More adventures in red America, via Charles Pierce.
Gov. Mitch Daniels has signed a law explicitly authorizing Hoosiers to physically resist police if officers are breaking the law.
Senate Enrolled Act 1, approved by the Republican governor late Tuesday night, permits a person to use reasonable force against a public servant, including police officers, to protect themselves from injury caused by the imminent use of unlawful force, to prevent illegal entry into a home or vehicle, or stop the unlawful taking of a person’s property.
You might wonder whether anyone with a strong opinion about getting arrested for drunk & disorderly can just pull out a gat and open fire. Let’s ask sensible conservative governor Mitch Daniels. I bolded the important part.
“Contrary to some impressions, the bill strengthens the protection of Indiana law enforcement officers by narrowing the situations in which someone would be justified in using force against them,” Daniels said. “Unless a person is convinced an officer is acting unlawfully, he cannot use any force of any kind.
“In the real world, there will almost never be a situation in which these extremely narrow conditions are met.”
I guess that settles things. If like many you think that cops for the most part act in accordance with the law, then you can pretty much forget this ever happened. On the other hand, maybe you belong to a sovereign citizen group, or to an anti-government militia (which, by some strange coincidence, exploded under a black Democratic president), or you spend too much time listening to Beck and Hannity go on about FEMA and gun-grabbin’ G-men. Could be that you just read this blog’s series on shitty cops and you had a really bad day. Maybe you’re an untreated schizophrenic with paranoia issues. Or let’s say you’re just drunk and belligerent. Congratulations! All those years of not going to law school have paid off. Now you can strap on and step a little lighter knowing that you’re safe from both the cops and that dusky fellow who won’t make way on the sidewalk.
In all earnestness, we get outraged over shitty cop stories is precisely because the police have all the power in a situation. And they should. The police are agents of the state and the state must have a monopoly on the use of force. Any alternative is anarchy.
Since you cannot get in the way of a cop who is determined to do something outrageous, the only remedy is to report misbehavior after the fact and hope that the threat of shame or worse (acquittal, restitution, a pink slip or jail time for the cop) encourage them and their bosses to step more carefully in the future. This is how democracies work. Empowering random citizens with zero legal training to make up their own mind about whether to comply with the police is either an inexplicable form of governmental self-destruction, or else a recipe for incredible inequality and oppression if (as I expect) local governments selectively enforce laws like this in order to keep the ‘wrong kind’ of people in a constant state of fear.
Two comments offer some useful context. I understand that people often end up unjustly convicted when they respond to a no-knock wrong-address home invasion like any gun owner would (in key cases the cops never identified themselves as such), and I see that the Indiana Supreme Court ruled last year that you basically cannot defend yourself in court in that circumstance. If you have police increasingly militarize and grow fonder of no-knock invasions while red states go nuts with castle doctrines, these awful stories will get awfully common. I would make a suggestion that doesn’t involve violence (less no-knock invasions? take it easy on the stupid drug war?) but apparently red America is the wrong crowd for that.
I would love to hear that Indiana wrote their new law narrowly enough to avoid empowering every armed gomer with a grudge. Not being a lawyer I figure it would be best if I throw the question out to those of you who are.
Going for crzy vote rather than blue uniforms vote. what a strategy.
well this is interesting. can’t wait to hear what the police union thinks.
Fascist Authoritarian Anarchists. Go figure.
Are they just tired of having the police as a reliable Republican vote?
@redshirt: If I had to guess, I would bet the thinking is that only the right kind of people would get away with a defense based on this law. If you know what I mean and I think you do.
Can we apply it to other areas of the law? If I’m “convinced” that the money in the bank is actually mine, can I use force to take it?
I thought they were the law and order and tough against crime party.
@Tim F.: Oh, I do. It just seems like it would not be easy to control the uses of this law, to their liking.
Does TAZER work out of Indiana?
If I’m a cop with this law on the book, perhaps I Taze first, ask questions later.
This is going to wind up with a cop tazing or shooting someone because they were resisting.
Yes, there are a lot of shitty cops out there. But they are generally out numbered by good cops trying to do what they think is right. There are ways of dealing with bad cops acting under the color or authority of law – neither a right cross nor brandishing a 9mm is the right way.
