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Police Chief: Not Wanting To Talk To Police Officers Is 'Odd'

from the and-following-a-woman-down-the-street-on-your-bike-ISN'T? dept

This insight into how police think the public should interact with them is certainly enlightening. (via this tweet and Amy Alkon's Advice Goddess blog)

The backstory is this: a woman was walking down the street when a motorcycle cop approached her, asked her if she lived in the area and if she would talk to him. She says his approach made her feel uncomfortable, so she refused and continued on her way.

"I thought that maybe he was flirting," she said. "I just thought it was odd, I thought it was odd. I wasn't really sure but I felt uncomfortable because there wasn't anyone around."

She says she was worried he might not even a real cop, so she refused to stop and began jogging away from him.

"He just crept along beside me on his motorcycle and he started saying, 'Hey ma'am! I want to talk to you. Hey stop, ma'am! I want to talk to you.' Then my anxiety rose even higher," she said.
This was followed shortly thereafter by the cop dismounting, chasing her down, tackling her and placing her under arrest. The police chief claims this arrest was for "walking on the wrong side of the road," (as well as "evading arrest" and "resisting arrest") despite the fact that the woman wasn't ultimately charged with anything.

Even if the preceding events could possibly be dismissed as hearsay, or something tainted by false impressions and emotions, there's the police chief's responses to questions about this interaction.

Whitehouse Police Chief Craig Shelton says this:
Shelton says by law you're not required to stop and talk to an officer if there's not a lawful reason for them to be stopping you.
But then he says this:
"Normally if a police officer pulls up, in my opinion, it's awful odd for somebody just to take off and not want to speak to the police officer," Shelton said.
Yes, this may seem "odd" to a police officer, but it's not all that odd for citizens, even those committing no real crime (Shelton justifies the stop with the "walking on the wrong side of the street" crap) to have no desire to talk to police officers. A huge imbalance of power makes conversation uncomfortable. Anyone who's attempted small talk with their boss understands this. If someone doesn't want to talk to a cop, it's not odd, it's normal.

Only a cop -- someone who doesn't understand the strain caused by the imbalance of power -- would consider this response "odd." And when law enforcement officials use the word "odd," they actually mean "suspicious." (Hence this woman being chased, tackled and arrested -- all for "walking on the wrong side of the street.") Holding a conversation with a cop without somehow appearing nervous, fidgety or otherwise strained (all natural body responses that will be read by most cops as signs of guilt) isn't something many people can do. Knowing that these common reactions will only serve to "alert" cops to theoretical criminal behavior further exacerbates the situation.

Beyond that, there's the other assertions Shelton makes in defense of his officer's actions. First, he claims the cop's motorcycle and uniform clearly indicated he was a cop and not some bad guy seeking to do harm.
"The motorcycle has a patch on both sides of the gas tank. It's black and white and says 'Whitehouse Police,' and has red and blue lights on it," Whitehouse Police Chief Craig Shelton said. "So you have to take it for what it is. Do you think he's a Whitehouse police officer? Why would you think he's someone impersonating a police officer?"
Why would you assume he isn't? Shelton is completely divorced from reality. For one, most people can't determine the difference between a cop and an impostor, especially if they're making active efforts to disengage from the interaction.

For another, plenty of cops -- real cops -- have been charged with rape and sexual assault. So, being a legitimate cop doesn't really eliminate the danger for a woman walking on her own with no one else around. Sure, this cop may not be a rapist, but I would imagine those who have been raped by a cop probably thought the officer who violated them wasn't a rapist right up to the point they were being raped.

The fact is that the woman probably would have extricated herself from the situation no matter what. A strange man -- in uniform or out -- persistently trying to get a woman to talk to him in an area with few other pedestrians is almost always going to be treated as a possible threat. It's the persistence that sets off the alarms. If you're rebuffed and go away, the threat subsides. But if you persist, whether you're just some stranger or a guy in full uniform on a police motorcycle, it will continue to push the needle toward "threat."

But that's the problem. Despite all of this, Chief Shelton just thinks it's "odd" the woman wouldn't stop. Shelton makes things even worse by making this contradictory claim.
Bonnette hasn't been charged with anything, but the entire incident was caught on dashcam video and Shelton says it will be investigated further. He also says Johnson acted appropriately and won't be reprimanded.
There go the odds of ever seeing the video. Shelton has already cleared the officer ahead of his promise to investigate further. How does that even add up in his head? He's already made his decision. Unless, of course, he means he's going to investigate to see if any further charges can be brought against the "odd" woman who refused to talk to his officer until he had her pinned on the ground and handcuffed. But that would just be vindictive and surely the Whitehouse PD is above that. If that's not what Shelton meant, then the investigation he's performing will be open-and-shut, caged in by air quotes and quite possibly doing away altogether with the bothersome "open" half of open-and-shut.


