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17 comments

1 Great White Snark  Mar 27, 2015 11:06:51am

You know how we expect each and every gun owner to be people that can manage anger and not lose it and shoot someone? Add stick, taser, training, badge authority… And the strict requirement just gets that much more important. Responsibility and authority cubed.

2 Aunty Entity Dragon  Mar 27, 2015 12:24:05pm

My dad was in corrections, and they had a couple of “problem children” who liked to hurt inmates. As far as I know, they never actually got in trouble because of the way they framed the use of force instances, even though they kept sending people to the hospital where other officers were not.

Also, the corrections officer union is one of the most powerful in California.

3 uncah91  Mar 27, 2015 12:29:46pm
for the average guy or gal, it approaches a zero-defects environment.

I don’t see how this statement is at all supported by the example.

The would have gotten away with it. May have gotten away with it other times where there wasn’t video, or the video wasn’t leaked.

Video existed in this case, but only once it was made public (and then made it viral in another context) did the officers face appropriate punishment.

4 Dark_Falcon  Mar 27, 2015 2:13:39pm

re: #3 uncah91

I don’t see how this statement is at all supported by the example.

The would have gotten away with it. May have gotten away with it other times where there wasn’t video, or the video wasn’t leaked.

Video existed in this case, but only once it was made public (and then made it viral in another context) did the officers face appropriate punishment.

I can’t really speak to that beyond noting that’s how the author of the piece feels. It’s an oversight, but it may be just observation of a former Special Forces soldier who is used to an environment where internal cover-ups are less common.

The thing I’d ask is to please not throw out the whole piece because of that oversight. The author has the right frame of mind, IMO, and his piece can deliver important truths to folks who might not listen to ‘liberals’, but will listen and perhaps believe when the situation is explained by a fellow gun aficionado.

The crucial thing for changes in policing to occur is for a coalition strong enough to push it through to form. Pieces like this are how the center-right and middle-right parts of that coalition can form.

5 CuriousLurker  Mar 27, 2015 2:47:53pm
This is the story of a patrolman whose single, understandable act of temper ended his and several other careers.

I up-dinged your effort in making this page, but I disagree with the above.

Single? How do we know this wasn’t a pattern with him and that this incident was “single” only in the sense that he got caught this time? People who get physically violent like that don’t usually do it as a one-off thing. Ask any battered woman or child.

Understandable? Having the urge is understandable, acting on it is NOT. I’ve had the urge to smash someone’s face into the wall more than once, but it was never someone half my size and I never actually did it. The worst part is the grins on the faces of the other two cops behind him—they seem to find it quite enjoyable. That’s not understandable, it’s pathological.

Too bad only the officer who pepper-sprayed the victim after he was down (and clearly dazed to the point of being unable to stand on his own) got fired along with the other one. IMO, all three of them should’ve been fired. People who lack self-control and/or enjoy seeing other people get hurt shouldn’t be in positions of authority.

6 Dark_Falcon  Mar 27, 2015 3:12:06pm

re: #5 CuriousLurker

‘Single’ because no other incidents have come to light and it is solely based on the incident shown in the video that Mark Richardson was fired and that he now faces charges over. Given that, ‘single’ is appropriate. Your point is well made, CL, but it would have been inappropriate for the writer to have engaged in speculation without evidence of other incidents.

7 goddamnedfrank  Mar 27, 2015 3:26:41pm

re: #6 Dark_Falcon

‘Single’ because no other incidents have come to light and it is solely based on the incident shown in the video that Mark Richardson was fired and that he now faces charges over. Given that, ‘single’ is appropriate. Your point is well made, CL, but it would have been inappropriate for the writer to have engaged in speculation without evidence of other incidents.

If you find a single ant/rat/cockroach in your house you assume there are more because there always are more. I’m just not credulous enough to believe that someone abuses a prisoner in custody, like this, pepper sprays them while they’re down, like this, laughs about it while it’s happening, like this, but that it’s all a one off event. It is entirely appropriate to assume they’ve abused their authority like this on multiple occasions. They clearly enjoyed it too much not to have.

8 goddamnedfrank  Mar 27, 2015 3:31:29pm

“This is the story of a patrolman whose single, understandable act of temper …”

LOL, no, stop right there, total bullshit. Fuck this author, he’s trying to minimize a violent, inexcusable assault that could easily have resulted in concussion and brain damage.

9 Lumberhead  Mar 27, 2015 3:36:43pm

What hits me most about this story is: how many suspects did he abuse in the five years after this incident? There certainly wasn’t any incentive for him not to abuse people in his custody. His peers either lied for him or looked the other way.

10 CuriousLurker  Mar 27, 2015 4:08:19pm

re: #6 Dark_Falcon

‘Single’ because no other incidents have come to light and it is solely based on the incident shown in the video that Mark Richardson was fired and that he now faces charges over. Given that, ‘single’ is appropriate. Your point is well made, CL, but it would have been inappropriate for the writer to have engaged in speculation without evidence of other incidents.

I get your point, but I have to agree with goddamnedfrank’s #7 and Lumberhead’s #9. I’d also point out that the author goes from calling the guy who got his face smashed a “victim” to referring to him as a “mouthy crumb” and a “sphincter muscle”. Not exactly objective, is it?

