The New Professionalism

Monday, May 21st, 2012

Nah, the NYPD isn’t corrupt at all.

A uniformed NYPD sergeant was caught on video unleashing a vulgar tirade against a group of Brooklyn men — threatening them with his gun even while condoning their criminal behavior, The Post has learned.

Sgt. Lesly Charles even indicated that some criminal activity is apparently OK on his beat — as long as he’s paid proper respect.

“You guys are hustling or whatever, I ain’t got no problem with that. Listen . . . do your thing,” Charles barked during the April 28 diatribe, which is now being investigated by the city’s Civilian Complaint Review Board. “But when I come around and I speak, you f–king listen. Tell your boys.”

Then he started with the fantasies threats.

“I have the long d–k. You don’t,” the cop bragged.

“Your pretty face — I like it very much. My d–k will go in your mouth and come out your ear. Don’t f–k with me. All right?”

After the target of his tirade insisted, “I didn’t do anything,” Charles retorted, “Listen to me. When you see me, you look the other way. Tell your boys, I don’t f–k around. All right?”

“I’ll take my gun and put it up your a– and then I’ll call your mother afterwards. You understand that?”

For good measure, the sergeant added: “And I’ll put your s–t in your own mouth.”

. . . and the punchline.

Charles, reached at home yesterday, said, “I’m just doing God’s work. You know I can’t comment . . . Have a blessed day.”

It’s been awhile—the forcible sodomy and S&M stuff is in the Old Testament, right?
Also, I think the idea of saying “have a blessed day” just after you’ve done or said something horrible to someone needs to become an Internet meme.

 

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50 Responses to “The New Professionalism”

  1. #1 |  Burgers Allday | 

    “Have the bestest day ever” has already been an internet meme on cop bds for years.

    btw, “maybe we should call and make an appointment [with the criminal suspect]” is a cop meme that came up here recently that I may have accidentally started. When I still lived in Canada, I related a story, on the Coptalk section of glocktalk undr the name of Sam Franklin (aka the butcher on the Brady bunch), where a CDN policeman came to visit unnannounced in connection with a burglary my wife reported to the Toronto police. We had not heard anything for over a year and the Toronto policeman (who was nice, but not helpful) shows up at our front door unannounced. I sed, in my post, that it would have been better if he had called first. Somehow that was interpreted as being ridiculuous and became a meme.

  2. #2 |  SJE | 

    Apparently, this is OK because the targets of the tirade were up to no good.

  3. #3 |  Lorenzo | 

    That’s actually better policing than most of the stuff linked here. Aside from an overdose of macho strutting, he seemed willing to turn a semi-blind eye to victimless crimes or crimes against stupidity, he shot no humans or dogs, didn’t steal from them, and seemed happy just to be paid his props as the Pope of Bensonhurst.

  4. #4 |  Dave Krueger | 

    There are two kinds of cops. Bad cops and those who cover for bad cops.

  5. #5 |  Belle Waring | 

    I have to go with Lorenzo. He didn’t shoot anyone’s dog, or actually rape anyone, or break down some 87-year-old’s door by mistake, or steal the cash of innocent travelers, or the drugs of less innocent stay-at-homes. All he did was talk smack, and he didn’t even demand a donut! I’m putting my bid on him early for cop of the year 2012. This is the best we’ll see. Who’s in?

  6. #6 |  Dale Boley | 

    It reminds me of the corny line from the movies where immediately after something terrible happens someone will say “Have a nice day”. In those contexts it is usually served with a thick layer of sarcasm. What is particularly troubling here is that this wish for a blessed day is probably sincere. And that shows a duality of personality that is disturbing. He is likely a psychopath.

  7. #7 |  qwints | 

    Lorenzo’s right. A dick? Yes. Unprofessional? Of course? Corrupt? Not even a little.

  8. #8 |  NYC cop’s profanity-laden threats secretly caught on videotape « David McElroy | 

    [...] Radley Balko’s site, The Agitator, was the source that led me to the Post’s story. If you’re not reading The Agitator [...]

