Deputy Who Rear-Ended Driver At 104 MPH Had Horrendous Service Record, Received Almost Zero Discipline

from the God,-why-do-good/indifferent-things-happen-to-bad-cops? dept

Normally, I wouldn't grab an isolated story about police misconduct and present it here. The misconduct is indeed serious -- an officer involved in high-speed crash that left another man critically injured -- but one cop doing something dumb is barely even newsworthy these days.

But the more you read about this law enforcement officer, the worse it gets. And it starts with Deputy Brandon Hegele nailing a smart car driven by a sixty-year-old man while Hegele was travelling 100+ MPH towards a suspect he'd already been told repeatedly not to pursue.

The dashcam video (which can be viewed at the link above) shows Hegele weaving in and out of traffic. It then shows the accident victim safely executing a U-turn… well, would have safely executed a U-turn if Deputy Hegele hadn't been driving at over 100 MPH without his lights or siren on.

Hegele got lucky. The other driver, not so much.

That crash was into the rear of a Smart car driven by Harry Deshommes. While Hegele did not suffer any serious injuries, Deshommes had to have his spleen removed and suffered from a skull fracture, a traumatic brain injury, a broken left arm, a broken back, several broken ribs and a broken pelvis, according to CBS 12. Deshommes’ Smart car reportedly rolled several times after impact.

Deputy Hegele was placed on unpaid leave after the accident. HOLD YOUR APPLAUSE.

Well before that critical crash, the sheriff's office documented several traffic-related incidents in the deputy's career, starting early on, Internal Affairs records show.

Let the record[s] show that Deputy Hegele:

- backed into a parked cruiser

- fell asleep at the wheel, hitting a median and causing more than $1000 worth of damage

- rear-ended a car at an intersection, causing $4000 worth of damage

- rear-ended yet another car, causing $12,000 worth of damage

And, finally, the coup de grace of Hegele's super-shitty law enforcement driving career (not including the event above):

Failed to report a crash until hours after it happened and once he had replaced the car’s flat tires. Investigators believe Hegele attempted to respond to a robbery call and hit either a curb or a sidewalk that slashed two of his tires. The report said Hegele called to let dispatch know he was having issues with his vehicle and to put him out of service, but did not say what happened. Then, he called another deputy to bring him spare tires, went to a restaurant for dinner and then called a sergeant nearly two hours after the incident happened to report the damage.

In most of these cases, Hegele only received a written reprimand. In a couple of them, he was suspended without pay -- for a total of two days between both incidents. Hegele has lost his driving privileges twice, for a total of 120 days.

But there's even more:

Other than traffic crashes, Hegele has been cited numerous times for “indifference to policies and procedures.”

In 2012, Internal Affairs investigators said in the first three months of the year Hegele had 72 calls for service he responded to. Of those, 52 cases required log entries by the deputies to document the case to go along with a case number. Hegele only submitted nine, according to records.

There was a chance to send Hegele packing before he did any more damage. He failed a vehicle inspection for leaving his personal weapon in the patrol car, wedged between the seat and the console with a bullet missing. The weapon was "clearly visible" from outside the vehicle. Hegele couldn't explain why a bullet was missing but said he put the gun there to keep it away from his 4-year-old daughter while he was moving. Also inside the vehicle? A signed Miranda rights waiver card, wholly separated from the investigation file it apparently went with.

Instead of being fired, the department gave Hegele -- who at that point had already been involved in five car accidents and multiple Internal Affairs investigations -- a "last chance:" 15 days suspension and a transfer. The only upside of this "last chance" was the agreement revoked Hegele's option to challenge any future for-cause firings, which is what should follow his latest accident.

Hegele is now on trial for reckless driving, which is extremely lenient considering the number of charges he could face for his actions. Undoubtedly, he will be leaving behind a bunch of frustrated, angry co-workers who likely cannot understand why someone so toxic was allowed to pollute their ranks for so long.

But if anything's going to prevent future Hegeles, it's his agency realizing it's far too lax when it comes to handing out punishment for misconduct. Hegele managed to rack up several thousand dollars-worth of damages in his career, along with whatever collateral damage accrued from his sloppy habits and policework. In return, he received some stern paper-waving and two unpaid days off. Calling that "absurd" makes the word "absurd" as meaningless as "literally." It's horrendous and inexcusable. Hegele may be on his way out, but if Palm Beach County Sheriff's Department wants to be taken seriously, it will be sending a lot of supervisors and officials packing as well.


Reader Comments

The First Word

Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

Short answer is: Yes, we do.

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110725/17451715249/how-should-law-enforcement-handle-being-fi lmed-officer-lyons-provides-perfect-example.shtml

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20131212/15041325 552/canadian-cop-puts-impromptu-clinic-how-to-deal-with-critics-cameras.shtml

https://www.techdirt.co m/articles/20161024/08421935871/leaked-recording-austin-police-chief-tears-into-commanders-fatal-sho otings-use-excessive-force.shtml

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20150526/10575331115/body-cam-foot age-clears-police-officer-bogus-sexual-assault-allegations.shtml

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20 151123/09292832888/body-cameras-save-another-law-enforcement-officer-bogus-sexual-misconduct-complai nt.shtml

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20170528/11063337468/this-machine-kills-accountability-ong oing-persecution-good-cops.shtml

The longer answer is this:

Police misconduct in the US is epidemic. While the number of officers making headlines for misdeeds is indeed a small percentage of the overall whole, the fact is there is little accountability in most law enforcement agencies.

It's very rare we see law enforcement officers engaged in exemplary behavior. Asking why we don't publish celebrations of competence and basic human decency is a question that answers itself. We expect law enforcement officers to hold themselves to a higher standard. Far too often, it appears they're uninterested in doing so. There's really no reason to lower standards on our end -- especially when our collective signature is on their paychecks -- just to appear more "fair" in our coverage.

I have no objection to publishing more positive stories about law enforcement. The problem is much that's suggested would reduce us to patting officers on the back for not being complete assholes when dealing with their fellow humans.

There are amazing men and women out there in the world of law enforcement. Unfortunately, they're a minority. And, for the most part, they're an extremely un-vocal minority. Accountability begins at the top, but that's no excuse for officers refusing to hold each other accountable when management fails to do so.

This isn't meant as a criticism of you or your concern. I would prefer a nation where stories like these -- ones that often include long histories of unaddressed misconduct -- weren't daily occurrences.

As for your suggestion: do you have some recent instances that come to mind re: police doing amazing things? I am sincere when I say I'd love to see them.
—Capitalist Lion Tamer

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2017 @ 6:47pm

    "Hegle was travelling 100+ MPH towards a suspect he'd already been told repeatedly not to pursue. "

    Perhaps LEOs need a kill switch installed in their cruisers.

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    • icon
      stderric (profile), 22 Aug 2017 @ 8:54pm

      Re:

      Maybe a psychological kill switch? The dispatcher could get on the radio and tell the cop that his cruiser was black or mentally ill. A lot of LEOs would kill the engine immediately without giving it a second thought.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 4:45am

      Re:

      Problem if hackers figure out how to throw the switch and took control of the car.

      Maybe best to hire saner people and fire people who prove to have watched way too many 80s cop movies and want to live them.

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    • icon
      Vidiot (profile), 23 Aug 2017 @ 5:05am

      Re:

      Not that I'll ever admit to listening to police calls on a scanner (ahem)... on multiple occasions, I've heard dispatchers desperately trying to to convince testosterone-fueled patrol officers to break off pursuits that looked to end in tragedy. High speed chases in congested areas aren't generally warranted for busted taillights or, more likely, for failure to respect a young male's nascent authority. So, yes... I think the dispatchers would love to throw a vehicle's computer into "limp home" mode.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 5:36am

        Re: Re:

        From what I have seen, US cops are trained to be aggressive, rather than assertive, so it is not surprising that they will not give up a pursuit, assault suspects and arrestees, and that they shoot at the first sign of failure to comply with their orders.

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      • identicon
        Canuck, 23 Aug 2017 @ 4:57pm

        Scanner stigma?

        Not that I'll ever admit to listening to police calls on a scanner (ahem)... on multiple occasions

        Uh, why not? Is it something to be ashamed of?

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 5:33pm

        Re: Re:

        Or, you know, that kind of behavior gets Officer Testosterone a desk job for a year the first time he disobeys the order to knock off the chase, and whatever the equivalent of a court-martial is in the police force the second time he does it. I bet way fewer cops would pull that crap if there was an actual punishment at the other end of the radio waiting for him when he got home.

        Too many 80s movies convince idiots that they want to be cops. Police chases look too much fun!

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2017 @ 7:05pm

    Do you publish any pro-police articles

    Just a question about your editorial policies. Police do amazing things, every day, around the country. I don't see any reporting on that, I see only negative pieces. Could you consider a different editorial policy, please? A lot of Americans love and support our police, and it would be great to see some positive articles (even 1) along with the negative ones. Some balance to your coverage of the police would be very welcome.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2017 @ 7:11pm

      Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

      Could you consider a different editorial policy, please?

      And after that, next you'll be asking for a “donation” to the police “benevolent” fund?

      What happens if the editorial policy doesn't change? You gonna tell everyone, ‘something bad might happen…’

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2017 @ 7:15pm

        Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

        No, no threats involved. Just a sincere plea to editor Mike from a frequent reader. It's his call.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2017 @ 7:30pm

          Re: Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

          No, no threats involved.

          So it's a polite shakedown.

          Tell ya what: why don't you just grab some donuts and a free cup of coffee. Then you can just walk out. No need to pay. You got something for your trouble.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2017 @ 9:05pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

            So it's a polite shakedown.

            In what way?

            The OP asked to see some human kindness, some depth of feeling, and when you turn out your pockets, all you can show is someone stealing his bedding?

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 2:55am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

              IMO this plea is just plain silly. I don't think all cops are bad, but I think most cops allow bad apples and that many of the systems are corrupt from top down.

              If we don't all agree that bad apples should be called out then we can have a legitimate argument on that. However if you are just assuming that we hate cops just because we want to call out the bad cops then that's not an argument it's an Ad Hominem attack.

              It's called 'dirt' not 'general news' dirt by definition is dirty.

              Or "information about someone's activities or private life that could prove damaging if revealed."

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 4:14am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

                I don't think all cops are bad, but I think most cops allow bad apples and that many of the systems are corrupt from top down.

