Why Not Walk Away?

Sunday, July 3rd, 2011

Was it really so important to ticket this kid for riding his bike the wrong way that he had to be chased down, Tased and pepper-sprayed, beaten, tied up, arrested, and jailed? That his mother and a family friend also needed to be arrested and charged for trying to tell the cops that he’s mentally handicapped?

Even if you take the police version of the story at face value, seems like it some point it would be prudent to look at the minor nature of the offense and the other circumstances in play here, and show some discretion. Even if that means letting a handicapped kid get away with running from a cop.

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44 Responses to “Why Not Walk Away?”

  1. #1 |  Nate | 

    The problem is that discretion means taking responsibility for your choices. As long as there’s no discretion, mistakes aren’t your fault. It’s an interesting modern twist on the question of free will; if the policy manual is detailed enough, no-one actually makes choices.

  2. #2 |  BillC | 

    Cops are bad people who physically abuse the handicapped.

  3. #3 |  JS | 

    Ego. When you surround yourselves with flatterers who constantly kiss your ass and tell you you’re a hero and when you constantly give medals and awards to yourselves, when you totally insulate and isolate yourselves from all legitimate criticism, then you are setting yourselves up to be megolamaniacs which the police in this country have done.

    Then you get pissed off when people don’t immediately show deference and think it justifiable even to kill when someone doesn’t obey your every whim.

  4. #4 |  JS | 

    In short, if you exalt yourself to the status of a god, then you can’t walk away. Everyone must be made to bow to you.

  5. #5 |  Gretchen | 

    The lawsuit alleges that the officer knew Kersey was mentally handicapped. I’m not sure what that should matter in the slightest. What he did was unconscionable if performed on a genius.

  6. #6 |  Psion | 

    Cops should be held responsible for escalating non-violent situations into all-out brawls. They’re first responsibility should be “peace keepers” … not “law enforcement”.

  7. #7 |  John P. | 

    The police in this country really don’t know any better.

    They are indoctrinated into thinking they are at war with the citizenry, the Us vs. Them mentality… which, sadly does exist, but’s its also a perfect example of the chicken or the egg case as to where it actually came from. Their oppressive approaches towards the public or the publics reaction from those oppressive approaches…

    The dumbing down of requirements to become a police officer. Which has led to an overall drop in the quality of the average police officer.

    They way academy level training of police recruits is conducted today. When you attempt to train people using a half-assed, ill conceived, para-military style training environment, don’t be surprised when the cops start acting like poorly-trained soldiers in an ill defined combat environment.

    The police in this country truly believe they are at war with the citizenry, but its because they are taught to think that way.

    So don’t be shocked when things like this story happen, and happen regularly.

    Its not much different than any other profession who’s employees are poorly trained and not very well educated to begin with. Except these thugs are given enormous power and responsibility, armed to the teeth then told they soldiers are entering a war on drugs, crime, et al…

  8. #8 |  JS | 

    John P. “When you attempt to train people using a half-assed, ill conceived, para-military style training environment, don’t be surprised when the cops start acting like poorly-trained soldiers in an ill defined combat environment.”

    It is for posts like this that I really miss the thumbs up feature. Well said!

  9. #9 |  steve | 

    The good cops are harrassed by the others into conforming. It is the same way in nearly any proffession that doesn’t work in total isolation.

  10. #10 |  bigjohn756 | 

    When officials cannot think then they must rely on bureaucratic rules which will not usually be applicable to a special case. The police are generally nearly petrified from fear while on duty even though they have all of the power. Then, when they over-react, the entire department is so embarrassed that they must devise a bunch of phony excuses to cover their asses. The cops are never wrong no matter how many people they kill or maim or, otherwise injure. Of course, they are protected by the DA because he is just as frightened as they.

  11. #11 |  Marty | 

    The report also concluded that the mother and family friend “delayed the arrest and caused an unsafe condition.”

    the kid’s mom had to enroll in anger management classes. They really know how to get to the root of the problem…

  12. #12 |  Warren | 

    Even if that means letting a handicapped kid get away with running from a cop.

