Search This Blog

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Paul Craig Roberts Drinks the Ferguson Kool-Aid

Wow, what courage. Paul Craig Roberts gets into the act.

Paul Craig Roberts' site does not take comments. Lucky for him.

I have to tell you guys- as a retired cop- I am beyond weary of listening to armchair quarterbacks telling cops how to police and criticizing every police incident wherein someone gets shot. In order to do this- these writers have to make all kinds of wild ass assumptions because no facts have been established yet. They never let the facts get in the way of their opinions.

So there. I have told you that I am a retired cop and my agenda is predictable. I know something about policing and I support cops. Most importantly, I know something about getting both sides of a story and letting some facts get established before popping off at the mouth. Remember Obama and the beer summit?

Or how about all of those brainiacs who jumped to conclusions about Trayvon Martin?

People had no problem ever, telling me how to do my job. It was a fascinating thing to behold. Very often I had to bite my tongue, especially around politicians who always think they know everything. No other profession on the planet is subjected to the scrutiny of millions of experts- like policing is. Oddly enough, not once in my life have I ever told an engineer, a doctor, plumber, or roofer how to perform their jobs. 

What these writers are doing is simply spewing their own opinions about the state of American policing. It's a convenient fact that they have Michael Brown (unarmed) as a conduit- a necessary soapbox to stand on while you utter your opinions.

I don't think all cops are innocent but I have to tell you- the odds are enormously in their favor. Over the years I have reviewed several trial transcripts, read numerous investigations, talked to several cops who have shot people and I have this to report. I have never known a cop to be indicted after a shooting and I have probably spoken to 10 or 15 of them. I have never spoken to a cop who was happy or proud to have shot someone. This is not gladiator school. Most cops are very distraught post shooting and the shooting becomes a life altering event. The majority of cops quit within a year although that percentage is declining because of better post shooting counseling and therapy. In the old days, you just got a slap on the back and jumped back into the squad car after a day off. The judicial proceedings after an officer involved shooting are arduous and painful. Cops are not sociopaths and the vast majority of police applicants are given several forms of psychological testing to weed out those who are. That happens long before any shooting starts.

Here's the bottom line. People just hate being told what to do and forced to suffer the consequences if they don't. It's that simple and it has always been that simple. Very often- the only people who have the authority to tell you what to do are cops. And that's why people dislike them. Everything else is just rhetoric.

Look, I think Darren Wilson will probably not be indicted and the shooting will be ruled as justified. Why?  Because you are not entitled to attack a police officer or anyone else for that matter. Cops are not required to let some 6'3", 300 pound thug, beat you to a pulp or try to take your gun and shoot you with it. Armed or unarmed. People do a lot of really stupid things. Eighteen year old kids with undeveloped frontal lobes do more than their fair share of stupid things. Some don't survive. I don't think that would shock anyone. Here's the NY Post's version of events, slanted decidedly the opposite direction of Paul Craig Roberts.

Eighteen year old kids are not entitled to break into my house either. And maybe I won't shoot you- but then again if you rush me unarmed- I might have to take my chances then and there- undeveloped frontal lobe and all.

At the end of the day, the very best we can do is support the process. By that I mean we continue to subject would be police officer applicants to polygraphs, background investigations, psychological testing, urine testing, and everything else to weed out potential bad eggs. Most places do a pretty good job of that. Police officers get a tremendous amount of training in use of force. Again, law enforcement agencies do a pretty good job of training officers in lethal and non lethal weapons. But lastly, we have to support a judicial process that reviews all of the facts including eye witness accounts, forensic evidence, autopsies, and toxicology. Thankfully, they do not rely on the opinions of bloggers like Mr. Roberts. Those facts get presented to a jury of non biased people to mull over and determine if the officer acted appropriately. Do the survivors get the benefit of the doubt? Probably. We have a system that is based in part on giving the benefit of the doubt to the accused.

Was Michael Brown a victim or a volunteer? Our judicial review system will decide.

It's not a perfect system- but it's the best that's ever been devised. Let the process work. We once had a rule of law in this country wherein people were innocent until proven guilty. Let's see if it still works. In the meantime, here's my sage advice.

If you don't enjoy greeting cops on the roadside, try to obey our laws. If you cannot, try to restrain yourself from beating up the cop who's job it is to enforce the law. Oddly enough, if you obey our laws and refrain from beating up cops- you may not find yourself in handcuffs or on the business end of a handgun.

Here's a letter that took a lot of guts to write. From a sitting Police Chief. Police Chiefs everywhere are remarkably silent on the Ferguson fiasco. Utter an opinion and lose your job. That's how the system works.