                Which makes most cops bad as well.

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

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 2:27pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

                  It isn't a black and white line. One can be forgiven for not seeing these issues. One can be forced via peer pressures for example.

                  What can't be forgiven are the people who know better. I think the writers writing these are helping shine a spot light. Work towards a solution not towards a fair and balanced view of real problems.

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

                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 9:18pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

                    I would just respectfully point out that as a reader, it appears to me that sometimes Techdirt employs the same tactics that they decry, at least, in the past they did some of that. Now, it seems a more open environment. In the past, Techdirt took (sometimes) a stance of criticism without engagement, things like hiding posts. No one is engaged, but criticism is applied unilaterally. Now, it seems better. I would just suggest that if you want to actually have a positive effect on the police, you need to engage them, or at least allow them to engage. Then, you can influence them, and have the positive effect you seek. Without engagement, and open discussion, you cannot accomplish much in terms of real results. I understand that some people just want to vent, that's fine, but perhaps considering how to actually influence things for the better would be worth considering in your editorial policies. Just a suggestion from an anonymous reader, I hope I haven't crossed any lines.

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

                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 9:23pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

                      And I would just add (as I often do) that my engagement with the "second class citizen" on this very article influenced me for the better. I don't think I ever in my life stopped to consider the practical reality he faced with the police, and now I have. I even feel a little outrage towards the police on his behalf, that's a new point of view for me. He engaged my conscience, and influenced me, probably forever. Techdirt, from that point of view, can be proud of itself, it was the vehicle for an important pubic service.

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                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 11:10pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

                        I would just like to add a little more on behalf of Mr. Second Class Citizen. I believe he has pointed out an important moral lesson that is not hard to articulate. It is morally wrong for the police to pressure innocent family members with legal action (arrest) in order to obtain information they need. If we allow them to do this, none of us are safe, since associates can easily be substituted for family members, and so on. What that officer did is morally wrong, and if we supported what he did, we would damage our society. We should condemn what he did, and he should apologize for it, and he should demonstrate that he has learned a moral lesson.

                        As we condemn the police for this, we also need to acknowledge the importance of their jobs with regard to dealing with actual criminals, and not innocent family members. We should support them in other ways, fund them with tools, give them the time they need and the equipment they need to do their job. I will bet that the officer that applied this abuse was just taking a shortcut to solve a legitimate problem. Don't do that, officer, do something else, we should tell him, and then help him do it.

                        Mr. Second Class Citizen should not accept this police behavior, his community should not accept it, in fact none of us should accept it, since it will come back to hurt us if we do. But we should also try to support the officer who is in fact trying to do an important job (apprehend criminals), and not hinder him in doing it, we want it done. Just not this way.

                        Moral issue, right? I believe it possible that even the officer at fault could learn this moral lesson, and be the better for it.

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              • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 5:20am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

                Techdirt == "information about someone's activities or private life that could prove damaging if revealed."

                Wow, that's the first time I really got that. So you are saying the editorial policy is specifically focused on "dishing dirt". Hmmph. Wow. Explains a lot.

                So there are no articles that even try to present two sides of an issue, right? The articles are about dirt, and as a commenter, you are expected to agree about the dirt, that is, that someone is worth condemnation and hatred. Interesting, I've never heard it put so directly before. Thank you for that.

                Patent dirt, right? And copyright dirt, and trademark dirt, and police dirt, and TSA dirt, and Thailand dirt, it's all dirt. Got it.

                And the reason it is all dirt is, for the most part, because you are morally superior, and can judge people, ideas, laws and even whole countries as being dirt. And you can judge patents, copyright and trademarks as dirt, and police as dirt, and TSA workers as dirt, and so on, right? You are the moral authority, and you can dish dirt on everyone, unchallenged. Well, that sounds fair and balanced. It also sounds a little Hitlarian, don't you think?

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                • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
                  identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 5:37am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

                  And from this point of view (dishing dirt), what Shiva is doing is fair, right? You dish dirt on Shiva, and he challenges your moral authority to do so, and backs it up with a lawsuit. Shiva is challenging the legitimacy of your entire enterprise of dishing dirt. I challenge it too, actually. I believe you are wrong to dish so my dirt with so little consideration of others. I believe you are morally deficient, not that I am perfect, but I think the focus of your enterprise is the very definition of "unproductive entrepreneurship". I don't believe you balance the harm you do by defaming others with some other benefit that justifies your hateful speech. I think for the most part, you are just haters without a moral conscience. But, I am very grateful for your new and more open policy regarding censorship. Thank you for that.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2017 @ 7:16pm

      Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

      Tell you what, I put an innocent member of your family in jail or accidentally get them killed on their way in, then I will give your kid a lollipop, yay! Good Press!

      I understand what you are trying to get at, and yes it would be nice to see some positive news, but you can't use that tripe to attack someone talking negatively about a group of people with "super special privileges"!

      Banksters, Judges, Politicians, and the Police are all first class citizens... we are 2nd!

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2017 @ 7:41pm

        Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

        That's an interesting point of view. Do you know that guy that has a TV program called "Dirty Work" or something like that? He talks up the value of having a profession like plumbing or welding or site-cleanup, that kind of thing. Hard work, no degree required, and unlike "Banksters, Judges and Politicians", no corruption required. Is that what you mean? Like less-educated but very respectable work? I don't think you are second class citizens, I think you are first class citizens, just watch that show, I agree with him. Or did you mean something else?

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2017 @ 9:04pm

          Re: Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

          Have not heard of "Dirty Work" but I did watch of lot of the "Dirty Jobs" with Mike Rowe series.

          Most Plumbing does actually require a license which usually requires some form of apprenticeship or earning a degree to obtain, not sure about welding and site-cleanup.

          My reference to who is a 1st or 2nd class citizens deals with how they are viewed within the law. As a regular citizen I am always a liar, while a Judge, a Police Officer, a Bankster, or a Politician will always be viewed as never liars in the eyes of the law.

          They would ask, what reason would any of these "fine upstanding" folks have to lie about you?

          I think we all know why... because I am a second class citizens when facing these 1st class citizens.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2017 @ 9:52pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

            I hear you, but I don't quite hear you. From who's point of view are you a second class citizen? You are not from my point of view, you know more about TV shows than I do, you might also know more about plumbing. You write well, and you have an agenda, I assume, "I think we all know why". Actually, no, I don't know why, I don't understand your context. I am not being aggressive, I honestly don't understand you.

            I'll share something with you from my life experience, perhaps it is similar to what you are trying to express. In my experience with monied people, there is often quite a strong correlation between how much money they have and how unethical they are. I can't say it's a hundred percent, perhaps there are some very moral rich people out there, but I have not met many, only a few. I have become somewhat skeptical of monied people, given my personal experiences.

            That being said, I believe that on a jury in court, people are much more similar to you than they are to a well monied but unethical "bankster", as you put it. People see through money pretty fast, actually, don't you think?

            So how are you "second class", do you mean financially, or ethnically, or measured by educational degree, or what exactly?

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2017 @ 10:05pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

              "From who's point of view are you a second class citizen?"

              Not point of view, empirical evidence based on reading court law, settlements, prosecutions, and what does and does not go to court to begin with. There are just so many examples, but lets pick a common and simple one.

              Civil Forfeiture. Police accuses your $100 as being drug money, and now you lost it. You have to hire a lawyer and challenge the state vs $100 in a court case you only have a 44% chance of winning according to the numbers and even if you win you might not even get it ALL back and the courts & lawyers still must be paid. And all of this despite the fact that the 4th & 5th amendments were clearly written to prevent just exactly this type of search and seizure without a warrant from happening in the first place. They literally breach 2 constitutional amendments in a single act!

              "That being said, I believe that on a jury in court, people are much more similar to you than they are to a well monied but unethical "bankster", as you put it. People see through money pretty fast, actually, don't you think?"

              Sir, let me assure you in no uncertain terms, people do not see through money. Additionally, most people are not fully informed jurors, they are quite ready to take the side of the police and the legal system as evidenced by many settled court cases and a lot of innocents in jail. Most people on the jury are too stupid to get out of it and are usually angry about being there. This is 'exactly' what the courts and lawyers want as well.

              You cannot meet 10 people without 9 of them walking around thinking they know more than they do and thinking they are perfect judges of evidence and human character. This would be the Dunning-Kruger effect I am referring too.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2017 @ 10:08pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

                and to clarify... no cop would ever use asset forfeiture on a bankster, another cop, judge, or politician... that is what creates the 2nd class of citizenship in my example.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2017 @ 10:11pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

                OK, just to be clear, we are speaking about your agenda at a high level, right? You are speaking in the abstract about a system of laws that you believe does not achieve a fair result. To be kind of honest, I'm not an attorney, I'm not sure I know how to argue with you.

                Respectfully, I believe people do see through money pretty fast. About people on the jury being stupid, that's a relative argument, we are all stupid in some areas.

                And yes, everyone believes they have the best possible answer, frankly, what else could they believe? We all do our best, what else do we have to do besides establish our best guess? That's why we have juries and not kings, and why we argue in front of strangers to settle issues.

                You and I, for example, we're strangers. Given the same facts, we might come to different conclusions. That's why a jury system is good, right, it gets everyone involved.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2017 @ 10:30pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

                  "OK, just to be clear, we are speaking about your agenda at a high level, right? You are speaking in the abstract about a system of laws that you believe does not achieve a fair result."

                  High AND low level. There are more than enough cases out there were Judges and the court of public opinion have extra legal effects. Take the EpiPen debacle, or the Martin Shkreli situation. Pharmaceuticals are quite frequently committing fraud, but Shkreli turned public opinion against himself in a very bad way to the point where those around him distanced themselves which made him, unprotected. The government quickly opened a fraud case against him to garner public blessings, when they should have already done it before Shkreli become a public enemy. Same goes for the lowly kid that stole the cop car for the second time and only got 3 months more probation while a kid got juvenile detention for 2 weeks over their first fight and no prior records.

                  "Respectfully, I believe people do see through money pretty fast."

                  As a poor starving child that is now upper middle class, this has not been my experience at all. I even have to admit to a certain degree of money blinding even myself.

                  "About people on the jury being stupid, that's a relative argument, we are all stupid in some areas."

