    Speaking as someone who had a serious medical attack on a train (turned out to be a bad heat cramp), I would have loved it if someone had filmed. The train operator didn’t want to stay at the atop for 5 minutes so I could be carted off by an ambulance crew (the stop was near a hospital). It turned out I was basically okay by the time the ambulance crew got there (although completely drenched in sweat and unable to walk under my own power). Only the strenuous pleading of a passenger caused the train to wait. However, if things had been different, and the train had gone on and I died, I would have loved knowing that my family had a record of what happened on the train.

    Every medical emergency is different, but there are lots of reasons to want the cameras on when police (as opposed to medics) respond to a medical emergency. Police have been known to beat the tar out of people having epilletic seizures and diabetic comas.

    On police boards, police often say that they shouldn’t be taped because people aren’t taped at their jobs. But people are taped at their jobs when they are engaging in work that could lead to legal liability. I was certainly taped the two times I had my deposition taken, in one case going line by line over a page of notes I had written a couple years earlier in private. Air traffic controllers are taped all the time. The list goes on. If the work being undertaken involves the high probability of a lawsuit then it is best for there to be a video. Cuts down on frivolous lawsuits. Helps settle meritorious lawsuits without trial. Less money for lawyers, but more money for justice. As police work has evolved (generous use of force and arrest), there is quite often a possibility of legal liability. If police don’t like the possibility of legal liability for responding to purely medical emergencies, then they should re-focus their efforts on getting the medics there as quickly as possible and stop treating medical emergencies as crime scenes. If they just stick to giving a police escort to the ambulance (that truck with the people who can actually help) then nobody will video them at the scene of a medical emergency.

    I know I am peaching to the choir here, but was kicked off of both policelink and policeone a long time ago for expressing unpopular opinions at those boards.

  31. #31 |  MassHole | 

    I love how the cops in the police link comments keep claiming the person with the medical emergency that was filmed should sue the girl that took the video for violation of their rights. These guys are so ignorant of the laws they are sworn to enforce it’s pathetic. Yet they demand respect.

  32. #32 |  derfel cadarn | 

    I wonder if the deputy could use bite mark experts to be reinstated or perhaps all LEOs should be teamed with a high school honor student to record all interactions so as to be able to clarify any disputes as to the LEOs behavior. Radley you are correct I also agree that ALL inequities and wrongs in society and most likely throughout the solar system are to be laid at the feet of gay marriage.

  33. #33 |  boomshanka | 

    Re: “Never leave your kid in the car”

    Actually, sometimes it is kind of dangerous.

  34. #34 |  albatross | 

    I’m pretty sure the real danger with leaving small children in a car is that the car can get hot and they can die from it (if it’s at all warm outside–the risk works the same way for small children and for dogs, though I guess older kids will just get out of the car if it’s too hot), or if the car is left in a state where the kids can get it moving (say, keys in the car while you run into the store for something).

    There’s always the possibility that one of the ten people who happens by your car while you’re away will be a child molestor in a good position to kidnap kids he doesn’t know or something, but the probability is really low and massively overblown by most people, for the same kind of reason that so many people calmly drive 80 MPH to the airport to make their flight, then get the shakes worrying about a plane crash or a terrorist hijacking once on the plane.

  35. #35 |  Cyto | 

    I can add an anecdote to the ridiculous “leaving a child in the car” story. One of the volunteers at my son’s day-care was serving as a greeter. In addition to volunteering to work at a daycare and at her church for a couple of decades, this kindly grandmother is also raising an abused and abandoned mixed-race toddler as a foster parent.

    Her 18 month old had a rough day on Saturday about 2 weeks ago, suffering a high fever. On Sunday morning she was scheduled to work as a greeter outside the church. Her boy was asleep in the car, so pulled up in front of the church and left him sleeping about 20 feet away from her post, directly in her sight.

    Well, that wasn’t good enough for the panicky do-gooder zombie who believes everything she reads. After making a loud scene for about 10-15 minutes (and waking up the sick baby, thanks!) she called the cops to report this heinous case of child abuse. Thankfully the kind old lady’s reputation was large enough to squash any investigation before it could gain momentum – not to mention a couple of hundred witnesses to the “shocking disregard for the safety of the child”.

    It did serve as a nice example of the level of nanny state that some people desire. I really suspect that in my parents day the cops would have smacked the interloper around a bit and tossed her in jail for “disturbing the peace”. My, how times have changed…

  36. #36 |  Leah | 

    I think part of the problem is that saying “never, even for 30 seconds” and then citing things like kidnappers and carjackers and kids dying on hot days is that you’re assuming that the parents are too neglectful to take precautions about stuff like that. When I leave my kids in the car to pick up dry cleaning, they’re strapped into carseats, the car is off, it’s usually around 50 degrees, I have the keys with me and the car is locked. I can’t think of a carjacker who could do much about that situation in the 3 minutes I am 10 feet away from the car that I can see through a plate glass window. It’s like they’ve taken the wisdom of mandatory sentences and applied it to parenting busybodies.

  37. #37 |  albatross | 


    I’m not disagreeing with you. I’m also a parent, and have also left my kids in the car for short times.

    The right way to deal with risk is to understand what your risks are, and then to try to address the big risks where possible. I imagine the biggest risk to a toddler left alone in a car for a few minutes is that he’ll get loose and wander into traffic, or that (if the keys are in) he’ll manage to mess around and put the car into gear and get into a car wreck while loose in the front seat.

    A good way to get a handle on these risks is to look for hard data on them. This link takes you to a webpage provided by the CDC, which lets you look up cause of death statistics broken down by age, race, and gender. For example, if you’re concerned with non-hispanic white kids between 1-4, you overwhelmingly want to deal with accidental death risks, especially drowning and getting hit by cars.

    Media hype drives people in the opposite direction, which is how you see suburban familes that are scared to death that pedophiles in the bushes are going to abduct their kids, while not worrying about the swimming pool out back that’s probably several thousand times more likely to kill their kid than any stranger with evil intent. Spectacular horrible events make better headlines than commonplace tragedies, which is why there are lots of TV shows and movies about people being killed by serial murderers or terrorists, and not nearly so many about people being killed by drunk or careless or incompetent drivers.

  38. #38 |  Curt | 

    I was surprised to see that some of the cops actually provided sane, reasonable responses to the story about the girl filming cops.

    I was not surprised that one of the comment-makers was stupid enough to think it would be a good idea to post using the handle of “Headshot”.

  39. #39 |  Chris Rhodes | 

    What I don’t understand is, one way or the other, the police in the recording incident broke the law:

    If the girl wasn’t breaking the law, then handcuffing her, detaining her, and tampering with her phone were all crimes. If, on the other hand, she WAS breaking the law by taping them, then deleting the video was destruction of evidence, which is also a crime.

    So which do they want to get hit with: unlawful search, seizure, and detention or the willful destruction of evidence?

  40. #40 |  bud | 

    “In prison, the inmates have a saying…”what goes around, comes around” In 31 years, I have seen the truth of this many times with both unruley inmates and inappropriate staff actions. Just keep your eyes open… she and her family will learn the hard way.”
    – “mae”

    Once more, illustrating that there is a fine line between the cops and the crooks, we have one of our “thin blue line” citing the criminal culture of prisons as a guideline for the conduct of civilized human beings, and, as a bonus, offering wishes and encouragement for police harassment of the girls family.