    You’re kidding right? Every cop believes that if one handicapped kid were ever allowed to get away with running from a cop, every person in America would chose to ignore the law and take up a life of looting and indiscriminate drive-by shooting.

  13. #13 |  Dan | 

    DAYTON — A mother and her mentally challenged son, who also has a speech impediment, are praising the city and two police officers.

    Officer Willie Hooper, who knew Jesse Kersey was mentally handicapped minor, observed the boy riding a bicycle the wrong way on June 25, 2010, at the busy Andrews Street and St. Paul Avenue intersection.

    Hooper tried to stop Kersey and talk with him, but the boy rode his bike home so he could ask his mother to help communicate with Hooper for him.
    Fearing for the boy’s safety, Hooper followed him back to his home and radioed nearby Officer John Howard to assist with the escort.

    Hooper and Howard spoke with Pamela Thompson, the boy’s mother saying, “They were not sure why he ran from the officer, but believed he was scared when he stated he wanted to go home.”

    Officers Hooper and Howard spent the next half hour working with Jesse, demonstrating bicycle safety. Thompson said, “They offered their business cards to me with an offer to call them if I ever needed help.” Thompson went on, praising the city for its focus on public safety and community building.

    *wakes up*

    *sigh*

  14. #14 |  ThinkAnarchy | 

    If you a taser a cop, does it result in tasty bacon?

  15. #15 |  Jack Dempsey | 

    I am a high school teacher and I deal with this stuff all the time. As a teacher, I have to use my head and my creativity to deal with unmotivated, disrespectful, and sometimes aggressive people. It amazes me how the police can find no other way to deal with the situations they come across other than with brute force. And they they go off whining into the night about how they are wrongfully hated by society, and how they are the victim.

  16. #16 |  Difster | 

    Never show weakness. It doesn’t matter who it is. Don’t let them get away with anything unless it’s somehow advantageous to you.

    Most cops hate the fact that they can’t shoot someone running away from them.

  17. #17 |  MacGregory | 

    In the eyes of a cop, “running” is akin to murder. If they can’t catch you, they will have every police agency in the state after you. No matter how minor the original offense. Dogs, tanks, boats, helicopters, whatever it takes and no matter the cost.

    Does anyone have any stats on how many “innocents” are killed in police chases?

  18. #18 |  SJE | 

    Lack of accountability. I’m all for giving cops discretion and benefit of the doubt. But you can only do that if you can call them on it. When you give medals to cops who raid the wrong house, accept arrest stats no matter how bogus, and refuse citizen review boards, then it is not a surprise that cops can act like d-bags.

  19. #19 |  Mannie | 

    Why can’t they do that to some of those crazy urban cyclists who flout all traffic laws?

    It’s insane. Effing insane.

    I hope that family sues for millions and wins.

  20. #20 |  John P. | 

    Cops tend to prey upon the weak, the unprepared and the non-violent, unarmed. If they were all about public safety and truly wanted to lock up real criminals. They’d be out there taking on street gangs, with SWAT various types of raids on their known houses. They’d be out there going head to head with those who have a past history of robbery, burglary and preying upon the public.

    Instead, cops tend to go after those without violent criminal histories, those who they know are not likely to resist or be armed and non-violent drug offenders over what usually ends up being misdemeanor amounts.

    In the end they are cowards who fear the true faces of evil in our society and would much rather rescue a bag of dope via SWAT raid, than go head to head with violent street gangs.

    For the latter the cops would much rather we deal with them or become a victim and they’ll just come write the report…

    In short they are bigger cowards than they accuse criminals of being.

  21. #21 |  Matt D | 

    Agreed completely. Inability or unwillingness to de-escalate or just let something go seems to be a big problem with policing these days.

  22. #22 |  Brandon | 

    Come on Radley, you’re kidding yourself if you don’t think doing things your way would just lead to everyone everywhere pretending to be mentally handicapped just so they can ride their bikes the wrong way! Anything less than a brutal unjustified beating in this case would lead to chaos! Anarchy!

  23. #23 |  Nick T. | 

    This story shows an all out *desire* to use force in this situation on the part of police. That shouldn’t be a surprise to readers of this site, but when you think about that it’s really shameful and scary.

