Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Police, Danger, and the Social Contract

    I was blogging about the police tonight, and about the responses to protests of police brutality. Then I heard about the shooting of two police officers in New York City,  so the rest of that post (and some of the others I have been working on) will have to wait.

    The first thing I want to say is that absolutely nothing justifies this. Nothing justifies the murder. And if the murderer committed his crime in the service of any reasonable cause, he has set back that cause tonight. You don't get justice for Eric Garner, or for anyone else, by vigilante revenge. That only makes the problem worse.

    We live in a culture where the police (who face real danger in their work) have been taught -- indeed, actively trained -- to be excessively fearful, to the point where some officers will put citizens' lives and safety at substantial risk rather than face some very small risk themselves. (For example, they might apply a chokehold to a suspect who's already being held on every side by several officers, and who can't free either of his arms. What danger that was meant to eliminate is hard to say.) Basically, the logic is that every possible trace of danger should be eliminated, which is impossible. So the effort to eliminate all danger generally means being extremely aggressive in situations that aren't actually that dangerous.

    But that culture of fear is not helped by randomly killing police officers. It's fear that's driving the aggression, and the fear is fed by the potential randomness of the danger. Cops being killed without seeing the danger coming translates, in our current atmosphere, into cops being hyper-aggressive in situations of minimal danger because, "You never know."

    Killing two cops in an ambush won't break up the mindset that killed Eric Garner, Killing two cops at random feeds the mindset that killed Eric Garner. When the police have been convinced that they could die at any moment, they take crazy and dangerous steps against people who actually pose no threat to them.

    But anyone pointing at this murder as justifying that bad and crazy policing is a mistake. This doesn't justify anything. And the NYPD's aggression on the street will not, cannot, protect them from things like this. Saying they need to get tough with non-violent offenders in misdemeanor arrests because they could be killed in an ambush makes no sense. That strategy creates new problems without solving the old one.

    The ugly truth is, police officers (like every other human being) are extremely vulnerable to a surprise ambush with a gun. Two police officers were killed this way in Las Vegas this year, gunned down by anti-government nuts while eating lunch. And obviously, the Tsarnaev brothers ambushed and killed an MIT campus cop last year. The method is the same every time: come up behind a police officer and shoot. The attacks in all three cases came out of the blue, and there was nothing that the officers could have done to protect themselves. It's not a question of police tactics. None of those cops had a chance.

    But this is where the current approach to police work, the attempt to eliminate any and all potential danger, breaks down. You can never eliminate all danger. You can never even eliminate all mortal danger. Every police officer -- and every police officer's family -- has to live with that small, terrible chance. (I am a police lieutenant's son myself; I know exactly what this feels like.) There is always a little danger that you can't foresee or protect yourself from. But you definitely can't get rid of that uncontrollable danger by getting extra tough when there is no danger. Someone with a gun could always come up behind you. You can't protect yourself from that by choking an unarmed guy who's selling loosies on the street. That only creates more problems.

    Least of all should the Mayor of New York, or other people who have legitimately criticized police tactics, be blamed for a crime against police officers. Police work is too important to be shielded from any criticism, and the difference between good and bad police work is much, much too important for bad cops to get a free pass. When police work becomes so recklessly bad that unarmed civilians are getting killed, when the police have actually become a cause of violence on the street, then the civil authorities have a duty to look into that. They would be derelict if they did NOT investigate.

    In fact, the police are safest when they have strong civic oversight. In the end, the police's greatest protection is the social contract, which they are meant to enforce. The public support the police because the police protect them. If they endanger the public instead, the social contract breaks down. If ordinary citizens know there's a legitimate grievance process that works, and that they are safe from needless aggression by the police, the cops are safest and most respected. But when those legitimate outlets do not exist, or break down, then people are wrongly tempted to redress by illegitimate means. A breakdown of the social contract leads to unpredictable violence. And that puts everyone in more danger.


    I think the media and the police are making too much of the expressed "motive" here.  The killer had just murdered his girlfriend in Baltimore.  He was going down and knew it.  He decided to take two more people with him.  You can't take his Tweeted motives at face value.  The police are now making hay about this so that they'll have cover to crack down on protesters.

    Outright murders of police officers are thankfully rare.  As you've argued, the proper subject of conversation is still police tactics.  Ideologues and defenders of the status quo are trying to use this to change the conversation.  It's sickening.  Rudy is having a field day.

    But the police officers would argue that "police tactics" of the NYPD in the aggregate are not the issue here.  As I understand things, the police rank and file are saying that they have been painted with an extraordinarily broad brush that paints them the color of the worst among them.   I think the statistical evidence in NYC speaks well of the folks who protect you, me and our kids. And I agree with that sentiment, but that's just me. Still, that's their side--rightly or wrongly.  

    There is a known phenomenon of "suicide by cop," in which someone shoots at the police in order to get killed. That does happen. But when it does, of course, it's not ambiguous. The perp starts shooting.

    This is a different murder-suicide, and not that usual. Although, as in the Las Vegas shootings in June, this happens.


    The New York Police Department really is one of the finest and most dedicated and professional organization of its kind on the globe.  That officers in the aggregate feel under assault and disrespected by those whom they protect is perfectly understandable to me.  It's a human reaction at the threshold, and perhaps your Dad might agree with this.  That some respond in ways you and and I wouldn't is really beside the point, and of course it should not detract from the anger still felt by so many of us because of the grand jury's failure to return an indictment.

    On the shooter, there is an obvious relationship between the actions of this mentally unstable cold-blooded murderer with the largely peaceful protests -- which by the way have been handled so professionally and respectfully by the oft-maligned NYPD.  But I think the proper reaction to the link is "so what"?  Mentally unstable folks often respond to things that are not meant to draw out the worst in them.  History has far too many examples of this, of course.

    There's a lot of work to be done, but it's not all to be borne by the largely good and decent and finest men and women of the New York City Police Department.  


    You know, Bruce. I understand where this comment comes from. But I also find it highly frustrating.

    Why do we have to praise the NYPD under every circumstance? Why is the response to every criticism to talk about how wonderful they are? I mean, even when they screw up and kill someone, we have to talk about how great they are? Really?

    I am frustrated that so much of our public debate about this, especially on the allegedly pro-cop side, is conducted at such an emotionally simplified level that the only choices are complete idealization or complete demonization. Psychologically healthy adults should not be reducing the world to those two poles. But not only do we hear people speaking in these extreme black-and-white ways, we have too many examples of people hearing more nuanced arguments in extremist black and white ways. You say, "the police need to stop killing unarmed people" or "police should not have killed that 12-year-old" and you get the response "Not all police are bad!" No one said they were. That some people take *any* criticism of cops as a lanket attack on the police is a sign of either neurosis or bad faith.

    Mature adults should be able to recognize that people are not solely good or solely bad, and that organizations are not solely good or solely bad. We should be able to accept that people are morally complicated, and to deal with the the full reality.

    And let's be frank. Organizations like BlackLivesMatter have been better at staking out these reasonable positions than folks like the NY PBA or Rudy Giuliani have been. The mainstream Ferguson protestors aren't saying that cops are bad, but asking for specific, and pretty healthy, reforms, But many on the allegedly pro-cop side deliberately twist that into a general hatred of the police. And many of those "pro-cop" folks refuse even to ADMIT that there ARE bad apples. No one is talking about Officer Pantaleo (or about Darren Wilson) as bad apples who need to be weeded out. They're actually talking about them as heroes. It's the self described "pro-cop" people who are refusing to accept any middle ground.

    (BTW, my Dad's opinion isn't really what we're discussing here, since he has never ben a cop. My mother, who is a retired police lieutenant, would certainly have an impulse to circle the wagons and protect a fellow officer who screwed up and hurt a civilian. But she wouldn't actually lionize someone who did that. And she wouldn't want him to stay a cop. I can say that with complete assurance,)

    The truth is that the NYPD is an admirable organization, with many admirable people in its ranks, that has repeatedly screwed up and killed unarmed people. Both halves of that sentence are true. One doesn't take away the other. The response to the second half  shouldn't be how heroic the NYPD is. The question is why these heroic cops aren't concerned with the history of killing civilians. Why wouldn't good cops be upset by that?