  9. #9 |  Peter Moskos | 

    Radley, your criticism of this cop is a bit precious. Is it really the language you object to?! What kind of world do you live in? I’m sure the language didn’t hurt this guy’s ears.

    Let’s assume (and no, I don’t know) that the guy he’s talking to, the recorder of this exchange, is, in fact, a drug dealer.

    The cop knows he won’t win the war on drugs. All he can do is try and make the neighborhood a bit better. And that starts with the guys walking off the corner when a friggin’ cop is around! What’s so wrong with that?

    What do you want the cop to do? Make an illegal search? Plant evidence? If he could arrest him, he would. But it’s not easy to arrest a drug dealer for drug dealing when you’re a uniformed police officer. I wrote about this in my book.

    I call it good policing.

  10. #10 |  Ariel | 

    Peter (there’s an irony somewhere here),

    You know what, the language spills over to dealing with my 16 year old daughter or my 13 year old daughter or even my 18 year old son who hates the low-life vulgar speech, he doesn’t use it (he’s been homebound for four years, so I have certainty). We’ve heard it in videos with children as young as 7, we’ve heard it used against teenage girls and grown women (white, black, Asian, whatever, and kept anywhere from half dressed to naked while being called bitch, whore, and the latest rap jargon). There’s a limit, and you have no idea where this guy draws the line, if he does at all. It isn’t professional no matter how long you hold on to your balls, which means I used to follow your blog (still should, you gave a good insight but not here).

    You’re fourth paragraph is just fallacious crap, by which I mean fallacy after fallacy leading to crap. As an associate professor you should know better than to give false alternatives. I forget the name of the fallacy so please supply it if you would.

  11. #11 |  SPO | 

    Peter, the real problem with your argument is that this is a free society, and one where I don’t have to be forced to listen to a government agent berating me like that. Someone tells me that their going to stick their dick in me–I get to reply. The cop’s words are fighting words–if someone on the street started talking to me like that, I would be fully justified in kicking his ass. Try that with the man in blue.

    And I doubt he’d pull that crap in the more genteel side of town.

    And it’s amazing–crap like that tends to spill over to things that are less easily euphemized.

  12. #12 |  Ariel | 

    SPO,

    Peter (this is really killing me, sorry Peter) is justifying by venue or demographic. Professionals use a narrow range of language dealing with people because of the spill over we’ve both addressed. The problem is that this is used on the more genteel side of town when armored, masked, and with automatic weapons, or even just in traffic stops. Cops aren’t making the distinction often enough. I guess if you’re trying to prove how big your balls are your brain shrinks.

    I’m not prissy on this. After four years military, college, and dealing with maintenance workers through engineers to CEO’s (I sold to national and international companies in semiconductor, printed circuit, plating, food, etc. from bottom to top), I can string expletives matching the latest rap, but still kept it narrow and professional in my job. I would have lost my job otherwise, not to mention my commissions.

  13. #13 |  freedomfan | 

    Peter, I don’t think that that corruption is the right word, but that’s hardly an excuse for that behavior. It’s not “good policing” to threaten citizens who clearly haven’t done enough wrong to even warrant an arrest, which, as we all know, isn’t a high bar. And, the problem with this incident isn’t his language, either. Let’s be clear, this cop is threatening bodily harm to the people he’s interacting with and there is no evidence that it’s in response to any violence on their part.

    Some might think there was no “real” threat in his words and that was just tough talk because it’s too hard to make an arrest. But, I wonder what you think would have happened if his targets had reacted the way I’m sure they wanted to and told him to mind his own business? They said nothing because the threat was clear. And, of course, they arrested him anyway, so that he could “enjoy the ride” for disorderly conduct. Frankly, I wonder where guy who shot the video is today, presuming that this cop and his friends will have no trouble figuring out who released it. Do you think the officers will have a hard time coming up with a reason to arrest him next time they see him?

    And, no, there is no presumption that his targets are drug dealers or any other end-justifies-the-means bogeymen. It’s even odds that an actual drug dealer would have slinked away and not released the video, knowing that pissing off that cop would make it that much harder to do business in the future. And, it doesn’t matter anyway because the officer stated that he had no problem with the “hustling” he thinks was going on (and which the target repeatedly denied). If the officer has credible evidence that they are drug dealers, then his job is to document it and arrest them, not threaten to kill them and tell their mothers about it. If they are actually engaged in criminal activity, then his actions are either ignoring it or warning them to do a better job of hiding it.

