Turn Your Backs On Police

Rarely has a group of people exposed their true disdain for all others as clearly as the New York police officers who turned their back on Mayor Bill de Blasio at the funeral of Rafael Ramos.  They wanted to send a message, that they demand to be treated better than all others.  They sent a message, but not the one they thought.

backs turned

They are given training, guns and shields, not to mention a paycheck and a pension, to do a job.  That’s not enough for them. They demand two more things to which they are not entitled: impunity for their violence and protection from harm above all others.

The NYPD was given the nickname “New York’s Finest.” They are not. Some may be, but the ones who turned their back have no business wearing a shield.  They are untrustworthy.  They are ignorant of their duty. They care only for themselves and their own; they do not care about “them.”

These cops are New York’s disgrace.

Like others, I sought to quiet the inflammatory rhetoric after the murder of officers Ramos and Wenjian Liu. Their death, like any senseless death, is a tragedy. But not a greater tragedy than the needless killing of Eric Garner and others.

A cop’s life is not more valued than anyone else’s life.  Some cops think they are. They should not be cops.

As if to emphasize the selfishness, the ignorance, the wrongfulness of the choices of whom to hand a shield and gun, following their act of disgrace, cops attending Ramos’ funeral then did what puny, selfish, ignorant children do. They embarrassed themselves further.

drunk cops

What a great day, attend a funeral, turn your back on a mayor, get drunk and violate the same law you use to arrest, and sometimes harm, others, all the time wearing the uniform given you by the people you are supposed to serve.

But this was more than a mere demonstration of selfish, infantile behavior, that they cannot be trusted with a gun and shield. No, this was a threat, a challenge to de Blasio.  Adore us. Support us over all others. Back us to do whatever we do. Or else.

They did this before, to New York’s only black mayor, David Dinkins, and it cost Dinkins his mayoralty. He tried to massage his way beyond the cops’ threat, and it failed.  The police would accept nothing less than complete loyalty. They sought to bring Dinkins down and they did.

This is an opportunity for Mayor de Blasio to decide whether the police serve the city, or the city serves the police.  This is a test of Commissioner Bill Bratton’s fortitude, whether he will use his clout to change this frontal assault on the people and government of New York City. The cops have made their position clear.

It is time to bring the cops down. New York City cannot succumb to extortion, whether from outside or its own police force.  They cannot own this city. They cannot win this challenge. The City cannot give in to their demand to let them kill with impunity, to protect the cops above all others.

They should not be killed, but they cannot kill any more than anyone else. This is the time to do something to change things.  The police officers of the NYPD issued the challenge. They brought this upon themselves. They must lose.

If a cop does not accept the basic premise that his position and authority stem from a duty to serve the public, then he has no business being a cop. Every cop who turned his back on the Mayor should be punished. Every cop who does needless harm to another human being must be fired. Every cop who refuses to perform his function with honor and integrity must be gone.

If you can’t do that, you can’t be a cop. If cops refuse to do that on your watch, you must take away their gun and shield. And if cops threaten to hold a city captive unless it capitulates to their demand, then they are a cancer within the government that must be cured.

This is not a matter of sweet words to cool hot heads. The mayor can’t talk his way out of this threat. This is a matter of people who cannot be permitted to wear a gun and shield because they do not grasp why they have been so entrusted, and have demonstrated that they are unworthy of that trust. This must end.  The time has come to turn our backs on the Police.

91 thoughts on “Turn Your Backs On Police

    1. J Sinclair

      I live in the UK and watch “cops” and other such programmes and I am sorry to say the police in the US are a disgrace . Watching “cops” tonight it was obvious the police were over and above violent to the person they wanted to talk too. I am a pensioner and I felt sick watching what was obviously violence from two of your police officers . No wonder they have no respect from the citizens of USA . I have seen some really wonderful officers but I honestly say 50 percent are just thugs .
      So sorry to have had to witness things like this .

    1. SHG Post author

      I’m not sure that evil is the right word. They believe they are special, unique, and deserving of treatment different and better than all others. It’s not evil. It is wrong.

      1. morgan sheridan

        I agree that it is wrong. I call it evil because, along with them “believ(ing)they are special, unique, and deserving of treatment different and better than all others” there appears to be a deliberate message “fear us” as well. Causing people to feel fear is a lot more than wrong.

      2. Michael Hines

        There are other occupations where people put themselves in harm’s way for public safety. One example is highway workers. The BLS shows that annual deaths of workers in highway work zones have ranged from 101-165 in each year from 2003 to 2013.