    The NYPD is both great and it has a history of bad behavior. There is a decades-long history of petty corruption. (Ask Frank Serpico.) There is a history of coercing confessions from suspects, which means inevitably that some innocent people are sent to jail. This does not take away the good things that the NYPD does and has done. But it is part of the whole picture, and we have to deal with the whole reality. The NYPD has also screwed up and killed a number of unarmed people, a great many of whom were black. Amadou Diallo. Patrick Dorismund. Sean Bell. Shem Walker. And most of the cops who've killed those people have not been held to account. Eric Garner's killing is awful in itself, but it's not just about Eric Garner. It's about the NYPD killings till killing unarmed black people, for little conceivable reason, for years now.

    I never said the NYPD is bad. I'm saying it has flaws, including flaws that are dangerous to the people they are trying to protect. And good cops should want to be better. That's one of the thing that separates the good cops from the bad.




    There's a corollary to the "we must praise the police," part of this argument which is that we also tend to debase ourselves in the process.  The police earn their praise, after all, for dealing with the worst of "us."  We are some sort of lurking horror.  But it isn't true. Most people are perfectly fine.

    Most people are perfectly fine.

    It is a rare occasion for them to be confrontational with those placed in their positions of authority. 

    For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you r will receive his approval, ......... servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain.  Romans 13:3-4

    Do good and receive his approval, do bad and expect the police.

    Who doesn't know that?  

    Most intelligent people obey the laws and avoid confrontation with the police.

    So... you think that only bad people are ever confronted by the police?  Okay.

    No I didn't say that.

    Most citizens don't have confrontations with police officers, They obey the laws.

    That was a great response.

    Suck - up.

    This is an excellent analysis and I don't mean to suggest otherwise.  Neither do I wish to insulate the NYPD.  I never wrote that.  I do understand, I think, where much of the anger is coming from on the police end.  I also think it's fair to point out that the NYPD is not just any police force; I think that's a very fair point if we're going to talk about training, etc. and, of course, oversight.


    Anyone who watched the video of Garner's choking, pleas for air, and non-treatment after he was suffocated to unconsciousness must be kidding if they say NYC has an exceptional police force. Does anyone seriously think the Garner death or any of the other death-by-cop incidents of unarmed suspects in NYC would happen in London, Paris or Sydney?

    Frank Serpico on Garner's homicide:

    Was I surprised by the Staten Island grand jury? Of course not. When was the last time a police officer was indicted?This is the use of excessive force for no apparent reason on a guy who is selling loosie cigarettes; what is the threat to your well-being?

    If a police officer's life is in danger, he has every right to use every force in his means to defend himself.  In the old days, they used to put a gun or a knife on somebody after a shooting. Now they don't even bother.

    But today, we have cops crying wolf all the time. They testify "I was in fear of my life," the grand jury buys it, the DA winks and nods, and there's no indictment.

    NYC cops have been corrupt to the core for most of the cities existence, they may be better now than in the days of Serpico, but they seem hardly exemplary. They are even so cynical as to blame the mayor for the actions of a delusional lunatic. And although you said NY cops are for tighter national gun control I have heard no mention of that from the cop union.

    They are even so cynical as to blame the mayor  all gun owners for the actions of a delusional lunatic.


    I went back and reread your blogpost and my original response,  because I was trying to understand your frustration more.  And so I think I was responding to something that frustrates me, to wit, that I believe that you painted with an overly broad brush to make a point about policing in general, and without any consideration of the NYPD in particular.  In short, I believe your argument as to the NYPD is based on two things: (1) caricature of the NYPD; and (2) caricature of my position in response, i.e. I must be right there with Rudy Giuliani and I must feel that the NYPD must be insulated from criticism or whatever.  It just isn't so.

    Honestly Doc, you might have a really good point about the NYPD, but perhaps then that is what you should have focused on, and perhaps my response would have been different.  And what happened with the grand jury in Richmond County is also not reflective of New York City in the aggregate either.  That should be considered as well.  As to anger from the police on the eve of a shooting, and the comments of a militant union leader on that eve as well, those are data points and nothing more.   I can just imagine what some folks would have said about John L. Lewis, an American hero, when he threatened to shut down the coal mines in the middle of World War II.  By the way, the unions some seem to be so critical of are so powerful that they, like so many other public employees -- including the city nurses I represented -- were left without a contract with the city for years.  And they make a helluva lot less than suburban cops.

    Finally, the NYPD policy, Commissioner Bratton's policy, is what prompts the minor arrests you are objecting to.  It might be bad policing, that's not my understanding, but I don't know.  But it's not based on racism, and I'm not sure that the folks in the communities most impacted by the low tolerance policy are opposed to that tactic either.  That doesn't mean that the grand jury was not a sham.  I have no idea how it could not return an indictment for criminally negligent homicide -- because among other things the choke hold violated police policy as I understand it.  And I support peaceful protest as much as anyone. 

    I think your frustration at my response was misdirected.  I wish you and your family a meaningful holiday.



    Finally, the NYPD policy, Commissioner Bratton's policy, is what prompts the minor arrests you are objecting to.  It might be bad policing, that's not my understanding, but I don't know.  But it's not based on racism, and I'm not sure that the folks in the communities most impacted by the low tolerance policy are opposed to that tactic either.

    This is an interesting point -- not sure if the opposition to these tactics comes from outside the neighborhoods where people feel they most need them.  It may also be that some many years after broken windows policing that the communities that were once most in need are now over it.  To say it's all "not based on racism," seems pat to me, though.  The results are plainly biased.  Certainly, when stop and frisk was in full effect, people were neither stopped nor frisked proportionally to their representation in the population or even proportionally to the likelihood that they would be using or carrying drugs.

    Honestly, if the police set up stop and frisk operations outside of high end night clubs and financial district bars and, by doing so, busted a whole bunch of financial services professionals for carrying pot, cocaine or prescription fun enhancers, stop and frisk would have stopped within a week.

    I don't disagree that broken windows causes a disparate impact on blacks and other minorities.  Nor do I say there are no racist cops.  I don't believe that, and again I never wrote, otherwise.  I did say that the policy at issue (or which I think those asserting racism should at least be aware of before so asserting) is not racist by design.  Not sure how the white Wall Street thing applies because, as I thought you acknowledged, stop and frisk is not broken windows.  It is the latter policy at issue.  

    I do not feel debased.  I don't even understand that Michael.

    I'm with you, bslev, differing only perhaps in not being a fan of the NYPD union The force is much less racist than it was during "Guiliani time.". They just are, they've been trained because of the excesses.

    The targeted neighborhoods are not targeted because of race. They are targeted because of crime. It just so happens that they are minority neighborhoods or large minority "projects" in mixed neighborhoods. They are: low income neighborhoods plagued by crime. These happen to be minority. Hence, the stats come up this way: many more blacks than whites affected. Segregation and poverty among minoriites is not a problem that can be solved by the cops. Broken windows, stop and frisk et. al. is what they think will work to make those neighborhoods a better place to live. Reasonable people can disagree.

    Can I just say that people confuse management with the union? Bratton is not certainly not the police union! The entire force is not the union.

    If people want to talk the culture of corruption, yeah, I think it's still there in a much lesser form.. But it doesn't have anything to do with racism! The corruption is equal-opportunity and about money  and power. There were plenty of cops of color and other people of color involved in our little ticket-fixing scandal in the 50th precinct....

    For the record AA, I should say that I don't speak for the police union, never represented them. I should add that the wife works at the city's "NLRB" (the Office of Collective Bargaining) which among other things deals with labor disputes between the Commissioner and the police unions.  My main point is that the comments and behavior of the police rank and file and their leadership right after the two police officers were murdered do not a dialog make.

    Broken windows has also resulted in disproportionate hassling of minority residents, or residents of poorer neighborhoods, over exceedingly minor crimes.  I seem to recall a woman having a confrontation with police because she was... grilling on the sidewalk.

    Like I said, reasonable minds can disagree that this is effective policy. It's just that its intent is not racist. Conflating the two things is the cause of a lot of misunderstanding right now. And from what I am seeing, fewer people in the actual NYC neighborhoods affected are making that mistake, as opposed to bloggers and protestors.

    I've complained elsewhere on this site that the cops harass us all equally regardless of our many colors. I was not pleased with the attitude of the ones that stopped me about a broken tail-light a few weeks ago, they're making cracks to each other about my beat up car while being authoritarian towards me. Lucky for me, they got a call just as they were about to write me a warning ticket and didn't have the chance to harass a middle-aged little white lady further.