    The dimwitted dick-swagger is just icing on the thuggish cake.

    BTW, I don’t disagree that we see example of worse cops posted here regularly. That doesn’t mean that this example isn’t an example of a bad policing.

  14. #14 |  Ariel | 

    What, you think threatening sodomy (some states would include fellatio as sodomy because legislators can be morons with language) is bad? Haven’t NYPD made it a practice? Would that fall under “just following procedure”?

    Consider this cynical sarcasm. Nothing more.

    Anyone got a broomstick?

  15. #15 |  EH | 

    Ha ha, he didn’t beat the photographer’s skull in! Top-notch police work, right Peter?!

  16. #16 |  Ariel | 

    And with regard to “corrupt”, it also means debased and depraved besides dishonesty or just doing bad things. Think of the words “character” and “integrity” and you’ve got it covered N-S-E-W with “corrupt”. Radley had it right, whether he meant debased and depraved or not.

  17. #17 |  KBCraiKBCraiggKBCraig | 

    The most hilariously stereotypical gangsta thug bit, in my eyes: how Sgt. Lesly Charles, in full uniform with his duty pistol on his belt, kept his hand tucked inside his jacket like a threat.

  18. #18 |  Radley Balko | 

    Peter:

    So you’re arguing that the ability to threaten someone with sexual assault is an important tool in the beat officer’s toolbox?

    Given NYPD’s well-known history in this area, you don’t see a problem with an NYPD officer threatening to shove his gun up a guy’s ass?

    Are you good with the Chicago cops who pulled over the protesters a few days ago and joked about breaking their skulls with batons?

    I guess I don’t understand why the only choices here are either either to illegally search and arrest the guy, or threaten to rape him.

  19. #19 |  Burgers Allday | 

    Professor Moskos has a history of clearing places that don’t need to be cleared. It is a thing with him.

    I mean, he may be a real nice and real reasonable guy in real life, but, having followed his writings closely for a not inconsiderable period of time, I do question his commitment, growth and change. Still, I hold out some hope that this is a “teachable moment” for him.

  20. #20 |  rapscallion | 

    This guy obviously gets off on talking like a bad ass from movies he’s seen. It’s probably one of the main reasons he became a cop, so he could walk around threatening people, feeling like Dirty Harry. Easy to act like a tough guy when you have a couple hundred guys with guns and zero real oversight ready to crack some skulls on your say so.

  21. #21 |  Burgers Allday | 

    –commitment to growth–

  22. #22 |  Other Sean | 

    If this story had been posted text only, allowing everyone here to presume the officer was white and the victims black, this place would be going crazy right now. And by “going crazy”, I mean responding appropriately to this officer’s repulsive conduct.

    I’ve said this before but…to a certain generation of middle-class whites, there is nothing more important than the quest to prove they are not racists. It is social priority number one. It trumps everything, apparently even the most deeply held suspicions of police power.

  23. #23 |  that guy | 

    Is this bit from the Post incorrect?
    “he 21-year-old man who shot the video — and provided it to The Post on the condition of anonymity — was arrested that night and charged with disorderly conduct, which court records show was for ignoring the cops’ orders to leave.”

    If so, I think it should be included here. Kinda adds an extra layer of ‘fuck you citizen’.

  24. #24 |  that guy | 

    bah. *correct

  25. #25 |  Mario | 

    It’s all in good fun, right? Like when community groups or other concerned citizens warn potentially corrupt cops that if they catch them out of line they’re going to fuck them in the ass. What’s the problem! That’s just civic-mindedness. The cops understand that. Everybody understands that. And everybody has a good laugh.

    Oh, Radley, Radley, Radley, you’re making a big deal over nothing. On the street, these are terms of endearment.