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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 23 Apr 2014 @ 2:06pm

    On paper vs. In practice

    So on one hand you've got this...

    Shelton says by law you're not required to stop and talk to an officer if there's not a lawful reason for them to be stopping you.

    And yet on the other you've got this...

    "Normally if a police officer pulls up, in my opinion, it's awful odd for somebody just to take off and not want to speak to the police officer," Shelton said.

    Translation: Though it's not technically illegal to not want to talk to a cop, if you, for whatever reason, don't want to or refuse to, you're automatically considered 'suspicious' and they'll find something to force you to talk to them, even if the 'talk' takes place down in a precinct cell.

    And they wonder why even 'innocent'(in quotes because if they care to, there's enough laws they'll have no troubling finding something to charge you with) people don't like to be around police...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2014 @ 5:23pm

      Re: On paper vs. In practice

      The police can stop, cite or arrest you for any reason they damn well please. If you're not actually doing anything illegal, well then they can always make something up... gotta fill those quotas. It isn't enough to just abide the laws, you have to go out of your way to avoid attracting the attention of the police.

      For all we know this pig had every intention of having his way with this poor woman... maybe he thought better, maybe he forgot his pills, who knows?

      All I know is if this happened to me, I would be very very disturbed... and I'm a guy.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Not at all, 9 Jul 2015 @ 9:32am

      Re: On paper vs. In practice

      *and they'll find something to force you to talk to them*

      You don't need to talk to them,
      even if under arrest.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2014 @ 3:02pm

    One of my new favorite sayings seems fairly appropriate here. "It isn't so bad living in a police state...as long as you're the police."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      SpaceLifeForm, 23 Apr 2014 @ 3:11pm

      Re: "as long as you're the police."

      And of course, then, from the police POV,
      everyone else is a criminal.

      What we have here folks, is group think insanity.

      And if you are not part of the group, you are
      an 'outsider', a criminal, a potential terrorist.
      A no-gooder. You are the enemy of the insane group.

      "If you're not with us, you're against us".

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2014 @ 3:14pm

    How can "resisting arrest" be a REASON for arresting someone?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      compgeek (profile), 23 Apr 2014 @ 3:25pm

      Re:

      legally it cannot. at least in indiana. not sure about other states or fed level. doesnt stop them from using it as a reason though.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 23 Apr 2014 @ 3:29pm

      Re:

      Oh 'resisting arrest' is just what it's called, the actual 'crime' is 'Did not respect the badge and/or grovel to a sufficient degree'.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      sorrykb (profile), 23 Apr 2014 @ 4:57pm

      Re:

      How can "resisting arrest" be a REASON for arresting someone?

      Predictive policing: I predict that you will resist arrest, which is a crime; therefore, I am arresting you.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 23 Apr 2014 @ 7:10pm

        Alliteration time

        Predictive paradoxical policing at that.

        'Though you are not currently breaking any laws, I believe that if I tried to arrest you, you would resist. Since resisting arrest is in itself a crime, I will now attempt to arrest you for the crime of attempted resisting arrest, and use your attempts to object to your arrest as having no cause to justify the charge of resisting arrest.'

        Truly, circular reasoning at it's finest.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Brady, 26 Apr 2014 @ 8:55pm

      Re: resisting arrest

      The answer is, You can't. Dallas Police used to do that routinely, and each time they got sued for it, they lost, and so they issued memos to all officers to stop, and for a while they would, until it would start again, and then a new memo would be issued, over and over. I filed a P.I.A. Request for the most recent one, years back, and they sent me ALL of them. Resisting Arrest is only a lawful charge when there is some other jailable offense being charged FIRST, AND THEN, resisting THAT would lawfully be allowed to be added.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2014 @ 3:19pm

    I'd imagine chasing down and then tackling the woman doesn't really look all that different from the precursor to rape in her eyes.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 23 Apr 2014 @ 3:27pm

      Re:

      Oh yeah, I'm sure the strange person following her, the insistence to stop and 'talk', followed by the chase, slamming her to the ground, and putting her into handcuffs really assured her already present fears. No way any of that could be misunderstood by an already nervous and frightened person. /s

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    John Fenderson (profile), 23 Apr 2014 @ 3:27pm

    Cops think they're the good guys. Even the bad ones.

