Great Moments in the “New Professionalism”

Via Crooks and Liars, more appalling police abuses for the law and order tase at will crowd to excuse:

It will be fun reading all of the excuses- “But she gave them her sister’s ID!” and “They have to keep people naked in jail so they cant hurt themselves!” and “They were just following procedures- you don’t know how tough it is to be a cop!”

Things are out of control when people can do things like this and think they are doing “the right thing.” Check their faces- an odd sort of professionalism, going through the motions pinning this defenseless woman to the ground and essentially raping her, and no one stops to think it is inappropriate for men to be in the room (not to mention against clear procedures). No one asks “why are we doing this?” No one asks “Why is this woman here” (she was the one who called for help- I bet she will not make that mistake again). No one asks why she needed to sit for hours naked, humiliated, hysterical, and alone in a cell for anyone to walk by and gawk at her in a completely vulnerable state. No one thought to give her a blanket or talk to her as she was covering herself in toilet paper to keep warm.

What is wrong with our system? What is wrong with the police that it is not a radical belief for me to think “I should probably cross the street, there is a cop walking down this side.”

Things have got to change. The police have a bad rep, and every day, they go out and earn that bad rep.

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104 replies
  1. 1

    If they see you crossing the street and suspect that you’re crossing the street because of them, then you’re gonna wind up in a world of hurt. Just play it cool and relaxed when you walk by them… Maybe even make eye contact and nod slightly. They can smell fear; don’t show any!

  2. 2
    Brachiator says:

    What is wrong with our system?

    There is no “system.” There is only us, and how we decide to treat our fellow citizens and others.

    Some of us have decided that torture is acceptable as long as some can claim that it protects us from harm.

    Some of us have decided to support Supreme Court justices who blandly state that an innocent person can be jailed, even executed even though he had an incompetent attorney as long as a trial was “properly” conducted.

    Some of us have decided that asking about what is “appropriate” and what are “clear procedures” is somehow the same thing as asking what is right, and what is wrong.

    No one thought to give her a blanket or talk to her as she was covering herself in toilet paper to keep warm.

    There is a mindset that a perp, a suspect, must have done something wrong. Otherwise, they would not have been detained. And once they are detained, whatever happens to them doesn’t matter. They no longer have to be considered human. Hell, they no longer have to be considered at all. Homeland Security uber alles.

    Some have decided that justice no longer matters, only law, control, and obedience.

    Who is willing to stand up and reject this?

  3. 3
    Wilfred says:

    This is much less worse than the abuse heaped on the helpless every day in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine. It is only to abuse and show the weak how weak they really are. A lot has to be done in order to change the circumstances that create the condition of exploitation and, yes, rape.
    You’re right, that’s what it is. This couple deserves a Medal of Freedom. Instead, they’re gonna have their counter tops scrutinized.

    Oh, btw – Fuck the police.

  4. 4
    Davis X. Machina says:

    The Feds are just as wonderful.

    The morning calm in the small Alabama town of Toney, located near Huntsville, was broken at 6:15 a.m. yesterday morning. A team of five FBI agents, accompanied by a prison matron, pounded on the door. When the man of the house answered, he was forced into the yard, shirtless in the early morning cold. The team had come for his wife, Sue Schmitz. She was dragged out of her bathroom, where she was taking a shower, handcuffed, breaking her flesh and scraping her wrists, and hustled off to prison.

    Scot Horton at Harpers.org has more.

    Perp is a 63-year-old retired schoolteacher, and state rep.
    Charge is two counts of fraud. No flight risk — perp’s attorney says she volunteered to turn herself in.

    Guess which party she belongs to?

  5. 5
    Surabaya Stew says:

    What disgusting shits those cops are! Thanks for filling me with a sense of outrage; this kind of stuff has been happen forever, but why may I ask did they videotape it? Is this some kind of new rule? And where in the USA is this outrage taking place? Not that the NYPD have the greatest reputation, but somehow I can’t imagine the fuzz in the Big Apple doing this AND incriminating themselves by taping it!

  6. 6
    gypsy howell says:

    We’re all black people now.

  7. 7
    cbear says:

    It’s called militarization, and is the inevitable outgrowth of the gooper mindset….aided by a low-info citizenry.

  8. 8
    myiq2xu says:

    I missed any explanation of why a strip search was necessary or why if it was they couldn’t provide her with a jumpsuit or other jail uniform afterwards.

    When did refusal to cooperate with the police become an offense punishable by humiliation, beating, tasing, pepper spraying and/or shooting?

  9. 9
    Thursday says:

    Brutal.

    Procedures are one thing; but when that means that you stop listening, you’re doomed.

    If you need your palate cleansed after seeing this, may I suggest Through a Blue Lens? It’s a horrible thing having to be reminded that police are human; but when they stop seeing others as human, they’re lost. Their mistakes and idiocy are amplified by the responsibilities we hand them, and well they should be.

    Have to agree with earlier commenters about the strange acceptance of brutality coming over society through the past few years, either with the desperate denial of any wrongdoing by clear criminals in authority or the insistence that the brutality is “for our own good”.

    Deliberately shutting off all communication with people – a nation, a class, a race, a profession, whatever – makes it far easier to demonize the “others”.

    Good fences make good neighbours, my ass.

  10. 10
    Davis X. Machina says:

    When did refusal to cooperate with the police become an offense punishable by humiliation, beating, tasing, pepper spraying and/or shooting?

    12/12/2000. There is no ‘law’ thereafter, only the will of the stronger.

  11. 11
    Wilfred says:

    what is right, and whatSome of us have decided that asking about what is “appropriate” and what are “clear procedures” is somehow the same thing as asking is wrong.

    This is the Rules of Engagement method, where you can kill 19 Iraqi civilians because you think they’re a threat and be exonerated of any wrongdoing. Or when Mukasey can say without the slightest sense of irony that “If I was waterboarded it would be torture, but if it was someone else, who knows?”

  12. 12
    Zuzu says:

    My black friends, without exception, tell me that when they have to drive through L.A., they drive straight through, speed limit, eyes ahead, no stops, and get the heck out as fast as they can. Men and women both. And they are lawyers and professionals.

  13. 13
    srv says:

    We’re all black people now.

    I’ve never heard it said better than that.

    We haven’t made the cops the enemy. They’ve made themselves the enemy.

  14. 14
    cbear says:

    When did refusal to cooperate with the police become an offense punishable by humiliation, beating, tasing, pepper spraying and/or shooting?

    For blacks—sometime around the time of the Colonists.
    For whites—probably 1967, although the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago was seminal.

  15. 15
    DougJ says:

    At least they got her out of her house before she harmed herself by banging her head on the granite countertops.

  16. 16
    Jack Roy says:

    Ugh. In terms of describing my reaction, I have nothing to add above what’s already been said and what I’m sure everyone who watches this video is feeling.

    But I did a quick search of the Google and found an earlier episode in the same city, although apparently at a different facility:

    CANTON, Ohio –
    Three girls given a cautionary tour of the local juvenile lockup are suing officials, saying they got more than they bargained for, including a humiliating strip search.

    ….

    It started with a youth leader, or guard, screaming at them. When the girls giggled out of surprise, the man continued to scream and pushed them against a wall, faces first.

    ….

    The female guard then led the girls, separately, into a room where they were told to remove their clothes, squat and cough, open their mouths, lift their breasts and shake their hair.

    During the search, the male guards stood in the hallway, laughing, and making comments such as, “I bet they don’t think it’s funny now,” the lawsuit says.

    ….

    Attorneys Brian Zimmerman and Allen Schulman Jr. said the girls’ parents never would have agreed to the walk-through if they knew it included a strip search.

    It’s probably definitely not a problem specific to one American city, but what the hell is wrong in Canton?