11 Bass Reeves  Mar 27, 2015 4:43:42pm

re: #4 Dark_Falcon

former Special Forces soldier who is used to an environment where internal cover-ups are less common.

Hehehe…good one.

12 palomino  Mar 27, 2015 5:06:48pm

So what if this guy “lost his police career over a single instant”? That’s not some earth shattering tragedy. That’s actually the way it’s supposed to work when a cop screws up egregiously.

Kinda like when a teacher loses their career over a single incident of hitting or fucking a student. Or when a bus driver loses his job over a single incident of on the job drunk driving. Or when an accountant loses their finance career over a single incident of fraud or embezzlement. Or a surgeon loses his medical career over a single incident of operating while high on the same drugs he just used to sedate his patient. The list could go on forever.

Why is it any more “sad” when a cop loses his job? When they fuck up, they can cause a lot of damage; the threshold for losing their jobs shouldn’t be that high.

13 palomino  Mar 27, 2015 5:14:29pm

re: #6 Dark_Falcon

‘Single’ because no other incidents have come to light and it is solely based on the incident shown in the video that Mark Richardson was fired and that he now faces charges over. Given that, ‘single’ is appropriate. Your point is well made, CL, but it would have been inappropriate for the writer to have engaged in speculation without evidence of other incidents.

At best, that’s a half answer. Where’s the evidence that the officer’s violent response was “understandable”? Since when is it understandable that a person who takes an oath to protect and serve (and is entrusted with so much weaponry) beats the crap out of suspects who mouth off? If you can’t deal nonviolently with humans saying mean things, you sure as hell have no business being a cop.

14 lostlakehiker  Mar 27, 2015 5:34:09pm

re: #12 palomino

So what if this guy “lost his police career over a single instant”? That’s not some earth shattering tragedy. That’s actually the way it’s supposed to work when a cop screws up egregiously.

Kinda like when a teacher loses their career over a single incident of hitting or fucking a student. Or when a bus driver loses his job over a single incident of on the job drunk driving. Or when an accountant loses their finance career over a single incident of fraud or embezzlement. Or a surgeon loses his medical career over a single incident of operating while high on the same drugs he just used to sedate his patient. The list could go on forever.

Why is it any more “sad” when a cop loses his job? When they fuck up, they can cause a lot of damage; the threshold for losing their jobs shouldn’t be that high.

Seems to me that the author doesn’t see it as a tragedy either. He draws an analogy to the way things work in special forces, where one major screw up is one too many. Some jobs just don’t fit the idea of cutting a guy some serious slack. And the point is that “cop” is one of those.

15 CuriousLurker  Mar 27, 2015 6:10:55pm

re: #14 lostlakehiker

Seems to me that the author doesn’t see it as a tragedy either. He draws an analogy to the way things work in special forces, where one major screw up is one too many. Some jobs just don’t fit the idea of cutting a guy some serious slack. And the point is that “cop” is one of those.

From the article:

The officer was, at once, creative in using the wall as a weapon (remember, everything is a potential weapon if you let your imagination free), and tragically mistaken to lose his cool with a mouthy crumb of a suspect.

16 Dark_Falcon  Mar 27, 2015 8:41:04pm

re: #13 palomino

At best, that’s a half answer. Where’s the evidence that the officer’s violent response was “understandable”? Since when is it understandable that a person who takes an oath to protect and serve (and is entrusted with so much weaponry) beats the crap out of suspects who mouth off? If you can’t deal nonviolently with humans saying mean things, you sure as hell have no business being a cop.

It’s half an answer because that was the only half of CL’s argument I was willing to counter. I consider bouncing someone much smaller than you off of the wall several times to be understandable only as a major moral failure. I understand how a cop could get so angry with an nasty talking, spitting prisoner that the cop wanted to slam him around like that, but just because I can understand someone’s rage does not mean I can condone it or excuse it when it fuels a wrongful action.

But I would point out the author does not see Mark Richardson’s actions as justifiable either. Here’s the sentence right before the one CL quotes in comment #15:

There’s scant sympathy here for the suspect/assault victim, a crumb who was spitting at cops, except for this: no one deserves to be beaten by police, and as a society you can’t let police get away with it.

And one of the tags on the article is “Don’t be THAT guy” with “THAT guy” clearly being Mr. Richardson.

So while the fault you point to is real, I do think the post is useful. Not just because of who is likely to read it but also because it shows that the issue of police misconduct has traction in places it did not have before 2014.

17 palomino  Mar 27, 2015 9:37:22pm

re: #14 lostlakehiker

Seems to me that the author doesn’t see it as a tragedy either. He draws an analogy to the way things work in special forces, where one major screw up is one too many. Some jobs just don’t fit the idea of cutting a guy some serious slack. And the point is that “cop” is one of those.

That’s pretty much a Capt. Obvious moment.

The notion that we need a “police-supporting blogger” to tell us the video shows something abhorrent is an insult to the intelligence of anyone but the most servile police apologists.

The Special Forces analogy is also a dud. American cops who patrol civilian areas are NOT Special Forces. On the contrary, the more they think of themselves in such terms, the more trouble erupts, and the more Fergusons we’re going to have.


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