    I don't have illusions about them. I think overall more of force needs to learn how to act like they care about the people they work for,not act like they are their antagonists. (That's where they need a lot of improvement, they need to emulate the two that just lost their lives,. they seemed to have been the rarer more caring kind of cop.) But i| do't' think it's race-based, I really don't. The city is too mixed, the cops are too mixed. And I don't think it does any good to bring race into it, not in NY, maybe in Ferguson.

    Stop and frisk was intended to be about confiscating weapons in violence-ridden neighborhoods; arrests for drugs was a side effect, not the main purpose.  I'll give you that the latter result might have been welcome, like it is when a highway trooper stops someone for speeding and finds drugs. But targeting Wall St. clubs at the getgo would make sense only if they were clubs with lots of shoot-em-ups.

    The Wall Street drug addict provides income that allows sales in the poor neighborhoods. The fact that the upper income offender is unscathed increase the market for drugs allowing them to flow into inner cities. The two drug trades are intertwined. The intent of the drug policy does not have to be racist for the impact to be racist. Attack all offenders equally. Imprison all sellers equally.

    The objection to stop and Frisk came directly from minority communities where rights were abused. There is and was no evidence that Stop And Frisk decreased crime.

    The level of anger about the Garner decision is directly related to the abuse of rights by the NYPD.

     This is not about stop and frisk.  Did you read your own link?  You've posted myriad comments asserting things and you've never addressed the policy at issue (to my knowledge), which is the "broken windows" policy.  

    I am not denying that people are angry over the Garner decision.  I am angry about it too.  But all the talk about dialog seems to be pretty silly when the starting point is caricature that fits a meme and which forces a false dialog -- one for example that presumes racism by folks that don't even know the policy of the police that was at play when Mr. Garner was killed. That's just unproductive at best -- indeed, about as productive as linking to a couple of articles to support one's views about unions one knows nothing about.  How right wing.  

    Let me repeat my objections:


    Amadou Diallo

    Patrick Dorismund

    Sean Bell

    Shem Walker

    Eric Garner

    That's not an incident. That's a track record. And Shem Walker's killing might be the most shameful of all.

    I don't think I could be clearer that my objection is killing unarmed people, repeatedly over a period of years.

    I didn't bring up broken windows or stop-and-frisk. You did. I don't care about broken windows or stop-and-frisk per se. I don't give a damn about that. I care about unarmed citizens ending up dead for no good reason.

    I did not make that up. I am not distorting the NYPD's record. They killed Diallo, Dorismund, Bell, Garner, and Walker. If you think I'm treating them unfairly, you explain to me why Shem Walker should be dead for trying to get a drug dealer off his mother's front steps.




     I'm not sure what your track record demonstrates, other than NYC and its police do not have an unblemished record.  To me that's a straw argument.  I do think we can agree that there is quite a bit of distrust of the NYPD in the minority community.  I don't dismiss that at all.  That's one side of this real issue.

    The stop frisk/broken windows digression was not directed at you, but I think the fact that there is an underlying policy is important, and apparently not even understood by many opining on this issue with vigor.

    I think that your request that I defend the death of Shem Walker is, candidly, more of a personal dig than debate.  I don't believe Mr. Walker should be dead.

    I will defer now to those who begin the Christmas celebration this evening, and to all of them I wish a meaningful Christmas filled with joy and revelation and peace.

    Hey, bslev, don't go, some of us have decided to be temporary Jews this Christmas! And we need distraction from the work we are supposed to be getting done on deadline! To some of us Christmas means: we are allowed to check out dagblog without Catholic guilt!

    Thanks AA.  You're kind, but it's also time for over the river and through the woods . . . Best to you, and I think it's still the law in NY that you must procrastinate on Christmas Eve! 

    I think everyone here appreciates the effort it takes to write a piece as excellent as this one.

    Honing in on the social contract decentralizes the problems and it seems that bottom up solutions are what is needed.

    Most likely there is an educational program where students and citizens at all levels are given layouts, here is a city or town, here are the facilities, roads, etc., how do you design a police force? If not, the time may be ripe. (I once participated in a "city building" exercise, don't know if it's still around, but it was a very good concept.)

    The NYPD police union has attacked every recent Mayor including Guiliani. In 1997, NYPD officers passed out flyers that Guiliani be banned from police funerals. The police union acts like a bully. They have never been called to account

    Mayoral attacks by the union

    The unions seem to realize that their recent comments were beyond the pale

    Good link rmrd. How about this one, Frank Serpico on Garner and cowards who are cops.

    Thanks. I had forgotten about the corruption scandal uncovered by Serpico. 

    The current police union leader would have consider the bad cops "model" officers.

    Reverend Sharpton, Black Lives Matter, the Garner family, and the Brown family have all condemned the murders. President Obama and Eric Holder has condemned the murders. The perpetrator is dead. What protest is required?

    Has the police union or Mike Barnicle expressed sadness over the Black woman who tried to warn the NYPD about a lethal threat. She is in a hospital bed fighting for her life.

    Barnicle does not fact check himself before writing a column. His article justifies the decision I made long ago not to watch "morning Joe" because the hosts, including Barnicle, were ill-informed.

    Where is the media coverage and police outrage about Shaneka Thompson, the Baltimore shooting victim?

    The article basically explains the difference in telling the story.

    Shaneka was the victim of domestic violence. It's common place. Other cultures are worse than ours, some even go beyond just accepting it as an unavoidable bad thing, and enshrine it in customs or even religious law.

    Both these police officers and victims such as Garner are seen as being attacked just because they belong to a certain group (police; black men.) When that happens, that tends to produce both more interest and more outrage.

    Feminists been trying for decades to get people to see women as a similar group and women suffering domestic violence as something similar. If you can figure out how to get more of a rise out of people about domestic violence against women, going on and accepted for millenia, share it please.

    I think that the recent outcry over the 20-year sentence of Marissa Alexander for firing a warning shot at an abusive husband and the demand for a trial for the murder of Renisha Alexander in Detroit indicates that women are not ignored.

    I think we all know that outcry is a far cry from justice and that the outcry we internet denizens see and consider important often has less volume in the real world.

    I think that in the case of Marissa Alexander, public pressure led to a more rational legal outcome. The Renisha McBride shooting went to trial.i doubt either outcome would be possible without the judicial system's awareness that the public was watching.

    The shooting of Shaneka Thompson and the anger felt in the Black community goes directly to the nonsense uttered by people who say that the Black community does not care about "Black on Black" crime. The community cares about crime, but the media ignores the facts. The community was outraged by the murder of Hadiya Pendleton by a Chicago gang member. The Chicago Black community had also asked for intensified police presence because of prior murders.The Black community is not against policing, it is against bad policing. Stop and Frisk is not good policing because it criminalizes everyone. Dying because of selling loose cigarettes is not good policing.

    A Black NYPD Chief was stopped and frisked. In 2008, a department chief wearing NYPD ID around his neck was stooped and frisked. He was driving an NYPD SUV. Police want people to fear them and comply with whatever the police tell them to do. Yet when Mayor de Blasio gives his son advise on how to deal with police encounters, the Mayor is criticized for scapegoating. Police are out of control. People are fed up.

    First they demonize the police and if something happens to an officer; then they wash their hands and salve their conscience, by condemning those who became agitated by the words that fanned the flames of hatred that led to the policemens death.  

    How convenient..... Blame everyone else ....No personal responsibility  ......No blood guilt? 

    The Justice system is not above criticism. Protest is part and parcel of political change in the United States of America.We can ask for removal of bad cops without supporting the murder of police officers. We can ask for changes in the Grand Jury system without supporting anarchy. Sharpton. The parents of unarmed men killed by police, and organizations involved in the protests have all condemned the murders of police.

    The police unions, on the other hand support the continued employment of bad cops. The police union in NYC has criticized every Mayor be they Democratic, Republican, or Independent. They show no remorse for the killing of unarmed men. They boldly state that they will do it again. Obey us or die, for we are judge and jury. The police have shown no sympathy for the woman in Baltimore who was shot trying to warn of a threat.. Shaneka Thompson is a hero ignored by the NYPD and their union.if any organization is fomenting discord, it is the NYPD Union.

    I agree that the union blames everyone else for disorder, while actively supporting bad cops. Did they think there would be no consequences?

    This is a stupid article. Of course there's outrage when a cop is killed. There's outrage whenever there's an act of violence. People are outraged when anyone commits murder, when a parent kills their child, when rapes are committed etc. People are outraged but they don't protest every thing because the system metes out justice that satisfies most people. When a citizen kills a cop the citizen is punished. When a cop kills a citizen often enough many people see it as unjustified and no one gets punished. Its the perceived lack of justice that fuels protests not the outrage.