  17. 17
    LiberalTarian says:

    Abu Ghraib comes home.

    I’ve always said it is not about them, it is about us.

    Excuse me, I have to go pray for humanity for a while.

  18. 18
    Graeme says:

    I just moved from Chicago. Daley is trying to get more businesses to add cameras. One of the best things about that plan is that Chicago cops are getting busted left and right for stuff that would likely have been covered up were it not for the video.

    I’ve never liked or trusted the cops, and one of the best things about the ‘net is that stories like this get around.

    Excessive force seems to be an addiction, and I agree with other commenters that the militarization of cops is part of the problem. I would guess that’s exacerbated by the push to hire more of them.

    I do cross the street when I see ’em coming. I don’t trust any of them. I wish that weren’t the case, but it always will be.

  19. 19
    myiq2xu says:

    I was taking police academy classes in 1984 in Santa Rosa, California when I first heard the LA rule: “If you run from the police you will get beat when they catch you.”

    That’s why I wasn’t surprised at the Rodney King video.

    Interesting about the King case was the original police report didn’t indicate the beating he received. It wasn’t until the bystander-made video was released that the truth came out. Luckily for the bystander, the cops didn’t see him recording their actions, otherwise he would have been next.

    In this case the video was probably mandated by procedural manuals intended to protect the cops from lawsuits.

    Instead it reveals the “banality of evil police brutality.”

  20. 20
    Brachiator says:

    My black friends, without exception, tell me that when they have to drive through L.A. America, they drive straight through, speed limit, eyes ahead, no stops, and get the heck out as fast as they can.

    Corrected.

    We haven’t made the cops the enemy. They’ve made themselves the enemy.

    Police departments are not stand-along organizations. They are established and supported by the citizens. Had the woman in the video been a suspected drug dealer or “gangbanger,” some would still be outraged, but others would have just said to themselves, “Oh well, just business as usual.”

    Some people have no problem when “the Other” is kicked around and abused. They presume that because they have cloaked themselves with the mantle of middle-class respectability, that they are immune to being abused. Then they are outraged when they discover that having unleashed the beast of police brutality, they cannot control it or direct its force.

  21. 21
    slov says:

    I missed any explanation of why a strip search was necessary or why if it was they couldn’t provide her with a jumpsuit or other jail uniform afterwards.

    It’s in the last bit, an email from the Sheriff. She was stripped “for her safety”.

    That is video is beyond disgusting. Whenever I see something appalling like this, I wonder how many times this has happened to others and they didn’t alert the media.

  22. 22
    Graeme says:

    I have to say that his record of fighting in the Illinois Senate for videotaped police interrogations is another reason I am voting for the Magical Unity Pony. He stood up and did the right thing.

  23. 23
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    I’m a civilian employee of my town’s Police Department. I’ve had a lot of conversations with cops, including the Chief, regarding policing and the differences between cities’ police departments. The consensus seems to be that a community’s police are reflective of the wishes of those who run the community. If the officialdom wants authoritarian thugs then that’s what the police force becomes. If they want thoughtful, community-based policing then that’s what they get. Chiefs of police set the tone for their cops and chiefs are almost uniformly appointed rather than elected. Any chief who fails to conform to the will of those who run his town is fired.

    So yes, the behavior of these cops is disgusting however, at least half of the opprobrium is owed to those who appointed the chief of police in that town and to the citizens who voted them into office.

  24. 24
    The Other Steve says:

    Could this be a result of Bush cutting funding for the COPS program? Not to mention the state budget cuts that we’ve experienced in recent years. We have fewer cops on the streets then we did 10 years ago, and that creates greater stress.

    I don’t understand what these guys were thinking treating a victim of a crime in this manner.

  25. 25
    Darkness says:

    That is video is beyond disgusting. Whenever I see something appalling like this, I wonder how many times this has happened to others and they didn’t alert the media.

    Smart people don’t call the police.
    Smart people don’t alert the media — unless they are already on that flight to retirement in Costa Rica.

  26. 26
    Rex says:

    At least when you pay protection to the mafia, there aren’t any airs about what you are getting.

    Protect and serve, my ass. Cops are a bunch of adrenalinized thugs anxious to brandish their ‘power’. There was a time when I defended the cops. Now I just shrug when a cop gets gunned down as just chickens coming home to roost.

  27. 27
    The Other Steve says:

    Chiefs of police set the tone for their cops and chiefs are almost uniformly appointed rather than elected. Any chief who fails to conform to the will of those who run his town is fired.

    But this was a Sheriff, which is an elected office.

  28. 28
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    But this was a Sheriff, which is an elected office.

    If he’s what the community wanted then they should be ashamed of themselves.

  29. 29
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Also expanded is the range of what you can be arrested for.

    Atwater v. City of Lago Vista, 532 U.S. 318 (2001) — custodial arrest for fine-only traffic misdemeanor (driving without a seatbelt) not cruel or unusual.

  30. 30
    myiq2xu says:

    I have to say that his record of fighting in the Illinois Senate for videotaped police interrogations is another reason I am voting for the Magical Unity Pony.

    One of the fired US attorneys was allegedly fired due in part to a dispute with the FBI over the videotaping of interrogations. The FBI didn’t want to videotape them and he did.

    Why would the police/FBI be opposed to videotaping if they were following law and proper procedure?

    It should be SOP for all law enforcement.

  31. 31
    Brachiator says:

    I have to say that his record of fighting in the Illinois Senate for videotaped police interrogations is another reason I am voting for the Magical Unity Pony. He stood up and did the right thing.

    Good example, although I have to note that technology does not always prevent police, and prosecutorial, misconduct.

    Daryl R. Atkins recently had his death sentence commuted to life because it was finally revealed that he had been coached to implicate himself in a murder by the police, and the prosecutors had knowingly relied on this false evidence.

    Even though the police had taped the interview session, they turned off the tape in order to get Atkin’s statments to match the physical evidence. A key piece of information that ultimately undermined this sham:

    ‘In a court filing last year, Ms. Addison [one of the prosecutors], who also attended the debriefing, called Mr. Smith’s account “false and libelous” and said her office “adamantly denies” it. But there are only about an hour and three-quarters of material on the audiotape, even though a detective announced that it started rolling at 4:16 p.m. and stopped at 6:16 p.m.’

    The full story can be found here:

    Lawyer Reveals Secret, Toppling Death Sentence

    The pursuit of justice is a sober business. Part of the problem here is not bad or evil policemen, but the notion that when the poor, the mentally defective, and the powerless are tossed under the jail, it’s just collateral damage so that the middle and upper classes can get on with their lives without interference.

  32. 32
    Jim says:

    It never ceases to amaze me how conservatives scream bloody murder about how horrible government is when it comes to taxes, but they are more than willing to give government the right to spy on everyone, imprison as many as possible, and restrict our civil liberties to such a great degree.

  33. 33
    Jack Roy says:

    The consensus seems to be that a community’s police are reflective of the wishes of those who run the community. If the officialdom wants authoritarian thugs then that’s what the police force becomes.

    Dennis, color me supremely unconvinced. I’m not going to be so lazy as to characterize this as a “just following orders” excuse, but defending one’s misdeeds because background social norms compelled one to is (a) a supremely easy defense that’s really tempting when more credible defenses are unavailable, and (b) completely unverifiable. Yeah, a lot of CEOs defend their creative accounting because if they didn’t make their quarterlies they’d be out of a job, but it’s still just crookery, and guys like Warren Buffett resist the easy way out and profit by it. Roger Clemens probably justified to himself that all the hitters were juicing and he’d get killed if he didn’t cheat, too. When we know we done wrong, it’s really, really easy to believe that we didn’t have a choice, that we didn’t do the bad thing, that anyone else in our position would have done just as we did.