  1. HUH?

    This article fundamentally mischaracterizes the intent of the vast majority of officers who engaged in this silent protest. I’d encourage anyone who agrees with the author, and who is actually interested in developing a more thorough understanding of where these officers are coming from, to speak with the officers or read something that explains their motivations. This piece is ill-informed and divisive.

    1. SHG Post author

      I fished your comment out of spam. Despite your being too much of a coward to put your name or email to it, it’s worthwhile to post it so that others can see how you try to weasel out of your hole.

    2. Derek Sexton Horani

      @HUH? – How has this article fundamentally mischaracterized the intent of these officers? Some of us may have difficulty speaking directly with these protesting officers. The articles I could find suggest they are protesting because DeBlasio allegedly isn’t supporting the NYPD and has been encouraging the protesters (who should be encouraged and should have the right to do so). However, I haven’t seen anything to support the idea that DeBlasio isn’t respectful and supportive of the NYPD – what I see is a very powerful union bullying our mayor with no grounds to stand on. This article seems to be a spot on critique of where these officers are coming from and what their true motivations are.

      1. Donna

        As the NYPD themselves acknowledged, a funeral is the wrong time and place for protest. Why did THEY protest? Because they think that they are superior to everyone else. Until they get over that, they can not do their job. If they don’t understand why they are not entitled to blanket immunity, then they are not intelligent enough and mature enough to wear the badge.

        Nashville Police Chef Steve Anderson is a cop all others in this country should emulate. New York Police Officer Lawrence DePrimo is a cop all other cops should aspire to become. Portland police Sgt. Bret Barnum is the type of cop we need to duplicate. These men do not think more of themselves than is necessary and they understand that they must respect the people they protect.

        For the police who are so jaded that they believe American citizens are demons…. they should quit. We don’t want them on the any police force in this country. They are the problem.

    3. Patrick Maupin

      > or read something that explains their motivations.

      Their motivations are well-understood, but are immaterial to the truth of SHG’s post. If they can’t set aside those motivations and be professional on the job, then they aren’t professionals and thus should be retrained or fired, as circumstances dictate.

    4. Ben Tousey

      First of all, the most dangerous place on earth is next to a police officer, so the last thing I’m going to do put myself anywhere close to a cop. Second, they are already telling us where they’re coming from. When they use a funeral to disrespect the man in charge of keeping this city safe, they tell us exactly what they’re about. When they turn their backs on the mayor, they’re turning their backs on US. They are proclaiming to all of us that we are their enemies, and that they have no intention of serving this community. Actions speak louder than words, and they couldn’t be more clear in their contempt for the people of New York City.

      1. Procopius

        In any functioning organization which relies on strict discipline, disrespect of authority cannot be tolerated. In most military organizations throughout history these men would at the least be flogged. They are, in essence, threatening a coup d’etat. I don’t know what response a democratic government can make, given the authoritarian context that has been established over the last thirteen years, but something drastic needs to be done to the NYPD. I’d suggest having the governor declare martial law and disband the whole force, have the Army carry out all policing duties while they recruit and retrain a new force, except look how well that’s worked out in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    5. Ron

      Go to policeone website and read their comments on basically anything. You’ll see exactly how they feel, their motivations etc. They honestly don’t believe they have any part of the blame for people nationwide protesting them and their methods when in fact it is THEY alone who are FULLY to blame for the protests. Many people have had enough

      1. SHG Post author

        Cop websites like PoliceOne reflect the worst in law enforcement. It’s almost always the stupidest, loudest, nastiest mutts who comment there. Thankfully, they don’t reflect all cops.

        1. Not Jim Ardis

          But sadly you have no idea if the cop you are dealing with is one of the “good ones” (I will leave alone my opinion regarding the existence of “good ones”) or one of the PoliceOne folks.

          Best to assume you are dealing with an overly self-important sociopath. Safer that way.

  2. bacchys

    I don’t agree with punishing them for their speech. DeBlasio and Bratton do need to increase the standards and discipline in the NYPD.

    As a non-commissioned officer in the National Guard, I’m not empowered to punish a soldier. Punishment is the sole prerogative of the commander. I can, however, take corrective action. The NYPD needs a lot of corrective action.

    1. SHG Post author

      When in uniform, they do not have the right of personal free speech. That is part of giveback for the exercise of governmental authority.