    Its the perceived lack of justice that fuels protests

    Well said, clarifying. And police are at the heart of all of this as enforcers of rule of law.

    This is why Eric Garner's daughter was at a memorial for the slain officers,  She sees clearly, they are related wrongs, no inconsistency: injustice for her father and an attack on the ideal of rule of law (with justice) by a madman.

    Artsy, I thought this was a thoughtful comment. Maybe you want to expand it. I take it that "related wrongs" are quite different than, say, "linkages" because the former starts to separate these two tragedies in a useful way whereas trying to link events is suspect. Or maybe I don't get the point.  


    FWIW, here is how Commissioner Bratton distinguishes "broken windows" from "stop and frisk":

    At the Roosevelt, Bratton dismissed these and other concerns [about "broken windows"], implying they’re a byproduct of out-of-touch intellectuals and elites not understanding what real police work is all about. “There are certain criminologists, academics who I focus my attention and support on, versus the vast majority who I do not, because they just don’t get it, to be quite frank with you,” Bratton said. He went on to argue that those who conflate broken windows and the NYPD’s controversial “stop-and-frisk” policies are mistaken, because “unlike stop-and-frisk, where officers acted on suspicion that a person was about to commit a crime,” Bratton said, officers following broken windows theory believe their arrestees have already acted criminally. [my emphasis]

    Maybe it doesn't work as it should.  Maybe because some cops are racists they abuse broken windows.  But let's know what the issues are before we assert racism.

    Isn't he saying that the majority of people who studied the issue conclude "Broken Windows" doesn't work? He simply doesn't care about facts.

    No, I think the salient (non-gotcha) point is rooted in the constitution, i.e. that broken windows as the current commissioner (who works for the Mayor) has directed its enforcement, requires reasonable cause to believe that a crime has taken place; stop and frisk depends not on actual cause.  I think a fair discussion of policy has to take into account the extraordinary distinction between stop and frisk and a policy dependent on a reasonable cause to believe basis.  Again, application causing anger in the minority community is not something I'm disputing per se.

    Crime has decreased dramatically over the past several decades. The homicide rate is decreased even in Chicago. There is data that Broken Windows is not a factor in decreasing crime. A Columbia University law professor has wrote a review of Broken Windows policy and found it wanting

    ​"Illusion of Order the False Promise of Broken Windows"

    People are upset because they were targeted by Stop and Frisk. The police broke the trust by harassing innocent citizens. Eric Garner died as a result of Broken Windows so the community has little sympathy for the practice. Given broken trust and the death for loose cigarettes, it matters little if the NYPD is racist or not. The NYPD is not trusted. If Broken Windows does not deter crime, there should be no more trauma suffered for a police practice that is only for show.

    Regarding the issue of racism, the fact that the Black community perceives means that it has to be discussed. Dismissing the perceptions has to be taken into account. The police are free to open state their fears of traffic stops, those suspected of committing crimes and obese men selling cigarettes. 

    Most White people harassed by police are surprised. They have not received instruction from their parents on the caution required during an encounter with police. Black children are taught at an early age how to survive interaction with police. There is a difference.

    Let the loud voices fly from both sides, then a true conversation can begin.

    Black children are taught at an early age how to survive interaction with police. 


    a true conversation can begin.

    There are significantly more black single mothers raising their children, with no father around to nurture RESPECT FOR AUTHORITY.

    This lack of nurturing education, is a major contributor to a dysfunctional society. 

    Dysfunction in the marriage arrangement, can lead to undesirable results in the children. 

    a true conversation 

    Beginning at infancy (first training for the young to learn respect for authority)  eventually this lack of respect becomes more pronounced as the children grow older. 

    Here is the basic difference between you and I, and I think between many conservatives and liberals. You think authority, cops, should be respected. I think cops should be treated with courtesy and be capable of tolerating sarcasm. Sarcasm isn't a crime and should not be punished ex judicially. You seem to think that if someone smarts off a cop is justified in beating the crap out of him. Just as you don't get to punch me out for all the sarcastic comments I've made here cops shouldn't get to punch someone out for sarcasm either. though they often do.

    You seem to think that cops deserve and expect respect and its that lack of respect from young black men that is the cause of cops beating them. I think some cops don't just expect courtesy or respect but that they expect submission. Some, many? most? cops expect people to obey their most trivial and sometimes illegal commands right now and if you don't jump to it fast enough they'll get violent. Some cops will use any excuse to get violent and they will get there quickly. Those with the least power are targets for this rapid escalation to violence, blacks and other colored minorities, the homeless and the mentally ill.

    As a white male of at least moderate means you've never experienced this though most black males even of middle class or higher have. That lack of experience could be corrected by reading if you had a sincere desire to understand the experiences of people different than you. But its clear you don't understand how some cops treat white and colored people differently and you have no desire to spend any time trying to walk in another man's shoes.

    Regarding the issue of racism, the fact that the Black community perceives means that it has to be discussed.


    Edited to correct 

    The rest of    Many in society perceives, The influx of "Latinos will be tomorrows workers" (Obama)  and leaders while  many in the  Black community will still be living in their world of victim hood, suppressed by perceived white slave masters.

    Obey the laws just like everyone else.

    Latinos, Asians and Whites look for opportunity, while some in the Black community look for exemptions and privilege above their fellow slaves.

    Keep protesting and someone else will do the work. (15 million Latinos?) 


    The truth is that the labor market is biased. A plethora of studies show that Whites, even those with criminal records, are favored in the market over Blacks. One reason some Christians can shout about Authority is that they benefit from a system that favors their skin color.


    I thought that embarrassments like your Ebola prediction would keep you out of the prophecy business. Given your future-casting deficiencies, I expect a decrease in. Black unemployment over time. 

    Have a Merry Christmas, try to rid your soul of your bias.

    a true conversation can begin.

    Not from you.

    The only shame about the Ebola pestilence is yours, as you continue to mock Jesus words and prophecy about WHEN his,,, HIS disciples should and would remain ALERT to identify Jesus'  PRESENCE / COMING.. 

    Mockery and ridicule is all you offer, proving to all who are favorably disposed for life, you don't know what your talking about on spiritual matters. You ridicule and mock the Holy writings 

    Celebrating Christmas. won't change how he feels about you mocking his words and promoting ridicule.  

    Embarrassment?  Only of those who didn't heed the warning signs. 

    Luke 21:9-12

    9 And when you hear of wars and tumults, do not be m terrified, for these things n must first take place, but the end will not be at once.”

    Jesus Foretells Wars and Persecution

    10 Then he said to them, o “Nation will rise against nation, and  pkingdom against kingdom. 11 There will be great q earthquakes, and in various places  r famines and pestilences. And there will be  sterrors and great t signs from heaven. 12 But before all this u they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to v the synagogues and w prisons, and you  xwill be brought before y kings and z governors for my name's sake.

    Another supporting scripture snippet 

    Matthew 24:3-12

    I'm not mocking Jesus. I'm mocking you.Your timeline for the end is a figment of your imagination

    You talk of guns and fear, the words of a coward. You are constantly troubled. Be at peace this holiday.

    John 16:33

    33 "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."


    Your fantasies of perfect Justice in this present system are leading many to AGITATE civil unrest WAVES of violence leading to the FINAL WAR.

    In this world you will have trouble.

    Keep tearing down the Police and get your anarchy, many will be glad they had their own means of self defense, when you don't get what you want from this world. 

    Despite your denials of ridicule of his words, you prove otherwise 

    Merry Christmas be at peace this holiday, as instructed. Release yourself from fear.

    Who instructed you, that celebrating Christmas would bring you peace? 


    Make a choice Free yourself from darkness and the ignorance of the World, or come into the light.and quit mixing with idolaters. 

    I had peace on Christmas, hopefully you did as well.

    Wow, Victimhood is all black people want? I'm actually floored by what you wrote, I can't imagine anyone believes that crap, unless they spend their days listening to hate radio and Fox. Jeebus, this is actually horrible. Oh and as an aside, the real Jesus was brown not white.

    Don't spoil his White Christmas with facts.

    I perceive a racist comment? 

    You perception is correct.

    You have made several racist comments.

    You complain constantly about being treated with little respect, yet you repeatedly show little respect for others. 

    This has been a day with family and friends. The needs of those in need were addressed by adopting families, It was good to be around Christians. It makes reading your arguments tolerable.

