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Blue Lives Matter Sign Appears in Brookings

Brookings policeman and school resource officer Joe Fishbaugher was placed on administrative leave last week for posting the following comments on his Facebook wall:

Fishbaugher did some talking on his personal Facebook page the night the police officers were killed in Dallas.

“I have never in my career wanted to strap on my gear and go hunting more than I do at this moment as I listen to the police scanner in Dallas, Texas,” he wrote.

Another officer from the Brandon Police Department, Lee Henning replied,
“I agree.”

[Fishbaugher] went on to say, ” Looking like its time for every traffic stop to be a felony stop now and no less than two officers in every car” [Angela Kennecke, “Brookings Police Officer Under Investigation for Facebook Comments,” KELO-TV, 2016.07.12].

Someone with a Brookings County Sheriff’s Department vehicle parked in front of his or her house has posted the following message on his/her house wall:

Palette outside Brookings home, painted to read "Blue Lives Matter," 2016.07.17.
Palette outside Brookings home, painted to read “Blue Lives Matter,” 2016.07.17.

The palette was out this Sunday morning, around the time that news came out about the shooting of police officers (three dead, three wounded) in Baton Rouge.

If police officers constituted an aggrieved class disempowered by systematic, institutional bias, appropriating the Black Lives Matter slogan to express one’s concerns about police safety might be a valid act of protest. However, despite the sensational events of the last couple weeks, police are still safer in the United States today than they were during the last three decades. They also have lots of power, funding, and public support. There is little if any sign that police lives are not valued in America’s power structure.

“Black Lives Matter” is a political statement that black lives are not valued in America’s power structure. To appropriate their slogan to protest the killing of police officers by thugs on the street (yup, I said thugs, and I mean it) is not just as pointless as putting up a sign reading “Property Rights Matter” to protest sporadic thefts around the country. It is a direct rebuke to those fighting to rectify genuine imbalances in America’s power structure.

And if that sign and that sheriff’s vehicle belong to the same person, that rebuke is coming from a member of the agents of the state whose actions are at the core of the Black Lives Matter critique. Rather than signaling a willingness to engage in a discussion about racial bias on policing, that member of the police would essentially be saying to any people of color in Brookings, buzz off.


  1. Don Coyote 2016-07-17 19:09

    Cop shooter in Baton Rouge was a member of the Nation of Islam, a black separatist movement just like the New Black Panthers. BLM protestors dance perilously close to the resurgence of the Black Power movement of the 60’s and 70’s.

  2. Sam@ 2016-07-17 19:22

    Let’s hope Donal Trump becomes President so these hate groups can be held accountable. Trump is the only candidate that has enough back bone to make the harde decisions on this issue. This is not about gun control as HIllary and Obama want us to believe, however people breaking the law

  3. owen reitzel 2016-07-17 19:30

    LOL. Good one Sam@.
    Trump has no backbone and he won’t do squat.

  4. Richard Schriever 2016-07-17 19:35

    Don’t know where you’re getting your information coyote. I’m hearing he was an ex-Marine and a member of the “Sovereign Citizens” movement. You know, the anti-taxers that bamboozled Jerry Adrian into claiming his property wasn’t part of the USA.

  5. Robin Friday 2016-07-17 19:51

    I don’t see these shootings as advancing society in any way. But they are not the fault of BLM and not the fault of law enforcement as a whole. BLM is trying to peacefully protest to raise awareness that we as a society can not condone shooting and killing black people for selling cigarettes in the wrong places or for walking with Skittles in the rain in the wrong place, or for stealing cigarettes, or for a broken taillight. And we can not condone shooting police officers in rooftop snipings and cowardly ambushes. If any entity is at fault it is the NRA and our obstructive and partisan Congress which refuses to do anything about the proliferation of military weapons on our streets, and our gun fantasies and 2nd Amendment obsessions, which in the end do nothing but kill and restrict our freedoms.

  6. Donald Pay 2016-07-17 19:53

    If Trump would luck into the Presidency, it would be the end of the United States of America. Hate groups? Trump headed one. The birther movement was a hate group dressed up in the Trump clothing line. A lot of the imagery and retweating done by Trump comes directly from righty hate groups. Trump is a racist and a fascist, and these righty hate groups will run the country bigly.

    I think Owen is right. Trump is essentially a coward, a tough talker and a bully, but he would do a lot more than squat. Even as a businessman he has a habit of using the courts to squash the little guy, get out of paying bills for work done, etc. Essentially he has his law-yers squash the little guy now. That will change if he gets anywhere near the levers of power. You think Obama used executive orders? Trump has already hinted at what’s coming.

  7. grudznick 2016-07-17 20:09

    Mr. H, just because those fellows might be cops who put their lives in danger for you and I every day does not mean they abdicate their right to free speech. They can put whatever sign they want in their yard. So say’s Joe Lowe and that Hawk woman.

    You have lost another debate.

  8. Roger Cornelius 2016-07-17 20:18

    If a redneck made the comments that this Fish guy made, I could understand it because he is just demonstrating his ignorance.
    If a law enforcement makes such comments, it is easily deemed as a provocation.
    The simple solution for the attacks against policemen is to tell them to quit killing unarmed black men.

  9. mike from iowa 2016-07-17 20:31

    Of course, back in the 60’s and 70’s there was no earthly reason for the Black Panther movement, was there?

    No racism, no discrimination, no police dogs, water cannons, marchers being beaten and worse by mostly white cops.

  10. grudznick 2016-07-17 20:38

    Mr. C, I don’t mean to sound as judgmental as you but you do realize you are more a redneck than most, don’t you? I’m just sayin…

  11. grudznick 2016-07-17 20:39

    Rednecker than most, that Mr. C is.

  12. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-07-17 20:48

    Coyote, does the allegation you lay in any way refute the argument I have presented about the phrase in question?

  13. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-07-17 20:49

    Sam, your comment is too vague (“this” what?) for me to offer a response yet. What hard decisions do you think need to be made?

  14. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-07-17 21:03

    Roger is right: police officers, just like teachers and other public servants, face greater expectations for and scrutiny of their public statements.

  15. grudznick 2016-07-17 21:11

    Bah. Fire every teacher who wines about stuff and we’d have no teachers.

  16. Darin Larson 2016-07-17 21:13

    There is no justification for attacking police officers. None. Two wrongs don’t make things right.

    The rush to judgment on some of these incidents is troublesome. People need to let the investigations happen before jumping to conclusions, either one way or another.

    There are clearly some bad cops out there that need to be weeded out, just like in every profession. And we need to be vigilante against systemic bias.

