Jesus, the police, and violence


You want to see something chilling? It’s how the police are indoctrinated into the warrior way, with a healthy dose of militant Christianity.

At least one bit of good news: Minneapolis has prohibited this insanity. Now if only they’d take the next step and disarm the cops.

Comments

  1. VolcanoMan says

    I think the answer lies in adopting what the British have been successfully modelling for decades – take their guns away. Allow them to carry non-lethal and less-lethal alternatives like stun-guns and pepper spray, and make it so that the only police officers who are allowed to carry a firearm are ones who will only be used in confrontations with other people who are guaranteed to be also armed (basically raids on gangs, illicit drug manufacturers, hostage-takers, etc….they’d be a more highly-trained version of SWAT). And even they should not be authorized to use deadly force as a matter of course. De-escalation should be the norm, and they should have significant training in how to de-escalate a situation. Also, these officers should never be allowed to carry their service firearms off-duty. There should be lockers at work where they secure their weapon when they’re about to go home.

    The way I see it, cops are public servants. Yes, it’s right to question WHICH public they’re serving (hint…it’s not you and me, and certainly not minorities), but they, in theory, serve us all. Furthermore, they chose that profession. They could have been accountants or dentists, but they became cops, and being a cop involves incurring more risk in their day-to-day lives (though not nearly as much as they’re being indoctrinated to believe that they face) than most other careers. If taking away firearms from the majority of police officers results in 30-40 more police fatalities annually (and even that number seems REALLY high…not being as reckless knowing that you don’t have a lethal lifeline on your hip might actually SAVE some police officers’ lives, plus every year there are many cops who use their service firearms to kill themselves), I’m fine with that. Because in doing this, the total number of police shootings (and unlike the police, I would only consider a shooting “justified” if the person who was shot was both threatening to cause serious harm to a civilian*, AND obviously had the means at their immediate disposal to follow through before less lethal means could be deployed against them) would drop substantially.

    Cops put themselves in harms way – it’s the job (a bullshit job made necessary by a bullshit economic system, but that’s another issue). And it seems the ultimate hypocrisy for them to boast about being heroes for being willing to risk their lives in service to their community, while shooting at every movement in the shadows because they’re afraid of being killed. Doesn’t so much sound like they’re willing to risk their lives after all eh?

    *Not a cop…threatening to harm a cop is sensible enough in today’s environment…they have guns and like to wave them around. Not gonna lie…the smart move might just be to act pre-emptively against this obvious threat to your own life (since surrendering is often not enough to guarantee you don’t get shot, as many recent cases illustrate).

  2. PaulBC says

    Funny how that “warrior training” falls out the window when a white guy is “testing out the 2nd amendment” at his local Walmart. Or is that case covered somehow (didn’t watch the video). Note: it’s great that the police were able to stop Dmitriy Andreychenko without killing him, but it does make you wonder if they could apply the same level of restraint in other cases.

  3. Akira MacKenzie says

    I’m surprised this Gross-Man shit isn’t the pastor of some gun-toting Megachurch.

  4. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    Cops put themselves in harms way – it’s the job

    I have to push back on this. By some measures, being a cop is not a dangerous job. It doesn’t even break into the top 10. The death rate per hour on the job is higher for being a trucker compared to being a cop. Mundane vehicle accidents. Hell, roughly half of American cop deaths on the job are also mundane car accidents.

    So, I agree with you that they chose this purportedly dangerous job, and they should suck it up and take on the risk that they volunteered for, but I would also go further and deny that it’s even as dangerous as many people think it is. Rather, it seems more reasonable for our job-related injury sympathies to go to truckers, firefighters, and the like, and not cops.

    PS:
    Fuck the (American) police. Fucking pigs.