    But it’s never, ever true. These deputies didn’t get an informal memo that the local community wants zero tolerance, even if that mean you defy procedure when male deputies strip search a women guilty of absolutely nothing. They just got to a point psychologically that they could justify their abuse of authority over a helpless person. People want safe streets. They don’t want vaguely sociopathic authoritarians justifying their cruelty because they’ve got badges. And the disconnect between those two things is so wide that it’d be laughable to try to say the one necessitates the other, except in this context it makes one want to sob more than chuckle.

  34. 34
    MNPundit says:

    What is wrong with the police that it is not a radical belief for me to think “I should probably cross the street, there is a cop walking down this side.”

    I’ve thought that for the last 14 years, since I was 12 years old. Welcome to the world of minorities John.

  35. 35
    Thursday says:

    The pursuit of justice is a sober business. Part of the problem here is not bad or evil policemen, but the notion that when the poor, the mentally defective, and the powerless are tossed under the jail, it’s just collateral damage so that the middle and upper classes can get on with their lives without interference.

    Hear hear. The acceptance of evil starts with the phrase “acceptable losses”. Besides, it’s happening to them, not to us, so that’s not so bad.

    The only thing that can change this is communication. Hatred springs from fear; communication ends it. But there has to be an acceptance of constant change as well, or at the very least a constant review enabling the possibility of such. “Okay” isn’t good enough, and there will never be a “perfect”, what with all circumstances being unique to their place and time.

    [/soapbox]

  36. 36
    DougJ says:

    I do think it’s important to realize, though, that there are plenty of cops who are the salt of the earth, the first people in the world you’d want to call if you needed help. I know a few like that.

    As wrong as some of the recent incidents are, the focus needs to be on the perpetrators and on the police forces that condoned their behavior, not on policemen in general.

  37. 37
    myiq2xu says:

    Daryl R. Atkins recently had his death sentence commuted to life because it was finally revealed that he had been coached to implicate himself in a murder by the police, and the prosecutors had knowingly relied on this false evidence.

    I was reading about the people freed by the “Innocence Project” using DNA to test evidence in old cases.

    One guy who was freed was originally convicted for rape and murder based on his “confession.”

    During the interrogation the man truthfully denied ever being inside the victim’s home. The detectives lied and told the man his fingerprints had been found inside the home and asked him to explain it.

    Believing the police really had found his fingerprints inside, the man offered the explanation that he must have been drunk and blacked out. That explanation was his “confession.”

  38. 38

    And then there is the tale that was in the news a week or two ago. Police entered a house where they found a man face down on the couch. They were looking for a fugitive. They ordered him to get up. He did not. They ordered him to get up again. He did not. They tased him, ultimately twice.

    Why is this interesting? The police entered the wrong house, and tased the owner of the house who was asleep on his own couch, so deeply asleep that he did not hear them.

    Of course the chief and his department, swear, I tell you, swear, they did nothing wrong. After all, the police are never wrong. Just ask them.

    Prediction: If these sorts of things aren’t addressed with legislation and severe penalties for the cavalier use of force, dead bodies are gonna start piling up. Both cops and citizens. Especially in the circumstances where police are entering homes, unannounced and seeming on a whim.

  39. 39
    myiq2xu says:

    Protect and serve, my ass. Cops are a bunch of adrenalinized thugs anxious to brandish their ‘power’. There was a time when I defended the cops. Now I just shrug when a cop gets gunned down as just chickens coming home to roost.

    That’s the kind of comment that gets used to discredit everyone on the left.

    I do think it’s important to realize, though, that there are plenty of cops who are the salt of the earth, the first people in the world you’d want to call if you needed help. I know a few like that.

    I know a few too. We need to weed out the bad ones and get more good ones.

  40. 40
    jrg says:

    Why did she object to the strip search if she had nothing to hide?

    Seriously – this behavior is criminal. It’s the kind of thing you’d expect to see in a third world country. Those cops should be in prison. Every single one of them.

    It took guts for this woman and her husband to release this tape to the media. Good for them.

  41. 41
    Jess says:

    We’re all black people now.

    My first thought as well.

    I’m glad this is happening–or at least that it’s being made more public. When I was married into the black community, I was shocked at how my middle-class, law-abiding, church-going in-laws were treated by the cops. I knew about it in theory, but seeing the day-to-day reality of the constant harassment and threats from the protect-and-serve crowd made me understand the deep rage of the black community (and other targeted groups) on a visceral level. If we’re getting outraged now that this is happening to “us” instead of just to “them,” maybe we’ll finally start to take it seriously.

    Yes, I’m kinda bitter.

  42. 42
    DougJ says:

    Why did she object to the strip search if she had nothing to hide?

    That’s a good one. I was hoping for more snark here because for me the real issue here is how many people will defend this kind of thing with some kind of half-baked “law and order” comments.

    For me, the issue isn’t law enforcement in general, because I don’t know how widespread this kind of thing is. The issue is how much our society tolerates it. Crazed, anti-liberty, pro-authority, she-must-have-done-something wrong attitudes…those are the enemy here, not law enforcement in general.

  43. 43
    Thepanzer says:

    3rd world country is a good description. Another one is that after “defeating” the Soviet Union we decided to pick up where they left off and “perfect” their system of governance.

    Caprices governance and an increasingly militarized police force. The public is viewed more as group to be kept in line than a community to be protected. Surveillance is used domestically to stifle discent and enforce party doctrine.

    The we’re all black now quip made me laugh my ass off. How true.

  44. 44
    tballou says:

    There is no excuse for this and I hope she successfully sues the shit out of them.

    HOWEVER, this did not just happen. Something set these thugs off, and I would bet good money that she was yelling and screaming the entire time from when the cops arrived til they took her to jail. The fact that female cops were involved, and that everyone in the film seems pretty calm tells me they thought this was the appropriate reaction to whatever she was doing.

    All of which leads to this – don’t provoke the bastards. Many of them are on power trips and the system otherwise encourages them to act this way. If you get busted – stay calm. Yelling and protesting etc will not help at that point.

  45. 45

    All of which leads to this – don’t provoke the bastards.

    Fuck them. I have a concealed carry permit. Unless they call in SWAT I’m equal ground and will not be intimidated by a punk with a badge.

  46. 46
    myiq2xu says:

    Fuck them. I have a concealed carry permit. Unless they call in SWAT I’m equal ground and will not be intimidated by a punk with a badge.

    Can I be the benficiary on your life insurance?

  47. 47
    Ted says:

    I’m sure it’s been said already, but I’d love to kidnap those cops and put them through the exact same treatment in the exact same setting. I’d be giddy, in fact.

    They appear to feel nothing during the event because they can’t imagine they’d ever be in that situation themselves. They need reality checks.

  48. 48
    jrg says:

    Something set these thugs off

    Yes, I’ve heard that cops should be kept away from white women. Cops have trouble controlling themselves. Besides, did you see the way she was dressed? She was asking for it.

    I would bet good money that she was yelling and screaming the entire time from when the cops arrived til they took her to jail.

    She must have done something pretty bad for them to have locked her in the cell with no clothes for hours. But since we all know it’s impossible to commit a crime if you have a badge, cops always deserve the benefit of the doubt.

  49. 49
    Bob S. says:

    I grew up white and middle class(still am)and never thought police weren’t prone to this type of behavior.
    Different learning curves for different people,I guess,kind of like the realization that Bush was capable of fucking up the country and the world the way he did only after voting for him twice,right John?

