Morning Links

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

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75 Responses to “Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  Woog | 


    To further clarify: either the cop was justified in using lethal force or he was not, measured the same as any other person being in such a situation.

    If he did not have less-lethal options in-hand as an on-duty cop, then he needs to be fired, his supervisor needs to be fired, and so on and so forth as everyone responsible for having an ill-equipped on-duty cop is fired. The possibility of criminal negligence should be considered as well.

  2. #2 |  StrangeOne | 

    Woog, your being deliberately obtuse in comparing police to average persons. You don’t judge the performance of a lawyer or a doctor based upon the common persons ability to practice law or medicine. Professionals are judged based upon the standards expected of their profession. What may be a defensible position in court for you or me does not fly with an on-duty cop who has back up.

    Police are supposed to be trained to diffuse violent situations as safely as possible. Not just with their own safety in mind, either. You keep begging the question as to whether they had options. As if four police officers with a canine need more options for handling one deranged man. Their is no reason to assume they didn’t have less than lethal tools, as they are standard issue equipment for law enforcement.

    And David is right, if the taxpayers have provided the police with less than lethal options, and every officer involved in this situation either neglected to use them or neglected to even have them, then it is an issue of professional misconduct.

  3. #3 |  EH | 

    Woog: In other words, you’re reporting live from Fantasyland.

  4. #4 |  Jim Collins | 

    Somewhere some mice are looking to buy some Stinger missiles.

  5. #5 |  Andrew Roth | 

    News out of Riverside County from a few weeks ago that just about made me shit a brick:

    Somehow, I missed this case entirely until after the Acostas had been convicted. The reason I find this case so stunning is that Robert Acosta was one of the recruiting officers when I applied to the San Diego Police Department in 2005. I never imagined anything like this happening to a member of the SDPD recruiting unit.

    Really, it’s a cautionary tale for anyone who has any involvement with American real estate, and probably for people involved in real estate in some other countries, too. When I applied to the SDPD, I had no reason to believe that Robert Acosta didn’t basically have his shit together. If he can end up in such dire straits, I’d say that anyone can.

  6. #6 |  GT | 

    The photo of the adolescent lab undertaking some small-scale ‘civil disobedience’ says two things:
    (1) any motherfucker who cages their dog like that should be caged themselves, so they get to feel how mind-numbingly boring it is (and fuck anyone who calls it ‘crating’… it’s a fucking CAGE); and
    (2) that dog is saying “Here’s the thing, right: I’m basically fucking hard-wired to love the shit out of you. But put me in a fucking cage? Ima fuck SOMETHING up.”

    If you did that to a cat, it would find out what you loved and piss on it – even if it took the rest of its life to do so. That’s why I love cats (dogs are great too – the apparent unconditionality of their affection feels nice from our perspective – but a cat has the cojones to say “You know what? You’re being a cunt. So fuck you – Ima piss on your bedclothes then disappear for a day or so. Get me some milk and we can talk. Oh, and about your canary: be a damn shame if something bad happened to it. Just sayin’… lift your game. Now watch my puckered ass as I saunter away from you.”).

    The cat-copter guy needs his balls slammed in a car door. Repeatedly. What a fucking douche. Sure, the cat’s dead – but if that’s the criterion there’s no moral problem with turning dead humans into hamburger patties or fertiliser (something I support, by the way – I won’t give a fuck what happens to my meatbag once it system-fails, and besides, have you noticed how green cemetary lawns are? All that fertiliser could be used to grow vegetables instead of wasted).

    And as for the pig chief whining like a weak bitch about a judge calling ‘bullshit’ on one of his doughnut-inhalers (who admitted to bullshitting in the first five minutes of his ‘testimony’)… vermin gotta verm. Is anyone really surprised? I mean seriously.

  7. #7 |  Russ 2000 | 

    but as-is, the broomstickler seemed to be asking to be shot.

    Maybe. In the foot at most.

    Not that I would doubt the officer was actually aiming there.

  8. #8 |  Burgers Allday | 

    The cat-copter guy needs his balls slammed in a car door. Repeatedly. What a fucking douche.


  9. #9 |  Woog | 

    Russ 2000, thanks for demonstrating your total lack of lethal force laws. Use of lethal force (firing a handgun at someone) is use of lethal force regardless of how badly the other person was damaged; shooting someone in the face, foot, or just nicking them matters not one whit.