                  Yes, we all have our faults, but our responsibility as jurors should be less than 10% of our stupidity rather than 90% of it. More people are more worried about their vote for president than their ability to serve as a juror and directly block government tyranny, and that is just for the people who have not been tricked or threatened into signing their rights away or guilty for being innocent plea bargains.

                  "You and I, for example, we're strangers. Given the same facts, we might come to different conclusions. That's why a jury system is good, right, it gets everyone involved."

                  Yes this is why the Jury system is good, it requires a 100% conviction rate to convict. But that does not work unless the Jury is fully informed of their responsibility as Jurors.

                  the Judge just tells the Jury that they are only supposed to say if the defendant is guilty of running afoul of the law he is accused of breaking. They won't even dare to inform the jury that they have the right to acquit because the law is being used in an abusive way or even if they feel the law is just wrong to begin with. Jury Nullification is a phrase you can utter at selection, before, or during trial to get a judge to immediately get you out of jury duty along with everyone else that heard that word, or a mistrial, or contempt of court or jury tampering. How is that for just 2 simple words?

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2017 @ 10:36pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

                    I struggle with the morality of money, too, who of us would not bend our morals in return for large sums of money if the opportunity arose. And just by coincidence, I know what it's like to be hungry too. I mean hungry like steal someone's lunch so you an eat it, not an abstract hunger, an immediate one. Very difficult to feel that way, I remember it quite well.

                    I think you know more about your subject than I do, but we do have a couple of common points of reference. And just FYI, I do not see you as a second class citizen at all, you seem like a fellow American citizen to me.

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2017 @ 11:08pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

                      "I struggle with the morality of money, too, who of us would not bend our morals in return for large sums of money if the opportunity arose."

                      Indeed, but that is not what I meant by letting money cloud my judgement. I meant that people see others with money, wealth, or power and oddly develop a misplaced sense of admiration or sometimes the opposite. There is a lot of research about how people just see things differently just by having or not having X amount of money. Money's ability to cloud judgement can work in multiple ways. The perceived source, amount, giving/receiving, and destination of the money involved can turn peoples opinions in weird ways, even when it should not.

                      "And just FYI, I do not see you as a second class citizen at all, you seem like a fellow American citizen to me."

                      Well I appreciate that, but your opinion of my class as a citizen does not matter when a legal issue arises. If a cop wants to treat me just exactly like a 2nd class citizen, I just have to deal with it. I am rich enough to deal with most unexpected expenses without stress and drive a fairly nice car and poor enough to get my life screwed hard by a cop having a bad day looking to take it out on me! The courts won't give a flip either, and neither will my fellow citizens by the looks of things.

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    • identicon
      Cowardly Lion, 22 Aug 2017 @ 7:22pm

      Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

      Here you go:

      http://www.lovemeow.com/police-officers-save-kittens-and-care-for-them-1608392318.html

      Yes it's from 2014, but on the plus side it does feature adorable kittens...

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2017 @ 7:37pm

        Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

        That's very good, thank you. Not quite as good as a whole article that is pro-police, but at least one post with a reference to a pro-police article. Thank you for supporting diversity of thought.

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        • icon
          sorrykb (profile), 23 Aug 2017 @ 9:48am

          Re: Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

          Public servants should not expect it to be newsworthy or laudatory when they do the basics of their job properly. That is (supposedly) what they are paid for.

          And when you give a person a gun, a taser, and massive power, it is entirely reasonable to expect a higher standard. Any police officer who can't handle that expectation shouldn't be a police officer. Period.

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    • identicon
      tanj, 22 Aug 2017 @ 7:40pm

      Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

      You could try submitting a story.

      https://www.techdirt.com/submitstory.php

      I think these stories are especially important for those who love and support our police.

      Negative feedback is an important part of continual improvement. Negative stories show how the process of policing can be improved.

      Positive stories show what is already working. How does that help to improve police work?

      Why would Americans who love and support our police not want to help police to do an even better job?

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2017 @ 7:43pm

        Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

        Yes, you are right about that, I do think we should encourage our police to do an even better job, I'm with you on that. Good point. How about something damning violence against police, you would agree with that, right? Like condemning the 6 police that were shot a few days ago, I think 2 died. Condemning violence against police would be a good article concept, wouldn't it? None of us want to see violence employed against anyone, except under the most dire of circumstances, right?

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        • identicon
          tanj, 22 Aug 2017 @ 8:31pm

          Re: Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

          What does that have to do with police procedure?

          You seem to be viewing this from a good vs. bad perspective.

          "Condemning violence against police would be a good article concept, wouldn't it?"

          What would be the point of such an article? I am unaware of there being some controversy over whether or not murder is a good thing.

          Are you suggesting that there is a controversy over whether or not people should shoot police?

          Compare to this article where there seems to be a suggestion that instances of police misconduct should be handled differently. It identifies a possible problem and suggests a solution.

          There is clearly some controversy over how strongly police should be protected from allegations of misconduct.

          I think the best articles are ones that offer a new perspective. I don't see how condemning violence against police would make for a good article because I don't see how it could offer a new perspective.

          If you have written such an article it could be interesting, but it would be helpful to explain why a subject would make for a good article before trying to convince someone else to write such an article.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2017 @ 10:30pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

            Well, how about an article that tries to establish some equivalency of the shooting of police officers and ISIS terrorists who behead and burn their subjects. That is, identifying the perpetrators of both acts in some similar fashion, from the point of view of their motives and techniques and how far outside society their acts are. I could see some moral equivalence there, what about you? I mean, from one of many angles, this is one that might be interesting to highlight and discuss.

            Here's another idea for an article on a current topic - the confederate statues. How about an article that says hey, let people destroy, remove and spit on those statues if they are so inclined, just don't sweat it. We probably have 3D-models of those statues anyway, from pictures and such, and can just print another one in the future if we need one. Status used to be important historical records, but now our digital records are much more comprehensive, so how about taking a New York perspective and say "forget about it", let them tear down whatever they want. Maybe not Mt. Rushmore, but short of that, have at it, who cares? We have digital memories for everything we need anyway.

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            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 22 Aug 2017 @ 10:45pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

              Techdirt has no reason to cover violence against police because Techdirt does not condone, and has never condoned, violence against police. No one on this site needs to write an entire article—or a series of articles—about an opinion with which anyone outside of extreme anti-police “activists” would agree.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2017 @ 7:49pm

      Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

      Your request is silly.

      There are sites that report on medical malpractice issues. No one is asking them to report on doctors doing amazing things every day.

      There are sites that report on issues with legal representation. No one is asking them to report on lawyers doing amazing things every day.

      There are sites that report on restaurants with poor health inspections. No one is asking them to report on restaurants serving amazing food every day.

      You can "love and support your police" all you want, but if you can't handle seeing some negative articles about them without a need for false, irrelevant balance, then maybe you aren't really supporting them very well.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2017 @ 8:05pm

        Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

        No, I can handle them (the negative stories), they are OK with me, I was just hopeful to see more of my point of view, which is pro-police, supported a little on this blog. Yes, there are other sites dedicated to one side of an issue and not another, you are right about that. I can accept that the editorial content of this site is focused on anti-police sentiment, I see you draw a lot of that attention, and maybe that serves your purpose.

        But I was just asking Editor Mike to consider a change to his editorial policy, after all, and I was asking nicely. Can't fault me too much for that, can you? Asking is not evil, is it?

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        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 22 Aug 2017 @ 10:24pm

          Re: Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

          If you want to read a blog or website that supports law enforcement without any criticism or complaint, you can find plenty of those elsewhere.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2017 @ 10:34pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

            Stop trying to run people off! it is stupid and juvenile!

            TD does not need to become an echo chamber, no one is served by it! it only makes the place stagnant and barren!

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            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 22 Aug 2017 @ 10:38pm

              Obvious joke is obvious, but crude, so…

              “Stupid and juvenile” is the perfect description of Hamilton’s obtuse shitposting. When he cannot refute a direct argument, he offers a bunch of unrelated questions in a kind-of Gish gallop, trying to deflect and distract from his lack of an argument. When he cannot get someone to play his game on his level, he stomps his feet and goes off until the next time he decides to shitpost.

              He does not mean half of what he says, and the other half is often meaningless.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2017 @ 11:11pm

                Re: Obvious joke is obvious, but crude, so…

                speak of obtuse & shit posts....

                Stop trying to run people off, whatsa matta big fella? someone saying something you can't handle? Is their words gonna melt your widdle snowflake?

                "He does not mean half of what he says, and the other half is often meaningless."

                They are still teachable moments! Grow up and teach, you are only doing the same thing by stomping around about it.

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                • icon
                  Stephen T. Stone (profile), 22 Aug 2017 @ 11:28pm

                  Re: Re: Obvious joke is obvious, but crude, so…

                  I would prefer to have the Techdirt comments sections free of Hamilton’s obtuse shitposting precisely because it accomplishes nothing but a clogging of the comments as people such as myself—i.e., people with nothing better to do with their time—reply to him in a desperate and ultimately fruitless attempt to see if he might reply with something other than his usual bullshit.

                  If he could make a cohesive argument, I wouldn’t care if he disagreed with me. But he never offers any kind of argument other than a bunch of random gibberish sprinkled amongst questions meant to distract people from noticing that he has no point to make and no argument with which he can support his non-existent point.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2017 @ 11:35pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Obvious joke is obvious, but crude, so…

                    Then I would recommend ignoring them. There are a lot of people here that make arguments I don't agree with or believe are bankrupt, I have yet to ever ask them to leave.

                    I have been asked to leave, and by Mike Masnick himself too! Which is strange because I have had many of my own AC comments make it to the Funniest/Most Insightful posts of the week.

                    There are things I do agree with Mike about and things I don't agree with him about, but asking people to bake off just will harm this site more than help it.

                    Every eyeball on this site helps it, even if those eyeballs belong to idiots.

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                    • identicon
                      Phalen, 23 Aug 2017 @ 10:59am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Obvious joke is obvious, but crude, so…

                      I have had many of my own AC comments make it to the Funniest/Most Insightful posts of the week.

                      Funniest, maybe, but not for the reason you think. Insightful? Not a chance.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2017 @ 8:10pm

      Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

      Why would you care, Hamilton? You want the site shut down, and police misbehavior hidden and accepted.