  5. says

    I’ve detailed in the past my plan that we can instantly move to a model where no cop gets entrusted with lethal force for the first 5 years on the job (no guns at all for the first 3 years, 1 is training and the next 2 are your first independent years, and then the next 2 you are allowed to have weapons like “bean bag shotguns” or distance tasers – the ones that shoot darts, rather than the ones that can’t shock someone farther away than you can reach). This is not because there are no shootings involving experienced officers, but because my best guess (I’m open to better information from experts) is that 5 years is enough to actually learn how to do the job without a gun, including de-escalation tactics and, hey, communicating with the public to understand situations before rushing in to them.

    I’d like all cops to be disarmed, but in the US that would require repeal of the 2nd amendment and a significant reduction in gun availability. While criminals are armed with guns, at least some situations may require long distance weapons and guns are the only viable choice we have available.

    Let’s work toward that gunless society in Canada AND the US, but in the meantime we can easily disarm a large percentage of law enforcement. We can do that RIGHT NOW. It’s not pie in the sky. The vast majority of policing requires no guns at all.

  6. says

    Fuck.

    I forgot that I also wanted to say that as bad as the racial disparity is in victims of police shootings, the able/dislabeled disparity is (or was, last time I was reading on the topic) even larger. Shooting deaf people for not obeying verbal commands is a LONG RUNNING problem that has been critiqued for decades. Cops also routinely tase or shoot people using canes, crutches & walkers when the tips are lifted off the ground as, y’know, happens in the course of taking a normal step. I can’t tell you how many times cops will refer to someone as “armed” with a cane or crutch.

    Fuckers.

  7. wzrd1 says

    I’ve actually heard trainers with my own ears say, while training LEO’s, “We’re at war on crime”. Wars come with soldiers and when one’s only tool is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

  8. microraptor says

    The important thing to remember about the US law enforcement system is that it’s not intended to protect private citizens.

    It’s intended to protect the wealthy and enforce the power of cisgender, white, heterosexual Christians against everyone who’s not.

  9. khms says

    There’s one change that I’d expect to instantly reduce civilian casualties, and likely also cop casualties, but that one is expensive. It looks to me that it’s the norm over here.

    Stop single-cop patrols of any kind. Always pair them up.

    Doing a traffic stop with two cops allows them to have one to walk up to the car, and another to handle security, leading to the first cop feeling significantly less threatened, and both cops less likely to jump at shadows – and any gun-happy driver or passenger less likely to try anything.

    Also, and that might be a way to sell it, it immediately gives you another witness. Which, incidentally, might also convince copy to be less happy about breaking the law themselves.

    But of course, it also means you need double the number of cops for the same number of patrols, so that’s expensive.

    Here’s another expensive, but useful, change: require that people going into the job go through a longer period of education, which MUST include de-escalation and the most important (as in often cited) laws.

    Also, if it were up to me, I’d change the way cops are organized. The organizations cops belong to should be at least state level. Big cop organizations are much less likely to go bad than small ones. They also have better options to move cops around to avoid the problems you get when they are related to half the community, and make it less likely for cops fired for bad behavior to just move a bit and get hired by the next city.

  10. says

    @khms I’m not convinced your last suggestion will work. There have been increasing reports in recent years about various problems in the RCMP in Canada, such as sexual harassment and assault of both female officers and prisoners. The RCMP provides rural policing in much of Canada, and fulfills the local police role in many municipalities. The Ontario Provincial Police and the Surete du Quebec have faced similar problems.

  11. PaulBC says

    I think live traffic stops should be limited to cases in which the driver is posing a public threat that outweighs the possibility of the stop escalating into violence. A “broken tail light” doesn’t cut it, nor does a “rolling stop.” Collect visual evidence including the license plate and ticket that way (I am not a huge fan of ticketing cameras, but it beats having an armed officer approaching a potentially nervous individual). Ticket by mail. You don’t need a fucking gun to tell someone their left signal is out.

    Traffic laws should not be a pretext for drug searches. The fourth amendment wasn’t intended to be a joke or an invitation to perform unwarranted searches by other means. (But obviously it is by now, a fucking joke.)

  12. microraptor says

    I think that eliminating “I felt threatened” as being considered a valid defense for why an officer shot someone would significantly lower police shootings.