    StrangeOne, under the LAW, the shooting policeman and you are the same. (In theory, under the principle of Equality Under the Law, which is not and has not been in force for a very long time, granted.) Either the policeman committed manslaughter/murder or he did not; and the same treatment should be given to you if you had been in the policeman’s shoes. Justifiable homicide is justifiable regardless of the specific individuals involved. Now, using lethal force as a policeman when it should be a given that EVERY uniformed cop should have at least one less-lethal option such as pepper spray available to use is a case for negligence and firing (and likely to include the cop’s supervisors), but is a separate matter from the actual shooting itself.

  10. #10 |  Woog | 

    GT and Burgers Allday, I assume you’re here for the dog blogging and not for the political commentary? Who does the cat’s corpse belong to – you? If not, then butt out, buddy. When is it ever principled to say that someone “needs his balls slammed in a car door. Repeatedly.”? Even rapists are subject only to execution or lifelong imprisonment (in theory).

    What principle, exactly, did Catcopter Guy violate by using his beloved cat’s corpse, incidentally still his property, as he saw fit? How did his actions infringe on your own Creator-granted rights?

  11. #11 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 


    Re #58; Good taste.

  12. #12 |  Rob | 


    The police had LOTS of options. Most police are equipped with tasers and pepper spray. Police tasers can be fired from 20 feet away, well outside the range of a broomstick. Pepper spray can also generally be used from some distance.

    Even putting those options aside, unless the guy is Jackie Chan four guys and a k9 should have had absolutely no problem subduing that guy non-lethally. I could have probably done it by my self. Give me a baton to use to block the broom stick with and it just makes it easier. I’ve disarmed people swinging baseball bats at me before; a broom stick, being much flimsier, would be a hell of a lot easier to deal with.

  13. #13 |  CyniCAl | 

    #36 | croaker — “@30 You know damn well this sin’t about safety. New Jersey is in need of more revenue.”

    Well, of course, of course Croaker. Way back in the day when I still lived in that effin hellhole, the registration stickers said right on them, “New Jersey — The Safest State.” So, we won’t question their motives, but if some government agencies happen to accrue revenue at the same time, no one will care right?

  14. #14 |  CyniCAl | 

    #41 | derfel cadarn — “I am impressed that [Chief Chithead] knew how to spell integrity but it is obvious that he knows not what it means or that he has any himself.”

    I noticed in the PDF of the letter that he twice spelled “officers” as “officer’s” when the context clearly implied plural rather than possessive.

    I guess they can’t afford proofreaders. Competent ones, that is.

  15. #15 |  CyniCAl | 

    @#53 | Andrew Roth

    Wonderful case of schadenfreude. Karma is most definitely a bitch. File the Acostas under “Fuck the Police.”

  16. #16 |  CyniCAl | 

    I finally realized something today.

    Radley Balko is a certified professional troll of cat lovers.

    It is a recurring theme of his.

    As a cat lover, my hat is off to you sir. Keep on trolling.

  17. #17 |  supercat | 

    #49 | Woog | “I certainly wouldn’t want to be held to that standard as a private individual because my only two options in the face of a violent attack is escape or lethal force – being quizzed by cops and armchair quarterbacks on why I didn’t also have pepper spray (or a tazer or a dog) is not a proper line of questioning involving a specific act of self-defense.”

    A perfectly good reason for an ordinary citizen to carry a gun without also carrying pepper spray is a belief that the odds of finding himself in a situation where pepper spray would be the appropriate and sufficient response are insufficient to justify the hassle of carrying it. Such a judgment is generally reasonable **for people who don’t deliberately enter into such situations**. Such a judgment would be far less reasonable for someone who did deliberately enter such a situation.

  18. #18 |  Woog | 

    supercat, a better perfectly good reason for an ordinary citizen to carry a gun without also carrying pepper spray or anything else is because it is his right to choose to carry, or not, whatever he damn well pleases. Odds, nothing.

    Notwithstanding the agreement that on-duty cops need to have “duty gear”, to include less-lethal options… and use them when appropriate when climbing the force ladder.

  19. #19 |  Jason | 

    Can anyone tell me if the police chief who wrote the letter to the judge can be dealt with for contempt?

  20. #20 |  Pi Guy | 

    …but if that’s the criterion there’s no moral problem with turning dead humans into hamburger patties or fertiliser…

    I am updating my will as we, uh, speak – to have my dead body prepared by a taxidermist. I’m going full-on Picopter post-mortem!