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      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2017 @ 8:14pm

        Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

        I will tell you the truth - I am so impressed that Mike has changed his policy on censorship that I am reconsidering my negative opinion of him. His censorship really did upset me, and I did rage against it, sorry if it was too much. But, it's getting much better and I'm happy that that. Maybe I was wrong about him, maybe he is human after all, and I've been a little too critical. I've been wrong before, that's for sure, maybe I misjudged him.

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    • icon
      Roger Strong (profile), 22 Aug 2017 @ 8:24pm

      Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

      That would certainly be a novel response when an ordinary citizen gravely injures someone through criminal negligence.

      Just a question about your enforcement policies. Citizens do amazing things, every day, around the country. I don't see any police reports on that, I see only negative pieces. Could you consider a different enforcement policy, please? A lot of police love and support our citizens, and it would be great to see some positive police reports (even 1) along with the negative ones. Some balance to your coverage of the citizens would be very welcome.

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      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2017 @ 8:32pm

        Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

        OK, you got me, you out subtle'd me. It's good, and I like it and appreciate it, but I don't quite get it. Can you give me another angle on your insight? I detect an insight, but can't quite find the focus.

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        • icon
          Roger Strong (profile), 22 Aug 2017 @ 8:49pm

          Re: Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

          The vast majority of citizens are not criminals. But the vast majority of police reports are negative about the citizens they encounter. Is that a surprise? Unfair? Or just the nature of the job?

          The same goes for most media stories about those encounters. "Citizen Acts Reasonably" isn't a headline.

          Reporting on police works the same way. Most police are good and reasonable, but "Cop Acts Reasonably" is rarely a headline for the same reasons as above.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2017 @ 9:10pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

            "The vast majority of citizens are not criminals. But the vast majority of police reports are negative about the citizens they encounter. Is that a surprise? Unfair? Or just the nature of the job?"

            That is genuinely the nature of the job. Even though I have a negative view of the police I readily admit that there are usually circumstance that legitimately deserve their direct attention. The police are not looking for innocent people to harass, but if they "think" you are guilty or suspicious they sure as heck do not care about your innocence, rights, or getting the facts wrong.

            My problem is not specifically with the police giving me extra attention because of my family connections, my problem is when they lie and use their power to play with my life like a bargaining chip in the process when I have done nothing wrong.

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            • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2017 @ 10:44pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

              You are a fine writer, and I have to both agree with you and encourage you to write more. "Use their power to play with my life like a bargaining chip", that's very good, it is very easy to relate to. I'm serious, I like your writing and I think you have a compelling story.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 7:31am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

                You are probably a paid shill, I get that - but how do you sleep at night? Is lying that easy for you?

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                • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
                  identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 8:21am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

                  I don't think you get that or me at all, I believe I am unfamiliar to you. Perhaps the disconnect between our world views is that I was taught to have a moral conscience. I am not a paid shill, but your accusation tells me something about you. I am here to do a public service, to support America and Americanism, even in the face of the "dirt" that is so representative of the Techdirt mission. I would like to clean up the dirt here a little, my mother taught me to always try to leave every place you visit a little better than you found it. Moral conscience, that's the difference between you and me. And yes, I sleep fine, dreaming my American dreams, every night, thank you very much. God bless America. MAGA

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                  • identicon
                    Phalen, 23 Aug 2017 @ 11:15am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

                    ...I am here to do a public service, to support America and Americanism...

                    Americanism?! What a bunch of jingoistic nonsense. Do you call yourself an Americanist?

                    And which America? Something tells me you probably don't display a lot of Bolivian pride. Or Argentinian, or Canadian, or Peruvian... Hmmm... how about those Mexicans?

                    It's two continents; an entire hemisphere. Not a country.

                    ...my mother taught me to always try to leave every place you visit a little better than you found it.

                    Then for the love of god, could you please stop posting and crying about "censorship" on every article? Your mother seems to have done a terrible job raising you if you think being annoying crybaby is bettering the discourse here.

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                    • icon
                      sorrykb (profile), 23 Aug 2017 @ 11:33am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

                      my mother taught me to always try to leave every place you visit

                      That would be a good start.

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                      • icon
                        Toom1275 (profile), 23 Aug 2017 @ 5:21pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

                        "Some people bring happiness wherever they go. Others, whenever they go."

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                  • icon
                    Roger Strong (profile), 23 Aug 2017 @ 11:25am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

                    Denying the existence of dirt and any need to clean it up, is not cleaning it up.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 11:33am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

                    " I am here to do a public service, to support America and Americanism"

                    and I think you are full of shit

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          • icon
            stderric (profile), 22 Aug 2017 @ 9:11pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

            "Cop Acts Reasonably" is rarely a headline

            Well, sometimes it is. Usually when it's followed by " - Is Threatened and Hounded Out of Department by Fellow Officers"

            Random example: https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20170528/11063337468/this-machine-kills-accountability-on going-persecution-good-cops.shtml

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 12:12am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

            OK, got it, Roger Strong, sorry I was slow on the uptake. The way I would summarize this portion of the Techdirt editorial policy is that it attempts to police the police. A noble cause, and I'm not kidding. Could I ask you to consider your policing from another angle, just for a moment.

            In a neighborhood really in need of policing, for example, a very low income neighborhood where resources are scarce and people may feel compelled to steal from each other, it is still possible to try and instill some order and justice, right? There will be some honest and hard working individuals, and some less honest, less hard working, and some downright dangerous, right? And to police them, you need to engage them, and in the best of all worlds, engage the honest hard working citizens to help control the dishonest and dangerous ones. That is, consider a society that creates a system of communication and support for common goals that people can agree on, and everyone helps to achieve those goals together, community and police. That's the best case, right?

            From that point of view, if you wish to police the police, perhaps you should engage some of the honest and hard workings ones more in your editorial decisions. Find some heroes to celebrate, and draw clear distinctions between the part of the community you want to support and the parts of the community you want to punish.

            If you want to police the police, engage the best of them to help discipline the worst of them. If you want to police a neighborhood, engage the best of them to help displine (and deter) the worse of them.

            What do you think - does this hang together as an editorial recommendation to help you reach your objective about policing the police? Or did I misunderstand your point again. I think presenting only one side weakens your effectiveness and makes you look biased. You would be better served to openly declare your intentions, and then support them with argument, not bias, and heroes in addition to villains. Heroes are really good, people like them, I certainly do.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 7:35am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

              Do you also spend time at other websites asking them to change their website to support your world view?

              If so, please describe what those sites are and what you asked them to do for you.

              Are there many people out there similar to yourself? Do they also ask websites to change in support of their world view?

              This is a market sector I am unfamiliar with and it looks interesting while alarming at the same time.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 7:59am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

                No, most of my comments go right on this site. There is something about the arguments that are made here that really crossed a threshold for me, I think they touched on some Americanisms that I learned as a child. Hard to describe how they made me feel, they really upset me. Then I found that posting made me feel better, and here we are. that's about it. Mostly, anyway. Then I see the news, and I hear the crap about this and that, and I worry about America. So I post about America and American values. We should all do our part, right? This is my small part to help American, and my American Hero, Donald J. Trump, warts and all, POTUS. MAGA.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 11:34am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

                  " There is something about the arguments that are made here that really crossed a threshold for me"

                  Are you ok with posts on breitbart, inforwars, stormfront?

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    • icon
      Bergman (profile), 22 Aug 2017 @ 9:41pm

      Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

      A lot of Germans back in the 1930s and 1940s supported the amazing things Adolf Hitler did for his country.

      But that doesn't mean Techdirt should post articles praising the man.

      Just because ignorant people love and support bad people, doesn't miraculously make bad people into good people.

      Under existing laws, there is no such thing as a non-corrupt, non-criminal cop. Aiding & abetting and conspiracy laws make sure of that.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 2:21am

        Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

        "Under existing laws, there is no such thing as a non-corrupt, non-criminal cop."

        I respect your opinion, as voiced in other discussions, but this seems a little indefensible to me. You are saying there are no good police, morally good, non-corrupt, non-criminal police. I just don't accept that, I personally have known many.

        When you only decry the few failures, and never celebrate the many successes and heroes of the police, you sound like a supremacist. When you condemn a whole class of people, how are you preaching something different than what Hitler was preaching? Same same, right? A whole class should be condemned, without exception. That's just nasty, right? Kind of the definition of bigotry and hatred, right?

        There are heroic police, just as there were heroic Jews that were publicly condemned for no good reason.

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        • icon
          sorrykb (profile), 23 Aug 2017 @ 10:27am

          Re: Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

          Anonymous Coward wrote:

          When you only decry the few failures, and never celebrate the many successes and heroes of the police, you sound like a supremacist. When you condemn a whole class of people, how are you preaching something different than what Hitler was preaching? Same same, right? A whole class should be condemned, without exception. That's just nasty, right? Kind of the definition of bigotry and hatred, right?

          This is an extremely bad analogy. It's so goddamned awful - both illogical and immoral - that I don't even know where to begin. But I'll try.

          Choosing not to celebrate police who do their jobs properly is NOT bigotry. Police officer is a JOB, not a vulnerable class of people.

          There are heroic police, just as there were heroic Jews that were publicly condemned for no good reason.

          This is depraved.

          Six million Jews were murdered by the Nazi state.

          And you're comparing them to police facing public criticism.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 7:54pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

            I believe there is a difference between criticism and hatred. To just hate and condemn a whole group without acknowledging anything positive about any of them is just blind hatred, useless, disgusting and un-American.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 4:59pm

          Re: Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

          I'm impressed by the logical wormhole thru which you warped from one topic to a completely unrelated topic just for the righteous indignation.

          Do you do work for hire?

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 24 Aug 2017 @ 5:40am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

            Well, here's my opinion about that: I think moral arguments carry with them a certain gravity, perhaps enough gravity to create the worm hole you mention. That is, sometimes we learn a moral lesson that is so profound that it colors our thinking in all areas of our life. For example, my father taught me about selfishness. He said if you think through selfishness, you end up doing unselfish things. Because, quite often, doing something unselfish, like supporting someone else, comes back to you in unexpected ways, like getting elected as a leader because you show moral courage and selflessness. There is a gravity to that message that reshaped some big parts of my life, and it was not unlike the effect block hole gravity has on everything around it. Moral gravity, moral worm hole, we should all be so lucky to experience many.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2017 @ 9:50pm

      Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

      You mean kind like the way people never mention all of Hitler's good qualities? All they want to do is focus on the negative. For example, did you know that Hitler loved dogs?