    Policing methods may need to be adjusted. For instance, the reference by the officer to every stop being treated as a felony stop may not be as bad as it sounds. A felony stop method gets the individual pulled over out of their vehicle a safe distance away from the officer who remains at the police officer’s vehicle for cover. The officer is then better able to ascertain if the individual is armed and intent on harming the officer before the officer is in a vulnerable position right next to the individual. Moreover, the officer is less likely to have to make a split-second decision of whether a defendant sitting in a vehicle is drawing a weapon or is merely taking out his wallet and license.

    On the other hand, the BLM folks do themselves and their movement no favors when they immediately cry foul before all the facts are known. If they are willing to rush to judgment, they will inevitably be proven wrong in certain instances and weaken their credibility. If their credibility is damaged beyond repair, their voice in instances of true injustice will not be heard.

  17. Rorschach 2016-07-17 21:15

    Now seems to be the time for Blue Lives Matter signs. People are out hunting and killing police officers, who have a dangerous enough job without that. Yes, there are some bad apples in that profession. No I don’t condone the express and implied the threats of Officers Fishbaugher and Henning.

    We expect that officers maintain their professionalism, which includes treating misdemeanor stops like misdemeanors, and not hunting humans. But when they are under siege for simply wearing the uniform, we the public need to have their backs.

  18. Rorschach 2016-07-17 21:19

    Felony stop to me means guns drawn. It’s absolutely not appropriate to approach every stop as if there is a felon in the car.

  19. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-07-17 21:24

    Ror: “siege”? Really? Conducted by what organization, what power structure?

  20. Roger Cornelius 2016-07-17 21:38

    I’m too brown to have a redneck, that is your province.

    You beginning to sound like your twin Sibson. Don’t turn your racism on me.

  21. Darin Larson 2016-07-17 21:46

    Cory, in case you haven’t noticed, police are under attack. They do a dangerous job that can turn violent in a split second. I would cut this officer some slack under the circumstances.

    I think if he is on his personal time and not on duty, he has first amendment rights and he certainly does when he is at home.

    Ror- I’m not saying every stop should be guns drawn. I’m saying the officer should be a more safe distance away from a person pulled over until they can ascertain that the person is not armed and dangerous. This is for the safety of the officer and the avoidance of circumstances where the officer has to make a split second decision of whether it is a gun or a wallet coming out of a guys pocket.

    There are clearly other methods that could be employed, but I just wanted to give an example.

    I want our officers to be allowed to use reasonable methods to enhance their safety and the safety of the public.

  22. jerry 2016-07-17 23:32

    I remember the days when you could carry a loaded gun in California. Then Black Panthers started to do that and white folks started to get jumpy.

    These tragedies may make honest gun control as well as a more professional police force that does not murder unarmed minority men for the hell of it. Until the police change their methods and police themselves, there will be more.

  23. jerry 2016-07-17 23:41

    Just so you know, the dead police in Baton Rouge were not all white either. Officer Montrell Jackson was a policeman and a father just doing his job in adverse conditions with a force that had members who were not serving the public nor protecting.

  24. Richard Schriever 2016-07-18 06:31

    Darin, the police are under attack – by folks who are “rising up against governmental tyranny” – in their eyes. An application of what the NRA would have us believe is the proper purpose of the 2nd amendment.

  25. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-07-18 06:38

    Darin, I won’t be vigilante, but we should all certainly be vigilant against systemic bias. :-)

  26. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-07-18 06:40

    Grudz, your response is off the mark. I’m not talking about firing anyone, and I’m not talking about whining. I’m talking about the responsibility public servants have to temper their public statements.

  27. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-07-18 06:46

    Darin, Richard, I challenge the assertion that “police are under attack.” There is no systemic effort to attack police officers. A handful of acts of random violence have been committed by unconnected individuals. Evidence shows that murders of police officers have steadily declined since the Reagan era. “Police Under Attack” sounds like an overhyping TV news slide used to stir fear and drive ratings.

  28. mike from iowa 2016-07-18 06:48

    But when they are under siege for simply being BLACK, we the public need to have their backs. Fixed it for you, Ror.

    The biggest reason cops are being killed is because LE can’t or won’t police their own, imho. Very few unarmed civilian murdering cops ever get prosecuted let alone convicted of the crime.

  29. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-07-18 06:51

    Darin, I do not contest the First Amendment right of a public employee to participate in public discourse off work hours. I do contest the merit of the statement being made in this case, especially if it is being made by the driver of that police vehicle. “Blue Lives Matter”, like “All Lives Matter” and other alterations, sounds less like a response to systemic oppression and more like a mean-spirited retort to those who are challenging systemic oppression.

    Consider: to whom is “Blue Lives Matter” directed? What action does “Blue Lives Matter” call for?

  30. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-07-18 06:57

    Jerry’s comment fits the other part of my previous post on police safety: police deaths are down, but they tend to remain relatively higher in places with high gun-ownership rates. If “Blue Lives Matter” says anything beyond raising a middle finger to “Black Lives Matter,” if it offers a benign plea for keeping police safe, it may well be calling for better control over the manufacture, sale, and possession of firearms. As Jerry links, the police in Cleveland recognize that suspending open carry during the RNC would keep them and everyone else on the streets safer.

  31. mike from iowa 2016-07-18 07:06

    Grudz World- John Q Cop to partner, “I am not feeling safe today. What say you and I go shoot some unarmed black fellers? I know I’ll feel safer.”

    Minorities put their lives on the line every day to exercise their rights to life, liberty and the off chance they don’t get killed for being black. mho

  32. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-07-18 07:06

    Mike makes a useful point about the power dynamic that underlies my critique. In Dallas and Baton Rouge, the killers of police were quickly pursued and shot dead. In every case of police shooting black civilians that has made headlines, no one has waged an immediate armed response; the officers who pulled the trigger have been subjected to investigation and given due process. Our power structure works in favor of the police.

    But Mike, I have to reject your other sentence, “The biggest reason cops are being killed is because LE can’t or won’t police their own.” Cops aren’t being killed for a reason. The Dallas and Baton Rouge officers were not shot as a response to anything they did wrong. They were killed in random acts of violence by random nuts who maybe rationalized their actions with the kind of NRA anti-tyranny hyperbole that Richard notes.

  33. John 2016-07-18 07:19

    Policing standards matter.
    Everyone the gamewarden stops is armed. Every. Single. One.
    Yet the gamewardens don’t have systemic incidents or rates of shooting hunters and fishers.
    And the game wardens are far, far from making every stop a felony stop.

    Behavior standards matter. Deescalation standards matter. We all need to “up” our standards and behavior.