    Woog, multiple places: f#*&ing Badge Licking, Boot Licking, Cop Fellator. And, as for the dog blogging, it’s part of the larger picture here. We love dogs, hate LEOs for shooting them merely to demonstrate their power over the “suspects” and disreagard for life, and call the cops what they are.

    So take your high-and-tight do and your “Heroes of Law Enforcement” baseball cards someplace where people ignore the Constitution and eschew justice. Their ignorance will be more on-par with your own and you’ll fit right in.

    And wait there for the day when you’re not one of the favored groups anymore. You will be one day.

  21. #21 |  Pi Guy | 

    re: NJ and dog/cat seat belts

    So, if I’m just cruising up I-95 thru the Garden State with The Beagle Dog™ on my way to Manhattan for a 32-oz trans-fat-free, diet rice cake with extra salt, can I be stopped on a primary charge of having el Diablo Chica Perro (she only responds to Spanglish) with her nose out the crack of the back window unrestrained?

    Smells like Ihren Papiere, bitte-style pretense for a traffic stop to me.


  22. #22 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    Greetings and salutations! I’lll make this as brief as possible. Regarding the shooting by the Vista, CA deputies, I think you have engaged in some pretty amazing mental acrobatics in order to justify this police-involved shooting. What’s in it for you anyway?

    Available information suggests that there were multiple officers on scene. Sometimes if you are the police, you have to deal with the fact that you might get hit. If you can’t deal with that fact, don’t apply to a police department. Also, don’t apply to a job in healthcare or other fields where you deal with high risk clients. The deceased wasn’t going to be able to knock down all of these cops with a single swing of a broom stick. So you use distraction. Maybe he connects with one of you, but the rest of the officers drop his ass. Or you find an improvised shield and maybe no one gets hit. Or you use pepper spray, tazers or whatever “less lethal weapons” are available. And you know as well as I do that ALL of the officers on scene had at OC, tazers, some sort of baton or all of the above.

    I’m not just basing my opinion on reading a few stories on The Agitator. I have had to face suspects wielding blunt objects on a few occasions that I can recall (ie. a metal bed rail, a metal cane, an oxygen tank regulator, etc) while working in the healthcare security field. In these situations, I did not have the option of using a firearm, as my employer does not allow me to carry one. I did not even use my issued OC spray. In two cases I remember I simply contained the scene and waited for the person to calm down or give up. In a third incident I was close, so I just snatched a metal bed rail out of the guy’s hand. But I consider it my job to PRESERVE LIFE, including the life of the suspect. Unfortunately, too many police no longer consider this to be a part of their job.

    And yes, police should be held to a higher standard than any private citizen would be in a violent encounter. Police tell us all the time how highly trained they are. Then use your god damn training, officers! If a “lowly” private sector hospital security officer like me can get by without killing attackers, I think a “highly trained” police officer should be able to do the same.

  23. #23 |  Woog | 

    Pi Guy, charming – did you have anything of value to say in response to any of my statements?

    Helmut O’ Hooligan, no job requires giving up one’s Creator-granted right of self-ownership. Regardless of the particulars, if one person is in the right to defend against an attack, then anyone would be. There’s that Rule of/ Equality Under Law thing again.

    It is reasonable to expect an on-duty uniformed cop to have less-lethal weapons on-hand? I agree with most here and say yes. Should the cop and other responsible personnel be fired if the on-duty cop was not provided with less-lethal weapons? Again, yes.

    From the information in the news article, is it reasonable to suspect the cop committed murder or manslaughter? From a logical viewpoint where emotion and prejudice is discarded, I say no. If that same cop DID have less-lethal weapons available on his person (the article avoids any mention of this), might this change matters? Oh yes, it very well might.

  24. #24 |  anonanon | 

    Radley, re: the broomstick wielding victim of police thuggery, to demonstrate how far we’ve veered off course, watch this clip from 1997

  25. #25 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    #73 Woog: “Helmut O’ Hooligan, no job requires giving up one’s Creator-granted right of self-ownership.”

    That was not my argument at all. The issues here are proportionality and whether or not alternatives were available. I am saying that the response was over the top (due mostly to the fact that multiple officers were available to deal with this threat) and there had to be other alternatives. And I will agree with you that matters will change if any of the officers had less lethal alternatives. And they did have alternatives. I have no doubts about that whatsoever.