"Everyone respects the gun": cop who shot dead suicidal man

Never call the cops to your house unless you want someone to end up dead. Ever. They have no respect for human life anymore and would rather kill you and let IAD and their union reps sort it out than take an extra 5 seconds to assess the situation and respond rationally.

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You just fulfilled the first rule of law enforcement: Make sure when your shift is over, you go home alive.

Are there any other rules, though?

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Well, I agree the rent is too damn high…

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When calling the cops for help, you might get Officer Friendly or you might get the department’s World’s Worst Asshole who, on top of that, might be having a really bad day. Do you really want to play that kind of russian roulette with yours or a friend’s life?

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When your authority comes from the barrel of a gun rather than public mandate or community respect…

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Oh, by all means, blast away!

I don’t either. I don’t respect the badge, I don’t respect the gun, and I’m getting iffy about the rule of law, TBH. The cops don’t respect the rules, the politicians don’t respect the rules, why the fuck should I?

I fear the violence of the state, so I am compliant. I don’t harm others, and don’t actually break laws, but that’s no real protection. My white skin / white woman privilege protects me to some degree, but I’d be hard pressed to call the police to come to my location for any reason. Fear: yes, compliance yes, but that’s not even close to respect.

Only one time in my life has a gun been pointed at me. It was pointed at my face, from a foot away. It was in the hands of a police officer, who waved me past almost immediately, but that was 15 years ago, and I’m not really over it. That experience did not engender respect, it scared the shit out of me and reinforced the fear.

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wrecksdart:

I’d absolutely love to see comprehensive police reform at the national level, but getting the major parties/congress/DOJ to give a shit about that is an uphill battle to say the least. That’s not to say that no progress can be made.

Depending on where you are, you may have a fighting chance to influence things on the local level. In places, residents can put meaningful pressure on the city council/mayor. Is your sheriff or police commissioner popularly elected? Watch them like a goddamn hawk, and in case of misconduct, make a stink about it big enough to make the news. Do you get to elect a city attorney, or judges? Those races usually look boring as shit on the ballot, but those people can have a huge impact on both the policies governing, and the response to use of lethal force.

Lawsuits actually work sometimes. A friend of mine managed to win a suit against the local PD for wrongful arrest. The cop kept his job, but by now he’s got a black mark on his record because his actions cost the department money. Guess which cop isn’t getting promoted? They may not always pay attention to your civil rights, but they sure as shit pay attention to their pocketbook. Your town probably has at least one old hippie lawyer who will take on such a case without money up front.

These are small victories, and a pale shadow of justice, but if we find allies and fight the battles we can win, we can build on it. Until then, we stay alive by working the system any way we can, and watching our neighbors’ backs.

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Everyone in front of the gun respects the gun.

Those behind the gun… eh, sometimes it seems like there’s a 50/50 chance, whether it’s police or not.

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The more that the police disrespect the public, the more that the public is going to mistrust the police, and the worse it will get. Cops brandishing and/or firing their guns more isn’t going to make the situation calmer.

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“Most people respect the badge. Everyone respects the gun.”

Fear is not respect. Respect completely excludes fear.

If I obey someone willing to shoot me, that obedience is not based on respect. As soon as the threat is gone, my obedience will disappear, too.

This is important, because punishment and rewards (withholding reward equals punishment) are institutionalized in schools, law enforcement, parenting practices, business, religion etc. Our society is really stuck in using the gun as a motivator.

Respect, however, is based on trust and often admiration. If I am ill and a doctor tells me to follow a regimen, I will likely do so, not because they threatened me but because I trust their expertise. If I dine with a writer or artist I admire, I will want to listen to what they have to say not because I am afraid they will hurt me in some way but because I want to.

Respect and fear are incompatible. Anyone who uses threats (includes rewards and praise) is giving up respect.

Important for parents to remember.

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Basically, yeah.

“if the deputies feel that that is the appropriate weapon system to use, then yes."

As though the first and primary decision should always be which weapon system to use.

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Not true. Nearly every time someone has pointed a gun at me, has been police. When I was unarmed. I flat out told them that I cannot respect anyone who points a gun at an unarmed person. That I was embarrassed for them in their cowardice and lack of civil decorum.

I see a lot of this. Rewards and punishments are IMO equally uncivilized, because they demonstrate persuasion/coercion to be more fundamental than peoples agency or autonomy. Living a deliberate life means the challenge of avoiding both.

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The primary mission of the police is to prevent crime. If it’s too late to prevent a crime, they investigate, arrest, and present the criminals to the prosecutors.

In this case, they were in time to prevent the crime of suicide. Sounds like mission success to me.

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Your post, or society?

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Actually that sounds a little hard to believe. I think an 80 IQ qualifies as mentally handicapped, so unless the average cop was genius material a few decades ago, a 30 point drop doesn’t seem plausible.

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That said-

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I never until now really appreciated how Maoist the police have become.

This line of thinking clearly seems to be at work during riots/uprisings. If cops are going to kill people for selling loosies or running away or playing with a toy gun, if no one is going to be brought to justice for that, why exactly should we worry about laws protecting property rights? Given that important laws are ignored (murder by police), why not break some minor laws (breaking windows, looting stores)? It’s utterly rational.

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Congratulations. This is why law enforcement has a job-related mortality rate roughly comparable to pregnancy.

I mean, think about it – there’s a symmetry there.

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