  50. 50
    dbrown says:

    OK people,
    I agree this is wrong and an issue but between 100,000 to 300,000 die every year due to a number of different types of medical mistakes; stupid mistakes kill a quarter million people and you coulds very easily be one. Yet MD’s get a pass and except for lawyers, you could be sure that these numbers would be climbing (thank god they are starting to fall.) Police abuse can at least be addressed and (luckly) kills few; not so with MD’s; most that get caught (99% don’t) just move to a new state and start again – great system.

  51. 51

    One other thing:

    I live in a VERY small town in the broccoli of NJ. I know some, but not all of the cops, and the ones I do know are simply great guys, salt of the earth. I was talking to one about these kinds of situations and he told me something very interesting. Now mind you, this is a guy getting ready to retire, after putting in his 25 years of service.

    He said that the ones that scare him and that he doesn’t trust are the graduates of community college public safety courses. He called them “highly-indoctrinated Hitler Youth”. Now, those are his words, so please, don’t beat me around the head and shoulders with Godwin’s law. He says they come out of school thinking they know everything and with absolutely no regard for the citizenry, feeling they are coming in to clean up the town and make everyone fall into line. On the other hand, he has found that military veterans make great cops that have far fewer problems, in his eyes. Of course, the recent PS graduates have no military service.

    Just some insight from a guy who knows of what he speaks.

  52. 52
    Svensker says:

    I live in a VERY small town in the broccoli of NJ.

    Broccoli? Where dat?

  53. 53
    myiq2xu says:

    I agree this is wrong and an issue but between 100,000 to 300,000 die every year due to a number of different types of medical mistakes; stupid mistakes kill a quarter million people and you coulds very easily be one. Yet MD’s get a pass and except for lawyers, you could be sure that these numbers would be climbing (thank god they are starting to fall.) Police abuse can at least be addressed and (luckly) kills few; not so with MD’s; most that get caught (99% don’t) just move to a new state and start again – great system.

    This is a false comparison.

    “Police abuse of power is bad, medical malpractice is worse, we should therefore ignore the former and focus our attention on the latter.”

    There is a substantive moral difference between police brutality (intentional tort and/or criminal behavior) and medical malpractice (negligence)

    There is also no reason that we cannot address both problems simultaneously.

  54. 54
    jimbo says:

    These people are practicing for martial law that will be imposed by bush and his goons about the end of September. This took place in ohio? How appropriate.

  55. 55
    DougJ says:

    He said that the ones that scare him and that he doesn’t trust are the graduates of community college public safety courses. He called them “highly-indoctrinated Hitler Youth”. Now, those are his words, so please, don’t beat me around the head and shoulders with Godwin’s law. He says they come out of school thinking they know everything and with absolutely no regard for the citizenry, feeling they are coming in to clean up the town and make everyone fall into line.

    I don’t know anything about CC public safety course, but I think there’s definitely something to what your friend is saying. It seems to me that part of what went wrong here was some crazy notion of following the rules. Regulations say that if someone gives a certain answer to “have you thought of harming yourself” that you strip search them. Common sense dictates that was insane in this case.

    What happened here went beyond stupidly following the rules — since rules dictated that men not be present during the strip search — but I’ll bet that’s how these guys would justify what they did. They’d say they were doing what the rules said.

    Our country has gotten some crazy idea that iron-clad rules are the way to improve law enforcement. You see this with the crazy mandatory sentences. And to go farther, you see it with the neocon approach to foreign policy. You have some iron clad rule that you don’t negotiate, you only invade.

    The truth is that almost all human situations demand finesse. Some set of guidelines isn’t enough and never will be enough.

  56. 56
    Psycheout says:

    This anecdotal evidence doesn’t prove anything about police in general who are good people who protect us from the criminal element. Keep dishing out the red meat for the cop haters though, John. It’s certainly easier than putting things in their proper perspective.

    It’s also dishonest as hell. But now that you’re a liberal you can’t resist “speaking truth to power.”

    Bad things do happen on occasion to be sure, but it would be a lot worse without the good folks who choose to protect and serve.

  57. 57
    D. Mason says:

    dbrown – Comparing this kind of shit to medical malpractice is asinine, sorry. When a doctor kills a patient, though certainly tragic, it’s usually unintentional. Doctors are humans too, they work in a field where mistakes can kill and unfortunately they make mistakes just like everyone else. What these thugs did was intentional and malicious.

    If the justice system functioned at all those cops would be awaiting trial for assault at the very least and she would succeed in suing that sherrif’s department into oblivion.

    She is lucky in one regard. After this being on the local news and nationally on the ‘trons she will almost definitely get a good lawyer working pro-bono on her hopefully massive lawsuit. Maybe she and her husband will get to retire early.

  58. 58

    I am completely beyond words. Some of you wonder why a left Democrat owns guns…and is proficient. Make no mistake, any funerals around this particular statement will include one hell of a lot more than mine.

  59. 59
    TenguPhule says:

    What is wrong with our system?

    Crooks were put in charge in 2001, everthing else followed naturally downhill.

    When Dear Leader publically breaks the law without a care and gets away with it, when his cronies steal and cheat and lie with impunity, this is the lesson sent to everyone lower on the food chain You can get away with anything. The strong eat, the weak are meat. Dine well and fuck everyone else!

  60. 60
    myiq2xu says:

    What happened here went beyond stupidly following the rules—since rules dictated that men not be present during the strip search—but I’ll bet that’s how these guys would justify what they did. They’d say they were doing what the rules said.

    Some cops (but not all) believe that they can never back down or back off. Anyone who refuses to submit to their authority is not only a threat to them personally but to the entire system because they are the “thin blue line” between society and savagery.

    This woman was upset and agitated, and possibly intoxicated (no evidence, just guessing.) The story says she had been assaulted and she was the original victim when the police were called, but ended up getting arrested. That would upset and agitate me too.

    Rather than make an effort to calm her down, the cops decided to force her to submit to their authority.

    I cannot imagine any reason why she had to be forcibly stripped naked and then left that way for hours.

    If she was under the influence of drugs, mentally ill or suicidal she should have been taken to a medical facility or at least examined by a doctor.

    Were they afraid she would hang herself with her bra and panties?

  61. 61
    TenguPhule says:

    This anecdotal evidence doesn’t prove anything about police in general who are good people who protect us from the criminal element.

    Irony of the Day.

  62. 62
    TenguPhule says:

    As wrong as some of the recent incidents are, the focus needs to be on the perpetrators and on the police forces that condoned their behavior, not on policemen in general.

    The problem is, how do you tell them apart now?

    Unless you know a police officer as a friend, relative or nieghbor, all you tend to see is the uniform.

    That is the blessing and curse of being in blue. You have the authority, but you also inherit the reputation, undeserved or not, of your fellow officer’s actions.

  63. 63
    jcricket says:

    There is also no reason that we cannot address both problems simultaneously.

    Right – Even if the faulty logic held (that both medical malpractice and police brutality are equal “kinds” of bad) you can and should still fix both.

    Note that most truly prevantable medical errors appear to be fixable using a combination of technology (computerized prescription printouts/handling) and simple procedures (better hand-washing, double-checks on medical equipment after surgery).

    Whereas police brutality appears to be a much more endemic/cultural issue (certainly appears that videotaping police hasn’t stopped this sort of thing). And as Radley Balko has been going on and on (and on) about – the SWATification of police is getting worse, especially in the smaller locales.

  64. 64
    jcricket says:

    Unless you know a police officer as a friend, relative or neighbor, all you tend to see is the uniform.

    You know, it’s funny. Growing up as an upper-class white person I was told to respect the police, and never once feared they go all ape-shit and tase me over nothing. I certainly never had a “don’t snitch” or “run from the police if you see them” attitude.

    One day a police officer pulled up behind me in my driveway as I was pulling in, shone the light on me and came right up to my driver’s side door. He demanded to see my license, which I realized I didn’t have (my bad). He told me that someone else had stolen a car matching my car. I then said this was my house and I can go in and get my license. He said don’t bother and just let me go.