      1. AP

        Exactly SHG. What would happen if the Marine who always salutes the President as he approached the Presidential helicopter turned his back to him because he wanted to show how unhappy he was with the President’s handling of the military?

      2. MayorWilhelm

        Fuck you they don’t have the right of free speech! Just because they put on a uniform doesn’t deny them any and all the rights made available to every American….

        1. SHG Post author

          Actually, putting on the uniform is precisely why they do not get to exercise free speech. When they’re on duty, in uniform, or present themselves in their official capacity, they do so as an agent of the government and limit the free speech they otherwise have as private citizens. I realize this is hard for angry, ignorant people to understand, but the law is hard, particularly for exceptionally stupid and angry people.

          1. Don

            And let’s not let the whining police pretend this is somehow uniquely targeted at them. Employees here in the DC area cope with the limits of the Hatch Act and do their personal politicking in their off time. When they screw around and do it on government time or phones they suffer the consequences. The rest of us manage to do personal shit on personal time. Cops don’t need an exemption from that either.

        2. Rick Horowitz

          What a joy when people who don’t know the law argue so passionately for what they want, regardless of that law.

          Police officers – like the military, and even people from other occupations, and, for that matter, like all the rest of us – do not have an unfettered right to freedom of speech in all circumstances.

          1. Marshall Stokes

            What a joy when people who SHOULD know the law argue so passionately for what they want, regardless of that knowledge of the law. From what I’ve read, no one has suggested an “unfettered right to freedom of speech in all circumstances.” Thus, this is a straw man argument. If you cite a single dispositive case saying that government personnel lose their 1st amendment rights while in uniform and on the job then I’d be supremely impressed. I’m 100% certain there isn’t a single SCOTUS case to that effect. Therefore, SHG’s comment is merely opinion with absolutely NO LEGAL CONTEXT that “When they’re on duty, in uniform, or present themselves in their official capacity, they do so as an agent of the government and limit the free speech they otherwise have as private citizens.” They still have the right to free speech but they also face the consequences of that speech. For instance, as an example in a military context, in the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), Article 88 could come into play here. That section states:

            Any commissioned officer who uses contemptuous words against the President, the Vice President, Congress, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of a military department, the Secretary of Transportation, or the Governor or legislature of any State, Territory, Commonwealth, or possession in which he is on duty or present shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.

            Note that this applies to “commissioned officers.”

            1. Ted H.

              There was also a case in Philadelphia, I think (the place, not the case), where Muslim women officers were not allowed to wear headscarves as part of their uniform. The district court disallowed it under the free exercise clause for the same reasons SHG cites above.

        3. Geoff

          A lot of miserable sad people who need to make peace with themselves and each other ,life is to short for all this.

        4. joanna

          Um. You lose your right to free speech when you put on a McDonald’s or Wal Mart uniform, a cop uniform shouldn’t give you extra privileges.

        5. morgan sheridan

          As a USAF veteran, I can assure you that while we do have freedom of speech, when we are in uniform, regardless of the location and or situation we happen to be in, there are strong restrictions that apply set forth by Department of Defense Directives and they do govern what the service member can and cannot say, what they may or may not endorse etc. Those DOD Directives are lawful orders and violating them makes service members subject to UCMJ actions that can range from letters of counseling, Article 15s, or Court Martial.

      3. Christopher Jorgensen

        If you can’t tell the difference between an insubordinate, disrespecting the chain of command, in need of firing cop, and someone exercising free speech then you’re an idiot.

        If a cop shows up on his own time and out-of-uniform, then I’ll support his right to say what he likes, but even then I’d support his boss for firing him if he’s an asshole about it. I’d suggest protesting at a funeral makes these cops assholes.

        Pretty much like any other person in this great country of ours, no?

    2. ExCop-LawStudent

      @bacchys: “I don’t agree with punishing them for their speech.”

      I’m sorry, you are wrong. The officers were in uniform and their speech directly reflected on their chain of command. It is insubordination. They do not have the right to speak in that manner, and their employer may restrict or punish inappropriate speech in the public forum.

      1. SHG Post author

        Having been away most of the day, I was hoping someone would show up who would explain the limits on the exercise of free speech while in uniform, on duty or using their official capacity. Thanks for doing the heavy lifting.