  34. Darin Larson 2016-07-18 07:43

    Cory, your post at 7:06 is too simplistic for your intellect. I shouldn’t have to point out that the reasons the police and gunmen are in different situations. The gunmen were shot down as they threatened to shoot more people. They were clearly murdering as many people as they could and had to be stopped immediately. The policemen who shot the black suspects were not intent on killing more people. They deserve due process just like the person who was shot.

    Here is another perspective for you. The Brookings police officer probably doesn’t know personally of any instance of police shooting someone unjustly. Most likely, the Brookings officer does know cops that were killed in the line of duty. So, from his perspective, Blue Lives Matter is not denigrating others, it is trying to rebalance the narrative based upon his experience in SD.

  35. Darin Larson 2016-07-18 07:52

    Cory, at 7:06 you say the officers get due process. I’m not in agreement. Every time there is a police shooting now, everyone jumps to an opinion immediately. The BLM folks sure don’t wait for due process to condemn the officer.

  36. Steve Sibson 2016-07-18 08:14

    “Ror: “siege”? Really? Conducted by what organization, what power structure?’

    Here is the answer to your question Cory:

    BLM launched in 2013 with a Twitter hashtag, #BlackLivesMatter, after neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman was acquitted in the Trayvon Martin killing. Radical Left activists Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi claim credit for the slogan and hashtag. Following the Michael Brown shooting in August 2014, Dream Defenders, an organization led by Working Families Party (ACORN) activist and Occupy Wall Street anarchist Nelini Stamp, popularized the phrase “Hands Up–Don’t Shoot!” which has since become BLM’s widely recognized slogan.

    Garza, Cullors and Tometi all work for front groups of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO), one of the four largest radical Left organizations in the country. The others are the Communist Party USA (CPUSA), Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), and the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism (CCDS). Nelini Stamp’s ACORN—now rebranded under a variety of different names—works with all four organizations, and Dream Defenders is backed by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the ACLU, the Southern Poverty Law Center and others.

    FRSO is a hereditary descendant of the New Communist Movement, which was inspired by Mao and the many communist revolutions throughout the world in the 1960s and 1970s. FRSO split into two separate groups in 1999, FRSO/Fight Back and FRSO/OSCL (Freedom Road Socialist Organization/Organizaci?n Socialista del Camino para la Libertad). Black Lives Matter and its founders are allied with the latter group. Future references to FRSO in this article refer to FRSO/OSCL.

    FRSO is comprised of dozens of groups. The radical Left model is based on alliances of many organizations that are working on separate issues but dedicated ultimately to the same thing: overthrowing our society in order to replace it with a hardcore socialist (read communist) one.

  37. Darin Larson 2016-07-18 08:22

    Cory, you ask “to whom is “Blue Lives Matter” directed? What action does “Blue Lives Matter” call for?”

    If you are on a police force and know good police officers, friends of yours, that have been shot dead by a criminal, Blue Lives Matter is directed at the public to never forget the service and sacrifice law enforcement provides. When you know a family that will be without a father or mother lost in the line of duty, I absolutely understand where they are coming from.

    The indictment of police before all the facts are known is also part of the reason for Blue Lives Matter. And when the facts come out and some ignore the facts, Blue Lives Matter is a response to this.

    What action does Blue Lives Matter call for? One thing it clearly calls for is to support good cops who clearly feel they are under siege. People are seeking out cops to murder and ambush them. That sounds like a siege to me.

    Another thing that Blue Lives Matter probably calls for is to allow proper investigations to take place before the officer is condemned for shooting someone. In many of these shooting cases, it is life or death for the officer. If they do not act, they are shot. If they do act, they are condemned immediately. Is that too much to ask for proper investigations to take place before condemning the officer?

    In case you have forgotten what police officers potentially face everyday:

  38. Jake Cummings 2016-07-18 08:35

    Darin, thank you for your comments. Cory, what we all need to be vigilant against is failure to appreciate the nuanced nature of both discrimination and police interactions. As I have said before, I admit I am subject to “white privilege,” but I am also fortunate to live a life free of the risks inherent with a job like a police officer.

    Cory, are you aware of the fact that Louisiana recognizes police as a protected class under hate crimes statutes ( I mention this because it suggests that at least some there perceive status as a public safety worker as meriting special protections. Even SD considers offenses against law enforcement an aggravating factor in certain cases.

    Our goal should be to ground our discussion in facts, so if we are going to confront proponents of “Blue Lives Matter,” we should be just as quick to address comments like Roger’s about police killing unarmed black men; both Castile and Sterling were allegedly armed — allegedly being the key term. Oh wait, doing so prevents us from stoking the fires and allowing the investigations to be completed (not to mention probably makes me a racist apologist in the eyes of some; my response to that would be that those people are demonstrating prejudice as well).

    Lastly, Cory some reports refute your assertion about police deaths being down (

  39. Steve Sibson 2016-07-18 09:12

    “police killing unarmed black men”

    If you mean unarmed meaning absence of a gun, then we need to understand that police can be justified to kill an unarmed white man.

    Sad that the racists insist on special rules for black men, especially after those racists have taught black men to hate others, just because they are black. Does anybody want to deny that hate promotes violence?

  40. barry freed 2016-07-18 10:07

    I’ll wait to see the Police and the man’s camera footage before pronouncing judgement. It has been said he was making a video like this:

  41. Dicta 2016-07-18 11:10

    ‘“Blue Lives Matter”, like “All Lives Matter” and other alterations, sounds less like a response to systemic oppression and more like a mean-spirited retort to those who are challenging systemic oppression.’

    Except in this case the guy we are discussing is part of a group whose members are being killed solely based upon their membership in that group. Is there any surprise dude is angry and perhaps, *gasp*, a little afraid? But sure, let’s settle on the “must be because dude just doesn’t like BLM” narrative. That’s much better.

  42. mike from iowa 2016-07-18 11:56

    Jake Cummings link says- National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund spokesman Steve Groeninger said the officers’ deaths point to a rapidly escalating trend. Annual rates of shooting deaths of law enforcement officers have fluctuated over the past decade, but they had begun to decline steadily in 2014.

    One year tick doesn’t indicate a steady trend. 49 cop shootings in 2014 fell clear down to 41 cop shootings in 2015 and 31 in the first half of this year. If this year’s trend continues,then deaths for this year will be higher than the last two. Hardly a steady decline.

  43. Roger Cornelius 2016-07-18 12:25

    Sibson, how’s your blog coming?

  44. Bill Dithmer 2016-07-18 13:14

    I aways though BLM stood for Bureau of Land Management, funny how that was the meaning for decade’s but now its suposed to mean something else. Just goes to show how small the minds are that think of these things.