    I’ll bet if I were black, the situation would have gone a lot differently, especially if I had no license.

  65. 65
    jrg says:

    Shorter Psycheout: cops are good.

    What about insurance salesmen, doctors, truck drivers, or engineers, Psycheout?

    This bothers people because cops are the government. If an insurance salesman, doctor, truck driver, or engineer did this, would you be praising their profession? Watch the video again, and let me know.

    Face it, every field has different kinds of shitheads in it. There will never be a shortage of authoritarian cops. That’s why we have laws to protect us from becoming a police state in this country.

    Stop pretending that a badge makes you Mother Theresa.

  66. 66
    Joshua says:

    Remember, kids: Abu Ghraib Was An Isolated Incident.

    Absolutely disgusting.

    And not at all surprising.

    I have to believe there are good cops out there, but I’ve never met one. My dad was a cop, and he and his friends were pretty much the stereotype. They weren’t evil or even particularly, they just had a creepy institutional mentality that wearing the badge automatically justified everything they did. (After they retire, they tend to believe the same thing about the police union sticker they slap on their cars.)

    And, no, they never stop to think about what they were doing, never asked themselves if it was right. They’re Cops; they’re the Good Guys; they’re always right, by definition.

  67. 67
    empty says:

    Brachiator Says:

    Police departments are not stand-along organizations. They are established and supported by the citizens. Had the woman in the video been a suspected drug dealer or “gangbanger,” some would still be outraged, but others would have just said to themselves, “Oh well, just business as usual.”

    Some people have no problem when “the Other” is kicked around and abused. They presume that because they have cloaked themselves with the mantle of middle-class respectability, that they are immune to being abused. Then they are outraged when they discover that having unleashed the beast of police brutality, they cannot control it or direct its force.

    We, and I doubt that it is just us, are very quick in defining groups, and sometimes entire nations and peoples, as “other.” By labeling other humans (“gooks” to “hadjis”) we try to distance them from our humanity and make their slaughter less than the death of one of us. And we do the same to our own as long as we can group them and separate them, whether by race, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, from ourselves.

    Yes there are good cops and bad cops and I am sure the good outnumber the bad, but we reward and encourage the bad when they violate the humanity of the “other” by looking away. And one day we will end up being the other. The time for resisting, protesting, and trying to change, is before that day.

    /soapbox

  68. 68
    Chris Johnson says:

    Gypsy Howell nailed it. We are all black people now. It’s a curious kind of equality, isn’t it? I’m even almost tempted to say it’s about time. (I’m white. Hey, apparently it no longer matters!)

    I have been arrested, handcuffed and taken to the police station before, and my town is not a wild west cop-fest. Here’s how it happened: I forgot to take the trash out, and ended up chasing the truck down the street dragging two trash cans in my bathrobe. I actually had skivvies on under the bathrobe- but once I’d caught the truck and emptied my trash barrels, I retightened my bathrobe sash. This didn’t involve opening the bathrobe, but some lady in a car with a cellphone saw it, assumed I was a flasher and called the cops.

    This was on a main street, and the cop’s first instinct was to get me off the street. I didn’t get why he was asking me if the trash cans were mine, but I was astonished when he told me he needed to cuff me and take me down to the station. I politely complied with this- first indicator that I wasn’t a flasher. I politely made a verbal and written statement- next indicator that I wasn’t a criminal. I embarrassedly admitted that I wasn’t dressed for the street- third indicator. My wife at the time was becoming hysterical but did call the police to try and find out what happened.

    They rather quickly decided it was a mistake. I took pains not to criticise their actions- more indicators that I wasn’t a criminal. I was let go real quickly and the cop that drove me home was telling my wife and stepkid “This is a Good Man here!”

    Go watch the Chris Rock video “How To Not Get Your Ass Kicked By The Po-lice”. It’s hilarious but the information in it is not in any way a joke. Learn how it works, if you’re stopped or arrested or confronted use your brain and do your damndest to never utter an unneccesarily critical word to the police. Do everything you possibly can to be concilatory- I don’t know what situations will transpire out there, but assume they can search you naked in the middle of the street and people will not object because they’re the police.

    You do not have any right to argue with the police, because argument is one of the indicators of criminal behavior. If you’re actually carrying dope or weapons you might have other problems from interacting with the police, but be aware that the only way to interact with them in any accidental way is with total submission- you can have dignity if you are confident enough to not get mad at them, but you can’t get mad at them.

    I didn’t see all of that video, but I gotta say- shrieking and struggling is RIGHT OUT. Incredibly bad play, what the hell did she expect? I quite support any effort by her to sue and argue that the actions the police took weren’t okay. But it was like waving a red flag. How difficult is it to understand that you do not fight, scream at, or run from the police?

    We all black now. That means white idiots had better smarten up and stop behaving like their skin grants them special privileges. It was only a matter of time before that wore off, because it’s frankly not that big of a difference.

  69. 69
    Zuzu says:

    myiq2xu Says:

    If she was under the influence of drugs, mentally ill or suicidal she should have been taken to a medical facility or at least examined by a doctor.

    Were they afraid she would hang herself with her bra and panties?

    Evidently it happens all the time. That’s why a lot of people are given suicide-proof garments.

    Which begs the question … why wasn’t she?

  70. 70
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    Her hubby is a TEACHER, which means that they are obviously Democrats. Since she was the victim, being a Democrat means that she was actually the criminal.

    Several people I knew in high school went on to become police officers and sheriffs in that county. Every single one of them were aggressive assholes in school who pushed people around and generally had to let people know how tough they were. Interestingly, they were also pretty damn stupid (as in too inept to actually learn a skill/trade to make a living at) students.

    After working at a large manufacturing facility, I got to know the security forces there. Quite a few of them were former cops, wannabe cops or MP’s. The former MP’s were good guys who did their job and did it well. The former cops were the shits, as were the wannabe cops. After dealing with the idiots for four years, it became clear to me that some who enter security/law enforcement do so because they like authoitah and power. That and the fact that they sere too damn stupid to learn some actual trade or skill.

    Now you start to militarize these testosterone laden assholes (SWAT), and you end up with the mess we now have. Law enforcement is something you now avoid at all costs.

    One evening last summer I was pulled over because I had a tail light out. I handed over my insurance card and license, and the cop ran them through. He came back to the car and told me to get out, and then he told me to give him my car keys. I asked why, and he told me that the city ordinance allows them to impound cars with defective equipment, and driving around without a tail light could cause an accident. If he let me drive off and that happened, ‘they could be sued’.

    I was flabbergasted, but I did not argue or flinch. He called a tow truck and they came, loaded the car up and drove off. He gave me a ride home afterward (six blocks away). The next day we went and bought a light bulb, went to the police station and paid the ‘fee’ (not a fine, mind you. A $100.00 ‘fee’) to get a release slip, which we then used to get the car out of the impound lot. I changed out the bulb and we drove off a total of $275.00 poorer.

    I now have spare light bulbs, headlights and tools in both cars.

    I think the fact that I live in a very small, conservative community was strike one. Strike two was my pony tail that hangs to my ass, and the third strike was the cop having a reason to pull me over. I have a clean record, except for two speeding tickets in 30+ years of driving.

    Now for the real laugh? My wife is friends with two women she works with who are married to two local cops (neither was the one who pulled me over). She told the women about what happened, and they could not believe it. The next day, they told my wife that they talked to their husbands (who also know my wife) and that their husbands would let the other officers know that I am ‘ok’ and they do not need to ‘worry about me ever being a problem’. White list, anyone? ;)

    You are either with them or against them. Got it?