  3. Pam Lakatos

    Thank you so much for this thoughtful post. There is a reason I subscribe to your blog. Your posts are always thoughtful and well written. I have been a lawyer for 36 years and have practiced criminal law, both as a prosecutor and as a defense attorney. The behavior of the New York police in turning their backs astounded me. I have dealt with many police officers over the years, some good, some not so good. Among the officers I count as long term friends not a single one agrees with the behavior of this departmental union.
    That being said, I have seen many officers and some unions express this same attitude of “we are special” because we are police and we will determine when something is appropriate.” I believe the militarization of police departments has encouraged this attitude. All of this talk of “war on crime” and “it is a battle zone out there” seems to have lead to this type of thinking and this sense of entitlement.
    I hope that at some point everyone can get past this and return to a position that is not so extreme.

  4. Jim Majkowski

    I saw only part of Chuck Todd’s “interview” of Bill Bratton on today’s Meet the Press. But it reminded me that some influential people reinforce and even nurture that feeling that “they are special, unique, and deserving of treatment different and better than all others.”

  5. Me

    I wonder who you will call if you get burgled by some gun wielding crack head? I wonder who you will call when someone is shooting at you? These people put themselves in harms way every day. Yes they did wrong on this occasion but on the whole they do a damn fine job. These are the people who get shot at for doing their job. Do you? If you went to work every day not knowing what you were going to see / face then you can blast them but I bet you work in an office or somewhere where you don’t experience the same levels of stress. With that stress brings camaraderie and this is what this is also all about. We all make mistakes but remember what buttons on your phone you will press if you are in danger and want help!!

    1. Andrew Fleischman

      No one doubts that police officers perform a valuable service. What we are talking about is whether police officer should be held accountable, like any other citizen. When a grand jury finally decides to indict a police officer for a wrongful killing, who will you be calling to defend you and ensure you have due process? When your wife decides to divorce you because you’re part of the 40% of police officers that report some level of domestic abuse in the home, who will make sure you keep your pension?

      The fact that people need you does not mean they can’t criticize you. To the contrary, it makes examining your actions all the more necessary.

    2. Patrick Maupin

      > We all make mistakes

      There are mistakes, and then there is premeditated conspiracy to commit very public mistakes on purpose. Guess which one doesn’t get you a pass?

      In any case, congratulations on a post that simultaneously proves SHG’s thesis and gives ample ammunition to the hard-core libertarians who think we need competing private police forces.

    3. Dan

      The police voluntarily do a job for which they get paid. If they don’t want to put themselves in harm’s way, they can go work at a deli.

      If you put yourselves in harm’s way, but loudly insist on kudos for doing so every second of the day, the nobility and bravery is lost.

    4. SHG Post author

      Few tropes seem more appealing to police, and more idiotic to everyone else, than the “if you don’t like cops, then next time you’re in trouble, call a criminal.” It’s the rationale of cowards and morons, for the reasons already stated, plus a few others which are painfully obvious.

      But what I find particularly curious is that you’re such a coward that you won’t give a name or email address. Are you really that afraid, or just embarrassed at trying to pass along such simplistic idiocy to see if anyone here is stupid enough to fall for it?

    5. DaveL

      Lots of people perform jobs that are essential to society. Think of what would happen without, for instance, farmers, or oil rig workers, or truck drivers. Modern civilization is astonishingly interconnected and interdependent – in the long run society would collapse without, say, the guy who runs the machine that makes a repair part for the machine that makes fertilizer for the farmer to use. In the Grand Scheme of things cops are pretty far down on the list, actually. So should all these other people also get a free pass?

    6. Rkw

      I’m tired of the police and their supporters trying to justify their misconduct because their job is so dangerous. The statistics are widely available and simply don’t support the argument. Look it up. A garbage collector is much more likely to be injured on the job than a cop. Cops have bought into the myth that being a cop is particularly dangerous to justify their unreasonable fear of the people they have sworn to protect. Their unjustified paranoia fuels their actions.

    7. clarkcountycriminalcops

      “I wonder who you will call if you get burgled by some gun wielding crack head? I wonder who you will call when someone is shooting at you?”

      I don’t know about you, but if I am being shot at by some crack head, I’m not going to reach for the phone, and I would definitely not invite a group of armed narcissists who care more about their own safety than mine into the fray. That’s just a recipe for disaster.

      While they like to pretend they “put themselves in harms way every day,” the reality is they are less at risk than fishermen and still when it comes down to a choice between killing a unarmed kid because he “might, possibly, maybe, perhaps” have a weapon and “might, possibly, maybe, perhaps” use it and risking the off chance they will be one of the less than 50 cops killed every year, they chose to shoot the unarmed child.