    I've known a fair number of cops in my time. Most of them decent people, some of them quite the opposite. All of them were 100% convinced that they were virtuous and really couldn't understand that law-abiding citizens might not agree with that assessment.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 23 Apr 2014 @ 3:41pm

      Re: Cops think they're the good guys. Even the bad ones.

      Human nature.

      No matter how bad someone is, no matter what the job is, almost no-one will(or even can) admit, to themselves or others, that they even might be in the wrong or acting wrongly. The human mind is great at coming up with excuses so people don't have to face that they might be the 'bad guy' in a situation.

      Unfortunately, when dealing with cops or others in position of power and authority, this can make things much worse.

      I can't remember the quote, and I can't remember who said it, but the idea is that if someone is doing evil/wrong just because they feel like it, there's limits on what they'll do, even if it's just 'I'm bored with this, on to something else'.

      However, if they truly believe that what they're doing, no matter how wrong, is in the 'public's best interest', the 'greater good', or the goal is good enough to justify their actions, then there is no limit at all, as they can justify any action with their 'good intentions' or 'noble goal', and since they so strongly believe in the rightness of their action(s), they will be unceasing in them, never stopping.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2014 @ 4:07pm

        Re: Re: Cops think they're the good guys. Even the bad ones.

        I've seen it written by J Michael Straczynski, of Babylon 5 fame, as "the monster doesn't see a monster in the mirror." I got the impression it wasn't an original JMS quote, he was quoting someone else.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        audiomagi (profile), 23 Apr 2014 @ 8:42pm

        Re: Re: Cops think they're the good guys. Even the bad ones.

        I think this is the quote you are looking for:

        C.S. Lewis: "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their consciences."

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 23 Apr 2014 @ 9:03pm

          Re: Re: Re: Cops think they're the good guys. Even the bad ones.

          That was indeed it, thanks.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 24 Apr 2014 @ 4:37am

          Re: Re: Re: Cops think they're the good guys. Even the bad ones.

          Describes the democratic partly perfectly. They are here to take care of us whether we want or need taken care of.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            John Fenderson (profile), 24 Apr 2014 @ 8:43am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Cops think they're the good guys. Even the bad ones.

            It describes the republican party equally well, too.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 24 Apr 2014 @ 9:28am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Cops think they're the good guys. Even the bad ones.

              Not quite.

              The Dems want to take care of you through Government Nanny-ism.

              The Reps want to take care of you through Corporate Servitude.

              Not much of a different but enough to divide people left and right apparently.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Carlie Coats, 24 Apr 2014 @ 4:28am

        Re: Re: Cops think they're the good guys. Even the bad ones.

        The quote: C.S.Lewis in The Abolition of Man.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        ratteau (profile), 24 Apr 2014 @ 9:44am

        Re: Re: Cops think they're the good guys. Even the bad ones.

        I believe the quote to which you refer is from CS Lewis:

        “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be "cured" against one's will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.”

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        tony, 24 Apr 2014 @ 2:22pm

        Re: Re: Cops think they're the good guys. Even the bad ones.

        Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        OrganizedThoughtCrime (profile), 24 Apr 2014 @ 8:31pm

        Re: Re: Cops think they're the good guys. Even the bad ones.

        "No matter how bad someone is, no matter what the job is, almost no-one will(or even can) admit, to themselves or others, that they even might be in the wrong or acting wrongly. The human ego is great at coming up with excuses so people don't have to face that they might be the 'bad guy' in a situation."

        ;)

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Cromert, 24 Apr 2014 @ 8:35pm

        Re: Re: Cops think they're the good guys. Even the bad ones.

        C. S. Lewis:

        "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        MamaLiberty, 25 Apr 2014 @ 12:31pm

        Re: Re: Cops think they're the good guys. Even the bad ones.

        Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
        [info][add][mail][note]
        C. S. Lewis

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    zip, 23 Apr 2014 @ 3:36pm

    "How Dare You not Acknowledge Me!!"

    The guy couldn't accept female rejection. He took it as a sign of disrespect -- a literal slap in the face. And his physical response was basically the same as this guy:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2237501/Thug-Michael-Ayoade-36-admits-punching-Tasneem-Kabir -16-unconscious-shocking-random-street-attack.html

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Josh (profile), 23 Apr 2014 @ 3:40pm

    Assaulted.

    If she had been running, spun around and sprayed the cop with pepper, because she thought she was being assaulted, how would this have turned out?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 23 Apr 2014 @ 3:44pm

      Re: Assaulted.