    As would requiring body cameras to remain on and the footage to be turned over to an outside group for review.

    Oh, and stopping police forces from investigating their own officers. Require all complaints against officers to be conducted by an outside agency.

  13. simonhadley says

    The statement that got me banned for a week on Facebook was this: “All christians are potential terrorists. They just need the right provocation to be radicalized.” This so called warrior trainer kind of proves my point.

  14. PaulBC says

    @13 Interesting, I wonder if you would have been banned if you said that about Islam. Because I’ve certainly heard it from self-styled “rational” people.

  15. Marissa van Eck says

    @14/PaulBC

    It’s true about all the Abrahamic religions really. They have the same God and the same problems, the “chosen people” idea and so on. The bitter irony is that Islam today is the closest thing there exists to the original form of the Abrahamic plague, that being pre-Exilic Judaism.

  16. simonhadley says

    @14 I doubt it. Someone in that group likes to report everything as hate speech and FB always takes the side of the plaintiff. I’ve seen a LOT worse being posted by religionists.

  17. kome says

    Not surprising. Remember, a few years ago, a veteran who became a cop in West Virginia was fired after he refused to shoot a black man to death and instead tried to de-escalate a situation.

    And, honestly, this is just how police have been treating black communities, other racial/ethnic minority communities, and poverty-level white communities for the entire lifespan of this country. This is what law enforcement in the United States has always been: A tool of the privileged to oppress the undesirables. Nothing more, nothing less.

  18. PaulBC says

    kome@17

    This is what law enforcement in the United States has always been: A tool of the privileged to oppress the undesirables. Nothing more, nothing less.

    It was well into the BLM movement that I finally, viscerally understood this. After thinking, what kind of illiterate thinks the opposite of “Black Lives Matter” is “White Lives Matter” or thinks it’s bold and conciliatory to say “All Lives Matter”, I finally realized that anti-BLM people can read just as well as I can. What they believe is that certain lives really don’t matter or anyway, don’t matter nearly as much as giving cops free rein to “protect” them from their fever dreams of a menacing racial minority.

  19. drivenb4u says

    Make a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy a requirement for any police officer job. It’s not a panacea but would go a long, long way towards producing ethical public servants and also boost the value of a Philosophy degree.

  20. PaulBC says

    I’ve often thought that a police officer has (or should have) a high probability of making it through their entire career without discharging a firearm while on patrol. So why not just have a simple unambiguous rule that if you fire the gun, you employment ends. We can adjudicate whether it was justified, whether the next step is prison on the one hand, or a medal and a severance package on the other. But you are definitely not going to be a cop on the beat anymore.

    This would affect a small percentage of police while still empowering them to protect their own lives. Is there a problem with this except that we’ve all been subject to images of Hollywood cops?

  21. Misael campos says

    In my area about 2 or 3 years ago, there was a measure that would’ve funded mental health education for the police so that they can learn how to deal with mentally ill citizens. However, the police claimed that it shouldn’t pass as it’ll take out time out of their training and duty (what?!). I think it passed but there was so much propaganda against it from the police, local right-wingers, and others. This is why I laugh when people tell me that mentally ill individuals or their families should just call the cops if they are in distress. Sure. As if the cops care. They can’t even be bothered to learn about mental illness. Bringing cops to pacify a distressed mentally ill sufferer will lead to tragedy just like what has already happened many times before. @15. Sigh… Let me interrupt you here. First, citation needed and second, that’s all based on stereotypes, misinformation, and traces left over in popular culture (here in the west) of dated 19th century orientalist scholarship on world religions. Islam is always mentioned as being primitive, regressive and somehow worse than other religions. This is very wrong and incorrect statement like that sometimes puts fuel in the fire which can to lead to mindless repetition by authoritarians who illiberally abuse their Muslim minorities not matter how ancient they are (China, India, and Russia come to mind). I don’t agree with demonising any religion as a rule for myself because of my past extensive study of world religions and current career that has me taking care of or helping people of a wide ethnic, cultural, and religious backgrounds. Sorry I can’t write a short essay about why you’re incorrect and cite my sources from more modern, objective, and academic references but this isn’t really the place. I’ll conclude by merely saying you should study a bit more instead of repeating dated stereotypes about some religions. If you want to critique a religion, use current academic sources and don’t simply claim that a religion is somehow worse or more regressive than others just because you heard so.