      That being said, I must congratulate you on how concisely you provided an example of the ways “They demand two more things to which they are not entitled: impunity for their violence and protection from harm above all others.” I haven’t seen someone prove the exact point they were contesting like you just did in a long time.

    8. Glen

      The only fathomabe reason to call the police in your scenario would be because they would lock me in prison for trying to dispose of the attacker’s bodies. I have less than zero desire to call anybody who is more likely to kill me and crack a beer with the crackhead. No thank you. I cannot conceive of ANY situation in which I would want to involve police. If I am calling the police for any reason it is only because they would arrest me if I didn’t. As in, I just shot the guy trying to kill me, if I don’t file a report then I’m the one in prison.

      Only thing a cop is going to accomplish is to make it 500% more likely for innocents to die. I don’t care what the situation is. Murder, rape, arson, theft, hostages; that last thing I want mucking around are a bunch of incompetent self-entitled narcissistic cops.

      I will handle my own business thankyouverymuch, and if I am ever forced to call the cops it will be after the fact and only because failing to call them would have me up on charges.

      1. SHG Post author

        Don’t fall into the hole that “all cops” are like “all” anyone else. But your point, that you never know who will respond, is well taken.

    9. morgan sheridan

      Hmm. I called the police after having been burgled. I remained outside our home for hours in order for them to be able to gather whatever evidence they may have wanted. Four hours after my call, an officer showed up, took a report and counseled me saying, “You should expect to be burgled.” He didn’t even look inside our home. Frankly, our insurance agent was more understanding. A few years later our garden shed got burgled and our tools stolen. We did not call the police again.

      1. Not Jim Ardis

        I would only ever call the cops if my insurance would require a police report.

        As for who I would you call if I were to “get burgled by some gun wielding crack head”, that would be the paramedics and then my lawyer, because unlike cops when I use force I’m not allowed to let the other guy bleed out and die.

  6. Henry Berry

    My reading of the pouting by numbers of New York’s Finest—which is an angry, confused, though obscure threat as SHG recognizes—is that they are sore they are not being unequivocally and openly embraced by the elites they know they serve primarily. Yes, it’s a rocky road when not every public official and the overwhelming majority of the public do not reflexively leap to justifiy and support the killings of unarmed individuals in downtrodden communities. The elites won’t let us arrest them, the police officiers realize—and we expect gratitude from the elites as we are otherwise occupied in policing the socially undesireable and economicslly marginalized and disenfranchised. We don’t get no respect say the cops from the ones for whom we are doing just what they want us to do.

  7. Chantal

    This article is misguided on so many levels. The author is uninformed, single-minded and obtuse. Those officers have every right to free speech. They have walked alongside each and every one of the public’s protests AGAINST them, upholding that very right for everyone else.

    Apologies for this lengthy rant, but this is not a tidy, sound-bite issue. Please hear me out.

    Please let’s not forget that the men and women of law enforcement are not evil machines set out to victimize innocent people. They are men and women that took a career path with the intent to help the citizens of this country. Much like the highly favored and celebrated military personnel. Many police officered actually ARE former soldiers. The work is very much the same though it is on our own soil and the “enemy” are our own citizens turned against our lawful ideals. Please remember the context of the officers work. They are called into a scene with information given by a reporting party – often not a lot to go on. Each situation that they respond to has the potential to turn deadly. Fast. If information has been given that a suspect may have a gun, they need to act accordingly. Their lives are in danger. Innocent civilian lives may be in danger. Their duty is to neutralize the threat. If they come in to a situation with an aggressive suspect, they will be in high alert. Makes sense. The military acts in the same way. It’s much easier to accept when it is in some far-away land than it is in our own neighborhoods. The police officers are trained to read a situation and respond with an appropriate amount of force. There are no black and white situations (not talking about race here). There are no textbook scenarios – if this happens then you respond with this – each situation is different. Each suspect different. Each victim different. Sometimes it is hard to tell who is the suspect and who is the victim! There are times when the victim is a felon and the property in question is illegal and all the weapons used are stolen! Who do you arrest? Who is at fault? Who do you protect? Does anyone care? The police are the ones that have to sort through this crap every day. I digress. Each scene demands a snap decision. Reality is that action beats reaction EVERY TIME. They act using cues from behavior and previous information. Without that, they have literally nothing.