It seems like better oversight/review and training of police officers would be a better way of dealing with this rather than giving people an perceived right to throw down.
Sounds like he’s not running for re-election …
Prepare for uptick in “suicide by cop” incidents in 3…2…1…
At first glance I was thinking “well it’s about time” given all the stories we read about cowboy SWAT divisions on botched drug busts. But your comment is probably sadly right…this is a law for some, not all.
@barath: Sadly this would do next to nothing about runaway SWAT teams, since those guys never work in a vacuum. In order to turn into the kind of menace that they sometimes do the unit usually has the infrastructure of the city on its side. That is the same infrastructure that you will need to win over. As a cop killer.
edit: as KG said, that assumes that anyone would be dumb enough to physically resist a SWAT team that already has a habit of shooting first, and somehow survives.
@barath: if the SWAT team busts into your house on a drug raid instead of your neighbor, and you respond by pulling out your shotgun to defend against the unlawful cop action, you’re going to be on your way to the morgue. Regardless of whether you’re the right kind of person or the wrong kind of person.
Hmm, I’m not sure this statute is a bad idea.
Police are too often out of control. There needs to be some legal deterrent to police misconduct beyond the often-insufficient threats of investigation (usually by the officers’ police department and/or the DA(s) they work with every day and/or a usually-toothless citizen-review board), criminal appeal (ha!), and private lawsuit.
Plus, real wingnuts’ll be motivated to pull guns on cops, which may have the salutary effect of precipitating their suicide-by-cop.
If this is the case, then why even sign a law that is just going to lead to violent actions and lots of muddied trials? Also, this narrows the times when someone can use force against the police? Because I was unaware that in Indiana you could just get into fights with the police with no consequences whenever you wanted.
There are plenty of bad police using their power inappropriately, but even if I thought this law would apply to innocent dark skinned people–which I doubt–this law is just pure idiocy. If an officer thinks (s)he’s in the right in arresting someone, and the person resists, are they just going to let them go? Or pull out a taser or a gun? Pure idiocy.
Gosh, and I always thought that I shot the shitty sheriff was just the punchline to a tongue-twister joke. What’s next, public policy based on dirty limericks?
@Satanicpanic: “Are they just tired of having the police as a reliable Republican vote?”
Not just that, but workin’ hard to have the police as a solidly Democratic vote.
instead of being ‘convinced’ could I use the santorum defense and say ‘it’s what’s in my heart’?
What could POSSIBLY go wrong??
The law sounds odd. But I don’t know much about the current legalities of resisting illegal activity that is attempted under color of the law, so cannot judge.
Any legal people here who can provide background info for IN and elsewhere?
This is excellent and cheers to the conservatives for being concerned about personal and civil liberties for once. Of course the one single time involves guns and your personal castle but it’s a clear victory for the fourth amendment. Anyone interested in the impetus for this legislation should give Radley Balko’s blog The Agitator a read. There are so many documented instances of police breaking in like gangbusters to people’s apartments without identifying themselves and when confused people have fired back then being charged with attempted murder or more. it’s a legitimate issue and our endless drug wars have done more to militarize the police and delegitimize personal liberties than anything else.
There’s really not going to be a real need for SWAT teams to be called to people’s houses for possession anymore than it was necessary for the FBI to lay siege to David Koresh’s compound.
Wow…can’t wait to see how criminal gangs take advantage of this law. I am sure they will all be “convinced” that police raids are illegal and therefore allow the use of force.
Great post title
@butler: And if I’m convinced that girl at the bar likes me, can I force her to have sex with me?
@Tim F.: “Sadly this would do next to nothing about runaway SWAT teams, since those guys never work in a vacuum. ”
Also, when a SWAT team kicks down somebody’s door, there’s a half-dozen adrenalined and ready officers with automatic weapons and body armor, usually with the element of surprise.
The only thing that pulling a gun on them would accomplish is finding out just what it’s like to be shot twenty or thirty times.
Or if you are an Occupy protestor and CONVINCED that the cops are overreacting and acting unlawfully….oh, hell what am I saying?
