Morning Links

Friday, February 3rd, 2012
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37 Responses to “Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  the innominate one | 

    Can’t wait to see SWAT teams kicking down doors and shooting people for being on Facebook. I’m completely serious, I’m looking forward to it.

  2. #2 |  Nick T. | 

    Re: 15yo shot by police

    Me armed with a club, handcuffs, and bulletproof vest, versus a 15yo boy with a kitchen knife? Smart money’s on the 15yo. In my defense I am only a grown man, with no training or responsibility in defusing situations or self-defense, so maybe we should expect more from police.

    I love this line: ““I think they did everything they possibly could to avoid this,” [police spox] said. “It’s unfortunate that we had to get to this situation.”

    Could we once – just ONE time – apply that reasoning to an unfortunate incident where it’s a police officer with a bullet in his body?

  3. #3 |  marco73 | 

    Another TSA agent? The article lists several cases. Those are only the cases that have been significant enough to make the news.
    The law of unintended consequences: take a bunch of low paid folks, and let them handle other people’s expensive stuff all day.
    Yeah, I really feel safer flying, knowing the TSA agents are on the job.

  4. #4 |  Al V | 

    NC apparently has regulations against being smart.

    Not like they are needed from my experience, but a little prevention goes a long way.

  5. #5 |  Dana Gower | 

    This was in the comment section of the story about the 15-year-old boy that was shot:

    Pingback: The Cops that Suck at Their Jobs and Go on Paid Leave Thread – Page 263

    I just got a kick out of the “Page 263″ part.

  6. #6 |  Dave Krueger | 

    Another TSA agent arrested for stealing from passengers.

    I routinely group TSA people in with law enforcement. Maybe I should stop doing that. I mean law enforcement people who engage ion this kind of behavior would probably never get outed, much less arrested. No wonder TSA people are bitter. They’re hated like law enforcement people but don’t get any of the bennies.

  7. #7 |  Bob | 

    Guy loses a bunch of weight, no longer diabetic. Starts a website to help others do the same. He’s now under criminal investigation for providing nutritional advice without a license. This is in North Carolina, the same state that went after a guy last year for practicing engineering without a license when he did some math for a citizens’ reports requesting a couple traffic lights.

    This is the inherent problem with “licensing”. Sure, it SOUNDS like a good idea to have only properly trained people doing stuff… and it would be if we were all robots programmed to be always on the lookout for the “common good”. But we’re not.

    Too many so called “professionals” are all too willing to use their special status as a “licensed professional” to cockblock smarter but less “licensed” people when they should be using their training to analyze what was done and constructively suggest minor improvements or produce a cogent argument as to why it’s in error.

    If you give a stupid person a club, don’t be surprised when they use it on smarter people that might compete with them.

  8. #8 |  Marty | 

    tsa agents are stealing as soon as they clock in.

  9. #9 |  Bob | 

    Facebook is the new heroin.

    I would be willing to suggest that all addictions are “As strong as cigarettes”. In my view, addictions are in the mind, not the artifact of addiction or the physical discomfort one has from “withdrawal”. If you focus on the artifact or the physical symptoms you cannot remove the addiction.

  10. #10 |  Kerade | 

    @Marty #8 +1,000,000

  11. #11 |  Nick42 | 

    Re: 15yo shot by police

    If someone is attacking you with a knife, you’re allowed to shoot them. Doesn’t matter if you’re a cop or just some guy on the street, when you’re the one who might get stabbed, you get to decide what level of force you want to use.

    If it was so easy to restrain the kid, his parents would have done it themselves and not required police assistance.

  12. #12 |  Pablo | 

    Many people do not understand how much damage can be done with a knife, even by an untrained person. At contact distances, knives scare me a lot more than guns. Knife wounds tend to be more greivous than most gunshots and it is a lot harder to disarm someone with a knife. If anyone attempted to attack me with a knife, I would start shooting.

  13. #13 |  Pablo | 

    #7 Bob–this also demonstrates that the people in charge of licensing may be clueless, or have selfish motives to police their professions. The irony here is that licensed dieticians themselves deserve some of the blame for the prevalence of diabetes and obesity, because they keep pushing the high-carb-low-fat dogma. Why anyone would think that recommending a high sugar diet (all carbs, except fructose, turn to sugar in the bloodstream) to people who cant process sugar well is beyond me. And when someone comes along and actually gives advice that makes sense, he gets in trouble because he isn’t one of these licensed dieticians. Oh the irony!!!