      'Assaulting an officer', 'Unprovoked assault' and I'm sure a few other charges would have been filed against her, with the whole 'I thought I was being attacked' defense mocked out of court.

      After all, it was a cop, they'd never assault someone, so 'self defense' wouldn't even enter into it! /s

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        zip, 23 Apr 2014 @ 3:51pm

        Re: Re: Assaulted.

        I know in at least a few states, you cannot even plead "self defense" in court. There is simply no such thing as *self defense* when it's against a cop, no matter what the situation.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 23 Apr 2014 @ 5:35pm

          Re: Re: Re: Assaulted.

          So in other words it's legally impossible for a cop to assault someone in those states, that's just grand. /s

          After all, 'self defense' implies that someone was attacking you, and if that's not allowed as a defense, then it follows that what happened wasn't the defendant being attacked, no matter how 'similar' the action is to assault.

          "The officer didn't 'slam the defendant against the ground', he was 'helping them to admire the details of the asphalt'. "

          "The officer wasn't 'beating' the defendant, they were 'demonstrating how effective their exercise regime was at building muscle'. "

          "No no, the officer wasn't 'kicking the defendant in the chest while they were prone on the ground', they were 'demonstrating the quality of their footwear'. "

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2014 @ 6:32pm

        Re: Re: Assaulted.

        More likely is that no charges would have been filled, the coroner would have been called.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Robert Sund (profile), 27 Apr 2014 @ 11:40am

        Re: Re: Assaulted.

        http://inthesetimes.com/article/16610/post_occupy_mynypd_makes_new_yorks_blood_boil

        McMillan contends that Officer Bovell grabbed her breast from behind and she reacted instinctively, elbowing backwards in reaction to what she considered an assault.

        For several minutes the woman lay on the ground as onlookers made increasingly agonized demands until an ambulance arrived

        I was unable to speak with McMillan’s lawyers, who are under a gag order from the judge

        Vital facts were disallowed in his courtroom, such as the video of McMillan having a seizure after her struggle with the officer and Officer Bovell's record of police brutality.

        the judge disallowed every question except: “Were the protesters smelly?” and “Was it personal for you?”


        Yet Cecily McMillan, not Officer Bovell, is on trial

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Wig, 24 Apr 2014 @ 2:49am

      Re: Assaulted.

      How about this: what if it had happened in Florida and she had "stood her ground and shot the bugger?"

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      art guerrilla (profile), 24 Apr 2014 @ 11:51am

      Re: Assaulted.

      she'd be dead, all justified, of course...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2014 @ 3:40pm

    Well, after watching https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au4_EdPwTkE I steer clear of any police officer.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2014 @ 3:47pm

    She didn't respect the thug's "authority". That's like waving a red flag in front of a bull, and kicking it in the balls at the same time.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Rekrul, 23 Apr 2014 @ 4:30pm

    Is "walking on the wrong side of the street" actually a crime? If so, I'd love to hear the rationale behind it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      ltlw0lf (profile), 23 Apr 2014 @ 4:58pm

      Re:

      Is "walking on the wrong side of the street" actually a crime? If so, I'd love to hear the rationale behind it.

      While I don't know much about what happened, and I doubt, based on what I did read/watch that it was; there are times in which walking on the wrong side *is* a safety concern and thus may be an infraction. If the video shown on the news report of the location is correct, there is no sidewalk separating pedestrians from traffic, but also, it looks like a low-speed residential area (looks like a single lane of traffic with a lot of grass to walk on, so walking off the road shouldn't be much of a problem.)

      If you are on a high-speed highway, with no shoulder and no sidewalk, walking on the same side of the road as traffic (the right side) is *extremely* dangerous. You cannot see traffic coming from behind and cannot react to get out of the way if traffic doesn't happen to see you. I know CAVC 21956 limits it solely to this situation, and thus you can walk on any side of the road you want unless you fit into this very specific situation. Of course, California is not Texas, and the rules are likely different. I am not sure how much help walking on the left side would have been in this case when the road is so narrow...cars driving the opposite way are easily visible no matter what side you are on, and cars behind you are going to be just as invisible.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      akp (profile), 23 Apr 2014 @ 5:06pm

      Re:

      Apparently not, as she wasn't actually charged with anything.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 24 Apr 2014 @ 8:32pm

        Re: Re:

        (in response to you and OP)

        "despite the fact that the woman wasn't ultimately charged with anything. "

        Just because she wasn't charged with anything doesn't mean she didn't break the law. Perhaps the police don't think it's worth pursuing further. The police, at least to some extent, may have sympathized with her fear that this might not be a real cop (even if they thought the fear was irrational/unreasonable).

        and I do kinda agree with the OP here in that just because someone is wearing some uniform and carries some badge doesn't tell me if they are a real cop. Anyone can get some fake badge and what average citizen will be able to tell the difference especially if the person showing the badge doesn't give the viewer sufficient time to see and analyze it (as a criminal may avoid doing).