    What racist comment did I make? Or is this another of your  looking behind rocks and lifting stones, to find racism?

    Playing the victim of racism card, again ?

    Adam was reddish color; so what? 

    You think you know the color of Adam's skin!? Seriously?

    Serious scholars believe Adam was reddish color 

    adom (red), admoni (ruddy)

    Adam (Hebrew: אָדָם) as a proper name, …………………..

    Its root is attributed to the Semitic root for "man" -(n)-sh. Rather, ׳āḏām is linked to its triliteral root אָדָם (a-d-m), meaning "red", "fair", "handsome".[4] As a masculine noun, 'adam[5] means "man", "mankind" usually in a collective context as in humankind.[4][6] The noun 'adam is also the masculine form of the word adamah which means "ground" or "earth". It is related to the words: adom (red), admoni (ruddy), and dam (blood)

    Adam - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I could see an advantage to Adam being made of Iron - enriched clay. (Reddish color because of the Iron)  

    Iron being an essential element in the oxygen delivery system in hemoglobin.   LIFE 

    (Who cares if Jesus was olive, white, yellow, red, brown. all the skin colors originated from our first parents, who got their color from the Earth / Clay)

    For certain definitions of the word "serious", of course.

    LOL, Adam sounds like an iron Golem, fucking awesome, he  was made of clay and iron, I'll remember to roll him up the next time I play D&D. LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL. 

    All serious scholars know about Iron Golems.

    This thread has gone from depressing to absurd. First Bruce shows us the 'Three Monkeys' version of the Police/Authorities protect and serve my Class, just fine to  ludicrous claims about Adam being an Indian. What's next, a discussion about the Mormon belief that American Indians are descendants of a lost tribe of Israel?

    Golems seem to be popping up unexpectedly, I am reading a novel where crystal nanotech Golems, with forehead brand, are popping up to protect the lost city of Atlantis.

    Serious scholars know that merfolk protect Atlantis and not golems. Sheesh.

    Boom, VA wins the thread.

    You might like this tale that starts with a rigorous debunking of  Judeo-Xtian mythology using linguistic anthropology.  I'd send a copy to Resistor but he/she might short circuit.

    No merpeople but penguins, this Atlantis in in Antarctica.

    Yes I would like a link to this book. Thanks. 

    The novel is Decipher by Stel Pavlou, lots of multidisciplinary science and history with an almost believable high-tech Atlantis.

    Cool. Thanks. 

    My reply to

    Oh and as an aside, the real Jesus was brown not white.

    by tmccarthy0 on Thu, 12/25/2014 - 10:22am

    Was to dispel the racist notion of Superiority because of skin color.

    My reply below.

    What does this have to do with scholars of the Hebrew language, and the root meanings of words?

    Or do you believe the Bibles Creation account is false?  

    Leading many to disregard the Bible as an AUTHORITY, a thought that contributes to the undermining and disrespect for all Authority? 

    All creation stories are based in myth resistance. Every single one. And since the bible was written by men it's like a novel. It's not based in fact. 

    God is not confined to the limitations of YOUR  mind.

    He found men whose minds were more perfect and receptive, as secretaries..

    After all; The Power and knowledge of the God of the Universe, is unlimited.

    It would be like me asking you about rocket science or black holes and knowing how little you really know.

    Thanks for this resistance, very interesting. This supports my belief that God's favorite color is red, as many of his manifestations on earth are red. Like Adam, Santa wears a red suit and Rudolf has a rad nose. The Spaghetti Monster is covered in red pasta sauce. Serious scholars find this as a very convincing case that god loves the color red.

    God loves red man tobacco and Jeff Foxsworthy.

    Wow, never thought of that but it must be true because serious scholars agree that god loves the color red.Why else would he make Adam a giant red golem? People often misinterpret god's plan. Like Puritans who think we should be stoic and not have a good time. God wants us to paint the town red.


    Maybe he does prefer RED in some instances? Maybe he really likes Yellow?

    He gave Earth (Our Home, designed by him) a YELLOW  STAR  to support life on Earth forever. Rather than a hotter Blue Star, which wouldn't sustain life on Earth and would burn out rapidly. 

    But then again he might like them all, as displayed in the Rainbow; seen because he gave us light?

    When he gets back to work from his rest, Won't it be nice to see what else he creates? 

    Maybe he could align the other planets in the same pattern as Earth. Distance from the Sun, tilt, rotation, seasons. Filling the Universe with life.  

    If god can't create a fundamentalist christian with a brain that can think how can he create a whole world? I think we're closer tol creating a functioning AI than god. Most children grow up and stop believing in magic, fairy tales and Santa Claus.

    Santa Claus is coming to town.

    God doesn't fill the brain of the fundamentalist with falsehoods,  It is an individual free choice option to venerate Pagan myths that adulterate the Truth and infect the Church.with Pagan teachings.

    1.2 Germanic paganism, Odin, and Christianization 

    5.1 Calvinist and Puritan opposition

    People should use their brains but it is obvious; many don't or just don't care if they spread lies.

    Instead some people listen to fools and idiots and become just as their teachers.


    According to the article  Say Goodbye to the Santa Claus Lie ​ could it be they  lack the critical thinking skills, The Santa Clause lie many fundamentalist want to believe and teach, rather than the Truth ?

    See Below at bottom of page.

    Not only disrespect for police but for lives of others as well 

    What kind of jerk throws explosives near gasoline pumps? 

    The cops life was threatened but it makes no difference to the lawless  

    Police are seen making arrests in Berkeley, Missouri early Wednesday morning

    @ 2:19

    Another Deadly Encounter Between Police, Black Resident ...

    After the shooting, a crowd of several dozen residents gathered at the scene and confronted police.  Belmar says three explosive devices, possibly fireworks, were tossed near gas pumps, while some protesters threw rocks and bricks at police. Two officers were injured. Four people were arrested and charged with assault.

    In the light of day, there was one firework thrown near the gas pump, One idiot with one firework. One cop the injured police officers was injured trying to get away from the firework.

    Another officer was injured by a flying object from another idiot. No riots. No anarchy.

    First the protestors agitate a community to a fever pitch ; then when all hell breaks lose the protestors blame the acts of violence committed by those who became extremely agitated; lunatics or idiots.

    Never, no personal responsibility, for inciting or provoking a confrontation with the police because of their frustration. 


    Caption : FU; I dare you to touch me, we'll Burn this B......down.

    In the light of day

    as opposed to protesting rioting and provocation at night, under the guise of Freedom of Speech. 

    Multiple rants. Very interesting. Render unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar. Honor those dur honor. Respect those due respect. Clear instructions misunderstood by many. Most intentionally misunderstand because they sit in comfort while others suffer and ridicule the suffering and the poor. They ignore the fact that the Biblical message is relief for the suffering and the poor. Bowing tho undeserving Authority is folly. Ignoring Justice leads to destruction.

    The citizens of Jericho were silent about the wicked Authority and were destroyed. Sodom treated the poor like dirt and was wiped from the face of the Earth. Continue to believe silence in the face of Caesar's minions ( police)! that have lost the respect of the people is wise.

    Here are the prophet Ezekiel's words about Sodom,

    Ezekiel 16:49 King James Version

    "Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and the needy"..

    Note that the "She" refers to the city, not individual people. The Authority in Sodom had a duty to the poor and needy. The city was ruled by an unworthy Authority. Citizens who did not protest an Authority worthy of honor were punished.

    The British tried to subjugate the American colonists. British troops fired on unarmed colonists and killed several. The incident is named the Boston Massacre.The British soldiers were acquitted of the homicides. What happened to British power in the United States? The British lost.

    Unarmed students challenged the Authority about the war in Vietnam. Students were met with rifle fire at Kent State and 10 days later at Jackson State. What became of the Vietnam War? What became of the President known for waging the war? Could he get re-elected? What happened to the President who called the protestors scum? Impeachment.

    Rocks have been thrown since the inception of the country, Rocks have been met with gunfire from police and military. In the end Authorities that were not worthy of honor or respect were removed. Keep bending your knee to Authority in vain.

    One cold Saturday in 2003 I shuffled down Madison Ave to  protest W's Iraq caper..

    At some point a young man shouted at a cop. The crowd  shushed him and quieted him down. .

    Of course there are  bad cops . And bad protestors BTW.

    Some of both groups who behave well at other times. 

    If you get up in the morning intending to criticize  ....the police?  the protestors?  you're in luck .There'll certainly be a cop or a rioter who has done something you can enjoy yourself criticizing.