  14. #14 |  Kerade | 

    #11-Nick42
    Yes, you absolutely have the right to protect yourself, no matter who you are. I don’t see that as being the point, rather, at issue is the lethal use of force. Couldn’t the cop have used a taser instead of a gun? Why did the kid have to die? Shouldn’t the first thought in a LEO’s head be “how can I disarm this person without injury?”. If there is no way to do that, so be it. I ask you, why use a gun rather than a taser?

  15. #15 |  Chicagojon | 

    @11 Nick42

    A BUTTER knife. I’m sure it was a serrated one so the officer will have an owie that will need antibiotic ointment and a band aid. Frankly I’d love to see the ‘slash’ that the officer took, but never was there a risk of being stabbed as it would result in a blunt trauma and at most a bruise.

    “Unfortunately today, when he slashed the officer’s arm, the officer felt his life was in jeopardy and he had nothing else to do, but defend himself,” Gilmore said.

  16. #16 |  EH | 

    If someone is attacking you with a knife, you’re allowed to shoot them. Doesn’t matter if you’re a cop or just some guy on the street,

    Did it have to be in the face?

  17. #17 |  Highway | 

    Kerade makes the right point: Yeah, the kid has a knife. But isn’t that what you’ve got the freakin’ taser on your belt for? So you can use *that* instead of the *gun*. And then, hey, no dead kid!

    Yeah, knives are dangerous. That’s why they’re considered deadly weapons, and move up the force continuum. But that’s why the cops have been arguing for having Tasers, so they could use them in situations *instead of a gun* and not have a dead kid. Yet we see the situation comes up, and nah…

    And I don’t know. Maybe a taser wasn’t available. Maybe the cop didn’t trust it (training problem). But if it was available, this would seem to be the time to use it, as a ‘less lethal’ alternative.

  18. #18 |  David | 

    What’s worse is that:

    (a) The officers were familiar with this kid. He was high-functioning autistic/Asperger’s, was prone to outbursts and had to be tased before.

    (b) Despite the above, one of the officers – the one who was injured – didn’t actually bring a taser with him.

  19. #19 |  Wronkletoad | 

    no. is still “a diabetic” – still has to manage a1c with strict diet and exercise.

    or just had some form if “insulin resistance”/”pre diabetes”.

  20. #20 |  Nick | 

    What pisses me off is the parents and that article seem to be implying this had had a diminished mental capacity. Which just isn’t the case. Just because someone is autistic doesn’t mean they have the mental capacity of a toddler. The parents knew this. This is them trying to get a payday out of it by drumming up sympathy.

    This also makes me doubt their claims of the knife being a “butter knife” Even it it was, so what? The cop has to make a split second decision.

  21. #21 |  Comrade Dread | 

    The lesson that I’m taking away from this is that I should never call the police for any reason unless I’m willing to see someone (possibly someone close to me) die.

  22. #22 |  Nick42 | 

    @15 – It was mentioned that the officer was cut thru his shirt sleeve with the knife, which makes me doubt it was a butter knife (as #19 – a different Nick) mentions. Even if it was butter knife, the cop may not have been able to identify it as such. It’s also quite possible to sharpen a butter knife – check out some jail house shanks if you doubt it.

    @16 – if you’re justified in shooting somebody, you shoot to stop / kill them. Shooting the gun out of someone’s hand or shooting someone in the leg is Hollywood BS.

  23. #23 |  H. Rearden | 

    @19
    Is a temporary retreat in order to further assess the situation an option?

    I don’t understand what it is that makes you doubt that it wasn’t a butter knife. That you think the parents are ‘trying’ to imply that their kid had a diminished mental capacity or that they are upset that their kid is dead?

    Even it it was, so what? The cop has to make a split second decision.

    An excuse that can be used for any unlawful use of force. You’re an ass.

  24. #24 |  Kukulkan | 

    Reiterating what David at #18 said:

    The police had responded at least 10 times previously to the house with the autistic boy. On some of those prior occasions the police had used a taser to subdue the boy. Despite this prior knowledge, the lead officer did not bring a taser to the situation. That is poor planning.