    My thinking friends, if we take the tools away from the police officers that allow them to maintain law and order, we will be handing power to the criminals. The balance is already shifted in many neighborhoods, and the law-abiding citizens of those areas are well aware. They are not the individuals that you will find protesting and race-baiting.

    None of this has ever been about race. NONE. We’re either of the NYPD officers shot in cold blood white? No. I can’t express how tragic that was. It is hard for me to wrap my head around it. Especially the lack of public outcry. These were GOOD PEOPLE. They were not felons. They were not monsters. They were husbands and fathers working to maintain order so that other good people can carry on in their lives. It’s so easy to forget when the media is not constantly reminding us – aka telling us what to think.

    These last couple of months have been a struggle for me and my family. We are good citizens, middle class, white. Pure evil. To make matters much worse, my husband is in law enforcement. How in the world can we possibly have a fair position on this?

    To all logical, educated citizens: please think carefully about your stance on this issue. We are coming to a tipping point and we need to be thoughtful about which side we occupy.

    1. SHG Post author

      You seem like a very dedicated wife, which is sweet. But your comment is the sort of silliness one expects from a cop’s wife. Nothing more. Tell the wives of the dead guys how wonderful your husband is and how hard he tries. I’m sure they’ll share your feelings, because your husband matters so much more than the lives of anyone else.

      1. thinkfirst

        A dead cop or civilian will always matter more than a dead criminal, period. If that’s a problem for you and for criminals, tell them to stop being criminals and people might care more about them. Until then, they matter less and that’s how it should be.

        1. SHG Post author

          While the rest of your comments were deleted because you were too much of a coward to use a real email (which has been the case with almost every pro-cop comment left; damn, what a bunch of cowards you are), but I salvaged this comment because it takes stupidity to new depths.

          Here’s the bad news. We’re all criminals, including you. What do you plan to do about it?

          1. Not Jim Ardis

            Judging by the comment, I would expect him to dutifully die so that the cop can be sure to be able to get home alive.

            I mean, that’s what he said should happen, right? Not in so many words, but that’s the gist of it, right?

      2. DaveL

        “Their lives are in danger. Innocent civilian lives may be in danger.”

        Indeed, experience shows us that innocent civilian lives are in extreme peril whenever one of these paragons decides there’s the slightest chance his life is in danger. I suspect, however, that wasn’t what you meant.

        Let me remind you of one thing: this world you speak of, where cops are constantly having to make split second decisions on limited information, which could turn deadly at any moment? That’s where us civilians live, work, play, and raise our families. Somehow we manage to do all that and still accept being held accountable for hurting other people without just cause.

    2. Dragoness Eclectic

      Y’know, if you and your husband the police officer see a policeman’s job of protecting and serving the public to be much the same as a soldier patrolling a warzone….

      That might be part of the problem. Do I need to point out that seeing your fellow citizens as equivalent to enemy soldiers is a really, really bad idea?

  8. John Barleycorn

    Fidelis ad Mortem is one of the chosen mottos of the shielded guild of New York City.

    I wonder if all the rhetoric being thrown about (as well as the actions of protest being taken by officers in uniform) will, at the very least, provide a bit more nuanced clarity to the citizens of NYC as to how insular if not exclusively insular the NYPD’s interpretation of whom they are faithful to has become?

  9. N

    It’s interesting to note the analogies with the medical industry. Doctors harm and/or kill thousands of people every year due to preventable medical errors (e.g., misdiagnosis, using treatments with insufficient scientific evidence, spreading infections from failing to wash their hands, etc.), yet they are rarely held accountable for their actions and mistakes, and tend to protest any suggestion that they should be held accountable.

    1. SHG Post author

      Did anyone make such an analogy here? That’s because it’s not analogous, which is patently obvious. Nice try.

  10. Pingback: Nothing Left To Compromise | Simple Justice

  11. Marshall Stokes

    SHG, your reading of GARCETTI v. CEBALLOS is utterly wrong but the childish ad hominem attacks throughout your postings are duly noted and given their nature this will be my final post on this blog. In the cited case, the”controlling factor” was that his statements were made pursuant to his duties as a deputy district attorney. This police were at a funeral which is by nature a PRIVATE event. Futhermore, the officers were in no way on duty nor did they utter any statements. The GARCETTI v. CEBALLOS is not analogous. Finally, in either situation the right is never lost as it is unalienable, however, the “protection” from redress is at issue. It’s a subtle difference that you obviously don’t understand and never will. In short, I have the right to yell “Fire” in a crowded movie theater when there is no fire, but I lose the “protection” of the 1st amendment when doing so.