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

    • icon
      Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), 22 Aug 2017 @ 10:37pm

      Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

      Short answer is: Yes, we do.

      https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110725/17451715249/how-should-law-enforcement-handle-being-fi lmed-officer-lyons-provides-perfect-example.shtml

      https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20131212/15041325 552/canadian-cop-puts-impromptu-clinic-how-to-deal-with-critics-cameras.shtml

      https://www.techdirt.co m/articles/20161024/08421935871/leaked-recording-austin-police-chief-tears-into-commanders-fatal-sho otings-use-excessive-force.shtml

      https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20150526/10575331115/body-cam-foot age-clears-police-officer-bogus-sexual-assault-allegations.shtml

      https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20 151123/09292832888/body-cameras-save-another-law-enforcement-officer-bogus-sexual-misconduct-complai nt.shtml

      https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20170528/11063337468/this-machine-kills-accountability-ong oing-persecution-good-cops.shtml

      The longer answer is this:

      Police misconduct in the US is epidemic. While the number of officers making headlines for misdeeds is indeed a small percentage of the overall whole, the fact is there is little accountability in most law enforcement agencies.

      It's very rare we see law enforcement officers engaged in exemplary behavior. Asking why we don't publish celebrations of competence and basic human decency is a question that answers itself. We expect law enforcement officers to hold themselves to a higher standard. Far too often, it appears they're uninterested in doing so. There's really no reason to lower standards on our end -- especially when our collective signature is on their paychecks -- just to appear more "fair" in our coverage.

      I have no objection to publishing more positive stories about law enforcement. The problem is much that's suggested would reduce us to patting officers on the back for not being complete assholes when dealing with their fellow humans.

      There are amazing men and women out there in the world of law enforcement. Unfortunately, they're a minority. And, for the most part, they're an extremely un-vocal minority. Accountability begins at the top, but that's no excuse for officers refusing to hold each other accountable when management fails to do so.

      This isn't meant as a criticism of you or your concern. I would prefer a nation where stories like these -- ones that often include long histories of unaddressed misconduct -- weren't daily occurrences.

      As for your suggestion: do you have some recent instances that come to mind re: police doing amazing things? I am sincere when I say I'd love to see them.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2017 @ 10:52pm

        Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

        Thank you for your consideration. The stories I'm familiar with are just boring, I'm sure, to your readership. I actually liked the rescue of the cat in the tree, that kind of thing, or some self sacrificing officer that saved someone from a flood, or a fire, or stopped them from being shot or robbed. Everyday things.

        I am surprised that in your carefully written and thoughtful response to my question that you say "Unfortunately, they're a minority". Maybe you are right, maybe my view is skewed, but I find that hard to believe. But, I could be out of touch.

        I have seen stories about Chicago that really shake me up, the murders and gun violence and such. I can't really believe what is happening there or why it is not being addressed. My solution would be to arm everyone, as strange as that sounds. If everyone knew everyone was armed, I think everyone would be more careful. That's a controversial view too, right?

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        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 22 Aug 2017 @ 11:04pm

          Re: Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

          My solution would be to arm everyone, as strange as that sounds. If everyone knew everyone was armed, I think everyone would be more careful.

          If anything, we would have more people resort to violence as a first resort in conflict resolution, rather than a last resort used in defense of self or others. If we use violence to solve all our problems, sooner or later, all we’ll see are targets that haven’t yet been shot.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2017 @ 11:08pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

            I think our forefathers (at least my forefathers) thought through this issue in a civil society, and recommended citizens remain armed, or at least able to be armed if they chose. I think it has a calming effect on would-be evil-doers, when they know that their targets can shoot back. The alternative, to disarm the public, leaves everyone subject to totalitarianism, also very bad.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2017 @ 11:19pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

              You are on target here.

              A lot of citizens have forgotten that eternal vigilance is required and that we must protect against all enemies foreign AND "domestic".

              Far too many people make the mistake of thinking that the government is here to protect us. It is not, even SCOTUS has made that clear.

              http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/28/politics/justices-rule-police-do-not-have-a-constitutional-d uty-to-protect.html

              The government is only here to enforce the law, but lately it has only seen fit to place itself "above" the law, while the citizens do nothing.

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            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 22 Aug 2017 @ 11:22pm

              "Disarm the public"

              I hate to tell you, but the general public does not have ready and regular access to Tasers, rubber bullets, tear gas, water cannons, sniper rifles, body armor, armored vehicles, ultrasonic weapons (i.e., “sound cannons”), explosive ordinance, and the entire rest of the United States military-industrial complex as “backup”. We are always one step away from totalitarian rule; we just don’t like to admit it because it means admitting that a sitting president could actually bomb a US city if they ever believed it necessary to do so.

              Violence creates more problems than it solves. Arming everyone in a populace driven to the edge by decades of fearmongering and scare tactics on the part of politicians and the media will not have a “calming effect”. It will result in rivers of blood spilling down into sewers and bullets littering the landscape as a hurricane of violence sweeps the nation.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2017 @ 11:26pm

                Re: "Disarm the public"

                Wow, very poetic, I really liked the "hurricane of violence sweeps the nation", very evocative.

                Completely wrong-headed, of course, as usual. We're Americans, and we have Guns, and we love them! Really. When everyone has one, no one uses one. At least not too much (people shoot back).

                Remember me defending Mike's right to free speech with a gun? I would do that, really I would. Guns and Free Speech. Like Peanut Butter and Jelly. Very American.

                God Bless the Second Amendment, and God Bless America.

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                • icon
                  Stephen T. Stone (profile), 22 Aug 2017 @ 11:35pm

                  Re: Re: "Disarm the public"

                  When everyone has one, no one uses one.

                  The US has more guns on the streets and in civilian hands than practically any other country in the world, yet we still have an epidemic of gun violence in spite of whatever logic backs your unprovable axiom. Imagine that.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 4:28am

                    Re: Re: Re: "Disarm the public"

                    The US has more guns on the streets and in civilian hands than practically any other country in the world, yet we still have an epidemic of gun violence in spite of whatever logic backs your unprovable axiom. Imagine that.

                    If it weren't guns, it would be knives. If it weren't knives, it would be something else. And so on.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 5:12am

                  Re: Re: "Disarm the public"

                  You notice how America is number 1 in gun crime? Number 1 in mass shootings? How death rates go up when there is a gun in the home?

                  Now you might say there is nothing that you can do about this. Every other developed nation has sorted the problem and the solution is not arming everyone.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 5:23am

                    Re: Re: Re: "Disarm the public"

                    Go to your other country, then, and stay out of the US. We're armed, we have our opinions, that's the way it's been since the beginning, that's the way it is now, and that's the way it's gonna stay. God Bless America.

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 7:39am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: "Disarm the public"

                      ... and many of us are ignorant fools who think that the answer lies in violence.

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                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 7:49am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "Disarm the public"

                        No we don't, we don't believe in violence at all. We believe in Darwin. We believe when we are all armed, idiots who shoot someone without good reason will get shot from every direction by good upstanding citizens. Problem solved.

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                        • icon
                          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 23 Aug 2017 @ 9:53am

                          Ah yes, the NRA ideology.

                          We believe when we are all armed, idiots who shoot someone without good reason will get shot from every direction by good upstanding citizens.

                          Yes, and when a “good upstanding citizen” who shoots “from every direction” hits an innocent bystander in the head during one of these imagined shootouts, what will you tell the family of that bystander as they prepare the funeral?

                          You “arm everyone and no one will shoot” dopes never seem to think about collateral damage.

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                          • identicon
                            Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 11:43am

                            Re: Ah yes, the NRA ideology.

                            Agreed, there are many who are not well experienced with handling firearms and yet they think of themselves as Wyatt Earp.

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                      • icon
                        Bergman (profile), 29 Aug 2017 @ 3:32pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "Disarm the public"

                        If you are so opposed to violence, kindly explain how a forcible gun confiscation after a gun ban law is enacted, carried out by armed police at gunpoint, is not also violence?

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 10:15am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: "Disarm the public"

                      I'm in another country, you guys shooting each other doesn't affect me. I'm just letting you know that your stance is dumb.

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                • icon
                  Richard (profile), 23 Aug 2017 @ 8:03am

                  Re: Re: "Disarm the public"

                  We're Americans, and we have Guns, and we love them! Really

                  A high rate of gun death is also very american.

                  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-38365729

                  You may like being American I like being alive!

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 8:14am

                    Re: Re: Re: "Disarm the public"

                    So move to the UK, who cares? We do love our guns, and the vast majority of us respect them and are extremely careful with them. We do have a small sub-population in Texas that likes to shoot stop signs and such, but as long as you don't stand near a stop sign, you should be fine. Except late at night when we've been drinking, of course, you shouldn't stand near a stop sign, or other highway signs, for that matter, sometimes we get a little out of control late at night. Not so often, mostly holidays, 4th of July and such, I wouldn't advise going out at all on the highway in the dark in Texas near a stop sign on the night of the 4th, nope, don't do that, Not safe. Other than that, we're very conscientious.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2017 @ 11:27pm

                Re: "Disarm the public"

                "Violence creates more problems than it solves."

                Say that to any slave that won their freedom through blood.
                Or how about the violence promised to every criminal that broke the law.
                Or how about every dictator that lost their power to an uprising?

                Violence is just a word describing actions that hurt, kill, or damage people or things. The result of it can be a net good or bad depending on usage.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2017 @ 11:32pm

                  Re: Re: "Disarm the public"

                  But you would agree that any alternative to violence is better than violence, right? Voting, for example, or lawsuits, or discussions, or town meetings, or support groups, or any legal means is always better than violence, right?

                  In the alternative, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants".

                  May those times be few and far between, for all our sakes.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2017 @ 11:39pm

                    Re: Re: Re: "Disarm the public"

                    Yes, I would definitely prefer a non violent solution to a problem. But the founders already made it clear, nations are just going to push their luck and they are going to keep doing it until you have to get violent.

                    hence, the 2nd Amendment. and my personal favorite the declaration of independence.

                    "When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

                    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security."

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 1:03am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: "Disarm the public"

                      Wow, great to see that here, thank you.