  26. #26 |  parse | 

    I agree with the point freedomfan is making that those who don’t find the cop’s threats much of a problem likely assume that there’s no real risk that the cop would actually do anything like what he’s talking about. To me, the whole point of the tirade is the possibility that the officer is quite willing to go beyond talking and actually kick ass. To assume he’s just talking smack strikes me as naive.

  27. #27 |  EBL | 

    Why hasn’t Nanny Scold Bloomberg responded to this?

  28. #28 |  Mattocracy | 

    “he seemed willing to turn a semi-blind eye to victimless crimes or crimes against stupidity, he shot no humans or dogs, didn’t steal from them…”

    Seriously? He’s a better cop because he didn’t commit any violent crimes? That’s what they’re suppose to fucking do! Way to go not assaulting anybody today, it’s not like we’re expected to respect other people’s freedoms every day or anything.

  29. #29 |  SInchy | 

    Why would any decent, respectable, civic minded young people, particularly women, want to join the police force if their coworkers and superiors are sick sexual perverts like this guy? This goes beyond interactions with knuckleheads on the street but to the moral fiber and morale of the department, what’s left of it.

  30. #30 |  Z | 

    #28 what you’re seeing is defining deviancy down. Used to be that cops were supposed to (not actually were mind you) held to a higher standard. Now if the guy is not a thief, rapist, dog-killer, perjurer or rioter he is a regular Officer Krupke.

  31. #31 |  Dante | 

    After reading the story about the officer’s language, I must remind all of his supporters (ahem, Peter M.) that the police CONSTANTLY harp on the fact that they, and they alone, are bastions of high moral character and integrity. They CONSTANTLY harp on the fact that they “protect your families”. They claim to occupy the high moral ground, but examples like this tell a different story. And there are many, many examples of this occuring every day in every town, city and state across our country.

    I wouldn’t want this pond scum within 10 miles of my family. His language alone is so alarming that if a citizen spoke this way to another citizen it would be a crime. What type of character is displayed here? Where is this type of behavior deemed appropriate?

    Is that what passes for “high level of integrity” and “solid character” in the police world? If so, you need more education as to what those words actually mean. Or, you could just return to whatever noxious, vile, filth-strewn planet you came from.

    Protect & Serve (Themselves!)

  32. #32 |  StrangeOne | 

    It’s kind of sad that many here are giving him credit for NOT assaulting / raping / murdering people. It’s remarkable that as a police officer simply talking about those things, without actually doing them, somehow makes him a superior example of his profession.

    Reading this site regularly really lowers the bar doesn’t it? I wish I had a job where merely advocating raping someone with a pistol was enough to earn a modicum of praise.

  33. #33 |  Peter Moskos | 

    “So you’re arguing that the ability to threaten someone with sexual assault is an important tool in the beat officer’s toolbox?”

    I think the officer probably could have gotten his point across without the threat of sexual assault. But yes, bad language and threats are necessary tools of the trade. Talk is a very important tool. The most important tool. Unprovoked force is illegal. The other main legal tool is arrest, and that is often not the best option. So we’re left with talk.

    It’s not always, “Good sir, please desist from criminal activity or I will be forced to issue you a sterner warning.” Cops use the language of the streets and people they police. They need to. Sometimes a kind word is enough. Other times an unkind word is needed. It does not bother me.

    It seems to me there are two issues: 1) are you offended by the language? and 2) is it part of effective policing? We can debate the latter but as to the former, get over it. Policing is a dirty job, be happy somebody else is willing to do it. (And by “dirty” I mean unpleasant interactions with unpleasant people and not corrupt and illegal.)

    What I’d like to hear is something constructive. It’s easy to say this is bad policing. Tell me what police are supposed to do when a known drug dealer stands up to police officer and says, “This is my corner. I’m not going anywhere.” Tell me what good policing is.

    [And for the sake of debate, grant me the assumption that this guy is a drug dealer and didn't clear the corner when confronted by the officer.]

  34. #34 |  Kool | 

    Hey Peter how about: “You think this is your corner? Your corner is the people’s corner, and I protect the people, so this is my corner. If you sell drugs on this corner I will arrest you. I’ll arrest you, your boys and laugh at your mama as she cries as you go to jail. Try it, homie! You think I’m playin’ around?! I’ll catch you and you’ll be thrown in jail. Period. Matching bracelets for all y’all!” Try reading that outloud as a yell.