    In a perfect, but also highly realistic an obtainable, world, Police would bend over backwards to never escalate a situation either in terms of force or emotion/tone of voice. That’s not hard to do, it’s simply called being professional, and teachers (see #15 above), social workers -hell, DMV workers – do it every day. Police seems to be the one profession who consistently does the exact opposite.

  24. #24 |  Cyto | 

    The original version of this story had a completely different emphasis. The officer said he thought the boy was disrespecting him based on his speech problems. The story was that the boy grew flustered because he could not communicate and the officer was yelling at him and he rode home to get his mom to help. Also, several people tried to tell the officer that the boy was mentally handicapped but he rebuffed them.

    It’s a good thing that the official version has come out to clear things up. Now we know that everyone who wasn’t a police officer was guilty of multiple crimes for trying to prevent this officer from assaulting a mentally handicapped boy. Oh, and we know that the officers did a bangup job tracking down and subduing this dangerous 160 pound crimnal despite heavy resistance.

    I’m glad they’ve gotten it all sorted out and the guilty have been punished. All is well with the world once again…

  25. #25 |  pam | 

    how and why do judge’s and courts support this sort of thuggery. The people who tried to protect the boy are the criminals who apparently are the ones who need help. How is this allowed to be?

  26. #26 |  Highway | 

    pam, because it’s still always a case of ‘Cop said – Nobody Said’. The courts are always going to believe a cop over a nobody. And that’s what anyone who doesn’t wear that uniform is: a nobody. So when the nobodys get ideas above their station, and decide that they can start recording cop actions, well, the cops don’t like that. It might (and frequently does) show that they didn’t quite tell the story the right way.

    The cops have all the opportunity and resources to get full, 100% backup of everything they see. Wear cameras full time. Some of them who are confident of their correct handling of these situations would welcome this. But overall, the idea is fought. Because it would get rid of that biased assumption in cases of “Cop said – Nobody said”.

  27. #27 |  John P. | 

    The whole system is a house of cards, based upon what the cops, report and testify to. Very few cases hinge on physical evidence like you see in murder trials. the super majority of cases tried in courts today are based on nothing more than officer testimony.

    Don’t believe me?

    Then take the day off, go to your local courthouse when they have state court (felony cases) and see for yourself.

    The closest thing you’ll see to evidence in the majority of cases will be a police car video of a traffic stop, pursuit etc… everything else is nothing more than the testimony of the cops.

    Which more and more is being found to be tortured at best, outright lies at worst…

    READ: Legal System Struggles With How to React When Police Officers Lie

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123319367364627211.html

  28. #28 |  paranoiastrksdp | 

    Some of the original news postings on this article had said that Officer Cooper knew the boy prior to this incident.

  29. #29 |  Brian | 

    This is coming from a police department that has been hampered in recent years by a settlement from the “justice department”. We (as taxpayers) can’t hire new officers (and firefighters too) to take care of day to day business because our current staff are dealing with complicated issues like this. we’ve become so complacent as the financiers of these thugs that we allow this kind of crap to take place. I want competent and law abiding cops on my streets. Not this “don’t disrespect my authority” kind of garbage.

  30. #30 |  Jeff | 

    Jack, admit it. If you wore a taser while working, there’d be days some of your students would get a taste.

  31. #31 |  jselvy | 

    The mother should have ended the ‘unsafe condition’ by applying 230 grains of lead to the posterior surface of the porkcicle’s skull

  32. #32 |  derfel cadarn | 

    Torches,pitchforks,tar and feathers are the answer to this type of bullshit. The American can no longer tolerate this tyranny.

  33. #33 |  DocHoliday916 | 

    Here’s a link if anyone is interested.

    https://www.courthousenews.com/2011/06/29/37770.htm

    Seems to me one dumb ass cop with a brain saturated with donuts gets the help of another dumb ass cop, also with a donut saturated brain and this leads to 20 more dumb ass cops coming to protect the two original dumb ass cops against a mentally challenged 17 year old boy on a bicycle.

    And the cops wonder why those of us who used to support them are either beginning to either hate them or have achieved a permanent state of hate against them.

