Cop fired after footage of him pepper-spraying uniformed U.S. Army lieutenant goes viral

Originally published at: Cop fired after footage of him pepper-spraying uniformed U.S. Army lieutenant goes viral | Boing Boing


Echoes of Isaac Woodward.

Or maybe less an “echo” than “second verse, same as the first.”


The French have

But BB doesn’t do one word responses.


Nice to see this happen. Not sure why public outcry is the reason, and not the behaviour itself.

Seriously, police departments: when this happens, just go ahead and assume it’s going viral, because you’ll never get bad publicity from doing the right thing in a timely fashion.


Glad to hear this. Unfortunately, Officer Dickhead will no doubt find himself a policing job in another nearby town that finds his assessment of priorities in the dominance hierarchy acceptable.


1 2 3 … He [dirtbag cop] gets hired at another PD in a municipality nearby.


Important to know is that the officer was threatening to murder the driver

"Nazario insisted he followed police commands to keep his hands outside the window, but officers allegedly became agitated when he asked what justified the escalated pullover.

“What’s going on? You’re fixin’ to ride the lighting, son,” Gutierrez said, according to the lawsuit and body camera video.

“This is a colloquial expression for an execution, originating from glib reference to execution by the electric chair,” Nazario’s attorney Jonathan Arthur wrote in the lawsuit."



i posted this in another thread, but this town of 2700 people has 7 full time cops while it’s fire department and ems are volunteer.

this town is one that accepts and wants this kind of cop. the sole reason these particular cops exist is to pull people over as they pass through town, to give them traffic tickets, to raise money for the town, and bonuses for the mayor and town council.

before they recently more than quadrupled in size ( probably due to incorporating more land ) the town was 90% white. race is a fabulous metric for a town like this to quickly figure who lives there and who does not.

towns all over america want cops like this. they’re money makers pure and simple. until we stop letting towns keep traffic stop money, or until we stop letting cops hand out tickets, i sincerely don’t think the racial profiling and bullying - sometimes murderous - tactics are going to change


“…ride the lightning”

Who the f talks like that?


This makes it sound like they used race as a proxy for “doesn’t live here” and they pull over people who don’t live there purely for money.

I think it ignores the fact that they may use race as a proxy for nothing other than race. The townsfolk may be happy with pulling over black drivers who don’t belong whether or not they generate money.


For the same reason the bully only apologizes when the teacher catches them red-handed.

I think the fundamental flaw in your assumption is that they care about bad press. Or at least, that bad press is viewed negatively and a catalyst for actual change. Really, bad press seems to just prove to these shitheels that they’re under fire and need to go even harder next time to show everyone who’s boss. The cops only care about being able to keep lording their power over everyone else, and they are insulated enough from the consequences of their actions that they know they’ll be able to get away with it. And most of the time, even when there’s video evidence of them legitimately murdering people in cold blood, they’re not wrong.


policy matters. when you’re hired as a cop in a town so small you could rely entirely on the county sheriff for crime - when you’re given a ticket quota as nearly every cop nationwide is given - you don’t even have to say “use race” it’s going to happen automatically.

would you be more or less likely to hire racist cops? would the town be happy with racist cops? it literally doesn’t matter what’s in their hearts and mind. the policy is already set.

( edit: though the truth is, at least some small town interviews probably do go: are you okay being racist to make some money? and i don’t think it’s easy to stop that. what’s easier is: removing the incentives for those stops to happen in the first place. )


There are 23 legalistic/political reasons why not, but i still think a nation-wide database of police officers (of incorporated municipalities and above), and their disciplinary records - particularly their cost, if any, in lost lawsuits, should be established. (“But you @#$ idiot! you can’t do that because of privacy laws and police unions!”). As this would then become a likely exchange: “Chief Wiggum, you approved the hiring of three officers with five or more disciplinary actions on their permanent records last quarter alone! How do you explain this?”

Call it the department in answer to the question: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes



Sad how many times I’ve posted this:


Gutierrez was only fired after it went viral months later.

And that’s always how it is - it’s never about the police department/city doing the right thing, it’s always about the public pressure. This is why cameras haven’t actually changed cops’ behavior - they don’t worry about someone seeing their misdeeds, only in it “going viral” (which, given the quantity of misdeeds and the small number that go viral, are odds working in their favor), and they generally try to prevent the videos from being seen by the public. Plus, even when it “goes viral” it often results in no actions against the cops involved (and even in this case, getting fired just means getting a job in another town).

How often do these videos go viral? Unfortunately this shit happens all the time. Only a tiny, tiny fraction of these events are widely seen and generate public outrage. (If too much is happening the week/month the video gets out, it can easily get lost in the news - i.e. other police abuse stories - and forgotten.) On the other hand, police unions are incredibly powerful - effectively running police departments and often local government as well - and their primary purpose is to prevent cops from facing the consequences of their actions. In other words, the bad publicity is the least of their concerns.

Multiple times, even - e.g. when the driver said he was afraid to leave the car and the cop said, “you should be.” I mean, that’s a pretty explicit threat too.


I contend that if he hadn’t worn a uniform and the US’s insane military worship hadn’t kicked in, this case wouldn’t have gone viral either


I think that “Support our Troops(as long as it’s not their pesky medical bills; or not committing them to wars of amusement)” ranks above “Thin Blue Line” in The Bootlicker’s Guide to the Galaxy; but I’m not 100% sure.


I suspect that there would be eleventy-zillion obstacles to the official, formalized, creation of such a database; but (given the state of privacy law generally) it would be interesting to know what, aside from heavy capture of the positions in charge of hiring, they could do about an opaque private system maintained by one of the obscure-but-hegemonic data mining outfits with anodyne names and mentions of ‘risk management solutions’ on their websites driven by the interests of insurers or municipalities that are self-insuring.

It seems like, while a lot of the disciplinary records and settlements and such are successfully papered over for employment purposes they typically aren’t so secret as to evade the investigative journalists should something spark atypical interest in a specific case; which suggests that if RELX/LexisNexis or one of their equivalents felt like scraping together a database of “people you should find an excuse not to hire if you don’t like paying settlements” they would not find the task terribly challenging.

Given that at least some of the most plausible dataminers already have law enforcement focused offerings(eg. some of what LexisNexis Risk Solutions sells) those ones might shy away from antagonizing their customers; but unless all of them have an active and successful market there it wouldn’t be a surprise to see someone doing it. Unions would obviously be deeply unhappy about use of such tools for making hiring/promotion/assignment/firing decisions; so anyone who did make use of them would end up replaying some of the assorted sneaky tricks used for blackballing people you can’t legally discriminate against; but we know that there are plenty of those on hand.