  35. #35 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Maybe, just maybe, police shouldn’t be able to threaten the peasants in ways that would get the peasants sent to prison (or shot) if they said the same thing to cops.

    I’d like to see cops just pretend to actually serve the community.

  36. #36 |  Lleij Samuel Schwartz | 

    “But yes, bad language and /threats/ are necessary tools of the trade.”

    So it is necessary for police to commit assault in order to do their job? Because that’s what the man with the badge and the gun did, he made a threat, which legally is verbal possibility of physical harm. Think about how the statement would play if the police officer was talking to a woman? There would be no question that he committed assault, yes?

    “[And for the sake of debate, grant me the assumption that this guy is a drug dealer and didn't clear the corner when confronted by the officer.]”

    No, I don’t believe in ‘thought crimes’ so I refuse to speculate about that.

  37. #37 |  Vic Kelley | 

    Fire the piece of trash. That is a predator in uniform. I wonder how many times it has said and done offensive or violent things in the past and gotten away with it.

  38. #38 |  freedomfan | 

    Peter, to be clear, I don’t care about this cop swearing and, despite the fact that many don’t like it, I don’t think most of us who think this was not good policing contend that inappropriate language is the reason why. Radley certainly hasn’t said that potty-mouthed cops are the issue here. As you note, talk is important, but what is actually said matters.

    The only “threat” the officer needs is that he will be doing his job. To wit, he will be around, he has his eye on the target, and if he sees criminal activity, then he will make an arrest. If he needs to intimidate a suspected criminal to prevent criminal activity, the arrest is the threat, not sodomy, assault, or death. If he needs to convince someone to leave a street corner (BTW, this incident is inside a restaurant or bodega or something) because he thinks they are using that location to sell drugs, he can say, “I will be coming by here often, making sure there’s no safe time for anyone to buy drugs from you. I will be talking to your customers, asking them what they’re up to, taking video when they talk to you, writing down license plate numbers, checking for warrants, for unpaid parking tickets, for expired tags, whatever it takes. This is going to be a very unpopular place to buy drugs.” No drug dealer thinks he can do business when his customers know the police are likely to come around at any moment and have a “chat” with them.

    Note that the prospect of those measures is not the threat the officer is using here. The threat in this case is sexual assault and deadly physical force (that’s the only reason his hand was poised to grab something from inside his coat half the time). If you disagree, then I have to wonder if you would say the officer would be unjustified in reacting as if threatened if their positions had been reversed? Clearly, the target felt threatened, because all of the “sirs” and sitting quietly by while some clown tells you he’s going to put his dick through your ear aren’t the way someone who doesn’t feel threatened reacts to that sort of treatment.

    Moreover, the officer is pretty clear that it isn’t drug dealing that he is concerned with, but that the target didn’t obey the officer’s order to leave when he was told to. He clearly says that he doesn’t have a problem with the target’s “boys” “hustling”. So, there is no reason to start with the premise that preventing drug sales is the cop’s main goal, or really his goal at all. The cop didn’t mention drugs or drug sales during the whole encounter. The officer’s message is not, “Don’t sell drugs here.” His message is, “Respect my authority.”

    I agree that talk is an important tool. But, your contrived statement of “Good sir, please desist from criminal activity or I will be forced to issue you a sterner warning.” is a strawman, plain and simple. No one is proposing that police interact with suspects as though they were 19th century British nobility. And, beyond style, the substance of your example is wrong in implying that a stern warning is the only tool the police have at their disposal. As explained, the “threat” the cop has at his disposal is arrest, not a sterner warning. In answer to your question, what I suggested above is the appropriate “threat.”

    And, BTW, the appropriate assumption, for the sake of argument, is that the cop thinks the target is dealing drugs, not that he knows he is. Assuming the latter is a rhetorical maneuver, one that turns the discussion into “The cop is doing the right thing against a Bad Guy™ and you guys are whining about details.” Sorry, no deal. The former assumption that the cop is acting in good faith but that he may be wrong is generous enough, especially given that we know plenty of examples where poor police behavior is justified by painting some marginally criminal loser as if he were Tony Montana.