     And every so often we read about an heroic cop who plunges into the East River to rescue someone.. Who should be praised for that. Even if yesterday he used a choke hold. 

    I sure that sometimes criticism is useful. No examples happen to occur to me but if I think a while probably I'll think of some.

    Sadly I realize we can't disarm  the police force and we won't disband the NRA. But that doesn't mean we have to settle for intellectual disarmament.

    How about campaigning for a police force that only uses its weapons for self defense? No more stirring car pursuits firing wildly and endangering Joe shopkeeper trying to arrange the vegetable stand or whatever.

    Maybe we're suffering from a surfeit of heroism.




    If you get up in the morning intending to criticize  ....the police?  the protestors?  you're in luck. There'll certainly be a cop or a rioter who has done something you can enjoy yourself criticizing.

     And every so often we read about an heroic cop who plunges into the East River to rescue someone.. Who should be praised for that. Even if yesterday he used a choke hold. 

    Beautifully expressed. Both psychology and neuroscience have shown the benefits of positive reinforcement. It's typically far more powerful to catch someone doing something good then to yell at them when they do something bad.

    Of course there are  bad cops . And bad protestors BTW.

    Wow, what a faulty analogy. Cops and protestors are not 2 sides of the same coin.

    There is no equivalence there whatsoever. The media and the cops would like you to think there is, but there isn't.

    Cops are hired, trained, paid, uniformed, supervised, armed, granted the right to kill people and are on the streets to 'maintain law and order'. Protestors are on the streets because they feel the 'law and order' system for cops is rigged.

    Protestors, bad or unfortunate,  can be arrested, beat up or thrown in jail. Bad cops are exculpated of murder in secret kangaroo courts.

    Maybe bad cops should be fired.


    The equivalence is in our  approach.

    We indulge ourselves here in broad brushed indictments of the police which we would at the very least carefully qualify if we were in the presence of an actual cop. Oops here comes one, officer Lynch responding  with a lurid accusation of whom he considers the enemy.(everybody?) In effect almost  providing  credibility for those indictments.

    If you've never seen a cop doing something you approved, you ought to get out more.

    And I'm tempted to dodge the dread accusation of equivalence by quickly committing myself to a similar statement about demonstrations and demonstrators.

    All generalizations are harmful (including this one, hah). The ones about the police exclude  Woody our one time  landlord. Or D.... whose autistic son was making great strides until the young woman who sat with him in the lunch room that fall went home for Thanksgiving . And was killed in a car crash  and then he himself came back and found his father dying on the kitchen floor.

    And the ones about the demonstrators which blur.... but you get the point. By writing here as if all cops are the same (bad) or indulging yourself in some similar Resistance-like indictment of all demonstrators you're letting yourself down by not using your intellectual skills.

     As well ,may I say,as not fully rewarding the attention of your audience.



    The idea that the issue is all police are bad is proven false by the statements of Al Sharpton, BlackLivesMatter, and the families of slain unarmed men condemning the murders of the NYPD officers. The police union blamed the Mayor and the demonstrators for the murders. There is false equivalence between leadership.

    There is reason for distrust of the police. Police doing their job is what is expected. Good cops should be the norm. What we are concerned about is that prosecutors and police unions appear to take the side of bad cops. 

    Take as an example the Ferguson prosecutor. He openly admits that the woman who defined the meme of Michael Brown charging at Darren Wilson like a linebacker was lying. We see evidence of prosecutors abusing the legal system

    It defies credibility that unarmed people charge at police firing bullets at them. It is especially incredulous that someone would stop running and turn around to charge an officer.

    It defies credibility that unarmed people charge at police firing bullets at them

    It defies common sense, but who said M Brown had any?

    What was it about, you cant fix stupid?  

    Toxicology proved, M Brown had THC in his blood which may have impaired his thinking ability.

    You have latched  on to a snippet. An avowed racist female said that she saw Michael Brown turn and run towards Darren Wilson. The FBI interviewed the woman and found her story not credible. Her vehicle was no where in the area at the time of the shooting. She could not have left the area the way she claimed. The FBI said that she was not a reliable witness

    The prosecutor in Ferguson allowed this witness to testify before the Grand Jury. Her story about Michael Brown charging Wilson was allowed to saturate the airwaves. Under pressure, the prosecutor admits that the woman did not witness the shooting.

    There is no witness that saw Michael Brown charge Darren Wilson. It is a snippet that turned out to be a lie.

    The police officer would be praised for the rescue, but if the choke hold resulted in a death, the officer should be prosecuted.

    If s citizen used CPR to rescue another, but was found to have stolen money, the citizen would face prosecution.

    You truly do not believe that criticism is useful?


    Doctor Cleveland,

    This is a solid piece of writing and flawless judgment:

    I hope these two idiots got a big belly laugh out of their handiwork.
    The brainchild on the right is reported to have created these sweatshirts
    mocking Eric Garner’s final words, “I can’t breathe.”...
    These sweatshirts may be the very reason that two of their fellow officers
    were murdered in cold blood while sitting in their vehicle and their families are now having a wake for Christmas.

    See More
I hope these two idiots got a big belly laugh out of their handiwork.
The brainchild on the right is reported to have created these sweatshirts
mocking Eric Garner’s final words, “I can’t breathe.”
These sweatshirts may be the very reason that two of their fellow officers
were murdered in cold blood while sitting in their vehicle and their families are now having a wake for Christmas.  
    Like · ·

    Hey Wattree, is it possible that these two are trying to underline the racial disparity? I.e., to suggest that they can breathe exactly because they are white? The context around that picture might make such an assumption implausible, but I thought I'd throw it out there.

    Are you really unaware of the context of the "I Can Breathe" gear?

    I'm afraid I was.


    Vice President Biden just spoke at the funeral of slain NYPD officer Rafael Ramos. It was a moving eulogy.

    Edit to add link:

    Thoughts to ponder 

    Did Eric Garner give a crap that he may have been selling cigarettes to minors; who would become addicted to a dangerous and addictive drug and later in life would suffer from the affects of smoking?

    Minors who would later in life say “I can’t breathe.”...  

    Pity for the merchant of death?  

    Pity for the thug, who strong armed a store owner and attacked a police officer? 

    Fair minded individuals want justice but not at the expense of ignoring unlawful conduct.

    No one doubts that innocent people are confronted by Police, but the majority of lawful citizens Black/White /Brown /'Yellow don't sympathize with unlawful individuals.

    The majority of lawful citizens are not going to grant exceptions because of ones color. They are not going to buy into the idea; Don't enforce the laws when it involves members of the Black community; because they have been known to resist and they will riot in defense of unlawfulness?

    Members of a lawless society, who ignore the laws,; who'll then resist the Police,whose purpose is enforcement of the deliberated laws. 

    The Constitution provides for redress of our grievances without resorting to violent protests.

    The Federal government, thorough the higher courts, can evaluate if there has been an abuse of power; but that is not good enough for the lawless who want to exercise their own justice without regard to order.  

    The Tories considered the Founding Fathers terrorists because they fought the Authority of the King of England.

    We saw a prosecutor stubborn perjury in Ferguson. The legal system flaunts it's illegality.

    Edit to add: 

    Citizens of Syria in areas occupied by ISIS appear to bow to Authority. The crime rate is down. The only thing the citizens have to do is obey the rules of the ISIS Authority or be killed.

    Evidently you don't comprehend the reason for the Declaration of Independence? 

    Our forefathers told why they were breaking the bond with Britain .

    The lack of  sound reasoning for the overthrow of this present Government,based upon a perceived injustice, is based on ignorance.

    Under King George's he didn't  need to listen to the grievances of his subjects.

    Under our present system, all the people can be heard through the courts.

    It is clear the present system is unacceptable to the lawless, who want a different system that more favors their biased unlawfulness side. 

    Evidently you don't know history. The  colonies made their appeals through the Privy Courts in England. The Authority praising Tories argued that the colonists rejected the just laws of the King

    The colonists disobeyed the Authority

    Are you promoting or agitating for a War and the killing of others, because of a perceived injustice? Without availing yourself of the provisions, provided for in the Constitution for redress?

    WAR is exactly what happened when 

    The colonists disobeyed the Authority

    Revolution-The Beatles | Lyrics



    Resistance, you emphasize obeying Authority. I have repeated noted that the colonists disobeyed the Authority of the King of England. You state that the King did not have to respond to the desires of the colonists. You next throw in the Declaration of Independence seemingly as justification for the disagreement. Now you say that war resulted when the colonists disobeyed the King. You next move to the Constitution. You do this without missing a beat. There are glaring inconsistencies in your arguments.

