A profile of America's killingest cops: the police of Kern County, CA


#1

[Read the post]


#2

Sgt Holcombe, who has lived in Bakersfield nearly his entire life and has never had to fire his service weapon, said that officers are not just “willy-nilly taking people’s lives”.

I’m sure they’re not. I’m sure each was carefully considered. For example, I suspect there’s a Kern County Subway manager looking over his and his family’s shoulders.


#3

Just want the Tea Party wants! A force to keep “THEM!” in line. Too bad we live in the US and we have laws (for now) that are against that sort of thing.


#4

I’m confused about Officer Timothy Berchtold. If you’re behind a car, and you’re just standing there with your body, instead of your body inside of a car, and you believe the person in the car is backing up toward you; how could you possibly think shooting at the person in the car is a good decision? It’s likely to panic the person in the car, and they’ll instinctively flex, which would cause rearward acceleration. Or they might want to end the shooting as fast as possible, which would cause rearward acceleration. Or they might want to kill the guy shooting at them. Or they may just want to go fast and know that the reverse gear, while greater than 1:1 in ratio, would get “up to speed” pretty quick, and top out even faster than 1:1.

This officer either wasn’t thinking about consequences of his actions, or was intending to escalate the situation. The British police have a technique I’ve never seen an American officer to have known:

The Betari Box

Diagram from here


#5

Sgt Holcombe, who has lived in Bakersfield nearly his entire life and has never had to fire his service weapon, said that officers are not just “willy-nilly taking people’s lives”.

I am sure they are not just willy-nilly taking people’s lives. There’s lots of paperwork too.


#6

i think you’re going to be disappointed about how that works out in reality.


#7

And from the flip side, if someone with a gun is outside their car and you have your car running, why would you take the time to shift into reverse and drive toward that threat? Sure, criminals do stupid things sometimes, but that seems like a rather specific/unusual failure to think things through on both sides.


#8

Me and the wife don’t get up to Kern often, but I’ll remember not to in the future.


#9

I thought I recently read the deadliest county was in Louisiana - how many could there be?


#10

Don’t forget the infamous “Satanic Child Abuse Rings!” witch hunt that destroyed countless innocent lives in the 1980s. Naturally the DA in charge of those cases, “tough on crime” prosecutor/monster-in-human-form Ed Jagels, was later taken to task by voters by being re-elected six times before retiring.

Jagels is also largely responsible for many of California’s other “tough on crime” measures including the highly counterproductive “Three Strikes” rule, under which he sent a man to prison for 25 years after stealing a $1 pack of doughnuts.

If you find driving through Kern County don’t stop the car until you’re well away. But don’t speed either, because that carries a mandatory death sentence.


#11

Cory, I hate to be churlish, but it’s true that you use hyphens far, far, far too much and inappropriately–to the point that it’s distracting. “crime-rates” does not require a hyphen. “crime-rate statistics” would be a good use of a hyphen since crime-rate is a compound adjective.


#12

The county has one of America’s highest crime-rates, and an unemployment rate (9.9%) that is fifty percent higher than California’s 6.3% average.

Fifty percent higher, really?
9.9% - 6.3% = Isn’t it 3.6% higher than California’s average?

or 37% more than the average?


#13

The average is the reference. 3.6 is well over half of 6.3. You would divide 3.6 by 6.3 in the context, not by 9.9. If the Kerr number was 12.6, you’d say it was twice as much as (or 100 percent more than) the average, so 9.9 is actually 57% more than the average.


#14

This story is about Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s district and home town of Bakersfield, California. In 2009, Voting Research ranked Bakersfield the 8th most conservative city in the United State.


#15

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.