  39. #39 |  all day every day | 

    here is my meme title for this post and comments:
    “our low standards for behavior are low”

  40. #40 |  Peter Moskos | 

    The war on drugs corrupts police. Since we’ll never police our way to a drug-free America, cops end up settling for simple respect. Freedom fan, you make a very good point I wanted to make (but didn’t):

    “The officer is pretty clear that it isn’t drug dealing that he is concerned with, but that the target didn’t obey the officer’s order to leave when he was told to. … The officer’s message is not, ‘Don’t sell drugs here.’ His message is, ‘Respect my authority.'” True. Southpark’s Cartman maybe said it best.

    The idea that the officer can close the drug corner through good policing is shortsighted and bordering on foolish. Smart dealers keep the drugs and the money separate and don’t touch the drugs. They can’t be convicted. The truth is all we can really hope for is drug dealers who respect police authority and don’t harass innocent people walking by.

    Because police who police the war on drugs know they’re not going to win the war, it becomes about respect, “getting the bad guy,” and (significantly) the informal regulation of an illegal activity. Having been in that position, I have empathy for the police officer.

    Sure, if the cop had the time and resources (which he doesn’t) he could do buy and busts and put the guy and his crew in prison for a long time. But since demand doesn’t go down, somebody else opens up shop. Repeat ad nauseum until 2.3 million people are incarcerated. How does that benefit anybody?

  41. #41 |  Mike Williams | 

    Oh, man! “Have a blessed day” has been an inside joke of ours for years. It’s pretty amusing to tell someone to “have a blessed day” after an awkward conversation of any kind.

  42. #42 |  Dante | 

    Peter says:
    “It seems to me there are two issues: 1) are you offended by the language? and 2) is it part of effective policing?”

    There is a third issue – threats. The officer made unprovoked threats against a ciitizen.

    What would be the outcome of a citizen lobbing disgusting, sexually perverse threats at a uniformed officer?

    All good? No problem? Water off the duck’s back?

    Sure, Peter. And I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

  43. #43 |  freedomfan | 

    Peter, I agree that the drug war is a failure (and that it’s doomed to be so). I agree that police can’t hope to win it. At a practical level, the negative consequences from it far outweigh any benefit. Among those consequences is militarization of civilian police generally and increased misbehavior of officers individually as the drug war puts police in a position where they are sorely tempted to act outside what should be acceptable police procedure in order to make some headway. It’s certainly possible the officer in this incident normally behaves in a manner that most of us would agree is acceptable when he’s not dealing with people he considers to be drug dealers.

    To be clear, while I argue that police must play by the rules in these situations and restrict themselves to the limited types of “threats” I mentioned last time, please don’t interpret what I have said as an argument that the drug war can be “won” by police who play by the rules. The drug war cannot be won in a non-authoritarian society. Period. Ultimately, that’s why it’s even more important that officer’s not engage in intimidation and threats of violence. They should do the job by the book and not go any further. If, as you propose (and I agree), that isn’t enough and not enough dealers can’t be convicted, then people will eventually have to face up to the fact that we can’t have a civilized society and at the same time enforce laws against widespread consensual activity. The fact that cops take it on themselves to find extralegal ways to “get” these bad guys only serves to hide what a failure the policy is.

  44. #44 |  Peter Moskos | 

    “What would be the outcome of a citizen lobbing disgusting, sexually perverse threats at a uniformed officer?”

    Very likely you just saw it. (Do we know the officer was unprovoked? Would it change things if he had been provoked?). All I’m saying is there are times when police will (and should) resort to yelling, bad language, and even threats.

  45. #45 |  Other Sean | 

    Peter,

    You’re ignoring the diminishing return that comes with this kind of conduct. If one officer threatens you with “or else” today, and another officer threatens you with “my dick will go in your mouth and come out your ear” tomorrow, what exactly is a third officer supposed to say the day after that?

    Obviously you can’t cheapen the currency in no time, and the cops will run out of exotic threats long before the corner runs out of kids.