    Cops lives matter. It doesnt matter if they are black brown yellow red purple or white, cops lives matter. If you dont want to be shot, do what a cop tells you to do every time even if you think they are wrong. If you dont want to be shot dont turn your back and run. Its not a stay out of jail free card, just another reason to use deadly force to stop you. Yes it should be that simple. If you want to fight with a cop your just the same as asking to get shot.!

    Without the protections the LEOs have it would be like the old west. Every time someone disagreed with the sheriff they met in the middle of the street to fight it out. THSTS BS! No cop should ever have to put his or her lives on the line for a fair fight, never.

    I keep hearing that these were bad cops all along. Well why the hell didnt anybody say something until after the shooting? If you knew and waited until after something happened you are not just part of the problem, you are the pronlem.

    I’m a little curious, what has been accomplished at any of these lives matter rallies? As far as ive seen nobody brings any ideas to the table other then stop killing people breaking the law. Once you do that the law will no longer be the law, only a suggestion. Try to live with that for a while.

    The Blindman

  45. Steve Sibson 2016-07-18 13:56

    Cory aid, ““Black Lives Matter” is a political statement that black lives are not valued in America’s power structure.”

    So why is Cory pushing the violent agenda of the New Black Panthers (note the use of Cory’s “power structure” label:

    The New Black Panther Party – Founded in 1990, the New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense (NBPP) is a militant black separatist organization, notorious for promoting racial violence against Jews and whites. According to an Anti-Defamation League report: “Much of the NBPP’s ideology derives from the notion that African-Americans continue to suffer as a result of a racist white power structure that has oppressed them politically and economically since slavery.

  46. Douglas Wiken 2016-07-18 14:12

    The average rate of fatalities per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers is 3.5.

    Keeping that in mind, here are the top 10 occupations with the highest fatality rates:

    fishers and related fishing workers: 116.0
    logging workers: 91.9
    aircraft pilots and flight engineers: 70.6
    farmers and ranchers: 41.4
    mining machine operators: 38.7
    roofers: 32.4
    refuse and recyclable material collectors: 29.8
    driver/sales workers and truck drivers: 21.8
    industrial machinery installation, repair and maintenance workers: 20.3, and
    police and sheriff’s patrol officers: 18.0.

    Refuse collector’s lives matter. The lives matter slogans are all bad and certainly do not produce good results.

    As well as gun control, we need cop control. Until people are convinced police are not acting as an occupying army, they will be targeted. And is obvious from recent tragedy, their uniforms identify them for crazed shooters. The model is established and the quicker police and legislators respond to clean up their acts, the fewer cops who will be assassinated.

    Putting over-whelming police forces in Cleveland sends exactly the wrong message. And, concentrating them in one place just makes them easier targets.

    Violence on either (or any side) side is not the answer, but it does not appear that rationality is in the minds of the crazies or the rogue cops. It is said that people considering suicide can not see any of the hundreds of other options available. Those killing cops are at least as messed up because they too can apparently see no other viable option.

    “Protect and serve” needs to be operational and not just slogans painted on enforcement cars and other vehicles.

    And, having people bitching about bad cop behavior or leaping to conclusions about them is not denying them equal protection or justice. The legal processes all seem to favor them in multiple ways. Unfairness to police does not seem to be a huge legal problem. Exactly the opposite seems to be the case.

  47. Jake Cummings 2016-07-18 14:17

    mfi, several facts are lost in the debate. In the Castile case, individuals ignore inconsistencies in Reynolds’ account (e.g., that CPR was never given and that she was treated like a suspect; differing account provided here: In the Sterling case, people ignore that officers were responding to reports of a man brandishing a pistol outside the store. Conversely, there have been reports that the officers had prior excessive force complaints filed against them. All of these facts, and others, should be considered. Instead, we have both sides espousing possibly extreme and counterproductive views.

    Bill, you ask some germane questions — I would ask the legislative candidates who comment on this blog, in recognition of concerns raised by BLM and the police, might you be willing to advocate funding increases in police de-escalation and community policing tactics to help address these dynamics in SD?

  48. Jake Cummings 2016-07-18 14:56

    Douglas, if we’re seeking full per capita mortality rate context, we might also want to provide research on Black mortality by police: Note the rate is per million rather than 100k.

    I believe that doing so places us on a path to reductionism that compromises our ability to foster sustainable change, but only showing the rates for one side in this debate is misleading

  49. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-07-18 15:43

    Darin, the hypothetical you offer would not change the fact that the officer’s perspective is wrong. There is no systemic bias against police. The police exercise the power of the state. The failings you cite of everyone jumping to conclusions are not failings of due process. the conclusion-jumping happens in both situations and thus is not a unique grievance. I simply pointed out that Mike makes an observation that underscores the power differential. The police generally get their court dates. The criminals who shot police did not, and our criminal justice system and most of us are o.k. with that exercise of non-due-process power, because we already accept that police safety and public safety justify shooting rampaging killers. Given that acceptance and broad public support (on display certainly since 9/11 for all first responders), I again turn to the question of to whom the message “Police Lives Matter” is directed, and I am inclined to conclude that it is a raised middle finger to people protesting police violence against people of color.

  50. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-07-18 15:47

    John’s point about game wardens is really important. They face armed suspects on a regular basis, yet we don’t hear about many assaults. They evidently have some skill at approaching armed suspects without provoking an armed incident. Curious, John: do we have any studies of incident rates for conservation officers compared to police officers?

  51. Douglas Wiken 2016-07-18 15:54

    Jake Cummings. I put that up to show that police work is less dangerous than are at least nine other occumpations not to compare it with how many Blacks, Whites, whatever have been executed by cops without benefit of judge, jury, prosecutor or defense.

    Put the data up in a similar fashion for deaths by cop. They are interesting too.

  52. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-07-18 15:54

    Jake: “some” reports? You give me one, which identifies a spike this month that is an alarming anomaly but still an anomaly amidst a longer trend. That makes it hard to support the assertion of a “siege”.

  53. Steve Sibson 2016-07-18 15:56

    “John’s point about game wardens is really important. They face armed suspects on a regular basis, yet we don’t hear about many assaults.”

    That is due to the fact that it is not the gun that kills people, it is the people. The rural conservative culture has more morals than the liberals in the cities.

  54. Steve Sibson 2016-07-18 15:59

    “an alarming anomaly but still an anomaly amidst a longer trend”

    Cory, you can’t assume that until you have another data point to confirm the continuation of the trend. This could instead be a trend reversal.