        "Shelton justifies the stop with the "walking on the wrong side of the street" crap"

        I'm not defending cops in general and I criticize them when appropriate but this time I think Tim is kinda taking a one sided view of this. If the argument is that the cop used excessive force say that. But to suggest that she wasn't required to stop for a cop who was stopping her for breaking the law is silly. Breaking the law is justification for a stop (now if you want to argue the law is a bad law that's also a different issue). Otherwise we can all just ignore a cop whenever we break laws. That's not how society should function.

        I'm not saying she's wrong either. I can see how she might get a little frightened if a cop pulls her over with no one around and she thinks the person might not be a cop. I just don't think this case is so clear cut against the cop. There may have been a misunderstanding.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Apr 2014 @ 12:15am

      Re:

      Is "walking on the wrong side of the street" actually a crime?
      Yeah, pavements are totally one way now... Health and safety to avoid all those horrendous pile-ups with people walking into each other while texting. Didn't you get the memo?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Apr 2014 @ 7:52am

      Re:

      Yes in a lot of places. However, it is only illegal if the pedestrian is walking on the roadway. She was on the grass, so it doesn't apply at all.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2014 @ 4:33pm

    Lucky she didn't get shot

    Just like this morning when a pizza delivery guy got shot running away from the police because he thought he was getting robbed.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Namel3ss (profile), 23 Apr 2014 @ 4:35pm

    And cops wonder why people don't like cops. Jeez.

    Every day on the way to drop my kids off at school there's 2 police cars parked on the main road running radar. In the same spot. Why aren't you assclowns out doing real police work instead of revenue enhancement for the banana republic you work for? Aren't there any unsolved crimes you could be working on? Ones with victims, mind you?

    But NO. Better to get your rocks off on your little barney fife power trip.

    :puke:

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2014 @ 6:42pm

      The thing about Barney Fife was

      ...he was only allowed one bullet, and it was kept in his pocket. Wonder what a police officer would act in real life if he was only allowed that?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    anymouse, 23 Apr 2014 @ 4:49pm

    In a broader sense, I wonder if at least some police officers understand that when they gear up in military uniforms, tanks, drones, automatic weapons, blanket electronic surveillance, no-knock raids, shooting harmless pets, etc, they look more like an occupying army of power-tripping thugs - and the people understand that they are seen as the enemy by these officers?

    The cops should be there to protect and serve the public and uphold the laws (including the Constitution). That's not what they're projecting, and should not be surprised when the public fears them. This cannot continue well for anyone.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      compgeek (profile), 23 Apr 2014 @ 4:52pm

      Re:

      ever think that they WANT the public to fear them?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anymouse, 23 Apr 2014 @ 5:32pm

        Re: Re:

        They really shouldn't want that.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 23 Apr 2014 @ 5:50pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          The officers you don't have to worry about(at least directly) almost certainly don't want that, for them, being a cop is about helping people, not making them fear the police.

          However, to the 'officers' that you do have to worry about, lest you find yourself eating asphalt or perforated, fear from the public is just another perk of the job; to those sociopaths having people fear them is yet another reason they took the job.

          And to a point, fear does work to cow people and make them compliant, the problem comes if the fear gets to such a degree that people start fearing for their lives(already true in some areas), in which case they're likely to defend themselves if it comes to it, and should they be armed when they do so... well, things are likely to get messy, and the police are likely to find out that when fear reaches that point, the distinction between officer and 'officer' vanishes to those that believe their life is at stake.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            compgeek (profile), 24 Apr 2014 @ 7:49am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            that is what i was trying to hint at. Thank you for clarifying for me.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            art guerrilla (profile), 24 Apr 2014 @ 12:08pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            i will only repeat this telling factoid (in fact, it may have even been an article i saw here, but maybe at the 'reason' site):
            in 2011 33 donut eaters were killed by gunshots...

            we do NOT know how many thousands of citizens were killed by kops (and it IS in the thousands) because the (in)justice department just doesn't think it is, um, you know, prudent to keep track of such insignificant stats...

