It seems myopic to pin this behavior as The Black Panthers. They were only responding in kind.
I thought that’s what the Black Panthers were doing.
It’s interesting to see different reactions from people who on paper have the same goals. Most of the “libertarians” I know were usually on the “fuck the police” side of things until November 25th when a grand jury declined to indict Darren Wilson. Then “fuck the police” turned into “I support Officer Wilson and his actions.”
I have always been an avid cop watcher myself. Although I don’t do it so much now that I am not in a city. It’s vitally important to remind these people of their role as public servants, of protectors of the peace - and to not indulge their frequent grasps for departmental autonomy and practices of selective enforcement. The Black Panthers completely had the right idea.
I find this situation to be totally hilarious. It is the absolutely 100% predictable result of the Republican party’s constant drumbeat of propaganda that “big government” - especially big gov’t headed by a black Democrat - will oppress you, take you guns, take your rights, and hand the country over to the UN. These “cop watchers” are the gullible, angry base of GOP voters. Every single one of these people voted for Cruz, Gohmert, and Perry. Every single one of these people is utterly convinced - by Fox News, etc - that gov’t stormtroopers are only -minutes- from kicking their doors down and taking their guns by force. And when the inevitable happens and one of these nutjob-assemblies turns into a full-on gunfight, which side will Fox/GOP News take? Will they continue to refuse to call white terrorists “terrorists”? Or will they stay on the side of the cops?
Why do you assume that cop watchers want people to feel “terror”? It’s a more practical problem. If your police don’t answer to you - or worse, are openly hostile - don’t they qualify as some suspicious element, with guns, looking for trouble in your neighborhood? Should we cut them a break because they are in uniform, or should we hold them to a higher standard?
It would be shortsighted to assume that all cop watchers are mere NRA nutters, GOPs, and Tea Baggers. A militant left which was organized and armed was part of what kept the jackboot off our necks for a good decade or two.
But, in the spirit of your comment, I’ll leave this here:
What could possibly go wrong with this law-abiding approach? I see great things coming from this behavior.
This could very well be the third ‘thing’ I was awaiting. Things do come in threes don’t they?
(1) Fox news cutting off its own constituency in a contract (re)negotiation move
(2) David Duke threatening to name his supporters
I’m assuming that all these OCTC guys are white, as I can’t imagine that black dudes who show up at crime scenes, flashing guns, to heckle the police would live very long, especially in Texas.
Their behavior sounds pretty outrageous, even if they weren’t armed, actually - heckling cops, inserting themselves into crime scenes (to the point of getting into fights with bystanders) for no particular purpose, etc. Cop watchers are vitally important, but it’s one thing to hold police accountable and make sure they’re not violating civil rights, and it’s something else entirely to be like these guys - just starting shit for no other purpose than to make themselves feel more powerful. From what I’m reading, they’re also the sort of open-carry advocates who are just as likely to target anyone who feels threatened by guns as they are the police*. If I called the police or was otherwise in a situation where the police were called, I sure as hell wouldn’t want these guys showing up as well.
*To head off anyone who thinks that doesn’t happen: http://www.opposingviews.com/i/society/guns/pro-gun-texas-open-carry-posts-911-callers-info-online-video
“Pissed off patriots” = douchebags with their guns?
This seems like the civil liberties analog to “greenwashing.” The difference is that instead of slimy corporations feigning eco-consciousness by jumping on the green bandwagon with the right words we have open-carry NRA types using the very serious matter of police brutality and over-reach to flog the gun-fetish theme as a matter of civil rights.
Talk about transparent false equivalence.
Since Obama’s been in office, the NRA has suddenly been talking a lot about how Americans need their guns because the government is out of control (“Obamacare” was literally one of the reasons given for gun ownership). This is, indeed, predictable. I imagine if Hillary got elected, it would all ramp up even more.
We’re not talking about all cop watchers here, though - we’re talking about this particular (set of) Texas group(s), who show up where the cops are working and start flashing/waving around guns (including assault rifles). So yeah, they’re not your typical cop watchers (they seem to be motivated more by open carry than a desire to keep cops honest), and they are clearly trying to provoke some fear.
It’s about fucking time! Do you know how many “libertarians” I know who said that Brown/Garner/whoever should have just done as they were told?
I’m always surprised when libertarians give a public fuck about other people’s liberty!
I am surprised that the police don’t encrypt their voice traffic yet. Its not hard to hide it in this day and age.
Silly rabbit! Didn’t Officer Friendly explain to you that only terrorists and pedophiles use encryption?
I think that’s why he’s surprised they’re not doing it.
Don’t confuse “Libertarians” with people interested in civil liberties. Almost completely disjoint sets.
“Libertarians” are in favor of lassaiz-faire governmental non-interference in economics. Civil libertarians are mostly concerned with the “it is to secure these rights …” role of government. Notably to protect against other citizens in positions of power, whether of wealth or position.
Cop Watching has been “back” for years (copwatch.com has been around for at least 12 years at this point; Berkley Copwatch was founded in 1990 but I don’t know when their website started; assuming it ever left but it was definitely pretty invigorated by the internet). Maybe this is too cynical but right now it seems to me it’s only making headlines now because some mostly white 2nd Amendmenter groups are getting in on the action.
Maybe I’m reading the original wrong but I didn’t take this as an indictment of the Black Panthers but rather as giving credit where it was due and providing a pretty stark contrast (people who actually needed and need protection from the police vs. people who enjoy waving their … *ahem* guns around).
Given that the police are nigh ubiquitous, I think it would be pretty difficult to keep police band radios out of the hands of the public even if you did manage to convince them to encrypt. People would likely figure out the encryption pretty quickly.
Some folks think the cops =/= the government. From my rural outpost, I’ll speculate that local cops are good ol’ boys (just like the anti-government folks) and therefore good people who can be trusted. Feds are the government, and not to be trusted.