Balko has related a number of cases of people who have used force in wrong address type police entries (and survived) who could have benefited from this law. An awful lot of the time, people think they are confronting criminals instead of law enforcement, but juries rarely give the benefit of the doubt on that even if the defense can show that the cops were at the wrong house. One exception happened this last year in Illinois where assault with deadly weapon charges on were dismissed by the jury (concerning the wrong address/guy thinks he is shooting at burglars scenario) What struck me was how the defense attorney related that he told his client not to even look at the cops around the courtroom as he walked out as a free man.
How on earth is Obama going to populate the Indiana reeducation camps if this passes?
It’s hard to believe stuff like this occurs in states not named Alabama.
@Skipjack: um, … wasn’t the siege AFTER a couple of law officers were shot?
Once that rubicon is crossed, things do change.
hells littlest angel
This will be a boon to the cop-killer bullet industry, and thus the economy as a whole. Daniels/Liddy 2012!
Not necessarily. While I assume this is a bad law just because of who supported it, I also cannot help but think of the guy presently on death row in Mississippi because he shot one of the officers who broke into his home on a drug raid and had the wrong address. Since, apparently, the “castle doctrine” doesn’t apply to invading police.
Heh. The “deterrent” is reisting arrest, which will get you 2 of the following 3: a) tazed, b) 60+ baton swats al-a-Rodney King, and/or c) 3 bullet holes.
To me, all this seems to do is give cops more leeway in claiming “he was resisting b/c he thought blah blah blah” when swiss cheesing the next Negro.
SWAT teams are not used as often as people think in many jurisdictions. People are thinkin of, maybe, drug busts.
That said, this law is as stupid as the Florida “Stand and Fight” Law. Maybe this governor is addled with delusions that Obama is going to unleash martial law, and he is indulging fantasies of rugged individual citizens going toe to toe with an illegally mobilized police force.
So the citizen is convinced the officers are acting illegally. The cops are convinced that this guy is threatening them. The cops have more weapons. Easy to predict the outcome there.
On the other hand, I am not sure how to read this part of the proposed law:
This seems to suggest absolute submission to the cops.
These people have lost their minds.
Forget the police, I want to know if Gov. Daniels is a “public servant.”
Jesus Hussein Christ. This law will no doubt be a great comfort to the survivors of the armed householder who cites The Surly Megalomaniac just before he’s drilled by the cops.
You don’t have to be an Oracle to see this is going to end very badly for someone(s).
@catclub: Yes I was wrong the FBI didn’t take over until after the ATF raided. I should have said it wasn’t necessary for the escalation that led to the siege to take place. The siege itself escalated the whole thing into the resulting tragedy, but it had already become an object lesson in what-not-to-do. It’s the raid mentality that has become both prevalent and overbearing that I object to.
So when cops beat up and pepper spray Occupy Indianapolis protesters, said protesters can cap the cops? Someone needs to ask Daniels about this, since I’m sure this law was for “wolverines”-types playing army in the woods and not the dirty hippies.
I’m utterly convinced of Daniel’s cop mentality.
It’s a weird, peculiar set of circumstances. This law is a response to an Indiana supreme court decision from last year that held a person has no right to resist an illegal action by the police (in this particular, an entry without warrant or permission). Leaving aside the wisdom of resisting an armed man with social sanction to use violence, who has just demonstrated contempt for the law, this bill restores the status quo ante.
You do not have to absolutely submit to cops – you can refuse a search, to let them into your home and so on – but under no circumstance can you physically resist them. The remedy when a cop flagrantly violates your rights is a suit and/or criminal charges against the cop.
@Skipjack: “This is excellent and cheers to the conservatives for being concerned about personal and civil liberties for once. Of course the one single time involves guns and your personal castle but it’s a clear victory for the fourth amendment. Anyone interested in the impetus for this legislation should give Radley Balko’s blog The Agitator a read. There are so many documented instances of police breaking in like gangbusters to people’s apartments without identifying themselves and when confused people have fired back then being charged with attempted murder or more. it’s a legitimate issue and our endless drug wars have done more to militarize the police and delegitimize personal liberties than anything else.”