    Are you saying that the colonists were in error and the Revolutionary War was a mistake?

    Do citizens have the Constitutional right to protest court decisions they find objectionable?

    Can citizens argue with police about being stopped for speeding?

    I am not promoting war. I am supporting the right to protest.

    Resistance, one moment clinging to his gun to prevent his oppression by his imagined nihilist neighbors or despotic government, while in the next thread, he argues that assault, choking, arrest, abuse or killing almost anyone who isn't totally 100% subservient to reckless and negligent cops "deserves it" reminds me of the Monty Python piece: ' The Argument Room'.

    Where the purveyor will take any position and make any argument to oppose yours.

    Evidently you lack the critical thinking skills to see the connection?. 

    Your argument;......., unless the Government meets the demands of the Black Community, all hell will break lose, and if the government responds in force, to your rioting and protesting, you'll get your war.

    Either way our forefathers knew to give the people the 2nd Amendment Right of self defense; either against communities of angry and vicious, protesting mobs or tyrannical government.

    First thing a Tyrannical government might want to do; is disarm members of the protesting Black community and their supporters?

    The demand of the Black community has been having trials for suspicious shootings

    You were taken in by the Ferguson prosecutor who suborned perjury. The Authority fooled you and you still complain about people using their free speech rights to object to a flawed Grand Jury. 

    You have been fooled by the Authority just like the citizens of Jericho and Sodom.

    You were taken in by the Ferguson prosecutor who suborned perjury

    I wasn't on the jury, I wasn't taken in by anything.

    What swayed my opinion, was the store video where M Brown assaulted another human being, proving he had a propensity towards violence.    

    The Authority fooled you 

    No the Authority didn't fool me,

    What angered me most, was I felt the defenders of M Brown were trying to cover up or hide evidence, when they complained about the release of the store video.

    A video disproving the sainthood of  M Brown, undermining the defenders of M Browns attempts to sway public opinion against the officer.  

    Both the  innocent store clerk and the officer,had something in common, they were both assaulted.

    The burden of trust and who to believe slipped away from the promoters of  Saint M Browns defense attorneys, something they feared would happen if the store video was released. 

    Despite all of your trying to confuse the facts, a Grand Jury concluded, whose testimony was more credible.and they weren't about to be pressured politically, to deliver a verdict, YOU wanted.

    I feel sympathy for the family but will not atone for their loss by throwing Officer Wilson, under the bus.

    As I stated you overlook the prosecutor supplying a liar to sit before the Grand Jury. The citizens of Jericho and Sodom overlooked abuses by the Authority as well.

    Edit to add:

    You were taken in as evidenced by your accepting that Brown charged at Daren Wilson. The jury saw tainted information.

    I really don't care to discuss the case any further, You have become so agitated I don't think anything but a war against the authorities will satisfy you? 

    Edited to add...... If you and others feel justice (Due process) was not served     Appeal the Decision.


    Hopefully my reply to your question about my support of gun ownership, by persons of sound minds, was finally put to rest.

    clinging to his gun to prevent his oppression by his imagined nihilist neighbors or despotic government,

    I fear you and others are about to go full tilt.  Giving evidence of why our forefathers gave us the Second Amendment for protection against people so biased and inclined to rebel against authority they have become nihilistic.

    Whether it be Catholics against Protestants; something our forefathers were well aware of OR  the NEW threat of our generation;  Those who would stir up discontent amongst the Black community against the White community.

    The threat is as real today as it was when our forefathers enacted the Second Amendment.

    The Threat: The causes that can divide our Nation.

    The appeals process is not something the people at large can do. The prosecutor can seat a new Grand Jury. The Governor can have the state attorney review the case or the fedral government can review the proceedings. Protest lets those in positions to begin review know that people are not happy. No protest, no review.

    Regarding fear of people or government

    Isiah 54: 15-17
    15"If anyone fiercely assails you it will not be from Me. Whoever assails you will fall because of you. 16"Behold, I Myself have created the smith who blows the fire of coals And brings out a weapon for its work; And I have created the destroyer to ruin.17"No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; And every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, And their vindication is from Me," declares the LORD.


    When a prosecutor puts a witness on the stand that he knows is going to commit perjury so that he can get his desired outcome that's not government abuse of power, that's justice according to resistance. No one should protest that. We should all just accept it and submit to authority.

    Imagine the government that view would create.

    If you can present a case of Abuse of Power to a higher court, as the Constitution provides for redress of grievances; then bring it on; or SHUT UP 

    At some point deliberation on any legal matter must end.

    Instead of letting a festering wound, to be exploited by some citizens who feel aggrieved and would use this as an excuse to undermine the order, the founding fathers had in mind, when they wrote the Constitution and the delegation powers.

    Take it to a higher court and see if they agree with your judgment, that Ferguson got it wrong or; in the final decision there would have been a  different outcome or conclusion. 

    Do something other than picking festering wounds to incite rebellion by people who are MAD.

    Tell us all, mine and the protestors; where to send money to launch an appeal.

    Hopefully this money will hire an attorney, the protestors will trust. Someone not out to exploit and enrich themselves at the expense of sound judgment. 

    It's absolutely clear a crime has been committed. Both the local cops and the FBI have stated that the main witness that corroborated Wilson's account of the shooting wasn't there. The prosecutor has admitted he knew she wasn't there but put her on the stand anyway.  But a citizen can't charge people with a crime. A citizen can't prosecute the witness for perjury nor can they charge the prosecutor for knowingly facilitating that perjury. It requires a government official to charge someone with a crime.

    rmrd has written on this extensively and you don't seem to understand it. I can't say anything he hasn't already posted. The only "witness" that completely corroborated Wilson's account and who was the main witness in his defense lied on the stand. She was never there and saw nothing. The prosecutor admitted he knew she was committing perjury but put her on the stand anyway. That's how the grand jury worked in Ferguson and that's what you're supporting. That is the authority you want us to submit to.

    When government officials will not act public protests are the only way to push them  to make any effort to correct this injustice.

    It requires a government official to charge someone with a crime.

    Where is the Federal oversight that has jurisdiction over local and State Laws in matters of law?

    If the Federal Government  felt that due process of M Brown had  been violated by the Grand Jury' who deliberates and renders decisions, under the auspices of the COURT, then ask the Federal Government through the proper channels why they haven't prosecuted, those involved?

    Your quarterbacking is an attempt to undermine the LAW through the use of political pressure.  

    Maybe the Federal government may not like the decision reached by the Grand Jury, but they cant find sufficient grounds to have the verdict of the Grand Jury overturned? 

    Political pressure would be a travesty 

    You choose one witness who was only one part of the entire record. 

    Evidence of blood in the officers car, the autopsy report and other evidence was evidently enough for the jury to conclude; the officers report was more credible than not.

    You want to elevate yourself above the other triers of facts, as though they were too stupid to draw their own conclusions without your help. 

    So again if you feel there was an injustice, Appeal it to a higher court. otherwise stop your whining which is meant to stir up mistrust and rebellion about perceived injustices. 

    Standard of review - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    1.2.1 De novo

    Under de novo review, the appellate court acts if it were considering the question for the first time, affording no deference to the decisions below. Legal decisions of a lower court on questions of law are reviewed using this standard. This is sometimes also called the "legal error" standard. It allows the appeals court to substitute its own judgment about whether the lower court correctly applied the law.

    A new trial in which all issues are reviewed as if for the first time is called a trial de novo

    reply at bottom


    argues that assault, choking, arrest, abuse or killing almost anyone who isn't totally 100% subservient to reckless and negligent cops "deserves it"

    Similar methods are used to encourage Hate against others.

    Get help. 

    Skepticism and humorous ridicule of your 'logic'.

    When police turn their backs and make unfounded public accusations of murder on the head elected official in a city, it is a question of who has the power to run the city under the law.

    Elected officials, or the police and their local DA buddies (in secret courts). When it's the police, there's a special name used.

    Continuation of reply to OceanK ​Police, Danger, and the Social Contract

    Say Goodbye to the Santa Claus Lie

    When little Tennille realized that the reason she didn’t always get what she asked Santa for was that he didn’t exist, she figured that God’s non-existence was the best explanation for why her prayers also went unanswered. I’m not saying that this happens to all kids; I am saying it’s a possibility. If you are religious, I doubt it's a possibility you would willingly invite. Of course, if you are an atheist, you might like that the Santa lie does this. But there are even more reasons for not liking the Santa lie--reasons that should resonate quite loudly with everyone (especially atheists)......