    1. SHG Post author

      Yet another person who doesn’t grasp the meaning of ad hominem. But I’m here to help: if I say you are a moron, and therefore your argument is moronic, that’s an ad hominem. If I say your argument is moronic, and therefore you are a moron, that is not.

      That said, you are a moron. Get lost.

    2. Rob

      As a First Amendment lawyer, I’m afraid that I have to concur in SHG’s assessment, Marshall. You are truly a moron.

      “It’s a subtle difference that you obviously don’t understand and never will. In short, I have the right to yell “Fire” in a crowded movie theater when there is no fire, but I lose the “protection” of the 1st amendment when doing so.”

      This may be one of the most absurdly stuipd things ever written. I have no clue how you manage to get out of bed without hurting yourself.

      1. SHG Post author

        Dunning-Kruger. It’s tiresome to be tolerant toward every batshit crazy asshole whose purpose in life is to make others stupider.

    3. NHR

      @Marshall Stokes “This police were at a funeral which is by nature a PRIVATE event.”

      Setting aside for a moment your somewhat jarring grammar, whatever context the funeral itself may exist within – and I strongly question whether the funeral as conducted qualifies as a “private” event (with 20,000 officers and other supposed dignitaries utterly unknown to the deceased appearing) – it is in any case self evident that an officer who appears in uniform in a public street, acts, at the least, in a semi-public capacity. That officer is, as such, subject to such constraints on their actions as are reasonable and constitutional. As this post and message board has thoroughly addressed, a police officer, like a serving member of the military, had a 1st Amendment right to disagree with policy, to speak out against public figures, and the like — on their own time and in civilian clothes. The moment they put on the uniform, step into the street; and tell the chain of command to F— off, their conduct and speech is no longer “private”, and they are subject to and should be disciplined.

      But continue with whatever reading you wish to give the law, notwithstanding what the law really says. I hope it works out well for you; I suspect that sooner or later it may not.

  12. Kevin

    Funny how the only thing you mention in this article is the fact that cops are a disgrace and should let anyone walk all over them because the public pays their taxes. Police officers are the public as well, they pay taxes (more than most) to be treated with such disrespect. That is the sole problem, disrespect! No children these days are brought up with respect or morals. The people these days only care about themselves and no one else. Police officers all over the nation turned their back on the mayor of NYC because of his abandonment of the police, HIS POLICE! that same mayor also let the “public” down and turned his back on them when he let thousand upon thousands of protesters get violent and close down streets and bridges. Do you have any idea what the severity of that was? If a person has a heart attack they have 3 to 4 minutes to get to the hospital. Did the public care about the public then? No! We’re they assaulting police officers during their “peaceful” protests? Yes! This is by far the most ignorant and a mature article I have ever read. So hold the Pulitzer and the position at the New Yorker until you mature and figure out how to write the facts and not just your opinions!

    1. Gina

      If a person only has 3-4 minutes to get to the hospital in NY after a heart attack, no one in Manhattan would ever survive a heart attack that they didn’t have at the hospital.

  13. arlene Mcloughlin

    Interesting strategy you have here, insults and put downs to all who disagree with your opinions on the NYPDs actions. A few questions about your current position, how dangerous is your job? Does your keyboard pose a potential threat? I bet those water cooler conversations get mighty heated huh? Does your family fear for your safety, and hope you return each night? Of course the fantastic paycheck that the NYPD brings home and all those grand benefits make it so worth it to not only risk their lives but also be under the skeptical scrutiny of pompous asses like yourself who live in an ivory tower and think all public servants answer to them. How righteous you are, how wonderful it must be to live with such scruples that the lowly police force how dare them have a voice or opinion other then yours. oh wait you have a voice, you have an opinion. Thats your blog, a very public opinion and voice that civil servants do NOT have the luxury of. They can not strike or protest like the thugs out there. They have nothing but their actions to show disdain for this inept empty suit of a mayor. Go ahead defend him and the crap on the streets, someday you’ll need a cop. I hope they turn their backs to you too.

    1. SHG Post author

      Your comment is the perfect example of why attempts to defend police conduct is met with “insults and put downs.” Your arguments are absurd to everyone but a cop or cop spouse. What difference does it make whether my “keyboard poses a potential threat”? I’m not a cop. Anyone with a modicum of intelligence is laughing right now at what you’ve written as absurd.