  55. Daniel Buresh 2016-07-18 16:19

    “They face armed suspects on a regular basis, yet we don’t hear about many assaults. They evidently have some skill at approaching armed suspects without provoking an armed incident. Curious, John: do we have any studies of incident rates for conservation officers compared to police officers?”

    I think it has to do with the subset of people generally involved in these activities which conditions them to behave in a certain manner. I’ll take 10 guys in the CRP field carrying high power rifles over one guy in the ghetto carrying a glock. I can assure you the difference has nothing to do with sex, race, or ethnicity, but everything to do with culture, level of income, and education level. Those conservation officers have a pretty good idea when they encounter a family out hunting and a meth head cooking in the trees.

  56. bearcreekbat 2016-07-18 16:40

    barry freed posted this video above:

    The video clearly demonstrates how differently police officers in Portland treated a white guy and a black guy when the officers encountered each man lawfully open-carrying an AR-15 on the street and who had not been accused of any crime. The only observable difference in the men’s circumstances seems to be skin color. It is a very powerful and telling example.

  57. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-07-18 16:43

    Jake, that said, recognizing police as a protected class is an interesting legal stance. Usually, protected classes are characteristics over which the protected individuals have no control—race, sex, nationality. Religion is a choice, but we make include religious groups as protected classes because of the First Amendment freedom of religion, right?

    Are there any other chosen professions that grant protected class status?

  58. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-07-18 16:45

    Dicta, I understand if police are afraid. But as was stated above, even amidst high emotion—perhaps especially amidst high emotion—police must choose their words and actions carefully.

  59. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-07-18 16:48

    Jake, I will gladly support evidence-based police training and practices that mean fewer dead Americans. If de-escalation methods and community policing accomplish those goals, I’m for them.

  60. Daniel Buresh 2016-07-18 16:49

    “Are there any other chosen professions that grant protected class status?”

    Judges for one. A threat or act against them is much worse than if it were against a civilian.

  61. mike from iowa 2016-07-18 16:52

    For the record- the 4th police officer is acquitted in the suspicious death of Freddie Gray. Wonder if Baltimore will be celebrating?

  62. Jake Cummings 2016-07-18 16:55

    Cory, I never stated anyone was under siege, and I linked to that story as one example that contradicts police deaths being “down.” I have cautioned against both sides oversimplifications and overgeneralizations. Moreover, permitting commenters to advance false reports of allegedly armed individuals being killed by the police as examples of slayings of unarmed men does nothing to advance the dialogue. Facts are important, but sadly, we have devolved to a climate where racism anywhere is license to see racism everywhere. Some, not all, police are racists; some, not all, whites are racists; and some, not all, minorities are racist. I submit that assuming that all police lethal force incidents are rooted in racism is grossly counterproductive because it can prevent us from implementing initiatives to accurately address true root causes.

  63. bearcreekbat 2016-07-18 17:01

    Daniel, like judges, police are also a protected class in SD and in our federal system. SDCL 22-18-1.05 makes simple assault against a police officer a felony instead of a misdemeanor and several federsl statutes make it an independent and more serious crime to assault a federal officer.

  64. mike from iowa 2016-07-18 17:04

    Bear-that black guy wasn’t that dark. Probably racially profiled because of corn rows on his head.

    I figured the first cop was going to hold the suspect at gun point and then after sufficient time passes, arrest him for felony loitering.

  65. mike from iowa 2016-07-18 17:10

    Jake Cummings-Philando Castille told his killer up front he had a gun and a concealed carry permit for it. Why did the cop shoot him? And if they had acted in a reasonable manner, there would have been zero need for any cpr for anyone there.

    The excuse that the two in the car resembled suspects from a con. store robbery is bs. The two robbers were both male. As anyone can see, Castille and Reynolds are not both male. And shooting an unarmed Castile while his daughter is in the backseat is worse than reckless behavior. The cop’s whole story stinks to high heaven. And I’m sure he will get away with murder.

  66. mike from iowa 2016-07-18 17:13

    ps- giving officers the benefit of the doubt everytime they kill a black civilian is the same bs as NRA saying now is not a good time to talk about gun control. Somethings in life are too obvious to dismiss.

  67. mike from iowa 2016-07-18 17:26

    Coyote-what’s the story on the Baton Rouge shooter today? What groups did he belong to? Sovereign Citizen and………? Why no mention of Nation of Islam?

  68. Daniel Buresh 2016-07-18 17:41

    “Philando Castille told his killer up front he had a gun and a concealed carry permit for it. Why did the cop shoot him?”

    I haven’t seen any proof of this. Seems to me like you are promoting the divisiveness by creating a narrative that fits your agenda.

    “And if they had acted in a reasonable manner, there would have been zero need for any cpr for anyone there.”

    Once again, more speculation.

    “And I’m sure he will get away with murder.”

    Comments like this are why the divide will continue. Hanging cops in the court of public opinion based on nothing more than hearsay.

  69. Jake Cummings 2016-07-18 17:56

    Mike, Castile’s concealed carry permit is one detail. Whether he reached for the gun after being told by Yanez not to is another. I have stated multiple times that I believe we need to allow time for the investigation to be completed before we reach conclusions you have. I have also said that should not prevent us from addressing discrimination and police slayings and lethal force incidents. Dismissing that as me giving police the benefit of the doubt is inaccurate, as the investigation could very well conclude that is Reynolds’ incomplete, and possibly at least partially inaccurate account, is indeed accurate in other respects.

  70. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-07-18 18:05

    Jake, Bear, other friends, are our statutes protecting judges and police really the same as the “protected classes” statutes that prohibit discrimination? Maybe the difference is trivial and semantic, but I’m curious if we’re using the language correctly with respect to such pro-judge/cop laws.

  71. Darin Larson 2016-07-18 18:13

    Cory, in a legal sense, “protected class” I believe is a term of art that does not include police or judges. Police or judges are protected in the plain sense of the word with enhanced punishment for crimes against them because society has deemed it important.

  72. bearcreekbat 2016-07-18 18:24

    Cory, there is a difference in the sense that people who injure judges and police are subjected to more severe criminal punishments than those who injure regular people, without regard to the perp’s intent or motive. People who injure non-police including minorities, however, are subjected to more serious criminal punishments only if and when prosecutors can show the perp was motivated to inflict harm based on race or other protected classification.

    I am not aware of any civil penalties, however, to discourage discrimination in civil matters against law enforcement personnel, while there are specific civil penalties intended to discourage discrimination in civil matters, such as employment or providing public accomodations, based on race or other protected classification.