  71. 71
    Zuzu says:

    CL –

    So just curious…did he ask to search your car?

  72. 72
    John says:

    Several people I knew in high school went on to become police officers and sheriffs in that county. Every single one of them were aggressive assholes in school who pushed people around and generally had to let people know how tough they were. Interestingly, they were also pretty damn stupid (as in too inept to actually learn a skill/trade to make a living at) students.

    One guy that I went to school with went on to become a cop. He was a football player, and did well enough academically to be in the “gifted” program.

    He was also quiet, careful, and the guy who always stepped in when he saw somebody getting picked on. And, remarkably for a fourteen-year old, stepped in to defuse the situation, rather than to demonstrate his toughness.

    He’s the kind of guy about whom I can say, “Yeah, he’d be a really good cop. The town is safer with him around.”

  73. 73
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    Yes, he did ask to search the car. I told him that he could do so, but he decided not to. He did pop the hood and trunk and took digital photos, and same with a photo of the dash from the driver side. He said they did this so that if anything is stolen (such as the four amps, parametric EQ and speakers in the trunk) from the impound yard, this would prove what I had in the car. But he did not enter the interior, just the shot of the dash from just outside the drivers door.

    I expected him to search it though. The pics took me by surprise. One other detail is that the car (a four door Olds) had four tail lights (two per side). The bottom left one was out. I did POLITELY express my dismay that having a tail light out was enough to impound the car, but other than that it was “Yes Sir” and “No Sir” for the rest of the conversation. I have had enough experience with police (as noted above and while a youth) to know that I wanted to treat this guy like I was juggling nitro.

    How about this one…

    I used to be in a band, and one evening we were throwing a neighborhood party. Our house and the one across the street (two chicks lived there) were the headquarters. The cops promptly arrived at 10PM to break up the party (noise ordinances!), and one unruly guy insulted them (very nicely, mind you ;) ) and called them all kinds of names. They finally convinced the guy to walk away and they would not arrest him. I was across the street from this, and I saw four cops hiding behind the hedge in the house next to the cops and the guy. The cops pointed the guy in the direction of the hiding cops, and he headed off while still mouthing off to the cops.

    Some guys that were by me (across the street) started yelling at the guy to warn him that there were cops hiding, but he was too drunk to notice. Of course, the cops jumped his ass and bent him over the hood of a nearby cop car. The drunk was yelling and fighting them. One cop had his MagLight flashlight out and he started clubbing the guy with it. They literally beat him into submission. It was ghastly to watch. I will never forget the sound of the batteries in the flashlight rattling with each blow to the guy. I have one of those four cell MagLights, and you can do some real damage with one of those. They are very heavy and long.

    He was arrested, charged with drunk and disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. All because he followed the cops advice and left the property he was safely on.

    I have some other real good ones, but I could write about them for a few days and still not run out of material.

  74. 74
    bob says:

    Remember, this is OHIO. You know, the place where the National Guard guns down children on their way to class. Ohio cops are the definition of asshole. But then, ALL red state cops are worse in general. Blue state cops suck, but red state cops are psycho. And yes, the community college knuckleheads are the worst. Twenty four years old and too stupid to do anything of any sustainable value, and too cowardly to go fight the war they support. NWA was RIGHT, bitchez!

  75. 75
    myiq2xu says:

    Yes, he did ask to search the car. I told him that he could do so, but he decided not to.

    Yes he did search your car. This is called an “inventory” search that is done when a vehicle is impounded.

    Popping the trunk and hood is a search too. Anytime a cop opens a closed compartment, room or container and looks in it is a “search.”

  76. 76
    Zuzu says:

    CL –

    Like myiq says, it’s likely they also went through your car when it was impounded. In fact, impounding for a “hazardous” condition is one excuse to be able to do so. All legal.

    Though to be fair, maybe he thought the pics were enough.

  77. 77
    John Spragge says:

    About 16 years ago the administration of Canada’s (maximum security) prison for women (P4W) tried to pull something like this. The media, politicians, and the local prison oversight group nailed correctional services (and the warden) to the wall.

    I see no grounds to blame the people of the area because this happened once, but I will wonder whether they have retained the spirit of a free people if they do not take steps to make very sure it never happens again.

  78. 78
    Zuzu says:

    The drunk was yelling and fighting them. One cop had his MagLight flashlight out and he started clubbing the guy with it. They literally beat him into submission. It was ghastly to watch. I will never forget the sound of the batteries in the flashlight rattling with each blow to the guy. I have one of those four cell MagLights, and you can do some real damage with one of those. They are very heavy and long.

    I did some legal observing during political demonstrations when I was still in school back in the ’80s. You know, the folks with the armbands who don’t participate but just make sure everybody’s staying legal.

    My first time out, the SFPD were disbursing a loud but nonviolent crowd. Evidently people weren’t moving fast enough, and a man next to me was knocked down and clubbed. Actually, he fell on top of me and I could actually feel the blows through his body. It was a pretty disturbing experience.

    This was only a few months after the 1984 Dem convention in SF, when the SFPD famously rode their horses over demonstrators. I think they were successfully sued.

    All that said, I’ve always been respectful when stopped. And polite and thankful when they’ve provided help and protection on more than one occasion. It must be a pretty thankless job, even when done right.

  79. 79
    Zuzu says:

    disbursing = dispersing

    doi

  80. 80
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    Ohio? I missed that one. FSM that brings back a personal experience I had there. In the summer of 1980, I moved to upstate New York (from Spokane, Washington, and I hitchiked across the US, which was a blast!) for the summer. I bought a car before I headed back to Spokane that fall, but I had the NY title mailed to a Spokane address so it would be there as I could not wait for Albany to mail me one in NY.

    I was pulled over by a State Trooper just outside east Cleveland, Ohio. I gave him my NY license and the registration for the car. He impounded the car as he questioned whether I was really who I said I was, and whether the car was really mine or not. I guess a license and initial registration were not enough. I was taken to a small station west of Cleveland and told that I would have to post bail of $750.00 as my court date was going to be more than two weeks away (for what charge, I did not dare to ask). I lied to the cops and told them that I only had $125.00 (which was all I had on me, the rest of my cash was stashed in the car). He went in to the next room, and I could see him talking to another cop through a window that was mostly blocked by two filing cabinets (I saw them through the gap between the cabinets).

    He came back in my room a few minutes later and told me that I could be released by paying 10% ($75.00). I paid the cash and was given a piece of paper that he had written a handmade receipt on (not an official receipt). I kept my mouth shut, I just wanted to get away from these cops. I asked when my court date was (mind you, I did not even have a ticket yet!), and I was told to give them an address and it would be mailed to me. I didn’t even flinch at that, and I gave them a phony address in Spokane as they knew that was where I was heading and I had no local address to give them.

    They gave me a ride to the impound lot so I could get some of my stuff out of the car. I pulled my 12 string out of the case and stuffed it with everything I could. The cops had left, but I heard the lot guys commenting in a nearby office (I had to go ask them for the trunk key and I stood outside the office for a few minutes) and I figured out that this was a scam that the cops and the lot were running. They were talking about how nice my car was (a ’69 Ford XL convertible), and it was easy to get that they already thought of the car as their own.

    I got my stuff, pulled the distributor cap and tossed the rotor over a nearby fence (nice deep grass!), poured STP in the automatic transmission, pulled the air cleaner and dumped a few handfuls of dirt and gravel down the carb, knifed the convertible top (which was down), connected the speakers to 12 volts so they would toast when they turned the ignition on and poured a bag of potato chips (that I crushed up first!) down the gas tank. I was VERY careful not to let them see me doing anything. They did see me with the hood open, and asked me (when I returned the trunk key) what I was doing. I told them that the transmission was low and I topped it off so I would not forget when I came back to get the car back (ha ha).

