Middle school cop who arrested seventh graders "to prove a point" may yet face consequences

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/09/20/etiwanda-intermediate.html


Yeah, I’m sure they have a LOT more respect for the criminal justice system now. Dumbass.


Sadly, there probably are middle schools in this country that are so awful that having a permanent police presence is not prima facie a bad idea. But a big problem is that in most cases there is no good reason to do that, and in the face of that if the community demands it, departments are going to assign “officer fuck up” rather than “officer friendly,” to do it, because the chances of him embarrassing them on the evening news is probably less than if he is patrolling the city streets.


But even taking at face value Deputy Ortiz’s claim that the girls were being disrespectful to him, and whispering among themselves, this conduct in no way rose to the level of probable cause that could have justified their arrests.

Okay, new rule, the first thing we do whenever anyone goes into any form of law enforcement, shit, any kind of security whatsoever down to the mall cop level–is start teaching, beating if necessary, the mantra “I am not legally entitled to respect.”

I’ve heard and read about this countless times, and I’ve even watched it in action: for some reason, an overwhelming number of the people who enter these fields, be it actual law enforcement or even just civilian security, are under the impression that someone being disrespectful to them is either illegal, or even probable cause. It’s not. The law does not require me to respect you, and it certainly doesn’t allow you to decide on your own personal arbitrary-as-hell standard for what constitutes respect.

If you’re an officer of the law, I can tell you to eat an asshole, and you have no more legal recourse than anybody else, and it sure as hell isn’t probable cause, some people just don’t like police. They’ve got a really good reason not to, law enforcement has a long history of abusing power–in fact, it has been basically a constant struggle to control abuse of power since the first things resembling police forces were assembled–and whatever your particular feelings about current events are, speaking broadly, over the course of time and the world over, it’s perfectly justified for everyone who is not in law enforcement to dislike or at least be wary of law enforcement. No matter how clean and innocent you are.

That doesn’t mean I would tell some random police officer to do that, nor would I likely encourage anyone else to do so. I’m not encouraging people to be disrespectful to anyone, however, I do think it is of vital importance that people in law enforcement understand that respect is not a legally guaranteed thing, and just because someone is disrespectful, that doesn’t constitute probable cause, and it certainly doesn’t entitle the officer to arrest, intimidate, harass, or as is quite often the case, assault or murder them.


Wow. That sounds like something that would have been played for laughs on Reno 911!. I’m glad he’s not going to weasel out of it.


Well, sure, you can decide what constitutes respect, but “I am not legally entitled to respect.”

I recently saw a supermarket security office tell a guy “I don’t like your attitude. Wait over there. WAIT OVER THERE!”

When I left the supermarket a few minutes later (booze and lottery tickets in hand), he was still ‘waiting’ mumbling “this is BS.”

I was tempted to tell him that it was BS, and he is under no obligation to stay, but the grocery guard was armed, white, and didn’t look too bright…

(“Well, technically, he wasn’t allowed to kill us.”)



What store is this, so I can make sure never to shop there?


Yeah, I’m shocked that I’m not shocked that a supermarket has an armed guard. Sigh.


And the one who really needed to “mature a lot faster” was the cop - and I don’t think it worked for him.

Counterpoint: yes, it is. The problems of a school with students so dysfunctional that a cop seems like a good idea are not solved by having a cop there arresting, assaulting or shooting students (things cops in schools do). “Scared straight” programs are proven to have the opposite effect (yet law enforcement still does them). Cops are not trained to deal with the issues involved; they are fundamentally the absolutely wrong “solution.” At best, they will not make things better, they’ll make them worse. If they’re staffed with “officer fuck up,” it just makes a bad situation worse.

Off duty cop? They often moonlight as security, bringing their attitudes into a different role where they don’t have the same powers (except they’re off-duty cops, so they get away with shit other people in that role wouldn’t…).


Ortiz said he arrested them “to prove a point” because he felt they were “unresponsive and disrespectful” and in his belief


LaaaAnd of the Freeeee, and the Hoooome… of the… braaaaaave.

Can we assume he performed searches incident to arrest on all of them? That may have informed his motivation.

Yes, and in addition this has been well established by the Supreme Court. Even saying the f word directly to a cop is protected free speech.


You can beat the rap, but you can’t beat the ride.

I can’t believe I didn’t make that connection, but you’re absolutely right, this seems exactly like a gag off of that show. How is this real life?


What purpose does that even serve?! Are you really going to shoot someone over groceries? Or are you, grocery store security guard, going to John McClane the hell out of the place when it’s totally taken over by ambiguously ethnic terrorists?

It’s just all (primarily male) fantasy. That gun would never make the situation better, that security guard would escalate the situation and someone would die. The ideal outcome in a standoff isn’t “killing the bad guys” it’s negotiating surrender. There are three ways an armed standoff would play out there–one is that the security guard won’t ever draw the gun because they chicken out or they’re just put under the gun first. (That’s the problem with open carry yahoos. You advertise the fact that you have a weapon? Great, you’re target zero. Shoot you first, take your gun, now I have two.), two is that the guard just gets shot first or taken hostage, and the third is guard draws the gun, escalates the situation, and people die.

So at best the armed, undeputized grocery store security guard accomplishes nothing with their gun, and at worst, people die. There is no situation in which that gun saves the fucking day, that’s a fantasy and nothing else.

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I’ve seen an armed guard that hangs out at the entrance of the Safeway near my house. I assume he’s still there. I try to avoid that store because their produce is shit, and their prices are too high. I’m guessing it’s because (in order) they suck at picking and keeping produce and so they can afford an armed security guard.

I like to think they’ve “Barney Fifed” him; empty gun and one bullet in his pocket. But this is a Trump world, so I’m not willing to bet on that.

Sure, we can assume. After all, if you’re trying to teach a lesson you don’t want to be skipping steps. (the thought makes me a mix of anger and disgusted… “angusted”?)

I just caught this now. Umm yeah the grocery store and a few of the fast food joints would have armed security guards for the neighborhood I lived in last back in St. Louis. While it was a pasty white neighborhood it was not the best one. Not even 3 days after moving into the shared flat I had to say ‘no I live here I am not looking for a date’ to a lady on the street.

It was a bit of a schock to the not quite yet MrsTobinL when she came to visit who grew up in Canada.


Re: armed guard at supermaket

Well, yes - how else are you going to enforce you-need-ID-to-buy-groceries policy?