Do you really think that Mr. Dark can shoot a police officer, say that he was ‘convinced’ that he was in the right, and a jury will accept this? Remember that Cory Maye was convicted and sentenced to death, despite having clear justification (IIRC, the excuse was that the jury didn’t like his attitude).
He’s alive and free today because of very unusual publicity.
…or maybe you’re a religiously devout Muslim! You somehow left that off your list. The selective focus of this blog is breathtaking. The names of Timothy McVeigh, Jared Loughner, or Anders Brevik cannot reasonably be invoked without also listing Faisal Shazad, Umar Abdulmutallab, and Nadal Malik Hasan. But, surely, keep whispering to yourself: brown foreigners are the Oppressed and can do no wrong. Rinse and repeat.
So essentially, if you are living on rental property, haven’t paid your rent in 3 months and I get a court order for your conviction, you can feel free to blow away the Sheriff that comes to escort you from the property because you are convinced that you do not have to move.
Yeah. That about covers it.
On the other hand, if I am legally within my rights to be protesting on the steps of the State Capitol and a cop tries to escort me from the premises and I am convinced I am within my Constitutional right to be there, then I get to haul off and kick Monsieur Officer in the jimmies if he gets handsy.
Finally, a solution to the “driving while black” problem.
Villago Delenda Est
OTOH, Mitch Daniels is the sort of fascist shitstain who should be kept in the right state of fear at all times.
Actually, like many bad laws, it was written because of one highly publicized case – which prompted other similar cases to be brought to light. The incident occurred in a city.
IIRC, it was the stir around a person who defended himself while believing that his house was being raided by armed gunmen. It was – but it so happened that these armed gunmen were police officers at the wrong address. A big point in the debate was that they never identified themselves as police officers.
Belafon (formerly anonevent)
And this is America. This new law does not apply if you are black, hispanic, or a hippy. That would be like allowing blacks to have guns.
(How do I say I am both disgusted with the law and the reality of this country?)
Judas Escargot, Your Postmodern Neighbor
It’s funny how every goddamned one of these laws sounds like it was written by one of Louis CK’s “fat, lazy eighth graders”.
Sorry, wingers: “You ain’t the boss of me!” isn’t really a sound Constitutional principle.
Good “survival of the fittest” strategy by Gov. Daniels, even though he probably doesn’t believe in evolution.
The unfit start resisting police with force of their own. Police kick up the violence way past 11 (probably all the way 14 or 15) and the punk, who really fought back will probably be dead.
The non-punk population, on the other hand, will then represent a larger percentage of the population.
@Face: The deterrent effect is that police will know that some citizens will push the envelope, which will deter some (but not all) police from some (but not all) unnecessarily-aggressive practices. It’s a question of shifting the balance.
@Belafon (formerly anonevent): The real motivator for Ronald Reagan signing gun control laws was the Black Panthers posters.
Belafon (formerly anonevent)
@gene108: As a conservative friend of mine has said: It’s funny that the one group that believes in evolution attempts to fight against it, while the group that doesn’t believe in evolution lives by it.
@AnnaN: Not just renters. Indiana has plenty of people behind on their mortgage payments. For that matter, the banks have been making a lot of mistakes and foreclosing on people who aren’t behind (or don’t even have a mortgage), so some of those people shooting at the sheriffs will actually be in the right…
Add another to the very long list of reasons GOPers cannot govern.
I’ll admit I don’t completely understand the law but based on what you all are saying, I’d like to ask: Will there be a referee to send the cops to one corner and the civilian(s) involved to the other corner and mediate between the two sides because are they expecting the cops to walk back from a doorway as they figure out what exactly the situation is? And who is on what side? Otherwise I just see more people pulling out more guns (or baseball bats) and more people getting hurt.
It is certainly arguable whether the police must have a monopoly on the use of force. One alternative might be anarchy, but the other is tyranny.
This is no remedy at all if you’ve been killed by the cops, or if the society believes that cops can do no wrong.
Since I think sane people can agree that assaulting the cops is at best a chancy move even if you’re convinced You Can Take Them and The Fate Of The Free World Is At Stake, isn’t the real issue about accountability? That is to say, good record keeping, good public records laws, and clear paths to demand redress and reforms, both administratively and through litigation?