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                    • icon
                      Richard (profile), 23 Aug 2017 @ 8:15am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: "Disarm the public"

                      my personal favorite the declaration of independence.

                      You see a great passage - I see a bunch of ungrateful rebels trying desperately to find an eloquent justification for what they were about to do (and at the same time trying to discourage anyone from doing the same to them later - which didn't work as the civil war - less than 100 years later proves).

                      Fact is that the British had (at great expense) just cleared all the other european colonies out of the path of the expansion westward and had had the bare faced cheek to ask the colonists to pay something for it. The colonists were of course too mean to do so.

                      Remember that without the British military actions in the years before the revolution what is now the USA would have become a rather smaller country on the East coast and the rest of North America would have been a patchwork of countries, speaking a variety of different languages, rather like South America today.

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                    • identicon
                      Mike B, 23 Aug 2017 @ 6:28pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: "Disarm the public"

                      The key text is "when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism."

                      No way in the world are we in that situation, nor were the slave states.

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                • icon
                  Stephen T. Stone (profile), 22 Aug 2017 @ 11:32pm

                  Re: Re: "Disarm the public"

                  Say that to any slave that won their freedom through blood.

                  Then watched as the slavemasters and the racists grew even crueler and hateful.

                  Or how about the violence promised to every criminal that broke the law.

                  Which begets even more violence.

                  Or how about every dictator that lost their power to an uprising?

                  Those kinds of uprisings rarely lead to a stable, functioning country in their aftermath.

                  Violence creates more problems than it solves. If you believe otherwise, think about the last time violence solved one of your problems without making more in return…well, if you can think of such an instance, anyway.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2017 @ 11:52pm

                    Re: Re: Re: "Disarm the public"

                    "Then watched as the slavemasters and the racists grew even crueler and hateful."

                    yes, I noticed a slave just last week crying on the block being separated from their family as they were being sold. No wait... they got their freedom. Was the Civil War over slavery according to you?

                    The juvenile and naive nature of your words reveals much.

                    Yes violence tends to beget more violence, but you sully this understanding by uttering it in the same post as a falsehood of a maxim. I wonder if you believe me to imply that violence should be a frequent or desired solution? I do not, but I am not so foolish as to believe that all conflicts can be solved without it and that its ONLY outcome is more of it!

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                    • icon
                      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 23 Aug 2017 @ 12:16am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: "Disarm the public"

                      The Civil War ended slavery, but in freeing the slaves, the US created more problems—notably the Jim Crow/“separate but equal” era, the rise of the Ku Klux Klan, and a resentment of the federal government by the Southern states that remains ingrained within Southern culture. Ending slavery without fighting a war over the matter would have caused problems as well, but it would have done so without the unnecessary shedding of blood.

                      Violence is never the answer—but sometimes you have to deal with some stubborn son of a bitch who thinks it is.

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                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 7:41am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "Disarm the public"

                        Many people gloss over that stuff as they do not want to know about it and they do not want anyone else to know about it either.

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                    • identicon
                      Talmyr, 23 Aug 2017 @ 5:27am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: "Disarm the public"

                      You know, everyone else managed to end slavery long before you, without a massively damaging civil war, and without having to arm everyone unnecessarily. We also manage to preserve our democracies without armed citizens, using only our national armies and a belief in the sanctity of human life and the ballot box, not bullets.

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                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 7:31am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "Disarm the public"

                        There is no such thing as a real Democracy in the world. What you are calling a democracy is a farce.

                        Any real democracy commits suicide because the people have too much power of what government does and people are very prone to the super destructive mob mentality.

                        What you have is a carefully crafted illusion of having a say in your government by re-branding the term "democracy". It keeps people like you ignorantly docile until someone finds it necessary to put you away or down like a dog.

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                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 7:42am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "Disarm the public"

                        "everyone else managed to end slavery"

                        and yet slavery prevails ... are you that ignorant?

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                        • identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 8:13am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "Disarm the public"

                          Yep, human trafficking is still a big deal the world over, and largely ignored as well!

                          But let the ape beat his chest anyways. You can't talk back to ignorance of this level.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2017 @ 11:42pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

              "I think our forefathers (at least my forefathers) thought through this issue in a civil society ..."

              Was this civil society? Where many landowners were surrounded by societies of slaves? Whom they had to control and ensure that they would not rebel or be a threat?

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2017 @ 11:55pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

                Agree, society has never been civil.

                One group or another has always been oppressed to one degree or another. As long as there is a need for any government person or citizen to carry a firearm, it is not a civil society.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 3:22am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

                  Well, you are saying America is not a civil society, right, especially since we have basically enshrined the right to carry a firearm. We are not a civil society, by your definition. Can you name a civil society? Or are you just twisting a term to suit your agenda. Are you mixing "civil": relating to ordinary citizens with "civil" courteous and polite? By civil society, I meant as relating to ordinary citizens. American society, that's us, armed to the teeth, IMHO, we are both civil and civil.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 7:46am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

                    Civil like Charlottesville?
                    Civil like Phoenix?

                    and now I suppose you are going to tell me that violence has not increased lately ... and trump has not fueled the flames.

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 8:17am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

                      "and trump has not fueled the flames."

                      neither has any of the left either right?

                      Sorry, Trump might be a silly fucking tool but he is right when he said both sides are to blame. There was still BLM running around stirring up trouble and people directly targeting cops. And no, I am not justifying anyone killing others over it either. But it is clear that there is no tolerance for the other side so someone has to have their rights removed or another "civil" war is looking to break out.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 9:58am

          Re: Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

          Oh, so those don't matter because they're boring. You're moving the goal post.

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    • identicon
      stine, 23 Aug 2017 @ 12:30am

      Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

      Mike, please don't change your editorial policy (whatever it is,) but if you want to explain it, feel free. Yes, police (and other public officials) do amazing things every day, but if you look at the title of Mike's site: TechDirt. I think you'll find that good, clean, upstanding and benevolent items aren't usually described as 'dirt.'
      I don't think American Police (as a very large group) deserve anything, except perhaps contempt. Forty years ago, I held different beliefs, because the 3 city policemen, 1 sheriffs deputy, and 1 hwy patrolman that I lived near (<3 blocks) were all, outwardly, upstanding citizens. It wasn't until later (in the same neighborhood) that I realized that hearing a 1/2 second blast of police siren meant some lowlife cop was blasting through a red light again.

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    • identicon
      peter, 23 Aug 2017 @ 2:46am

      Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

      It is really really simple to achieve your goal.

      Start up your own website

      You can put is whatever stories you like about the bravery, selflessness, service and dedication of the majority of the police. I bet you will find no shortage of stories to publish because there are a lot of those type of police out there.

      Do be aware however that you may sometimes get people complaining how you always only publish pro-police articles and why you don't consider changing your editorial policy to include negative stories. It will of course be entirely up to you whether you do or not. It is after all your website.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 3:24am

        Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

        I'm just saying, if you want to use this media platform to take a moral position, please make your moral position clear. Saying police are immoral and inventors are immoral and Shiva is immoral and the TSA are immoral and trademark holders are immoral sounds like tedious Supremacy. If you want to take a moral position, you must be able to define both villains and heroes. Otherwise you sound just like a supremacist hate group, hating everyone and offering nothing.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 4:08am

          Re: Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

          "Yep, yep, sure buddy. Whatever you say"

          Slowly backs away.......

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        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 23 Aug 2017 @ 4:09am

          Re: Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

          Morality is not as black-and-white as you want it to be. Life is not professional wrestling; people are not explicitly “white knight” good and “twirling mustache” evil with a switch that flicks between the two.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 9:32am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

            "Morality is not as black-and-white as you want it to be."

            It is binary has hell actually. It is either wrong or right. What makes it appear in gray-scale is the dispersion of those blacks and whites across the spectrum.

            Kinda like how computers base EVERYTHING on binary states and sets of data. There are just a lot of binary combinations involved to fool people like you into thinking things are more than what they are.

            Check out "Chaos Theory". Things are often far more binary and biased than you comprehend.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 7:50am

          Re: Re: Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

          I thought the website was called Tech Dirt, not Moral Dirt.

          I'm still trying to figure out your angle here, perhaps it is related to the court proceedings? How would that work exactly?

          If you want stories about puppy dogs 'n fairy tales I suggest you look elsewhere.

          In your perfect world, all websites would publish the same feel good stories? Sounds a bit boring but lies of omission can be very fruitful.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 4:23am

      Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

      Police doing their jobs is not newsworthy. Police breaking the law is.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 9:54am

      Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

      What I see are a whole lot of Corrupt PIGS! The few so called GOOD ones, will stand there watching while one of the bad ones Is Hurting you, or killing you and Protect the other because of the BLUE LINE. Which makes them all corrupt. Like this PIG that should h ave been long ago FIRED and or PUT IN JAIL. The Police Unions protect them all. RARELY will anything ever have to a PIG.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 11:30am

      Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

      Not this again.

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

    • identicon
      Chuck, 23 Aug 2017 @ 12:34pm

      Re: Do you publish any pro-police articles

      wow. Congrats man. I don't believe I've ever seen a longer reply chain to anything here on TD. Well done, you.

      I just wanted to drop in and comment on one little thing that is indirectly related to what you're asking for here, but nonetheless, very important.

      Equal time.

      If you don't already know, Equal Time is a TV News doctrine from the very dawn of the medium. In essence, it states that both sides of an issue should be given equal time on air to make their case, and let the viewer make up their own mind on who to believe.

      Equal time is an atrocity.

      If you have a segment discussing white supremacists, do you think it's a good idea to give the grand dragon of the KKK and the president of the NAACP equal time? Do you think it's fair to do so? Does it make sense?

      Some would actually say yes. I pity those people. When one side is blatantly, patently, obviously wrong, and no amount of argument could ever, in infinite time, make them right, they do NOT deserve equal time. When one person is arguing an absolutely untenable position, it is not fair to the other person to give the former a single microsecond of airtime. It is fake balance, fake fairness, and the actual, real example of what fake news looks like.

      And this gets to the crux of your request. You want good stories about cops. There are some. But a story about a cop who just does what he's supposed to do is neither good nor news. It's simply expected. A cop saving kittens from a tree may give you warm fuzzy feelings. It does for me, until my logic kicks in and I realize that, wherever that cop is, there IS some crime occurring, and he's stuck up a tree rescuing animals while humans are suffering. This is why firefighters are trained in animal rescue and police are not - because police have more important things to do, literally 24/7, while there will often be times when nothing is on fire.

