Interim Chief Ruben Santiago Appreciates Your Transparency

Transparency on Facebook is a two-way street, which is clearly shown in the screen cap from Ken at Popehat:


After the Columbia Police Department announced its latest victory in the War on Drugs, which somehow failed to thrill at least one local nearly as much as Richard Nixon would have expected, Santiago saw the opportunity to teach Brandon Whitmer a lesson in the price of negativity.

Thank you for sharing your views and giving us reasonable suspicion to believe you might be a criminal, we will work on finding you.

Not to give Santiago any ideas, but the phone book would be a fine place to start, probably obviating the need to roll out the tank in search of this inchoate dope-lover.  Santiago then decided to get serious and issue a warning to all who might question his fortitude:

In his excess of integrity (and on the off-chance that even greater lulz would be forthcoming), Ken sought to confirm from the PD spokesmodel that it was indeed Interim Chief Santiago issuing these stern warnings.

Chief Santiago did write those two posts. I believe the original comment was misconstrued. I appreciate you reaching out to CPD.

Chief was trying to say that he puts would-be-criminals on notice  — if you commit a crime or plan to commit one, CPD will work hard to investigate and press charges according to the law.

It’s easy for social media posts to be misunderstood. The man who was so-called threatened openly admitted that he was not offended and appreciated the work of CPD.

The spin was artful, though unavailing. It’s unlikely that Santiago was sincere in his threat to go get Brandon Whitmer based on the “reasonable suspicion” of his comment.  Rather, this is something seen with comical regularity, law enforcement throwing around legal-ish type language to strike fear in the hearts of such loud-mouthed pukes (/sarcasm, so don’t comment that Whitmer isn’t a puke).

To those of us who don’t find phrases like “reasonable suspicion” scary when uttered by guys with shields, this comes off as ignorant and abusive, just a pedestrian effort to assert brute force coupled with banal stupidity to keep the natives in line.  But to a guy who may not have the means to call Santiago’s bluff, who realizes that the Santiagos of the world carry guns and think their badges put them slightly above reproach, it’s a damn scary threat.

And so, given Santiago’s professed interest in making sure that all his Facebook friends know how tough and serious he is, I offer him the opportunity:

Dear Interim Chief Santiago,

Like Brandon Whitmer, I don’t think well of you. In fact, I think the war on drugs sucks, and since you’re proud of your warrior role in it, I think you suck.  Rather than pick on Whitmer, try me.

Just so you know, I hang around with people accused of crimes all the time. I eat with them. I drink with them. I sometimes go to their homes and meet their families. And get this, Santiago. I like them. But I don’t like you.


And I think you’re ugly. Butt-ugly. And that’s why girls never liked you.

Who am I? I’m a guy with a bulge in my waistband where my clip-on holster is positioned.  I’m a guy who wouldn’t hesitate to walk down the street in the middle of the night in a bad neighborhood because the people hanging out are my friends.  These are guys with lot of drugs, bad, evil drugs, who have my telephone number in their pockets. Some of them sell drugs. The same ones call me. What does that tell you, Santiago?

And I’m really easy to find.  Here’s my address. Come get me, tough guy.

But I don’t think you will. I think you were the kid with the tiny penis that all the other boys laughed at in junior high. If you made it that far. I think the girls laughed at you when you got up the nerve to ask them to the movies. I think you chose to put on a badge because it let you talk tough.

So hop in that tank of yours and come on by. I’ll be here waiting for you, Santiago.  You want reasonable suspicion? You got it, big boy. But I’ve had enough of your showing off the length of your pistol to people who are afraid to tell you where to shove it. 

I’m here. You got the balls to do something about it?

Your pal,


Enough empty threats from the likes of a Ruben Santiago. Nobody ever called Sheriff Andy a blow hard coward, but then Sheriff Andy never pulled a stunt like this (put aside the technological difficulties it would have meant in the 1950’s).  Man-up, Santiago. Smarten-up. Put-up or shut-up. You are a disgrace to the shield.