  73. Daniel Buresh 2016-07-18 18:24

    They are protected because I believe there is a higher risk of being a victim if they weren’t protected with harsher penalties simply due to the nature of their situation. Police and judges subject themselves to such risks by obtaining the job they have, but I don’t believe we should say that is acceptable because it wasn’t an involuntary choice. In regards to protecting those who have a higher probability of victim-hood, we shouldn’t really worry about what puts them into that position assuming it is completely legal to be in. I think if people like judges weren’t protected, we would see much higher incidents of revenge from those they have sentenced. On the other hand, one could argue that no one should be given such protections and something such as race/sex/religion should have no bearing on the value of a person. Giving a group of people better protections is just saying they are worth more to society. It’s a grey line for sure.

  74. Jake Cummings 2016-07-18 18:30

    Cory, you are correct; if the LA statute was perceived as focusing on discrimination, the crux of the law, the targeting of police during commission of a crime, was apparently misunderstood

  75. mike from iowa 2016-07-18 18:38

    DB-why all the proof coming out that Castile was licensed to carry? Why did the sherriff decide it was necessary to interject that Castile did not have a permit from his office if this was not a factor in the case? Speculation my arse.

  76. mike from iowa 2016-07-18 18:40

    Aren’t prosecutors given protection for any crimes they commit railroading suspects?

  77. Jack Shaftoe 2016-07-18 18:49

    From a previous post by Daniel Buresh:

    ” “They face armed suspects on a regular basis, yet we don’t hear about many assaults. They evidently have some skill at approaching armed suspects without provoking an armed incident. Curious, John: do we have any studies of incident rates for conservation officers compared to police officers?”

    I think it has to do with the subset of people generally involved in these activities which conditions them to behave in a certain manner. I’ll take 10 guys in the CRP field carrying high power rifles over one guy in the ghetto carrying a glock. I can assure you the difference has nothing to do with sex, race, or ethnicity, but everything to do with culture, level of income, and education level. Those conservation officers have a pretty good idea when they encounter a family out hunting and a meth head cooking in the trees.”

    I think it is a mixture of many factors, and race is in the mix to some degree. I think that by far and away the Conservation officer encounters people mostly from a little above lower income or poverty to very much higher. I’m not aware of that many SD hunters and fishers that depend on or, depend much on, what they catch or shoot. Pretty high per pound price for meat. It is mainly recreational and if you have the basics, income level being one of the big factors, a certain kind of person participates. They make more, are better educated and fit into the system and culture. Here on the Northern Plains so much of the background is closer to mono-cultural, with things only becoming more mixed in recent decades.

    Having spent my youth in and around our nation’s capital, I learned about the separation of people based on income, education and values. During the Johnson Administration much urban renewal got undertaken and funded as part of the War on Poverty. Large swaths of Washington D.C. were cleared, row houses were demolished – where there had been minority neighborhoods that had been destroyed. A variety of high rise apartment projects were built and other areas were built by contractors who put in new, up to date structures that varied in size and value. The idea was to mix the population with poor, middle class and upper middle class people. The lower income people would be lifted up and inspired to take pride in where they lived and they would gain values they had lost over time as a group.

    There existed a large population of black people who had come from the south for good jobs in many eastern cities. This movement began around 1900and earlier and numbers increased over time. Farm mechanization also contributed. It was vastly better than back breaking agricultural work in 95 degree weather with 90 % humidity. Life expectancies were pretty low. Washington had a huge number of small hotels, plus restaurants and associated businesses because of tourism that rapidly rose because of the mobility afforded Americans by automobiles. Also, there were many trade jobs and some worked in those, albeit, most often as helpers or tenders.

    During the second World War, the hotels stopped staffing elevators, hired many fewer porters, mostly got rid of shoe shine and other reductions in maid and household staff, and the restaurant business suffered in the early war years with many closing. They would pick up again in the last couple of war years. The Great Depression also had affected the economy as well.

    As a result, a large population of lower skilled black people were out of jobs and nothing came to replace them. The neighborhoods suffered and crime began to rise. Housing and neighborhoods were no longer maintained because of poverty and also an attitude change. Crime became lucrative – drugs, the numbers racket and other problems. Families began to break down as many men abandoned families from a sense of despair and hopelessness – they knew things wouldn’t change. No government money would be spent on retraining because even with training, they were unlikely to be hired by white owned businesses in the suburbs, who owned most businesses. The Federal Government had no equal employment laws and was reducing once the war ended.

    A pattern started with disastrous consequences. I mentioned race earlier and what I think I saw was an adoption of an attitude of looking out for number one and little else. Circumstances had created a vicious life for lots of these folks, who essentially had been discarded. About 3/4 of Washington was unsafe at night and probably 30 to 40 %, even during daylight. No one wanted to work there no matter what the money was. This was in the early 1960’s and onward. Some has changed, but slowly, bit by bit.

    So, when police stop a vehicle and the occupant or occupants are black, the police know that about half of all black males 18 – 35 are doing serious time for extremely violent acts. The percentage is vastly higher for black people than other groups encountered by police in the course of their duties. Since you can’t know the other person’s intentions or mindset, police make some assumptions to protect themselves. Occasionally they are wrong or a stop goes wrong because someone does something unexpected or a young officer is just scared.

    The shooting of Tamir Rice comes to mind in a very difficult case. He had a B-B pistol and was pointing it at people. He was 67 inches and 195 pounds. It would be impossible for a police officer to know he was 12 years old. There are many difficult situations police end up in and have to make a judgement right now. We grieve for the sad outcome, but proving ill intent is a long, complicated process. And, in turn, we know some police have lied to protect themselves and that there are aggressive police forces in some regions of the country. How about Oklahoma giving themselves the power to empty prepaid money cards. I’m sure it is not an easy process to recover wrongly (unconstitutionally) taken money. There are YouTube videos of police/citizen confrontations that are less than respectful and the Supreme Court has had to rule that filming police is not illegal. Some police departments don’t believe this or don’t want to.

    It is a very complicated issue. It really doesn’t help when Black Lives Matter chooses to demonstrate in support of some pretty nasty, violent criminals. But, having said that, this is not a binary problem that can be fixed by a slogan or assumptions that either side is right all the time. When dealing with we humans, one has to be ready for most anything. We should do everything possible to be fair and reasonable. Community policing is a good thing, but in many of the inner city areas there is such a long tradition of mistrust, that it becomes almost impossible to break out of.

  78. Daniel Buresh 2016-07-18 18:51

    “why all the proof coming out that Castile was licensed to carry? Why did the sherriff decide it was necessary to interject that Castile did not have a permit from his office if this was not a factor in the case?”

    You tell me. I want to know what sort of story you are coming up with, then I’ll let you know how and why I think that info came out like it did.