            BUT, we DO KNOW you have about an 8-10 times better chance of being killed by a piggy than by a real, honest-to-allah terrorist...

            further, that 33 kops killed, that is the lowest since -wait for it- 1887 when the population was a FRACTION of what it is now... 18-fucking-87 when most of us were still down on the farm, guns were no where near as plentiful, etc, etc, etc... disgusting...

            piggies are the 'protected' klass, not citizens...

            oh, and to all the donut eaters out there: you kick my door down and shoot my dogs, YOU BETTER kill me on the first shot, or SOME PIG is getting their throat justifiably, rightfully, and righteously ripped out... POS immoral pigs...

            biggest cohort of freedom-hating, constitution-ignoring, bullying motherfuckers on the planet...

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      OrganizedThoughtCrime (profile), 24 Apr 2014 @ 8:44pm

      Damn right!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Ismail Hossain, 23 Apr 2014 @ 4:54pm

    "That One Guy" you are absolutely right. I Appreciate your words.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2014 @ 5:09pm

    Police Chief Craig "Misogynator" Shelton: Harassing, then attacking random women is appropriate behavior, and none of my officers will be punished for it in any way.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Zonker, 23 Apr 2014 @ 5:30pm

    I think it is perfectly normal for a woman to run away from someone who is stalking and harassing her, especially if they are likely to assault and kidnap/falsely imprison her when they catch her. What did you expect her to do, stand there and let him do what he wants to her? Also she was forced to run on the wrong side of the road (a citation, not criminal offense) to get away from her stalker, making it a matter of her personal safety at stake.

    The officer had no justifiable reason to detain or arrest her as no crime by her or probable cause implicating her had been witnessed, nor any warrants against her issued.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2014 @ 5:33pm

    There should be spoiler alert: it's Texas.

    BTW, what it has to do with tech Mr Cushing?

    I read more and more stories of people getting butchered by criminals and refuse to talk to police about it. What is going on?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2014 @ 5:56pm

      Re:

      If the country is turning into a police state, surely it's important to talk about. For as long as it's legal, anyway

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), 23 Apr 2014 @ 6:50pm

      Re:

      BTW, what it has to do with tech Mr Cushing?

      This site has been around for 15 years. I'd be more surprised if it hadn't expanded its scope.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        zip, 23 Apr 2014 @ 7:49pm

        Re: Re:

        " BTW, what it has to do with tech Mr Cushing?"

        It's only because of modern "tech" that these stories and videos of police malfeasance get out to the world. Before the internet, they rarely even made the local news (OK, Rodney King was THE exception). And I lived in a town where the 'thin blue line' extended all the way to the newsroom.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Ninja (profile), 24 Apr 2014 @ 3:31am

        Re: Re:

        This site has been around for 15 years. I'd be more surprised if it hadn't expanded its scope.

        Some things never change. I've seen some hilarious trolling attempts like this one in an article back in 2005 (no, I wasn't around) so.. Yeah.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Coyne Tibbets (profile), 23 Apr 2014 @ 7:37pm

    Us versus them

    People are awed and, more importantly, cowed by power; perhaps it shouldn't be that way, but it is. For a simple reason: you, the peon, are so easily harmed by someone in power.

    Just consider how odd the police themselves would act if, for example, internal affairs or the FBI came around asking questions of them.

    Isn't it shallow of them to neglect to notice the dichotomy?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Christopher, 23 Apr 2014 @ 8:52pm

    "Pardon me ma'am, but you're walking on the wrong side of the street, would you please cross to the other side when it's safe?"

    There, DONE. Problem solved.

    Seriously, why is that so hard for so many police?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Apr 2014 @ 8:56pm

      Re:

      I agree that the cop probably could have handled this better. At the same time, based on the fact that the news video said she was going on her usual morning walk I sense the possibility that this wasn't the first time the cop saw her walk on the wrong side of the road (since she probably walks at about the cop's usual routine/shift in the area). So maybe he wanted to stop her to talk to her about her law breaking. Not saying that's the best approach, perhaps simply telling her on the road that she should walk the other side next time was a better solution (and if she didn't listen the next time around the cop could tell the department to figure out how they should handle it?).

      and for her to say that she doesn't want to live in a town where something like this could happen to a law abiding citizen and that she 'hadn't done' anything wrong doesn't make sense if she broke the law.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2014 @ 9:56pm

    A cop must have beat you bad, Cushing.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    me@me.net, 24 Apr 2014 @ 4:24am

    The chief has proven that he has his head up his ass

    This was a plain and simple brutality case and raises the spectre of ordinary citizens being able to legally defend themselves against such brutality. We need a hallmark case to drive this point home.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Apr 2014 @ 4:30am

    Don't talk to the police

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Dennis Novak, 24 Apr 2014 @ 5:13am

    Stand up for your rights

    This is why people rightfully fear and hate cops. Because so many of them are criminals, themselves. The pig involved should be charged with felony assault and civil rights violations.