    I do not disagree that an officer is entitled to use deadly force when facing death or serious injury. What bothers me is that the police used such poor judgment in in how they entered the room that deadly force became an option. Better planning would have minimized and maybe eliminated that scenario.

    Note to parents of violent, autistic children: Buy your own taser so that you don’t need to call the police.

  25. #25 |  David | 

    And then never call or interact with the police for any reason, or you will be arrested for child abuse and the violent, autistic child put into the hell of foster care.

    The Agitator: For when regular cynicism just isn’t enough.

  26. #26 |  Les | 

    #21, but you did not address the issue of what kind of force to use. “Because you get to kill someone if you’re being attacked” isn’t really a thoughtful argument, considering we’re talking about cops who are supposed to be trained and provided with less lethal alternatives. Why use the gun when you have a less-lethal alternative on your belt?

    Is it okay for a small cop to shoot a large person who could conceivably kill them? Is it okay for one cop to shoot three people who could conceivably kill them?

  27. #27 |  Les | 

    Also, I spent many years working with violent, autistic teens. I’ve been attacked with boards, chairs, and scissors. We didn’t have tasers and we didn’t have guns. We had training.

  28. #28 |  Endless Mike | 

    The LEOs certainly could have handled this better; however, when your go-to plan to deal with an unruly teenager is to call in the state (10 times? Really?) what your eventually going to get is… well, the state.

  29. #29 |  Endless Mike | 

    “you’re” – dammit, dammit, dammit.

  30. #30 |  Nick T. | 

    The strict legal question of whether yuo can shoot someone who is menacing at you (let alone full on attacking you) with even a butter knife is beside the point.

    When cops break into homes with guns, rams, grenades etc. and they get shot, they seek LEGAL (often capital) punishment for anyone who fires back with deadly effect. Why is that? Well plainly because police are some sort of de facto special class that are so easily idenitifed, and once identified can’t be defended against.

    But a child in his own home gets no such designation? Even again conceding that this child should get no special LEGAL exemption, then at the very least officers should do everything to avoid this and be understanding of the MORAL condemnation that comes their way and the trust this erodes.

    Use your continuum of force arguments when you get to court, officer. Until then, I will go on thinking you’re an incompetent scumbag who doesn’t care about anyone’s safety but your own.

  31. #31 |  KRF | 

    The NC Licensing story seems like a ready made case for the IJ.

  32. #32 |  Deoxy | 

    I have to agree with BOTH sides (to a point) on the kid.

    Bad planning on the part of the officer. Yes, that was a screwup. The other officer did have one, though.

    But the kid was attacking them with a knife (apparently) sharp enough to cut through their uniforms and cut at least their skin after that – at that point, you can defend yourself*.

    And really, 10 times in a year? Institutionalize the kid! Roll the dice with general enforcement types enough times, and something bad WILL happen. Heck, bad things occasionally happen in such situations even with those who have lots of training and experience on how to handle these things!

    Did I mention I personally HAVE an autism-spectrum child? When the kid has problems this severe, you have to protect both those around AND the child himself by putting them in a special facility.

    *Morally speaking, “unless you are the aggressor”. Legally speaking, “unless it’s the police”. Since we know that the police are at least sometimes the aggressor, well, the law is immoral. Fun times!

  33. #33 |  Marshall | 

    Heard a rumor yesterday from the father of a diabetic that doctors here in town (Coos Bay, Oregon) received a letter threatening dire consequences if they suggested that type II diabetes could be controlled without drugs.

  34. #34 |  croaker | 

    The good news is that a congresscritter wants the US Park Ranger who tased the dog walker investigated. It’s a start, at least.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57370770/rep-wants-dog-walker-stun-gun-case-investigated/

  35. #35 |  John Galt | 

    Here’s an interesting question to ask the police about surveillance drones.

    What if a “concerned group of citizens” set up a drone fleet that followed every police car on the force, and streamed real-time location information and video.

    They’d be fine with that, right?

  36. #36 |  StrangeOne | 

    Dammit, yesterday we had the UNCC SWAT, now this. I’m starting to get embarrassed.

  37. #37 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    18year old with knife: most cops are virtually stab proof due to all that fat. See UNCC SWAT photo.

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