    But encouraging your children to literally believe the Santa lie is the last thing that encourages critical thinking and effective reasoning in children.......

     being fooled by ad-hoc explanations, and appealing to magic—these are all “bad habits of lazy thinking” that I have to drive out of my critical thinking students every semester. And,

    not surprisingly, the students in which these bad habits are most deeply entrenched are often those who believed in Santa for too long—far beyond 8 year old (sometimes into their teens!)......

    Say Goodbye to the Santa Claus Lie

    A workable Social contract: QUIT LYING TO ONE ANOTHER.

    You misunderstand, I'm not whining, I'm very happy about what's happening. I'm happy about the protests. People are outraged and it's a been a long time coming. I'm even happy about the riots. Sometimes the only way for the oppressed to get the attention of the powers that be is to show they are willing to fight. Should have been done long ago. If anyone is whining it's you. You're scared and I think that's a good thing. Sometimes the only way to get change is to get those in power afraid that the oppressed will rise up

    There are two versions of what happened when Brown was murdered. Wilson's and Brown's friend. Both were there for the whole scenario. The forensic evidence is congruent with both versions.

    But anyway, I only posted to make it clear who you're standing with when you say submit to authority. We can tell a lot about a person by seeing who he stands with. You're standing with liar who perjured herself and the prosecutor who knowingly put her on the stand to lie. I feel good about myself because I think I'm standing with those who are fighting for justice. You're standing with the worst form of liar, a perjurer, and her enabler. I think you feel comfortable standing with people like that.

    And spare me the crap about what god thinks. I couldn't give a fuck what you think your mythical god says. I think god knows as much about me as Santa knows if I'm sleeping or whether I've been good or bad.

    With so much gnashing of your teeth, I wonder; do you eat Gerber's?

    There will never be peace on Earth, with people so full of hate and anger

    I look forward to the day

    In m just a little while, the wicked will be no more;

    though you look carefully at n his place, he will not be there.

    11  But o the meek shall inherit the land

    and delight themselves in  p abundant peace.

    Bring on the Appeal process, so all can see who stands for justice or who stands with you for vengeance and continual rebellion?


    Your rant above, still sounds like a whining to me. I imagine your stomping your feet, right? 

    Your thinking "Were MAD ....., and we are not going to take it anymore" ?

    I hope someone does a background check before issuing you a gun permit. 

    Well if by whining you mean, "to have or participate in a party, drinking spree, or uninhibited good time" Than I guess you could call it whining. I call it celebrating. I never thought people would get off their ass and get in to the street to protest against an oppressive government. Now days too many liberals think all they need to do is click on a petition. But not only have there been protests in Ferguson but from New York to San Francisco and many cities in between. People are not as apathetic as I thought. These protests give me a renewed sense of optimism about the future.

    Of course I've had a background check for all the guns I have; Glad to see we agree that everyone should have a background check. Time to close the gun show loophole.

    Peter writes above in connection with my thoughts on the blogpost:

    First Bruce shows us the 'Three Monkeys' version of the Police/Authorities protect and serve my Class.

    I actually think Peter -- besides being a douchebag in this instance-- raises an interesting point about class.  The NYPD consists of a majority of non-white officers, although such diversity continues to lag in the upper ranks.  But that will change over time, and perhaps not fast enough, but it will change.

    Beyond that, the NYPD, rightly or wrongly, does not include people in what Peter infers is my Class -- i.e. presumably the 1 percenters or the 1 percent of the 1 percent (as this is NYC).  In my world, the real world, the NYPD is working class, sharing far more in a class sense with other low-income and working class folks than the folks in the "Class" that Peter is referring to.  I guess his response might be that the NYPD is just a tool of that class to which Peter refers to and ascribes to yours truly.  Whatever.

    NYC has so many problems associated with race.  There is a systemic disparity in both opportunity and results between much of the African American community and the the rest of the city population.  That is beyond dispute, as is the reality that NYC is as segregated as any city in the United States.  In short, race issues fester in NYC.

    But that does not justify treating the NYPD in prose or otherwise as something that it is not, or applying sweeping generalizations about the need for a conversation, without taking into account that maybe, just maybe, NYC is at a different state of that very conversation than, say, Ferguson, Missouri.  One size just doesn't fit all.

    In NYC, stop and frisk was found to be unconstitutional.  The broken windows strategy, as pursued by Commissioner Bratton, supersedes that, and is the policy that is implicated in the death of Eric Garner.  The merits of broken windows is at issue, but it did not emerge from nowhere.  There is a history of evolving policy that should be considered.

    Nor is broken windows something that NYPD beat and other officers are in love with.  To the contrary, there is often little interest in responding to complaints to make petty arrests. What the NYPD rank and file wants, as I understand it, is a well-defined policy that works; they are not looking to murder black guys on the street.

    No policy discussion eliminates deep-seeded distrust of the NYPD among large segments of the City's black population.  But neither does stating ad nauseum the truism that the Garner protesters do not ascribe racism to every single NYPD officer assuage the distrust within the NYPD of the city's administration -- and the protesters.

    I submit that dialog and preaching to the converted are two different things.  Dialog begins with understanding the respective positions of the parties involved.  Dialog requires the parties to work to look beyond their own positions and to consider the positions of others.  And, dialog, if it works well, is grounded in mutual respect among the parties.  I don't see that here.

    Bruce S. Levine

    New York, New York



    You place requirements on the protestors. What requirements do you place on the NYPD? The union called the officer who applied the choke hold and strip searched to men in public a "model" officer. The distrust of the NYPD did not materialize out of thin air.

    I do not place any requirements on protesters.  You just need to make me wrong, otherwise you're going to have to think a little bit about preconceived notions.  What's your expression in these instances?  Oh yes, "lather, rinse, repeat. . ."

    Indeed, I don't even think you read what I wrote because your response is utterly non-responsive.

    It seems that you are taking the position of an NYPD negotiator rather than one for the protestors. A negotiator for the protestors would request that the NYPD acknowledge that the community feels that both stop and frisk and broken windows are viewed as assaults on the community. 

    A dialog begins with both sides agreeing to listen to the other. Using the NYPD position as a demand for beginning discussion is a non- starter.

    You are so wedded to your position that I "seem" like I am taking the position of a negotiator for the NYPD.  I'm not, but I hardly expect to convince you of that based on your comments.

    I made my comment because there were criteria set for the protestors. Each side comes into a dialog with a set of positions. Both sides need to be open with their point of view.

    The protestors have issued condolences for the deaths of the two NYPD officers. NYPD officers turned their backs on the Mayor of NYC when he visited the hospital where the two officers died. NYPD officers also turned their backs at Ramos' funeral and the NYPD police academy graduation. 

    Perhaps I don't sense that the leadership of the protestors is as unwilling to dialog as I sense from the NYPD. I don't get the impression that the NYPD is willing to bend.

    I don't see dialog either, not here where it doesn't really matter, but between good cops and bad cops, or between any of the 5 the police unions with NYC residents or the mayor.

    Those who think that is OK are part of the problem. As stated before, the NY state DA requested the Governor order that he have jurisdiction over proceedings for any NY cops who kill unarmed suspects. the Governor has not acted, seems Democrats with spines are hard to find. 

    Loudmouth Lynch has set back the cause of unions everywhere. From a NYT comment on the editorial Police Respect Squandered in Attacks on De Blasio:

    The NY police are pushing their luck. I don't think the citizens of New York city, or citizens anywhere else in the country either, are at all comfortable with the random killings of black men by white police officers. The writing is on the wall and its very clear that something is definitely wrong. I think by now most sane and rationale Americans recognize this. The NYPD may be trying to use Mayor DiBlasio as a scapegoat - but it's not going to work.

    NYC cop behavior, on Christmas Eve YouTube's Ellen Dance Dare gets surrounded by a%%hole NYC cops and thrown down onto the cold wet street. The NYC police force is not now and never has been "the finest and most dedicated and professional organization of its kind on the globe."


    For those of you that might be open to a radical perspective, Peter Gelderloos' ' A World Without Police' at Counterpunch is an interesting read.

    You can't reform the Police anymore than you can reform the system they serve.

    I thank you for the time and effort you put into your posts. I've read your work for the last six months, and have recently started posting to this site. Thanks for thought provoking pieces.

    Latest Comments