  79. Steve Sanchez 2016-07-18 19:05

    You’re right, Cory. The enhanced penalties, or “protections” here, for crimes committed against judges and police officers are not the same thing as the protections afforded to those who would be victims of hate crimes. In the statutes of most, if not all states, I believe there is a clear definition or explanation somewhere detailing what makes a criminal act also a hate crime. They are two different things.

  80. mike from iowa 2016-07-18 19:14

    You tell me. I want to know what sort of story you are coming up with, then I’ll let you know how and why I think that info came out like it did

    Buresh, you are a bigger fool than I imagined if you think I’m making this stuff up. There is zero doubt that Castile was legally licensed to carry. Apparently you must believe his girl friend made that story up to make the cops look bad.

  81. Darin Larson 2016-07-18 19:20

    Cory says “There is no systemic bias against police.” Cory, if you want to artificially limit debate to who the system favors, I’ll grant you this point to a certain extent. But in the larger arena of public sentiment, there is bias against the police flowing from certain elements of the public. BLM is an example. They often jump to conclusions first and let the facts be damned because of their bias. Later, when the facts come out and oftentimes there are circumstances supporting the officer’s actions, there is no retraction or apology forthcoming. This is bias against the police plain and simple, not by the system, but by elements of the public.

    Cory says “The failings you cite of everyone jumping to conclusions are not failings of due process.”

    I was speaking of due process in terms of general regard for the orderly administration of justice under law. Let’s call it a fair hearing of the facts then. If you don’t think that a police officer whose life, freedom and job are on the line when he or she shoots someone on the job deserves a fair hearing of the facts, then we have problems.

    Cory says “I again turn to the question of to whom the message “Police Lives Matter” is directed, and I am inclined to conclude that it is a raised middle finger to people protesting police violence against people of color.”

    This whole debate started with you questioning the need for the expression of Blue Lives Matter. I think this whole discussion has illustrated the need for Blue Lives Matter because you and others don’t seem to acknowledge that 99%+ members of the police do their job admirably under very difficult circumstances and they would appreciate the public’s support instead of generalized contempt and suspicion among certain segments of the population. Attacking the police with generalized allegations of bias is a nonstarter. If there are specific cases of bias or wrongdoing by the police then call them out. But the condemnation of the police before the facts are fully known is evidence of bias, it is unfair, and it is the basis for Blue Lives Matter.

    Cory, you seem to be projecting the conduct of the BLM folks who march and yell F the police when you say that Blue Lives Matter is some kind of epithet.

    How about we judge each individual case on its merits instead of broad-brush generalizing? Martin Luther King, Jr. didn’t ask to be judged by the collective mass of people situated like him, he asked to be judged on the content of his character and his individual merit.

    As to some of the statistics showing that blacks are five times more likely to be shot by police than whites, don’t we have to acknowledge that blacks commit five times more violent offenses per capita than whites? To be sure, there are circumstances affecting and explaining this disparity in crime based upon socio-economic and other factors. But you can’t call it systemic racism if the crimes are actually being committed by blacks at the higher rate.

    One final point, was it the Dallas police chief who stated most recently that the police are being asked to do too much. All of society’s ills are being cast upon the police to solve with too few resources and unreasonable expectations.

  82. Daniel Buresh 2016-07-18 19:45

    “Buresh, you are a bigger fool than I imagined if you think I’m making this stuff up. There is zero doubt that Castile was legally licensed to carry. Apparently you must believe his girl friend made that story up to make the cops look bad.”

    I never said you were making anything up. You phrased your questions in a way that suggested the way in which the info released is suggesting something. I know Castile was licensed to carry, but that is only a factor in the incident which has no bearing on how Castile handled the encounter involving that weapon. It all depends on how you act. So….what are you insinuating when you talk about the chief interjecting?

  83. Kurt Evans 2016-07-18 19:46

    As noted above (2016-07-18 at 16:52), Brian Rice skated today. Rice is the police lieutenant who ordered two subordinate officers to pursue Freddie Gray based on “eye contact,” had Gray arrested for possession of a knife that was entirely legal and—I’m fully convinced—ordered the rough ride that fatally broke Gray’s neck.

    Anyone who believes this discussion is worthwhile probably ought to read the following:

    The leaders of police organizations who insist on defending officers like Rice aren’t doing good cops any favors. Like reckless U.S. drone strikes on the other side of the world, it doesn’t justify the blowback, but it makes blowback inevitable.

  84. Darin Larson 2016-07-18 19:55

    Mike, your congressmen is going to get himself in trouble with the Trump people–nobody upstages Trump on racism short of the KKK. I wonder if the commentator thought when he asked King to defend the lack of diversity at the GOP convention that he would justify it based on the superiority of white people in societal worth? I’m thinking that was a bit of a surprise.

  85. mike from iowa 2016-07-18 20:17

    It was reported Castile was not licensed to carry by a right wing site. They used the Sheriff’s words that Castile did not get a permit from their office as definitive proof that all original reports were false and Castile lied to the police that shot him.

    The Sheriff in question, clarified his statement that Castile did not get his license from him, but that didn’t mean he didn’t have a license from another county. It has also been proven by county officials and Castile’s family that he did indeed have the license.

    There are certain facts about this case that are indisputable and don’t need more investigation(s).

  86. Daniel Buresh 2016-07-18 20:47

    It’s all clickbait these days. I don’t see any reason to investigate his permit further if it was already verified. To me, that suggests something went horribly wrong with the encounter and we don’t know what that is. Even if he didn’t have a permit and lied, they still would need some sort of instigation to take it further. What was it? I don’t think anyone knows which is why all this outrage and classification as “murder” only fuels the fire. Look at the Sterling case, the guy was tazed twice and also had to be physically manhandled to get under control before they went to lethal means. This guy was a convicted criminal who couldn’t even carry a weapon like that, not to mention the fact that he was called in for threatening people with it. It’s almost guaranteed to be justified, but without those details, everyone went off the handle and the media baited it all the way because it sells. There are a lot of what ifs, and Castile has even more than the Sterling case because we haven’t seen the entire encounter. BLM just seems to get momentum not based on the validity of an incident that supports their cause, but by the ones that may appear that way simply because of their exposure due to various reasons such as the availability of video evidence. People love a crazy video and this just shows the mentality it spurs. Whether it correctly portrays the incident, the media run with whatever fits their agenda and sells ads.

  87. Jack Shaftoe 2016-07-18 20:52

    Thanks for the link Mike from Iowa.