      Yet, when you write “I hope they turn their backs to you too,” you reflect the reason why people have come to despise bad cops. They don’t get that right. They aren’t doing anyone a favor. They aren’t serving their function because they’re great guys. It’s what they are paid to do. If they feel like you do, they shouldn’t be cops. And that’s what a comment like yours proves, that far too many cops are too stupid and too selfish to hold the job. You make the point through your ignorance far better than anything anyone can say about them You disgrace cops. You subject cops to ridicule. You cause people to hate cops, because of arguments like this. If you can’t stand what people think of cops, look in the mirror. You and people like you cause it.

      But on the other hand, at least you have the courage to use your own name, and for that, you get some credit.

    2. Christopher L. Jorgensen

      Cops are welcome to get their own blogs. They can express any opinion the like. I am sure Scott would back them up on that. What they shouldn’t do is protest, in uniform, at a funeral. The ones that do that should be fired, not for having an opinion, but for being disrespectful raging assholes.

      1. SHG Post author

        Among other things, like work stoppages because they’re feelings are hurt, needlessly killing unarmed citizens and hold a city hostage. Kinda ironic that Arlene perpetuates the threats, but is too stupid to grasp what she writes, or her contribution to the anger against cops that produces a crazy who might assassinate one.

    3. Myles


      I have hoped that some thoughtful person who supported the police in what they’re doing would present some points that would make sense of all this, and show that they weren’t just thugs extorting the public (I couldn’t care less about the mayor). But between Kevin and you, there isn’t a point made that doesn’t make me think you’re flaming idiots.

      Make one solid point and there are many here who would be happy to address it, even happy to concede that you’re not just being selfish assholes. You’ve got nothing.

      But your inability to realize how worthless your points are is made worse when you then threaten people that you hope no cop shows if they should need one. Do you? It’s one thing to be stupid, but you are just a sick, pathetic mutt.

    4. Noxx

      I don’t know about Scott, but I’m an industrial electrician, and by the numbers far more likely to be killed at work than a police officer. May I assume you’re on your way over to my house this morning to fawn over me and bring me my “hero coffee”? Absurd.

    5. Gina

      Arlene you said one thing that hit home for me and that was about loved ones worrying about a family member who was out there at night protecting the community from bad guys. I use to bring myself to tears as a little kid just thinking about my dad possibly getting killed. But that was in the 1970’s. Times have changed and cops have changed. There seems to be no community as far as they are concerned. Everyone they deal with seems to be suspect in their eyes (at least that how it looks from where I sit). It’s becoming way too common to open the paper or go online or turn on the news and find out another cop shot, or kicked and beat someone until they were dead. Almost always the person isn’t even armed. The cops maybe lose their jobs, but no justice is ever had for the victims family. Look at Kelly Thomas from Fullerton, CA. a mentally ill man who was homeless beat to a pulp with a taser gun after it stopped working as a taser. His nose was bashed into the point the bone behind it was smashed to bits into his brain. Those two cops got a way with murder. There are plenty more stories like that. Why are cops killing so many people now then they did back when my dad was a cop? They have more “non-leathal” weapons at their disposal now than they did back then. A taser gun is non-lethal until its used to bludgeon a man to death. Are you trained that its a world of us vs them and everyone in the community is “them”? That’s how many in your profession are making it look. Someday I might need a cop, but I’d be so close to death it wouldn’t matter if they turned their backs on me or not, because I have no trust in them. Turning to the police for help would be my very last resort. The bad ones have made the rest of you equivalent to the criminals they claimed they were justified in killing. I am truly too afraid of cops to turn to them for help of any kind and all I am is a housewife with a keyboard who should have no reason to fear the police. I just think that something needs to be done to bring the police back to the community you claim they also belong in, I’d love to be able to tell a child the policeman is your friend again. It’s not something I’d say to one these days though. I might as well tell him to take candy from the man in the van by the schoolyard. That’s how bad it looks these days.

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  15. bmaz

    Kevin and Arlene,

    You come across like petulant 7 year olds whining about “disrespect”. You are treated with contempt because that is exactly what you are earning.

  16. scott

    The next great “ism.”

    Rankism, the abuse of unearned rank and authority.
    It is something most people have experienced and can really relate too.

    A great book on this by the President of Oberlin College a few years back….

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