23 thoughts on “Interim Chief Ruben Santiago Appreciates Your Transparency

  1. Lurker

    What is the New York law about the gun licenses? I’m pretty sure that your letter can be constructed as a veiled threat that you are armed and prepared to use a firearm. In Finland, this post would most likely lead to the revoking of your gun permits. How about New York? Is the 1st amendment really strong enough to prevent the police from reacting?

    1. SHG Post author

      I have no gun permit. I carry no gun. Who said anything about a gun or permit?

      And in anticipation of your next question, holsters aren’t only used for guns these days. See what I did there?

      1. Rick Horowitz

        Yep. I took the comment as meaning a cellphone because you said “clip on.”

        But this is how it goes when someone WANTS to read the comment as a threat. They’re never smart enough to realize that those of us who fight the government in the courts aren’t going to do something illegal.

  2. Wheeze The People™

    Holy dogshit, Private Pyle!! You outed that dude, and did it with a barrage of homo-erotic allusions. The furtive bulge. Check. The microphallus reference. Check. The promiscuous use of the word suck. Check. The obligatory mention of testicle size. Check. The penis as pistol metaphor. Double Check.

    All of which leads me to the reasonable suspicion that should you two ever meet up, you’re the top and he’s definitely the bottom. He’ll do his best to straighten you out but his best just won’t be good enough, I suspect . . .

  3. Nigel Declan

    So, wait, what is this magical phone “book” of which you speak? Such a thing sounds like it was used at the time of buggy whips and button hooks.

      1. SHG Post author

        PJ, you misunderstand Grits’ issue. He’s very angry with me because I don’t show him the respect for his legal acumen or his progressive politics that he believes he deserves, so he leaves comments here to try to smack me around. He doesn’t really care about the issue, but just wants to take his poke at me to vindicate his butthurt.

        1. pj_cryptostorm

          Fair enough; clarification appreciated.

          (do mind the gravatars, folks: they have a nasty habit of fingerprinting faux-anonymous posters – albeit not relevant in current context – as MD5, unsalted, is frighteningly easy to reverse nowadays… infamous hashbreaker rigs having been sardonically constructed out of Playstations, old Pentium motherboards, and other such random detritus)

    1. SHG Post author

      You probably have a hard time understanding parity and irony. Don’t feel bad. Lots of people have that problem. But unlike non-lawyers who pretend they know the law on the internet, criminal defense lawyers actually go into court, cross cops, beat the crap out of them and make enemies with guns. You wouldn’t know about stuff like that.

      Did I ever tell you about the time a DEA agent pointed his gun at my head in the hallway at his headquarters on 57th Street? Oh wait. You don’t care. You just want to be the perpetual asshole. Never mind.

      1. Rick Horowitz

        Not to mention the fact that members of other sets sometimes read, and retaliate. So anytime we write like this, we’re at risk not just from the target of our writing, but any other loosely-allied member, as Scott well knows because he backed me when I was first targeted for retaliation.

        Grits, you have no idea the grit it takes to deal with what we handle on pretty much a daily basis. I’ve stood toe-to-toe with officers who threatened to arrest me for such things as demanding (after politely asking failed) to see my clients. I’ve had them step right into my face and scream at me, their fury enhanced by my refusal to cower and whimper. To this day, I am routinely searched in courthouses where other attorneys show their bar cards and sail through. When someone asks why I get such “special” treatment, I slap at the officers by saying, “They aren’t afraid of you.”

        And that last thing? Why does it happen? Because I blogged in a way they didn’t like. Nothing illegal; just something they didn’t like.

        I don’t know if Scott has been challenged by officers, or been given some extra attention and unnecessary hassle because of his writing, though I would be surprised if he hasn’t. But I’d bet my next year’s income he’s experienced similar things to what I have for — that is, as a result of — serving and defending his clients.

        As I said, you have no idea what we have to deal with. Butthurt cops are a dime a dozen.

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