So, what is Gov. Daniels’s position on these recent developments where people are not permitted to use cameras and audio recorders to document the behavior of the cops in the performance of their duties? About the threats by the Roberts Court to shred Miranda and Due Process generally? About DNA testing evidence for convicts who might have been railroaded?
Speaking strictly to the point of Wrongful Arrest, and redress: given all the successes attributed to the Dashboard Cameras of Police Cruisers – both in terms of revealing police misconduct and in aiding the prosecution of offenders and deflating false claims of police misconduct – couldn’t we move to Badge Cameras or the like? Put in a few common-sense rules (say, require a court order to access the files, and require judicial review prior to the public release of footage) so video of Officer Friendly taking a tinkle doesn’t get out, and so a cop can gossip with their partner as they ride their patrol, and we could have cops who’d know they couldn’t easily get away with abuse and who’d know they couldn’t easily be falsely accused of abuse – cops we’d be more able to trust, and a better society.
@PurpleGirl: Hmm, I see a few raving wingnuts committing suicide-by-cop (which is good in itself) and some cops being deterred from unnecessary aggressiveness by the prospect of meeting those wingnuts, which is also good.
This is a strange and to my mind misguided law. I can imagine some lethal misunderstandings arising from armed private citizens not quite understanding this law. One could all too easily picture these situations ending up with some George Zimmerman-like character and a dead cop. Or a needless shoot-out and dead bystanders.
If the problem is police raiding the wrong house or arresting the wrong person, the fix is for the police to get their act together. Not for the public to figure out the nuances of the law in extremely stressful circumstances, before using force (which might not even be available to them) to resist arrest or a raid. The latter places too great a burden on private citizens and creates a needless risk of tragic consequences, as I’m certain the cops in Indiana tried to point out.
As someone noted, this is Daniels with a fig-leaf for the low-info crowd. There will be much gnashing of teeth in the aftermath..
More like this and I might turn republican.
You know, I never really thought I’d live in a nation where I’d have the need to teach my children how to be proficient at the art of the quickdraw.
My mistake. Guess I’ll have to go find a teacher for them.
So now the Zimmerman’s of Indiana will start unloading their clips on Cops who command ‘Respect Muh Authorita’.
As a liberal I should like this movie. I don’t. Dumb asses….all of them.
As a lawyer (and prosecutor), here is the problem with the law: it gives lay people the right to decide, for themselves, what is lawful. That is what we have a police, lawyers and, especially, judges for. Police have to meet certain legal standards before they can take action against an individual, i.e., have “reasonable suspicion,” “probable cause,” etc. These are terms that have been defined, clarified and modified over the course of decades, and law enforcement officers are trained in it. But, this law says that the a person must “reasonably believe the law enforcement officer is acting unlawfully.” A “reasonable belief” is the lowest of all standards, the easiest to reach – lower than probable cause (which is what police need to obtain a warrant). Its even lower lower than “reasonable suspicion,” since reasonable suspicion must be based upon articulable facts, such as observations. How does someone have a “reasonable belief” about whether the actions of police are “lawful” when they do not have legal training necessary to make such a judgment? It makes no sense.
Maybe Mitch should just write into the law that it’s for every citizen except for Occupy protesters and black teenagers carrying skittles?
Why is there such cognitive dissonance in our society, when Republicans can enact laws like this while at the same time laughing when police officers spray pepper spray directly into the eyes of silent protesters?
Hi! I was wondering about you as I hadn’t seen your smiling face recently. I hope you haven’t had health difficulties.
In other words, the fix is just to empower the goddamn Internal Affairs departments to do their job. I agree completely.
Following up on Ugh’s post; this legislation was a result of cops breaking into and arresting someone based on a mistaken address. If that is the case, were the cops acting unlawfully? They may have been mistaken, but if they had a good faith belief that they were at the right location. In other words mistaken does not necessarily equal unlawful.
Look at this the other way, the cops mistakenly enter the wrong house. The penalty is they are shot. Insanity. I will take a lawsuit over street justice any day.
