‘Stuck in the Middle With You’

 

Clowns to the left of me
Jokers to the right
Here I am
Stuck in the middle with you – Stealers Wheel

I’ve seen some comments about police officers refusing to do their jobs so I’ll offer you a basic primer on policing and authority.

Police officers have a chain of command, and they are members of a paramilitary organization. Elected officials from mayors, city council members, and district attorneys have civilian authority over police departments at the local level. The state has authority involving certification, and a state attorney general. The Department of Justice has Federal authority over local policing.

Unfortunately, politicians and their political interests have the ability to make decisions that do not benefit the residents of any city, county, or state. A good example of this is the stand-down orders during the Summer of Love. Police officers wanted to do their jobs as cities were being destroyed, but the risk of prosecution at the state and federal level for disobeying civilian authorities could lead to imprisonment, loss of employment, and civil suits.

The media, whether Left, Right, or Libertarian offers misinformation on policing incidents on a regular basis. They are lazy at best, or lie at worst.

An example of this is the photo below. Headlines from different media sources claimed that the Portland Police Bureau retreated from rioters. What they didn’t tell you is that behind that garage door is access to the Justice Center building. Access to police cars, the county jail, evidence lockers, indoor range, and elevators to the upper floors of the building.

What I see in that photo is the perfect target for a rubber bullet to the groin.

See the source image

Published in Policing
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  1. Dave of Barsham Member
    Dave of Barsham
    @LesserSonofBarsham

    Doug Watt: What I see in that photo is the perfect target for a rubber bullet to the groin.

    Or one of those beanbags from a shotgun.

    • #1
  2. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    Dave of Barsham (View Comment):

    Doug Watt: What I see in that photo is the perfect target for a rubber bullet to the groin.

    Or one of those beanbags from a shotgun.

    Either would work. It’s called pain compliance for a reason.

    • #2
  3. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Doug Watt: The media, whether Left, Right, or Libertarian offers misinformation on policing incidents on a regular basis. They are lazy at best, or lie at worst.

    So true, and not just of policing.

    • #3
  4. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    Haven’t read this yet.  (Mobile).  Sight unseen, I am all about allowing crap municipalities to defund police.  Why?  Because first, it offers an object lesson in value and civilization. Second, the police in those places work under the worst conditions with the least support.
    I back the blue 100%.  Not everybody deserves them.   

    • #4
  5. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    When the order goes out for police to “stand down,“ to allow the protesters “room to destroy,” a vacuum is created. Something will fill that vacuum … something that those giving the orders would do well to contemplate. Maybe the surly mob only wants to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony. Maybe they want to loot those expensive downtown boutiques. I would vote for “let’s not find out.” It is easier to maintain order than it is to reestablish it.

    • #5
  6. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    Doug Watt: Police officers have a chain of command, and they are members of a paramilitary organization.

    Yeah, that’s a problem right there.  This is what the police think.  

    Remember, the military protect the people.  The police control the people. In the US, the police are merely civilians we pay to act on our behalf to catch bad guys. 

    The police are supposed to be paramilitary only to the extent that the Boy Scouts are paramilitary.  

    • #6
  7. Headedwest Coolidge
    Headedwest
    @Headedwest

    Skyler (View Comment):
    In the US, the police are merely civilians we pay to act on our behalf to catch bad guys. 

    I hate it when police refer to non-police as “civilians”. Police are civilians, too, not military.

    It is supposed to be illegal in the US for the military to act as police, though that line has been blurred many times.

    • #7
  8. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    Headedwest (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):
    In the US, the police are merely civilians we pay to act on our behalf to catch bad guys.

    I hate it when police refer to non-police as “civilians”. Police are civilians, too, not military.

    It is supposed to be illegal in the US for the military to act as police, though that line has been blurred many times.

    Until the Cold War ended generals insisted that getting involved in the “war on drugs” would be a distraction from our military mission.  Then when the Cold War ended they were afraid to lose budget dollars so they signed up for anything. Hence the tragedy of Ezekiel Hernandez, a goat herder shot and killed by a Marine squad patrolling his private ranch in Texas.  That is, the Marines were on his land and he had a .22 rifle to shoot at coyotes to keep them from molesting his goats.

    For the military it seems that the posse commitaus law is very easy to get around.  It also turns out that general officers are whores for budget dollars.

    • #8
  9. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    I recall being cheesed that the police refer to non-police as “civilians”.  I’m home on leave on active duty — “civilian” my lily-white ass!

    Yet, I also recall thinking, watching a traffic stop as I drove by unmolested, that any cop who wakes up without a fully-formed expectation of a weapon levelled at him today at any time of day, for any or for no reason — had better just go back to bed.  I never had justification for such a defensive posture on a daily basis in my whole military time, except for a couple of trips to the sandbox, and some stints guarding obvious places.  So I cannot begrudge the police their use of the exclusionary term “civilians”.  As with many things, I RISE TO QUIBBLE, but yield the balance of my time to my esteemed colleagues who keep my carcass safe from this and that most of the time.

    I totally get the quibble — I’m just not putting any weight on it.  Each of us in our sphere.

     

     

    • #9
  10. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Headedwest (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):
    In the US, the police are merely civilians we pay to act on our behalf to catch bad guys.

    I hate it when police refer to non-police as “civilians”. Police are civilians, too, not military.

    It is supposed to be illegal in the US for the military to act as police, though that line has been blurred many times.