    I fucked that car up royally and headed for the freeway. I got about six blocks away when the tow truck came ripping up. The two guys demanded I give them the rotor back, and I played dumb (what rotor? I didn’t do anything with a rotor!). They told me they knew that the car had been running and that they were going to charge me $15.00 for a replacement rotor. I smiled and told them to go right ahead and do so. Oh, and they informed me that there was some short in the car stereo and something had fried. ;) They stormed off and I hauled ass to the freeway on-ramp. It was blocked off and under construction, so I got up on it and sat down at the end of a bridge there. About 5 minutes later, the tow truck comes hauling ass down the street, but I was above them and they did not see me. You could tell from the speed they were moving that they were pissed.

    I hit the highway, hitched a ride with a trucker and got the fuck out of there. In the early 90’s I called the Ohio State Police and checked to see if there were any warrants for me.

    Nope.

    Like I said, I can go on and on with stories. It is amazing that I only have two tickets in my lifetime, I can tell you that much. From all of my contact with police in my life, I would think I would have ended up with much more than that…lol!

  81. 81
    Blue Stater says:

    Just wait, people — this is only the beginning. Wait until our highly trained, tanned, rested, and ready torturers come home from Iraq and Afghanistan. Local and state police forces often hire ex-MPs and CIA operatives. In our military we have nurtured a cancerous recruitment pool in the form of psychotic, robotic humanoids whose future conduct will make this incident look like a tea party. They and, more importantly, their superiors, have not been held accountable by the nation, and there is no reason for them to think they will be held accountable by localities and states. These police officers and their superiors up to and including the sheriff, should go to jail for a long time on a variety of serious criminal charges. Anyone want to bet on whether they do?

  82. 82
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    Yes, I know that what the cop did was still a kind of a search. Maybe I should have added a /snark line. ;)

  83. 83
    MNPundit says:

    I tell you one more thing though, I know how to act if a cop talks to me. But it still pisses me off. I’m smarter than they are and I still have to kiss their ass because they could kick my ass if they feel like it.

    God damn I hate it.

  84. 84
    myiq2xu says:

    They gave me a ride to the impound lot so I could get some of my stuff out of the car.

    A friend of mine had his truck impounded for driving with a suspended license. He was guilty as sin, but when he got his truck out of impound his work tools were missing.

    He was self-employed as a handyman (unlicensed contractor) so this basically wiped him out.

  85. 85
    Krista says:

    Jesus, that poor woman! I cannot even believe that the asshole sherriff said that her clothes had to be forcibly removed because she “wouldn’t remove them voluntarily.” Um, ladies…a show of hands: how compliant would you have been in removing every stitch in front of all those cops, at least two of them being male?

    She was hysterical, terrified, and being stripped by strange men — of course she was going to fight and scream. That’s just pure instinct taking over at that point.

    There are some great cops out there, but ones like that Sherriff deserve to be publicly shamed, fined and forever stripped of their badge. And I wish I could say that this bunch were just a few bad apples, but we know that this is much more widespread than anybody realizes.

  86. 86
    sglover says:

    He said that the ones that scare him and that he doesn’t trust are the graduates of community college public safety courses. He called them “highly-indoctrinated Hitler Youth”. Now, those are his words, so please, don’t beat me around the head and shoulders with Godwin’s law. He says they come out of school thinking they know everything and with absolutely no regard for the citizenry, feeling they are coming in to clean up the town and make everyone fall into line.

    I’ve long thought that police forces should never allow anyone under 30 to have a badge. You’ll never convince me that a guy in his early 20’s is going to have adequate judgement for the job.

    That said, this kind of episode shouldn’t surprise, given the calls for ever more draconian and heavy-handed “law enforcement” that have been the norm for decades now. I don’t think we can pin the blame for this one on Bush: There were many occasions when Slick Willy played ersatz tough guy — whether it was extending the death penalty to a wider range of offenses, or actually inflicting it on a mentally retarded “criminal”. And of course Bush the Elder used Willy Horton to compensate for his total lack of appeal.

  87. 87
    bill says:

    Between hockey and softball over the last 25 years, I know at least 20 Ohio cops. There is exactly one that does not have an authoritarian complex. He is retiring in a year and a half.

    I hear plenty of yuking it up about what they do to blacks. Not so much about what they do to red-neck women, because they know that wouldn’t go over so well in the locker room. I assume this has always gone on, but we only know about it now because of video and the interbubes.

    I wouldn’t dream of calling the police unless I absolutely had to (I’m a smart ass, so I know I would fair well in their custody)

  88. 88
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    I showed my wife and our daughter that clip, and boy are they ever pissed. They have heard my tales of woe from police contact, and they know I do not think a lot of them (at least the assholes, of which there are far too many). They were outraged that the woman was treated like that, and both question whether or not they would ever want to call the police for anything after seeing it. I know what they meant, and I know they would if they had to, but still the thought was there.

    There is an unintended consequence, women afraid to call the police because of shit like this. I hope the family sues the ass off of these cops. What they did was beyond the pale.

    No better than common thugs, in my view.

    I can say that there are some good cops out there, and I have met them. But unfortunately they have been the exception in my life, not the rule.

    One Washington State Trooper pulled me over on I-90 and I had no idea why he would want to. I was not breaking the law and it was broad daylight (no lights out on the car!). Turns out the trooper is a Ford Mustang nut, and his car was one of those 5.0 Mustang cruisers and he owned a ’67 fastback. He wanted to check out our car…lol! He was very quick to tell me that I had done nothing wrong, just that he had seen me traveling the freeway (5 days a week to and from work) and was dying to check out the car. So, right there on the side of the freeway, I popped the hood (nice built 351 Windsor residing in a detailed engine compartment), the hatch (rear hatch/compartment with dual batteries, the relay/fuse center for the custom electrical system, amps and speakers in there), and he climbed in the car to check out the Corbeau racing seats and custom electronics. He was drooling so bad I felt like giving him a towel.

    He apologized to me for the scare, and he did not even ask for my license or registration. He was young, and obviously a big Mustang fan. I am used to showing the car to people who ask, but it is usually in store parking lots…lol! Also, he let me check out his Mustang cruiser too. I like our car better. ;)

    I have been let off with verbal warnings and such, so not all cops are assholes. But they are in the minority, at least in my experience.

  89. 89

    I am always polite and I do not lie to cops. I’ve been given a large opportunity to do so when stopped for 85 in 55 on a very rural OR highway, 3 buildings in 60 miles in one place. He asked if my speedo was broken – no,I knew exactly what I was doing and was in a jamb when I saw him; where I was going – a roofing mfg’s class 400 mi from home, after checking my license he cut me loose, about $300+ fine saved. OR State Police. He had me cold, we also were the only two vehicles in probably 100mi of road.

    I know that it is a tough job when 90% of your time consists of ruining people’s day. That does not excuse barbarity.

    WKYC news’ video is gone, currently 9PM PST

  90. 90

    In the time it took me to write that it came back, dunno.

  91. 91
    The Raven says:

    John, it’s been happening all along. It’s just become much more visible, now that video is so common. The “justice” “system” needs an overhaul, along side the “electoral” “system” and the “health” “care” “system”. Man, if there ever was a time for reform, this is it.

  92. 92
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    I think it is natural that all great or powerful nations come to pass. I think that it is a self-destruct mechanism (corruption) that is inherent in people. Each great nation/age has been led by people who were absolutely resolute that theirs was the only way to go, and eventually it leads to the demise of that nation (or its stature).

    I think we are rotting from the inside out, and I do not see an easy solution. Absolute greed and power have taken hold in the upper ‘crust’ of our society, and everyone is going to pay for it if we don’t get off that track.