R Waldo Emerson:
With extremely regulated use of said force that are broadcast regulatory to the populace, so that everyone understands how and when and why such force will be deployed.
That’s the difference with public citizens using force: no training in its use results in a wide variety of applications of said force. This law is a tragedy waiting to happen.
LOL, that cracked me up.
(BTW, “gat”…as in “Gattling gun”? … OK, google says means “gun” but comes from “Gattling gun”.)
There are conservatives (and some libertarians) who believe that the law is always meant to serve and protect them, that in any confrontation they are always in the right, will make the correct decision and, most importantly, they believe that they will always win every fight, especially if they are armed.
Well, given that the Republican/libertarian paradise is a war of all against all, this would seem to be a feature not a bug.
That’s not an invalid point, though I doubt that a Republican-run state could craft a law that would fix that and not cause a bunch of other problems.
Also, seems like the right thing to do is to institute procedures for re-checking the damn address.
I encourage all African-Americans in Indiana to vigorously exercise this right.
Oh, the second update does shed some light on this. Makes a little more sense now. Hopefully the law was carefully written, though I myself am too lazy to go read it.
Guns don’t kill people… Zimmerman does.
Now does everyone feel appropriately idiotic for the kneejerk conclusions they jumped to before educating themselves about the impetus behind this law?
Marcellus Shale, Public Dick
um, ok, the whole meltdown scenario is one thing what about cases like what adam skweres is on trial for, where a cop systematically uses authority to extort, intimidate, etc . does the cop who has been acting unlawfully over time have to make a sudden unprovoked attack before you douse them?
more often when authorities act unlawfully, its more of a slow-burn.
I’m fine — relative to my own norm, that is. It’s just that these few days there’s been a lot of relatively domestic matters (domestic to the US, that is) posted on, and I tend to be more restrained commenting on such matters, being on the other side of the planet and all that. But i’m still right here.
(Looks at you suspiciously.) How is it you can see my face?
Yes, this law is an incredibly bad idea, and will no doubt result in tragedy. That said, I’m puzzled by this post’s apparent portrayal of those who believe they might one day need to defend themselves against law officers acting outside the law in an official capacity as basically all nuts of one sort or another.
Sure, the vast majority of police officers are good folks working hard to do the right thing, the right way. But this is one of the problems with statistics–they only apply in situations which involve large sample groups. In individual situations, where one person is confronted by one law officer, the statistical chances that this officer will not violate this person’s rights in some egregious way are basically irrelevant. Either the contact will be lawful, or it won’t. If your rights are violated, you may have the opportunity to do something about it later, or you may not. If the officer acts within the letter and the intent of the law, fine. If not, a human being’s life may be permanently ruined, or ended. This is the reality, not some paranoid delusion.
Even generally good law officers are likely to have a bad day or two in the course of their careers, and on such bad days anyone with the shitty luck to come within their sights can find their lives changed forever. This sort of thing doesn’t only happen to people who are up to something/asking for it/[insert derogatory descriptor here].
Personally, I agree that the best course of action is to cooperate fully. If your rights are violated by a law officer, and you survive, you should take legal action after the fact. It won’t likely change anything, but at least you’ll have the knowledge that you attempted to stand up for an important principle. If you resist a cop with anything from your fists to a gun, the chances that your life will be forever changed for the worst (or ended immediately) will only increase. Either way, you’re pretty much screwed, but the best course of action would seem to be to survive to tell the story.
If you look at the actual text of the new law (as opposed to the governor’s comments about it), it’s clear that it doesn’t change anything at all. Under the new law, the use of force against a cop is not legal if you reasonably believe that (1) the person is a cop, and (2) executing his official duties. Before the new law was passed (but after the Indiana Supreme Court case that the new law was in response to), you could not be prosecuted for battery on a law enforcement officer (Indiana Code § 35-42-2-1(a)(2)) unless you knew that (1) the person is a cop, and (2) executing his official duties.
What am I missing here? Is this not a way for Occupy to start (legally) fighting back against the police? It’s not that big a leap to say the police cracking down on protests is violating the law (not to mention the first and fourth amendments).