    Stay tuned for the comments from the Dayton Police PA officer and what the cash settlement might be. Such is my fervent hope that the Dayton PD gets legally impaled over this one.

  34. #34 |  Chris C. | 

    Maybe so, but it shows poor tactical sense to advertise it in advance.

  35. #35 |  Single Acts of Tyranny | 

    I wish I could tell you that it’s better over here in the UK ~ it’s not.

  36. #36 |  MPH | 

    Humans are pack animals. The police have been trained for years now that it’s “them against us”. They’re being encouraged to think of the public as the enemy, and not part of their pack. That’s what we have to change. They need to be reminded that they, too, are CIVILIANS.

    As John P. points out, they’re being trained as a pseudo-army. Something Frank Herbert pointed out in God Emperor of Dune applies here. When asked why he chose to exclusively use women in his army, the god emperor points out that in male armies, the army’s loyalty always eventually becomes loyalty to itself, rather than to the society it was raised to protect (he further claimed that a female army becomes loyal to their leader; but that’s a different topic).

    That’s what we’re seeing with the police. Their loyalty is more and more only to themselves (that “blue wall”), and less and less to those of us who they work for. We civilians are not part of their pack, and they have to assert their dominance at every opportunity or they may lose that dominance. They understand this at an instinctive level; they know they’re outnumbered by about 500 to 1, and if we stood up to them they wouldn’t stand a chance. We need to change their culture before that becomes necessary, or there will be one hell of a mess to clean up.

  37. #37 |  DocHoliday916 | 

    #32
    “Torches,pitchforks,tar and feathers are the answer to this type of bullshit.”
    Your thoughts and intentions are noble. However, it’ll take a little more than that. In this case, not a higher power so much as equal or greater caliber and in greater number. Let’s hope it does not come to that but today is the Fourth of July. Let us not forget that the Fourth of July is about political rebellion and the force to back it up to bring the tyrant to heel.

  38. #38 |  Brian | 

    Perhaps the Dayton PD will begin to discipline their officers like the LAPD is going to start doing. By giving them a stern talking to.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-lapd-reprimand-20110704,0,6772068.story?track=rss

  39. #39 |  JS | 

    MPH “They understand this at an instinctive level; they know they’re outnumbered by about 500 to 1, and if we stood up to them they wouldn’t stand a chance. We need to change their culture before that becomes necessary, or there will be one hell of a mess to clean up.”

    Good post but I’m not sure there is any way to change their culture except through ideas that they try their best to insulate themselves from. A lot of agitator readers read cop internet forums and report that as soon as you offer a different opinion they ban you or won’t allow that opinion. Reforming or changing a culture that sticks it’s fingers in its ears and refuses to hear legitimate criticism is not easy, maybe not even possible.

    Personally I think changing their culture is about as likely as changing the culture of Hitler’s SS. It’s not going to happen.

  40. #40 |  IgotBupkis, President, United Anarchist Society | 

    >> Even if that means letting a handicapped kid get away with running from a cop.

    This is about Law and Order, mostly Order.

    If we let some punk kid claiming he’s handicapped off, what’s to stop every idiot from claiming the same privelege?

    There’s LOTS of idiots out there. Many of them hold government office, including some of the highest in The Land.

    (8^P

  41. #41 |  Steve | 

    Talk about laying your life on the line everyday.

  42. #42 |  Jeremy | 

    Comment #1 says it all.

  43. #43 |  Doc Merlin | 

    Nope, every crime ultimately bears a death penalty, because things can easily spiral out of control at no fault of your own and result in the cop legally killing you.

    This is why minor things shouldn’t be illegal at all. Its not enough that they have a small punishment, they simply shouldn’t be a crime.

  44. #44 |  Doc Merlin | 

    “how and why do judge’s and courts support this sort of thuggery. The people who tried to protect the boy are the criminals who apparently are the ones who need help. How is this allowed to be?”

    because
    1) people believe cops
    2) The judge tries to actively control the jury wrt to legal interpretation
    3) Likely that the judge, defender and prosecutor all work for the state.
    4) Law is so complicated and formalized that defending yourself isn’t a very realistic proposition.

    Because of these things and many other reasons, small stuff simply shouldn’t be illegal /at all/.

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