      In other words, that cop is violating department policy and as a result, someone, somewhere is not getting the help they need.

      In other words, even that story is actually bad news, not good news. Though again, I caution against calling it "news" at all. Despite being against most department policy, cops rescue animals all day every day, all across the country. It's a happy story on an emotional level, and if a cop is going to violate policy anyway, THIS is definitely the way to do it, but it's still not really newsworthy.

      More to the point, as was noted here on TD a couple weeks ago, police actually shoot over a million harmless family pets every single year in the process of doing other things. What WOULD be newsworthy is a comparison between the number of animals killed vs. saved by the cops.

      But I'm betting those numbers don't break in the cops favor, either.

      In any case, just a caution against equal time, false equivalency, and such. Admittedly, the news as it relates to police is quite depressing these days, but that's not the fault of the news. It's what happens when you do a job where heroism is a basic requirement to do the job at all. It makes the bar for "good news" very high, while the bar for "bad news" is simply failing to be a hero.

      Yes, that's harsh, but remember this: every cop is a volunteer. Enough said.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2017 @ 7:11pm

    wait...

    "isolated story about police misconduct"

    These exist? Last I checked every time we catch one of these stories something along the lines of this has been happening...

    "the more you read about this law enforcement officer, the worse it gets."

    Yea, color me surprised! Sorry, but the so called "good officers" that exist are not working to push these so called "bad officers" out, therefore... no "good officers" exist!

    From the lowest beat cop to the highest judges... the innocent and poor are being ground to bits through the gears of "justice"!

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2017 @ 7:13pm

      Re: wait...

      I would agree - if you read only Techdirt, you would have a terrible opinion of the police, there is nothing but negativity here. Please consider opening up your editorial policy and select some articles that present another side - this is depressing, unreal, and borders on fake news. Sorry to say that, but the reporting is really, really one sided - no wonder people develop the wrong idea about the police. You report nothing good. That's not real news, right, real news present both sides of an issue, right?

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2017 @ 7:23pm

        Re: Re: wait...

        My opinion of law enforcement precedes the creation of TD by many years.

        I have a member of the family that loved to clash with the law. I never did any of that stuff, but being associated with them as family means that I am just as guilty in their eyes. I have had police pull me over for looking to rich in a poor neighborhood, lied about me not using a blinker properly, and arrested cuffed and throw me into the back of a car for lying when I was not lying, I was released later because word got to that family member that I was going to be arrested for lying if they did not turn themselves in.

        Yes, my perception has been heavily colored by my own very personal experience with law enforcement having never done a single thing wrong. It is so very nice that the police will threaten to RUIN the life of an innocent to catch the guilty.

        Sorry, there is far too much at stake here. And to call this fake news... well, it is just that sad.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2017 @ 7:47pm

          Re: Re: Re: wait...

          Well, I did mention fake news, but I didn't mean to call this fake news. I was trying to point out that from my point of view, it appears biased.

          Your story is troubling, you are right about that. If I was in your position, I would feel violated, as well. And I would probably celebrate articles that point out similar unfair behavior.

          I learned something new today, thank you for that.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2017 @ 8:43pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: wait...

            "and borders on fake news."

            That is what I was referring too.

            "If I was in your position, I would feel violated, as well."

            Agree, there is definitely no way I could think that people would not feel violated, even though most understand why the police have gotten that way about things. It just will never be right, no matter how hard their jobs become.

            "And I would probably celebrate articles that point out similar unfair behavior."

            I am glad to see these articles being brought up to get a conversation going and to raise awareness, but no I do not celebrate them. I think for the most part a lot of people still have a positive view of law enforcement because they just have not been in a position to experience the guilty by accusation situations that often occur.

            But yea, sitting in the back of a cop car in cuffs while under arrest while they tell your other family member they will arrest me for real by hauling me to actual jail unless they turn themselves in really does color ones perception a bit.

            It colors it enough for me that I cannot watch cop shows were law enforcement regularly declares that they will do things like intentionally get paper work lost, hold innocent or accused people as long as they can, or even threaten to charge them with terrorism unless they cooperate all because they think the person is guilty or that they have information they want or need. And that is before they get in front of a prosecutor that threatens to send you to jail for life over a joint your friend hid in your car, unless you plead guilty and be out in 6 months.

            Heck, I remember sitting in court, where they process a whole bunch of folks at once and there was a kid that stole a cop car, for the 2nd time, and all he got was 3 month probation extension, meaning he was already on probation. Shortly after that, another kid was sentence to juvy hall for 2 weeks for petty fighting at school, it was his first fight. The only thing I can think of... is that kid stealing police cars had connections while that other white kid fighting was seen as trailer trash and in need of summary judgement. Heck, the police car thief was even fairly disrespectful to the judge and was threatened with contempt.

            It's amazing what I got to see because of my vagrant and petty criminal of a family member, just by sitting and watching their court appearances, visiting them in jail, and all of those associated antics and issues.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2017 @ 8:44pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: wait...

            You know, your story is more than troubling, it's really disturbing. Hey, one of you legal geniuses, how would you advise this guy? What should he do to call attention to the mis-justice he describes and on what basis could he be compensated. No doubt his emotional damage is easy to understand on it's face, but this is the kind of thing that would affect me every day of my life, if it happened to me. Should he write to his Senator, or is that just useless? Should he file a complaint with the local department, or with their internal affairs section? Is there a damages case here where he could attract a discounted attorney? Really, his story is terrible, someone should try to help him. Sometimes the law takes time, but if often reaches a better outcome than doing nothing at all, or doing something stupid.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2017 @ 9:19pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: wait...

              OK, no volunteer attorneys available on Techdirt. Maybe one will turn up. So, how about this: You find a local attorney and tell him your story and see if he can structure a theory of damages. I believe a jury anywhere would be sympathetic to your case, rounding up and threatening family members just seems terrible, I think everyone would agree with that. I'll bet there is someone you could find your area that would listen to your story, and maybe they could flesh out a damages theory. Even if they can't, I'll bet you could find a pro-bono attorney that would accompany you to the police station to visit with that officer and his supervisor. I would bet it wouldn't cost very much, it wouldn't take very long, and you would receive a sincere apology. I think so, really, your story is very easy to relate to, and everyone becomes more thoughtful in front of an attorney. An apology might be really good for you, like to close out that chapter in your life and then open a new one, a better one. A follow up piece from you would also be interesting to see if you could find any legal help. Perhaps short of legal advice, someone else here could point you in the right direction for discounted or pro-bono attorneys . Good luck.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2017 @ 9:19pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: wait...

              I was a kid at the time, still in high school. The issue was truancy. They saw the police coming so they slipped out the back before the police got there. So when the police asked if they were there we said honestly said no. But someone else in the neighborhood said they saw them near in the woods so I was randomly selected for arrest for lying to the police about them not being there.

              It does not matter if you lie or not, the police just have to believe you are lying and convince the court/jury of it, that is all that is necessary. There are people in jail on that alone because the police could not stick any other crimes to people and that was the only way they could put them in jail.

              No, there is no recourse for this problem, its just one more way you can be in jail for nothing.

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2017 @ 9:23pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: wait...

                FYI truancy was not mine, it was the family members in case that was not clear.

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

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2017 @ 9:33pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: wait...

                  I would suggest that there might be recourse, if you have been treated very unfairly. Really, no kidding, every American's intent is to support a fair system of justice and system of policing. You would see this personally if you could get your case in front of a jury. They will absolutely take your side, from what I have heard of your story.

                  Here is another specific suggestion: Keep a diary. Get an lined engineering notebook with numbered pages, and write down how this abuse has affected you personally. Try to be factual, but feelings are real, too. Date the entries, do not leave large spaces between entries (cross them out if you have to), and write in your diary whenever you feel something negative that you believe was associated with this incident. Then, in the future, when you get advice about a damages theory, you will have admissible evidence of your damages. I know it sounds a little simplistic, but you might be surprised what a powerful weapon it is in court, and how it will help you understand your feelings, as well.

                  Again, good luck.

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

                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2017 @ 9:53pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: wait...

                    "Really, no kidding, every American's intent is to support a fair system of justice and system of policing."

                    Yes, I agree, they 'verbally' support a fair system. The problem comes down to them voting in a way that supports a fair system and they just don't. There is not much we can do about that, until we get close to a majority on it. Right now "tough on crime" politicians, prosecutors, and judges are still very much in vogue and many of this considers stuff like this just the cost of doing business. That is not even close to a joke either.

                    " I know it sounds a little simplistic, but you might be surprised what a powerful weapon it is in court,"

                    Oh, you are right that is is powerful, I will not be surprised by that, the problem is that it is like winning the lottery on those grounds. I need a judge willing to even allow the case to proceed to start with let alone them having any sympathy for my situation. It rarely exists. I will be quickly viewed as a citizen with an axe to grind.

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

                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2017 @ 11:11pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: wait...

                      Well I think your story speaks to terrible abuse by the police, coercing family members in the way you describe is just SO un-American. I can't imagine how I would feel if I were in your shoes.

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

      • identicon
        Cowardly Lion, 22 Aug 2017 @ 7:46pm

        Re: Re: wait...

        "...if you read only Techdirt, you would have a terrible opinion of the police..."

        I take issue with this. Most mainstream internet news sites report on police shootings such as Philando Castile, Michael Brown, Justine Damond... as do progressive sites. I would expect them to. It's news.

        Let me assure you that these outrages make tea-time TV news in Europe, courtesy of the BBC, Euronews, ZDF... And guess what we see in European broadsheet newspapers? And our tabloids? Indeed, US cops are achieving global notoriety.

        Painting Techdirt as the villain achieves nothing. The police culture in the US needs to change, and it needs to start at the top; the administrators, the unions, the training, the equipment, the prosecution services, the courts...

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

        • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2017 @ 7:52pm

          Re: Re: Re: wait...

          Well, yes, there are a lot of negative stories about the police in many venues, and some cable channels seem focused on negative news in many areas. I was just asking for a little balance in the coverage here, or at least consideration of some balanced coverage. I did not mean to paint Techdirt as a villain. I think you are being a little too sensitive if you infer that. It was a simple request to Editor Mike regarding his editorial discretion.