    The police chief should be tarred, feathered, and run out of town on a rail. I feel safer with the criminals.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Disgusted, 24 Apr 2014 @ 5:16am

    I live in East Texas. I NEVER drive through Whitehouse unless there is no other choice (there is really no other way to get to Lake Tyler). The Cops have alway been really crooked, mean and oh so corrupt.These guys need money in a bad way.
    Get your car inspected, try not to be black, or any other color while in Whitehouse, Thanks You!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Apr 2014 @ 5:17am

    It's time for .....

    #MyWhitehousePD.

    'Nuff said.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Apr 2014 @ 5:57am

    police video of the arrest

    she said to the person on the phone "the police are chasing me" so she knew it was an actual police officer:

    http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid2448900020001?bckey=AQ~~%2CAAACHKYdcFk~%2CIG xDpm7wjyGbUapyNkzzpjGIvT6ibPno&bctid=3469010243001

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Warren Bonesteel, 24 Apr 2014 @ 6:11am

    Officer Friendly, when you've decided that everyone who isn't an LEO is your enemy?

    You've lost your way, not only as an LEO, but as a human being.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    CiceroTheLatest, 24 Apr 2014 @ 6:46am

    Both the "policeman" and the "police" chief are:

    1. Guilty of assault and battery. The "policeman" as perpetrator, the "police" chief as accessory after the fact.
    2. Guilty of extortion. Apparently the "police" chief is holding the threat of charges over her head.

    I thought Texas had some real men who could solve this kind of problem.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    bill reeves, 24 Apr 2014 @ 8:04am

    Cops tackling women

    Too many cops are become cops to repair their wounded self esteem. They think getting a badge and a gun will make people respect them. Me, I've never respected them less. Gun totin' thugs.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Deserttrek, 24 Apr 2014 @ 8:33am

    not talking to a cop

    unless you are a material witness or under arrest, you have no obligation to talk to the cop. the chief needs to be replaced and barred from any job in police work or security for life. like child abusers, people like him cannot be repaired

    the cop belongs behind bars for the maximum amount possible

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Kitty Antonik, 24 Apr 2014 @ 8:57am

    No Voluntary Association

    When most people refuse to voluntarily associate with - no sales/service/friendship/etc - there will be far fewer individuals wanting to become or remain Government Enforcers, of which cops are one of the domestic variety. Don't just complain about these thugs. Don't have anything to do with them voluntarily in any way - negative Social Preference them into not being Enforcers or out of existence. NO violence! Simply do NOT voluntarily associate with them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 24 Apr 2014 @ 9:17am

      Re: No Voluntary Association

      I have mixed feelings about this. One of the largest problems with cops these days is the very strong "us vs them" mentality from them (and, consequently, from the general public).

      Socially ostracizing them could only deepen this division. It could end up making cops even more predatory than they already are, and end up making it so that only bad people are willing to become cops.

      What we really need is the opposite of all that.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 24 Apr 2014 @ 9:37am

        Re: Re: No Voluntary Association

        Yes, the division will be deepened. But you seem to think the people that need to be bending over backwards as usual are the American People.

        Do you serve in Public Office somewhere?

        The position of power attracts the bad more than the dynamic between the people and the police. This is why overtime all positions of authority devolved to evil without being constantly checked or cleaned up. This is just the nature of humanity.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          John Fenderson (profile), 24 Apr 2014 @ 12:29pm

          Re: Re: Re: No Voluntary Association

          "you seem to think the people that need to be bending over backwards as usual are the American People."

          If that's what you take from what I'm saying, then I'm doing a really bad job at communicating my point. I'm not sure how I can be more clear, though. I'm not talking about anyone bending over backwards for anyone.

          "The position of power attracts the bad more than the dynamic between the people and the police."

          I agree. But that's tangential to my point.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        OrganizedThoughtCrime (profile), 24 Apr 2014 @ 9:00pm

        Re: Re: No Voluntary Association

        "I have mixed feelings about this. One of the largest problems with cops these days is the very strong "us vs them" mentality from them (and, consequently, from the general public).
        Socially ostracizing them could only deepen this division. It could end up making cops even more predatory than they already are, and end up making it so that only bad people are willing to become cops.
        What we really need is the opposite of all that."