    History is littered with the once great, the ones who thought that their society was the guiding light in the world. Some of their endings were quite spectacular, others just sputtered into history. Never before has one powerful nation held the power to almost destroy the human race, let alone several nations with this power. Knowing history, that does not bode well for our future. But the cat is out of the bag, so to say. Our rail is greased and we are going downhill at a breakneck speed.

    Our future is bleak, IMO, and it will take a miracle to turn it around.

  93. 93
    Mark says:

    this kind of behaviour won’t stop until these towns are sued for 10’s of millions of dollars and lose. $$ coming out of their pockets are the only thing they care about.

  94. 94
    Pug says:

    We’re all black people now.

    Well, not quite. If you’re black they’ll beat you to death, as they did the 17 year old boy in Florida on his first day at boot camp, then be exonerated of any wrong doing, even if the whole episode is caught on video tape.

    This stuff goes on all the time behind closed doors without the benefit of video. These officers will be cleared of any wrong doing.

  95. 95
    Cyrus says:

    I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t until comment 80 in the C&L thread that I saw something that was even debatably blaming the victim. In some blogs it would have appeared within the first 10 comments. (I don’t count here because it’s so hard to tell actual spoofs, incidental sarcasm and genuine conservatives apart.)

    I didn’t see all of that video, but I gotta say- shrieking and struggling is RIGHT OUT. Incredibly bad play, what the hell did she expect? I quite support any effort by her to sue and argue that the actions the police took weren’t okay. But it was like waving a red flag. How difficult is it to understand that you do not fight, scream at, or run from the police?

    We all black now. That means white idiots had better smarten up and stop behaving like their skin grants them special privileges. It was only a matter of time before that wore off, because it’s frankly not that big of a difference.

    What the hell? I mean, OK, in the short term, on an individual basis, you’re correct. In the long term and as a country, though, we should stop letting the fucking police treat anyone like they treat black people and we should stop treating rights like fucking privileges.

  96. 96
    rdale says:

    She could consider herself lucky; here in Utah the cops just shoot you and then a month later or so the police review board (which has no civilians, only cops) comes back with a ruling that the shooting was completely justified, move along. I’ve lived here for 30 years and I can’t remember one case where a cop was found in the wrong for shooting someone. Nowadays if you’re lucky they’ll just tase you; the recent incident where a Utah Highway Patrolman tased that guy for putting his hands in his pockets and then stood over him smirking “It hurts, huh,” was a YouTube sensation; but that cop got away with it totally. I always tell my kids, never mess with someone with a badge and a gun; they can ruin your life in a heartbeat and there is nothing you can do about it.

    rdale

  97. 97
    HyperIon says:

    cops are as varied as any group of people.
    some are assholes; some are not. however, their tendency to support their own against ANY accusation is what really bothers me. when cop assholes ARE caught on tape, they get off scot free.

    here in seattle citizens are AGAIN trying to organize civilian review boards that can punish the police instead of being overruled by the chief of police. the police are too short sighted to see that when they have pissed off the entire citizenry (instead of merely the non-white/powerless), life will be much worse. members of a civilized society MUST trust the government….

  98. 98
    Darkness says:

    Chris Johnson, oh man, what a picture. Hapless hubby in bathrobe, hair askew, dragging two beaten up trash cans along the grungy roadside of a busy street. Cop asks, “Are those your trash cans, sir?”

    I’m going to be enjoying that scene all day.

    So, we have several votes for “Don’t behave like a criminal”. Or restated, behave ten times better than the cop you are dealing with no matter how good you are with stress… and some of us suck at it, fuckaduckluck for us. I agree everyone should know the drill to avoid the worse, but my agreement stops at the point where submissive behavior becomes a requirement for peaceful citizenship. That just strikes me as wrong, really fundamentally wrong.

    We have at least one vote for “arm yourself” o_O I’m not going to go there.

    There are some with hope/intent for the institutional change route. But given how thorough this has become from Abu Graib through to the corrupt DoJ, that’s a high order. BUT, perhaps this can be the issue that drags the rest of the system back in line. Something has to and the issue closest to home usually has the most power.

    Being a cop is a shitty job. A certain personality type is drawn to it, no doubt. But one thing you can do is smile and nod when you happen to see one just out on the street. I think the good ones are at risk of deciding there is no reward to staying in the job or staying good, and that would only make things worse.

  99. 99
    qwerty42 says:

    I can sympathize with cops in hard situations, but jfc, this is depraved. palming it off as “procedure” or “her fault” or anything is loathsome. There is something very wrong with that police force.

  100. 100
    Emma Anne says:

    When I used to volunteer for the Safe House, sometimes the victim would be arrested in addition to (or instead of) the perpetrator. This was because the victim was often emotional and out of control and the perpetrator was cool as a cucumber. Lots of police training was required to get them to arrest the person who caused the bruises instead of the person who had them.

    I will tell my kids to be calm, respectful and conciliatory whenever they deal with cops. This is only smart. But this in no way justifies the way the police are behaving in this and other recent examples.

  101. 101
    mere mortal says:

    What really creeps me out about this video, how this situation is so different than many of the other tasing incidents, is that this is not a single officer or a group of officers in a situation of high stress or perceived threat.

    This is a room full of officers calmly holding down another person, stripping her of all her clothes, and leaving her naked for 6 hours.

    How can there be an appeal to a few bad apples? This is a police force dealing with someone totally in their control. They intentionally, methodically, calmly degrade and humiliate an innocent person.

    Creepy. Is this what a sadistic porn video looks like?

  102. 102
    Cyrus says:

    HyperIon Says:
    members of a civilized society MUST trust the government….

    I’d say, rather, that the government of a civilized society much be trustworthy. Big difference.

  103. 103

    […] This video shows what happened. It is, I think, the most horrifying thing I have ever viewed. It’s very hard to watch. I was shaking through most of it. The sound of Hope Steffey screaming and sobbing in terror and humiliation will stay with me for a long time. […]

  104. 104
    John says:

    Been a while since the last post on this. I have been looking into this since it went national. You would not believe what I have run into, but to tell anyone I would have to write a book!

    I acquired Steffey’s "trial" transcripts, I put trial in quotes because if you can call a kangaroo court a trial, then thats what it was. The only thing I can guess is that the jury was sleeping through the whole thing, or that they believed EVERYTHING the cop said and nothing Steffey or the witnesses said. Even when the cops testimony made no sense.

    The sheriff’s dept has ALWAYS maintained that Steffey was given a chance to remover her cloths and refused. I have their OWN documentation that proves this is a LIE.

    This same documentation also seems to mention the beginning of the strip video, the part that police claims was "missing" and then during the grand jury investigation became "NON-existent".
    Except that I had already contacted the sheriff’s dept in May and they said that the "missing" video would soon be released. They NEVER denied THEN that it was non-existent.

    It was only later that they wanted people to believe that the camera was not functioning, BUT THEN, just as they force Steffey to the bunk to strip her, it starts working again!!

    Yeah, is anyone else’s electronic stuff able to "heal" itself, and JUST at the right time??

    Steffey’s lawsuit date has been changed at least three time that I know of, and is now set for July. I have also been told that the county insurance company is negotiating with Steffey’s lawyers.
    You can bet that this will NEVER go to a trial, there is NO WAY the cops can let this get that far. Other wise they’d have to answer all the unanswered questions and come up with better excuses as to why everything was done as it was. Plus they might end up in jail….as they might anyway, since the FBI is investigating this now too.

    Yup, I could write a book.

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  1. […] This video shows what happened. It is, I think, the most horrifying thing I have ever viewed. It’s very hard to watch. I was shaking through most of it. The sound of Hope Steffey screaming and sobbing in terror and humiliation will stay with me for a long time. […]

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