          About the "US needs to change", yes, of course, we could always improve. And the US does change a lot every few years after elections, for example, President Trump is a big change, right? You just have to be a little thoughtful about how to effect change, the right way to do it is with elections, right, that's the least disruptive to the productivity, wealth and stability of our society. Would you agree with that?

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

          • icon
            Stephen T. Stone (profile), 22 Aug 2017 @ 10:31pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: wait...

            Yeah, change should never disrupt society. We should have kept horse-drawn buggies around alongside automobiles, dammit.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2017 @ 7:51pm

        Re: Re: wait...

        You don't know how reporting works, and your request for false balance is the only thing that is fake news.

        This is a story of police misconduct. The "other side" would be the sides of the officers involved, their superiors, etc.

        A story about another cop in another department stopping a robbery or rescuing a cat or issuing a speeding ticket has literally nothing to do with this story.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2017 @ 7:58pm

          Re: Re: Re: wait...

          Well, I'll give you an example. Here is a real story: I saw a man on a bus with his children, who were uncontrolled and bothering other people His two boys were running up and down the isle, singing loudly, and throwing objects. Frustrated, I finally approach the father and ask him why he won't control his children. He says, "Yeah, I really should, but I just can't. We're returning home from the hospital where they mother just died, and I don't know what to tell them. They're upset."

          I don't know, but I would guess that this officer is human, too. Maybe there is more to the story than is brought out in the article. Maybe he had some personal challenges in his life, just like all of us do. Maybe he deserves some consideration as a human, some compassion and understanding that we would give ourselves when we make a mistake, maybe even the benefit of the doubt, because of the difficult nature of his job. Maybe not, maybe he's a monster, maybe they are all monsters. Or may they are just ordinary Joes, like us, doing their best to get by from day to day and live up to everyone else's expectations.

          How do you see it?

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2017 @ 9:31pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: wait...

            "driving at over 100 MPH without his lights or siren on."

            This leads me to lean in the monster direction. I don't have a problem with giving some leeway to officers doing their jobs, but not very much when they do them with abandon. We truly need to have them held to a higher standard for what I feel are very obvious reasons.

            No officer should ever be speeding without some form of visual notification so that people can quickly identify that an officer is active in the area AND responding to an important event!

            If they want to sneak up on a suspect, they don't have to speed for that!

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

          • icon
            sorrykb (profile), 23 Aug 2017 @ 10:00am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: wait...

            don't know, but I would guess that this officer is human, too. Maybe there is more to the story than is brought out in the article. Maybe he had some personal challenges in his life, just like all of us do. Maybe he deserves some consideration as a human, some compassion and understanding that we would give ourselves when we make a mistake, maybe even the benefit of the doubt, because of the difficult nature of his job.

            This officer got "the benefit of the doubt", repeatedly, from his superiors, even when it was plainly obvious his staying on the police force was a danger to the community. Five car accidents, multiple internal affairs recommendations, and only now, at last, he might face some consequences, after he did this to an innocent 60-year-old man:

            Deshommes had to have his spleen removed and suffered from a skull fracture, a traumatic brain injury, a broken left arm, a broken back, several broken ribs and a broken pelvis

            You don't want "understanding" for this officer. You want impunity, simply because he's police.

            No.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 7:56am

        Re: Re: wait...

        "if you read only Techdirt,"

        Is that what you think? ... that posts here are from people who only read TD? Wow - that is amazingly presumptuous.

        I would guess that most who visit here are quite well informed from a variety of sources covering the breadth of reporting. They certainly seem to demonstrate awareness of stories that were not covered by TD.

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

      • icon
        JMT (profile), 23 Aug 2017 @ 2:59pm

        Re: Re: wait...

        It's hard to know where to start with your ridiculously naive attitude to reporting on the police. TD publishes stories of police breaking the law, abusing their power, abusing the public, destroying property, etc. That's because these things are NOT SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN! Why would you expect to read about the police following the law and respecting the public? THAT'S THEIR JOB! Are you equally upset that nobody writes stories about you when you simply do a good day's work? Sorry, you'll have to defraud your employer or murder a workmate for that!

        And using the term 'fake news' just highlights your ignorance. You're leaning dangerously toward the braindead Trumpian definition of 'stories I don't like to hear'. If the stories published here are factual and accurate, then they're NOT fake! If you think they're not factual or accurate you're welcome to point out what's incorrect. 'Real news' does not have to present both sides of an issue unless both sides are newsworthy. Police doing something exceptionally good OR bad is newsworthy; simply doing the job they're paid to is not.

        Also don't forget that there is a deep culture in protectionism within the police, which is understandable and worthy up to a point, but not when there is zero condemnation of fellow officers' egregious behavior. Bad cops should not be protected either officially by superiors and unions, or unofficially by the inaction of good cops.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 5:10pm

        Re: Re: wait...

        That's rich coming from the guy who reads only Shiva.

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

  • identicon
    Marc Rubinstein, 22 Aug 2017 @ 7:18pm

    Reading comprehension.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2017 @ 7:27pm

    First learn the difference between a question and an unsubstantiated rant.
    Next learn not to confuse things that are fact (This article which is substantiated and we'll documented) with things that are "fake" (your opinion which involves things that are made up).Just some friendly advice.

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

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 22 Aug 2017 @ 7:44pm

    "It's just a few bad apples"

    And I'm starting to think they are the ones who are supposed to be passing out punishments.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2017 @ 7:44pm

    Spell Check

    OK, spell checking is hard. But, you know, professional journalists, been doing it for years, should be good at it by now. The appearance of spelling errors in a story does not reflect well on your credibility.

    Is this man's name "Hegele" or "Hegle"? Please pick one and then get it right every time.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2017 @ 8:18pm

    He just wanted a large favra.

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

  • identicon
    David, 22 Aug 2017 @ 11:34pm

    Quite understandable

    Instead of being fired, the department gave Hegele -- who at that point had already been involved in five car accidents and multiple Internal Affairs investigations -- a "last chance:"

    Well, they would not lightly want to waste leadership material, would they? But promoting him right away would have looked funny.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    Prayatna realty (profile), 23 Aug 2017 @ 12:02am

    Prayatna realty Real Estate

    Prayatna realty signifies meticulous, Dedication, Passion, Dynamism, Trustworthiness. We commit to provide you with your dream homes. We deal in residential & commercial property of noida extension & noida expressway.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 6:58am

    >Deputy

    >Received Almost Zero Discipline

    No need to be redundant.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 7:23am

    Just a thought... perhaps we don't allow car manufacturers to produce cars that go faster than the speed limit?

    We don't allow wholesale production of booze because it's unsafe.
    We don't allow wholesale production of prescription drugs because it is unsafe.
    We don't allow wholesale production of machine guns because they are unsafe.

    But we allow cars that go faster than 100mph? The roads are not made for people to go that fast, yet the cars can. Seems odd to me.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 9:36am

      Re:

      because the government wants your money.

      They are NOT about preventing crime, they are about profiting off of it. Crime does indeed pay, just not out to the people you expect it sometimes!

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 7:46am

    How about some stories about WHY police aren't held accountable? Discuss the unions that make it impossible to discipline or fire them? The management who doesn't stand up to the unions? The politicians who protect the unions and management?

    Lots of bitching about the bad cops themselves, with details, but not much about the conditions which foster and protect them. The article goes on about how this one had a history of bad behavior, how about some information on the exact mechanism of how he avoided being fired for it? That's "dirt" too, isn't it?

    Or is exposing union malfeasance and mismanagement too unpalatable for some reason? The articles here go into tremendous detail on some topics, but the anti-cop ones are pretty much "cops suck" with information and details supporting said opinion. Not always, but I've never seen any information about the union's role in protecting bad cops, which I think would interesting and informative.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 8:29am

      Re:

      That is an interesting question, why is it so hard to discipline the police? And it sure sounds reasonable to me that the Unions try to "rig" the system in favor of their members, perhaps even at the expense of the public. That's a very good point, if you ask me. Who are the police unions working for, and how does their agenda compare to the public's agenda? It's possible that understanding the answer to that could help reduce or eliminate the problem of poorly performing police. Great idea.

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

      • icon
        OA (profile), 23 Aug 2017 @ 1:17pm

        Re: Re:

        I doubt this AC cares that much about the police union. The comment was meant to attack Unions in general. I suspect he/she wants Techdirt to promote this typical "right wing" position.

        The power of police unions is mostly not derived from prototypical unions.

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

    • icon
      Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 23 Aug 2017 @ 9:38am

      Re:

      Read more Techdirt. It has been discussed.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 2:20pm

        Re: Re:

        No, it really hasn't. It's been posted in response to similar articles before, but never actually addressed by one itself. Kind of odd that one kind of "dirt" is an accepted and frequent topic, but another isn't.

        Individual cops and cops in general? Open season on trashing them, but questioning the unions that keep the bad cops employed and blocks their removal? Not likely.

        Well, you read it above - that's only a "right wing" position which has no place being reported about here at Tech (selective) Dirt. It's "mostly" different from regular unions anyway. Mostly. Except when it's totally the same when it comes to firing union employees.

        So, long story short - it's acceptable and encouraged to bash cops here, but don't question too closely about WHY those bad cops aren't fired.

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

  • icon
    afn29129 (profile), 23 Aug 2017 @ 9:55am

    The face of the person who did this.

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

  • identicon
    Personanongrata, 23 Aug 2017 @ 2:30pm

    Less than Zero at the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Department

    Hegele may be on his way out, but if Palm Beach County Sheriff's Department wants to be taken seriously, it will be sending a lot of supervisors and officials packing as well.

    The fish rots from the head.

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

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 23 Aug 2017 @ 3:27pm

    ANY ONE HAVE INSURANCE??

    Lets see....
    What would happen to ANYONE'S insurance rates after this many accidents and payouts..

    " Let the record[s] show that Deputy Hegele:
    - backed into a parked cruiser
    - fell asleep at the wheel, hitting a median and causing more than $1000 worth of damage
    - rear-ended a car at an intersection, causing $4000 worth of damage
    - rear-ended yet another car, causing $12,000 worth of damage"

    NOW..has anyone inspected his PERSONAL CAR INSURANCE???
    And if he HAS NONE/CANT GET ANY...WHY is he DRIVING A CAR??

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


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