    Until the Cold War ended generals insisted that getting involved in the “war on drugs” would be a distraction from our military mission. Then when the Cold War ended they were afraid to lose budget dollars so they signed up for anything. Hence the tragedy of Ezekiel Hernandez, a goat herder shot and killed by a Marine squad patrolling his private ranch in Texas. That is, the Marines were on his land and he had a .22 rifle to shoot at coyotes to keep them from molesting his goats.

    For the military it seems that the posse commitaus law is very easy to get around. It also turns out that general officers are whores for budget dollars.

    #YGDR

    Imagine if we could incentivize the DoD into actually defending the borders of this country.  The idea that this is somehow beneath the military is frankly grounds for doing away with the military.

    Well either it will do its job or it will not.

    • #10
  11. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Headedwest (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):
    In the US, the police are merely civilians we pay to act on our behalf to catch bad guys.

    I hate it when police refer to non-police as “civilians”. Police are civilians, too, not military.

    It is supposed to be illegal in the US for the military to act as police, though that line has been blurred many times.

    Until the Cold War ended generals insisted that getting involved in the “war on drugs” would be a distraction from our military mission. Then when the Cold War ended they were afraid to lose budget dollars so they signed up for anything. Hence the tragedy of Ezekiel Hernandez, a goat herder shot and killed by a Marine squad patrolling his private ranch in Texas. That is, the Marines were on his land and he had a .22 rifle to shoot at coyotes to keep them from molesting his goats.

    For the military it seems that the posse commitaus law is very easy to get around. It also turns out that general officers are whores for budget dollars.

    The Marine Corps never notified local law enforcement that they would be operating in this area. They didn’t inform any locals. Locals could have told them that the young man watered the goats in that area on a daily basis.

    Local law enforcement could have told them seeing someone armed near the border during the day is not unusual.

    An epic fail.

    • #11
  12. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Headedwest (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):
    In the US, the police are merely civilians we pay to act on our behalf to catch bad guys.

    I hate it when police refer to non-police as “civilians”. Police are civilians, too, not military.

    It is supposed to be illegal in the US for the military to act as police, though that line has been blurred many times.

    Until the Cold War ended generals insisted that getting involved in the “war on drugs” would be a distraction from our military mission. Then when the Cold War ended they were afraid to lose budget dollars so they signed up for anything. Hence the tragedy of Ezekiel Hernandez, a goat herder shot and killed by a Marine squad patrolling his private ranch in Texas. That is, the Marines were on his land and he had a .22 rifle to shoot at coyotes to keep them from molesting his goats.

    For the military it seems that the posse commitaus law is very easy to get around. It also turns out that general officers are whores for budget dollars.

    The Marine Corps never notified local law enforcement that they would be operating in this area. They didn’t inform any locals. Locals could have told them that the young man watered the goats in that area on a daily basis.

    Local law enforcement could have told them seeing someone armed near the border during the day is not unusual.

    An epic fail.

    Yes.  These Marines were not trained to be cops.  They were trained to kill people.  This is why people do not like being told that the police are a paramilitary outfit.  

    • #12
  13. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    I read through the discussion, and I agree; the police are not para military.  But they are “deputized” to perform tasks that may involve violence than your average citizen is not authorized to do.  They are not exactly civilians either.  And police on a day in and day out basis may have a harder job than the military, though certainly not if the military are called to battle.  Both the police and the military deserve our respect.

    • #13
  14. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    Manny (View Comment):

    I read through the discussion, and I agree; the police are not para military. But they are “deputized” to perform tasks that may involve violence than your average citizen is not authorized to do. They are not exactly civilians either. And police on a day in and day out basis may have a harder job than the military, though certainly not if the military are called to battle. Both the police and the military deserve our respect.

    No, the world is divided into two segments.  Military and civilian.  That’s a bright line.  That’s how our language works.

    We should be careful about giving too much respect to either the military or the police.  There are very bad people, not well hidden, in both fields.

    • #14
  15. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    BDB (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Headedwest (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):
    In the US, the police are merely civilians we pay to act on our behalf to catch bad guys.

    I hate it when police refer to non-police as “civilians”. Police are civilians, too, not military.

    It is supposed to be illegal in the US for the military to act as police, though that line has been blurred many times.

    Until the Cold War ended generals insisted that getting involved in the “war on drugs” would be a distraction from our military mission. Then when the Cold War ended they were afraid to lose budget dollars so they signed up for anything. Hence the tragedy of Ezekiel Hernandez, a goat herder shot and killed by a Marine squad patrolling his private ranch in Texas. That is, the Marines were on his land and he had a .22 rifle to shoot at coyotes to keep them from molesting his goats.

    For the military it seems that the posse commitaus law is very easy to get around. It also turns out that general officers are whores for budget dollars.

    #YGDR

    Imagine if we could incentivize the DoD into actually defending the borders of this country. The idea that this is somehow beneath the military is frankly grounds for doing away with the military.

    Well either it will do its job or it will not.

    The military does what it’s told to do.  Right now and for quite some time, keeping criminals from smuggling or immigrating is considered a police action.  You tell the military to do it and a lot of people will get killed, because that is what they do.

    • #15
  16. navyjag Coolidge
    navyjag
    @navyjag

    I think cops are day to day in far more danger than the military. Marines, Special Forces, etc. when they get into a jam mostly of the time have air support, artillery, and lots of other fighters backing them up.  A cop or two in a dangerous area rarely, if ever, has that kind of support. As much as I love the Michael Connelly novels about LA detectives and the hard work in solving crimes, his latest is so depressing given the political crap they have to wade through.  Probably safer today to be in the Marine infantry. 

    • #16