    By contrast, maintaining professionalism brings cumulative rewards. A cop who shows he can’t be unbalanced by provocation may be ignored today, or laughed at tomorrow, but eventually he will be respected on a level much higher than fear.

    This idiot wasn’t using the tools of his trade…he was grinding those tools down to a point where they will not work for the next tradesman who comes along.

  46. #46 |  Bobby Black | 

    Peter, you have some low standards for what “good policing” is. I smell bacon when i read every single reply you make.

  47. #47 |  Burgers Allday | 

    And sometimes they should let the man at the bodega stand there at the bodega. If there is trouble at the bodega, then put a camera at the bodega. One that records audio. One that protects everybody by letting everybody see who did what when and to whom. If the camera shows drugdealing at the bodega, then those in the video can be arrested. Just like they have cameras in the subways after that that policeman put his expandable into Mineo’s bottom and made that hole in his underwear.

  48. #48 |  Delta | 

    Re: Peter — Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit, and more bullshit.

    I’m a white male, bookish, straight-A student, high school valedictorian, full college academic scholarship, never partied, never used drugs in my life. And I was STILL harassed by cops while I was in high school because the police chief took a dislike to my father (town doctor).

    If someone like me can’t avoid it, who on Earth can?

    All this “bad guys”, “drug-dealing corner”, “do we know the officer was unprovoked” equivocating rationale for the abuse and threats of rape and gun violence are 100% pure bullshit. The cop thugs do it anyone all the time and we all know it. They are terrorizing innocent citizens on a daily basis. The thought process leads them to actually taze, chem-spray, beat, and kill people because they know they have immunity. And now I have acquaintances on the NYPD and their private response is: however jaded I think I am, I’m actually naive to how much worse it is in reality.

    You, sir, are a liar. Likewise, any time I’m on a jury I presume that the facts are exactly opposite of anything testified by a cop. (Noted that I do get forgetful in the stress of voir dire… much like cops under oath.)

  49. #49 |  Burgers Allday | 

    Just like they have cameras in the subways after that that policeman put his expandable into Mineo’s bottom and made that hole in his underwear.

    Just to eplain this comment a bit for those other than Professor Moskos, there was a recent case in New York City where a mn named Mineo claimed that a policeman forcibly sodomized him with a small (but wide) baton in an NYC subway station. One of the police officer’s testified that the sodomy had happened. Mineo entered his underwear into evidence, with the hole to show where the baton had penetrated. Mineo was taken to a police car and held for a couple of minutes, but released without arrest (forgot whether he got a pot citation or not, seem to recall he did not).

    The police officer with the baton, along with one or two other policemen denied that the forcible sodomy had happened. They won at trial. The NY Post had a field day (Mineo looked like a pimp and the policemen looked like policemen).

    The point is that Professor Moskos basically came out against Mineo and in favor of the officers who denied the sodomy (but against the one who said it happened).

    The point: Professor Moskos says that these are just idle threats in this new video. But when forcible police object sodomy actually happens, he denies it happened. It ain’t just a river in Egypt, Professor Moskos. I think his job may force him to be this way, and, if so, I can empathize. However, regardless of the why’s and wherefore’s, his cred on this kind of stuff is totally shot, and has been at least since the Mineo case if not before. At least in the eyes of those who remember things he has written in the past.

  50. #50 |  Delta | 

    “But yes, bad language and threats are necessary tools of the trade. Talk is a very important tool. The most important tool. Unprovoked force is illegal.”

    And another thing: Granted this uniformed officer is threatening sexual and firearm assault, and this is apparently good policing, would the officer be expected to follow-up on those threats and actually do those things? If yes, then clearly they are trained to break the law and terrorize civilians as a matter of course, and constitute the gravest threat to our immediate safety. If not, then they are lying.

    Is lying by uniformed officers and representatives also a “very important tool”, an expected part of quality policing? If yes, then we have a LEO culture presumably based on lying everywhere — lying on the street, lying in written documents, lying in public statements, lying to coworkers, presumably lying in court. The logical conclusion to such a culture of pervasive, everyday fraud should be to disregard anything a cop testifies to in a court of law and elsewhere, eh?

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