I wonder if they’d revisit this law if some hippie pulled a gun out of their bongo . . .
Herm. It’s *very* dangerous to do so, but you *can*. And sometimes, in rare circumstances – so rare that 99.9% of the people should probably ignore this – you must. But keep in mind that you might be saving your life (or someone else’s) to spend in jail, *if* you don’t kill the cop. If you do, they like to execute cop killers. If you’re not prepared for that, then it’s probably not one of those circumstances.
I’ll be pepper sprayed and beaten if I have to, but if the cop’s going to kill someone, I hope I have the courage to risk life in jail to prevent that.
Well fuck Mitch Daniels but rolling over for the cops is an American disease that may yet kill us
They aren’t this stupid in Greece for instance
You’re correct that the state should have the monopoly of force which is why individual LEOs should fear the power of the people
Otherwise everything is fucked
The vast majority of police officers are people who decided to do what they do as a job and that is the proper starting point when you seek to understand what motivates them
It’s like the military: we need them but the constant risk is how rewarding and fulfilling the job is for psychopaths, sadists and narcissists
Yeah, that’s a problem. Psychopaths and sociopaths, including the borderline ones, tend to prefer career choices which grant them lots of power and the right to use it. I dare say there’s a higher percentage of them in high finance, politics, law enforcement and the military than one might expect to find in the general population. Ironically, their mental illness grants them a skill set which makes them really hard to catch.
As a society, we’ve always dealt with the cognitive dissonance this threatens to create in the public consciousness by running an idealized version of what it means to be a cop, soldier or politician up the flagpole, then letting it wave until we forget we ever had any silly little doubts.
The best cops I’ve met are the university ones, who are required to have a Bachelors in order to wear the badge. If they want to advance in rank, they need a Master’s. It doesn’t eliminate the problem of the wrong people being attracted to the jobs where they can do the most harm, but it seems to help a little.
@AA+ Bonds: Yes. Police must have a strong incentive to treat members of the public respectfully.
Internal discipline and civilian review boards aren’t nearly enough, because both are often toothless. Getting indirectly rebuked by a court on criminal appeal means nothing to an abusive cop. It’s so difficult and expensive to sue an abusive cop that that’s not a real deterrent either.
I think it’s good for police to fear that abuse may set someone off, and even better for them to fear that that person might not get prosecuted for resisting abuse.
Without real accountability, a representative democracy becomes a shell (if not a mockery) of its potential.
P.S. Also thanks for the points about the dangers of lionizing police, troops, et al.
I support it in principle.
Not because I’m under any illusion that I can defeat a SWAT force kicking my door in, but because I believe that no one or no agency is above the law and illegally assaulting someone’s home should not be protected in law.
That said, this specific law is pure pandering to the base.
As a Hoosier, I can tell you that the odds of a jury voting to convict someone of self defense when the circumstances even remotely support the claim are nonexistent.
you must be straight up fucking retarded if you don’t understand that law enforcement in the US is pervasively corrupt and abusive.
seriously, go read some law review articles, everybody knows perjury is committed by officers all across the country every single day the courts are in session.
NYPD stop n frisk is all the rebuttal that needs to be given to your dangerously uninformed sentiments.
Pretty sure this blog is joke.
I think it all depends on the type of people on either side of the no-knock/castle doctrine inevitable shootout.
If the red-meat crowd gets to see lily-white all-american-boy type hero cops take out a dangerous hispanic or black NRA member who shoots at them and maybe wings Roger Murtaugh two days before he retires, well, that right there is a cinematic classic.
Alternately, if Joe Waspyskin has his door brutally kicked in by rouge black and hispanic cops from the corrupt drug unit and bravely defends himself with a combination of Akido and the AR-15 he recently purchased at an unregulated gun show thereby saving Jane Waspyskin, little Joey Waspyskin, and Scruffles the dog by killing or incapacitating those disgraces to the noble uniform of police, well then he did the police department a favor and they will make him an honorary deputy just like Steven Segal.
It’s all about the Rambo fantasy; doesn’t matter which side Rambo is on, it’s the right side. Just look for the lensflare from the pale, pale skin of the hero, and you’ll know which side to root for.