        Agreed with all but the word 'only'. I suspect that your mixed feelings have to do with the same. I want for the possibility...

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Just Another Anonymous Troll, 24 Apr 2014 @ 9:06am

    He should have come up with a better charge that he didn't say to her when he arrested her. Like "I didn't like her face".
    Don't you have to be told you're under arrest before you can be arrested or resist arrest?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jim, 24 Apr 2014 @ 10:42am

    Cops...

    ...no longer even pretend to be all about justice.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    No Tell-n What (profile), 24 Apr 2014 @ 3:59pm

    Stalking by any other name

    The real take away* here is:

    1) Become a cop
    2) Stalk
    ..
    ..
    3) Score!


    * From that perennial Law Enforcement Library favourite How to Stalk Women and Cop a Feel with Impunity

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    zip, 24 Apr 2014 @ 7:19pm

    doggone

    Fleeing women get tackled - fleeing dogs get shot. The Texas sheriff's deputy who shot and killed a farmer's dog (from behind) gets unbadged after a media campaign.

    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/04/23/texas-farmer-calls-police-to-report-a-break-in-w hen-a-deputy-arrived-hours-later-his-nightmare-began/

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      OrganizedThoughtCrime (profile), 24 Apr 2014 @ 9:18pm

      Too sad

      Beyond words.

      "The man also revealed in the video that he had to drown his own dog to put her out of her misery because the officer didn’t shoot in a way that killed her. In the video, Middleton claims his gun was stolen so he couldn’t shoot Candy to put her out of her misery — and the deputy refused to."

      "Middleton claims he had his dog’s body examined by a veterinarian and the results “suggest Candy was shot while retreating from the shooter.” Further, as reported above, the farmer claims the dash cam video does not back up what the deputy claims happened."

      That criminal masquerading as a cop should be in prison, on murder charges.

      R.I.P., poor dog. Really.


      Why does this happen so often? Why does this keep happening when it shouldn't?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    OrganizedThoughtCrime (profile), 24 Apr 2014 @ 9:22pm

    Excellent Article

    Thanks TechDirt!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Apr 2014 @ 10:42pm

    You have the right to remain silent, but if you do, its 'odd' Don't worry, judges will agree, so will your elected official so that's how you should think.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jeremy, 25 Apr 2014 @ 4:27am

    The only reason whatsoever to say they'll investigate further even though he already made up his mind that the officer was not going to be reprimanded or did nothing wrong, is so they can have a reason to refuse to release the video to the public which may show wrong doing.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Edson (profile), 25 Apr 2014 @ 3:07pm

    Not Wanting To Talk To Police Officers Is 'Odd'

    There was a time when those who protected the King had to be a eunuch. It's time to copy the old times.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    PaulTheCabDriver, 26 Apr 2014 @ 3:52pm

    Start at the top. work down.

    Since it is the chief of police that is defending this goon, I think it is high time for the victim in this situation to appear with all the town folk she can muster at the next town hall meeting and demand the ouster of the chief. it is the chief that sets policy for the department, and since his man committed this heinous act, and since he is defending this thug, the chief is the one that needs to go.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jim Smith, 27 Apr 2014 @ 9:02am

    Get over it, we live in a police state and until we get rid of most cops, things wont change.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Apr 2014 @ 6:16pm

    fucking cops. there ought to be the standered question on applacation to be a cop/rapist-DO YOU WANT TO BE A COP? IF ANSWER IS YES YOU ARE DIQUALIFED!!!!!!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    limbodog (profile), 30 Apr 2014 @ 9:40am

    Question

    How do we get a ruling by the SCOTUS that says you cannot be charged with resisting or evading arrest if you are not under arrest?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Frank Murphy, 30 Apr 2014 @ 2:28pm

    Police stop

    Police Chief is wrong just as his officer. No suspicious activity, and no crime and no justification to conduct an investigative stop, his use of force was wholly inappropriate. No arrest and no justification for any force to effectuate an illegal stop of this female jogger! If the chief justifies unconstitutional behavior of his officers just what else does he excuse? Sounds to me that the officer who illegally stopped this women was enforcing his "man power" and authority where he had no such legal authority. The jogger had no obligation to stop and engage in a conversation with the officer. Had the chief's daughter or wife been tackled by this thug wearing a uniform would the chief have justified the stop as easily as he does in this case? This stop represents an illegal stop and excessive use of force during an illegal stop? The chief and his police believe they have power that our state and federal constitutions do not grant to them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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