  22. ikanreed says

    #1 @VolcanoRabbit

    The limiting factor there is that American citizens and criminals are also overarmed. So cops have a “legitimate” fear for their life from working with the general public. The right kills us coming and going.

  23. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    The limiting factor there is that American citizens and criminals are also overarmed. So cops have a “legitimate” fear for their life from working with the general public. The right kills us coming and going.

    But this just isn’t true. Let me repeat that more American cops die by mundane traffic accident than die by getting shot. Being a trucker is a more dangerous job than being a cop, and that’s because they drive more hours per day.

  24. damien75 says

    Yo me, a Frenchman, that is unbelievable, and I mean almost twilight zone grade unbelievable. The Jesus part, the warrior part… You would not believe it in a fiction.

  25. PaulBC says

    ikanreed@22

    The limiting factor there is that American citizens and criminals are also overarmed.

    Somehow this doesn’t “limit” Dmitriy Andreychenko” from tromping around Walmart “testing the 2nd amendment. He’s apprehended unharmed (good police work!). But it does somehow limit the ability of Botham Jean to inhabit his own apartment without being shot by the drunk police officer who lived upstairs and thought she had entered hers.

    You can list all the racially neutral reasons you want, but it’s funny how the outcomes wind up being strongly correlated to race. Funny coincidence, that.

  26. VolcanoMan says

    @ ikanreed.

    I said I’d be fine if this lead to an increase in deaths of police officers. Because even if that happened, the decrease in the deaths of everyone else (from actual criminals who wouldn’t be getting shot, to people minding their own business…count me as someone who laments even criminals getting shot in the course of committing crimes, unless they are DIRECTLY threatening lethal violence that they are also obviously willing and able to follow through on) would decrease to nearly zero. Stats are hard to find on fatal police shootings, but this would essentially mean thousands of people alive, at the cost of maybe a couple dozen extra cop deaths (if that) annually. Seems like a decent trade-off to me. Also, maybe you can’t read, because in addition to this point, I also mentioned that the lack of a lethal lifeline on their hip will make police more CAUTIOUS when engaging with potentially violent criminals, which could end up leading to FEWER cop fatalities every year. I think that if cops were forced to engage with suspects KNOWING that if things get violent, THEY’RE the ones who are going to be bleeding out on the ground, they would be a lot more interested in learning, and applying de-escalation techniques, and a lot LESS interested in allowing things to become confrontational. This would absolutely lead to less overall violence in their interactions with the community, and probably will end up saving plenty of cops’ lives due to a reduction in the number of shoot-outs they get into to zero (not to mention the reduction in innocent bystander deaths due to a lack of shoot-outs). Plus (also mentioned above), every year there are police officers who take their own lives with their service weapon. Now they might find another way to end things, but studies show that guns are the most effective way to kill oneself, so this would also result in a reduction in successful cop suicides. So on balance, would more cops die annually if they weren’t issued firearms? Who the fuck knows? And honestly, it doesn’t really matter since the change would mean that the number of people KILLED by cops would decrease significantly.

    Whatever the case may be, it is clear that some cops are being primed to expect that in the course of doing their job they will be hated and threatened with violence on a regular basis. Hated maybe (though that’s justified…all cops are bad, don’t forget it). But it is still the case today that the vast majority of cops go an entire career without having to fire a gun. It is a job that’s certainly riskier than being a cashier or administrative assistant or whatever, but not NEARLY as dangerous as being a delivery driver or fisherman. And they CHOSE to become cops, CHOSE to defend the wealthy and oppress the poor, CHOSE to put defending property above protecting peoples’ lives. Any risk that comes with doing that job is risk that they agreed to the moment they entered training.

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