    While I accept all of this, I still think it could be a tough call. Other actions and inactions are involved here, but the size of this kid was out of the norm by quite a bit and on that alone one might understand a judgement made on the spur of the moment. It is unforgivable not to administer first aid and get the ambulance there as soon as possible. Other failures also sealed this one. So sad.

    I also thought that the officer in the Philando Castile shooting should have gotten emergency personnel there as soon as possible. It is, again, very curious in some of these video’d cases, a seeming non-chalance about the person shot as they lay bleeding out.

  88. Donald Pay 2016-07-18 21:01

    People can get crime statistics for their jurisdiction and find out what crimes are being committed. Sometimes they are broken down into parts of the city, if your burg is large enough.

    What you find in my city (Madison, WI) is that most crime by far is theft. Armed robberies are fairly rare, murders rarer. They do make the local news, though, so they seem like the city is a dangerous place, when, in fact, it is pretty safe. Assaults are mostly domestic violence or alcohol fueled tiffs.

    Routine non-violent crime or assaults probably takes up 95 percent of an officer’s effort on actual crime. I’m not talking here about traffic accidents, traffic citations, directing traffic or providing security at big events, and general cruising around (“deterring crime”).

    Drugs are another issue. Here in Madison, pot smoking is pretty much legal unless you have a bale in the back seat and you’re driving. Hard drugs, however, present a real problem and fuel a lot of the other crime. I have a couple police office friends, and they say after a few years the job becomes pretty routine, boring really, except for the gang violence and the threat of it. Dealing with the mental/homeless cases is a bigger and bigger issue. Many police have to be social workers and psychiatrists at times. My friend went into policing to deal specifically with the mental issues. Still, there have been a number of suicide by cop incidents here.

    Gang violence really makes a difference in how police view policing. These aren’t the wannabe gangs that I saw in Rapid City, SD, back in the 1990s. These gangs don’t fool around. They are extremely violent. They mostly kill themselves, but they have shoot outs that endanger the whole community. These shootouts have happened in and near Malls, and large apartment complexes and have endangered many innocent folks. In Madison, gang violence is cyclical. They gangs kill a few folks, the police go after them hard, picking them up for minor violations and harassing the hell out of them and arresting the ringleaders. The violence subsides for a few years. Then the cycle starts again.

    Unfortunately, a lot of innocent black folks, particularly young black men, get profiled during the targeting phase of policing the gangs. They aren’t the target of the gang effort, but these innocent folks get stopped for minor violations and harassed along with the gang leaders. And because the cops fear they may be dealing with an armed gang member, they aren’t exactly polite. The young black kid might get a minor record, lose a jobs or get kicked out an apartment because the cop is being gung ho. If the young black guy is lucky, he’ll get nothing except the feeling that the cops have it out for black folks.

    When this stuff happens it turns much of the minority community against the police. The police are just trying to do the job of protecting the community from the gangs, but the community comes to view the police as worse than the gangs. The gangs leave them alone for the most part. The police harass them.

    So, there has to be a new way to police in these gang situations. Whatever they are doing isn’t working.

  89. Darin Larson 2016-07-18 21:04

    It didn’t sound like non-chalance by the officer in the Castile case to me. It sounded like shock and hysteria in his voice.

  90. Richard Schriever 2016-07-18 21:10

    Sibby – actually, factually, rural rates of gun crime deaths are higher per capita than are urban rates. Google it if you must; “urban vs rural gun death rates” .

  91. John 2016-07-18 21:54

    Cory, you asked me to do your research. Here’s your research.
    Summary: the class of law enforcement officers sustaining the HIGHEST rates for receiving assaults are: drum roll please – the natural resource law enforcement officers, park police, game wardens, etc. Higher than the FBI. Higher than the US Marshal’s Service, higher than any law enforcement sub-group. Yet, remarkably, they do not turn around administering lethal force pre-emptively dispensing deadly “justice”. This is not a one-year phenomena, but a decades long situation.

    It also shows that your reader, Jack@18:49, don’t know jack; that his excuses mire in the racial, social, cultural bigotry we need to stomp out.

    Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) began tracking assaults against federal officers after the Oklahoma City bombing – when they realize NO ONE tracked it.

    What they learned was shocking then, and 20 years later, the trend continues.

  92. jerry 2016-07-18 22:27

    Both of the assassins were veterans. One was a Marine the other regular Army. Both were not drafted by were enlisted men who wanted to serve their country. Both had shattered lives for one reason the the other. Both had seen the terrible injustice that has been inflicted upon minorities for decades but not at the level we have seen since we elected a Black president. That was the game changer regarding police total disregard for those they were supposed to serve and protect. To strangle to death a man for selling cigarettes or to simple shoot the hell out of unarmed black men, was just to much to bear for these shattered minds. There war is not against the whites, it is against the police.

    Now, lets talk about our own state of affairs. Go to a courtroom in South Dakota, try some that are close to reservations. A very good friend of mine told me that he had to go to court in Jackson County on three separate occasions. Each time he went, he told me that it was like going to a tribal council meeting. There were no white faces there, only Native with one exception, the last time he went. Then there were a couple in the full courtroom. The Natives are there for nothing really for the most part, just harassment by the law to see if they are drunk or to just screw with them. If they were there for serious crimes, they would likely fall under federal charges. Why do we have racial profiling here in our state?

  93. Steve Sibson 2016-07-19 06:47

    Richard, you use the same deceptive techniques that Cory uses. The studies included accidental events. The homicide rates are about twice as high in urban settings.

  94. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-07-19 08:45

    Darin, I don’t endorse giving the middle finger to police. Nor do I endorse giving the middle finger to citizens protesting institutional racism.

    I do support police and appreciate the vital work they do. I don’t think that support and appreciation is in short supply. Consider the statements made above about the laws providing for greater punishments for crimes against police and judges:

    Darin: “Police or judges are protected in the plain sense of the word with enhanced punishment for crimes against them because society has deemed it important.”

    Bear: “…people who injure judges and police are subjected to more severe criminal punishments than those who injure regular people, without regard to the perp’s intent or motive.”

    Daniel: “They are protected because I believe there is a higher risk of being a victim if they weren’t protected with harsher penalties simply due to the nature of their situation.”

    We all seem to be in agreement that attacking a police officer is a worse crime than attacking a civilian, because when one attacks a police officer, one also attacks the state, the law, and civil order. We thus enshrine the idea that “Blue Lives Matter” in law… which is the point at the center of my original critique: there is no systemic bias against police to protest. The system gives the police greater protection than that enjoyed by civilians, a proper response to the greater risk police face.

    I like Steve’s distinction between enhanced legal protections for police and hate crime legislation. A hate crime is an assault on a person and a type of person. An attack on police is less an attack on a person and more an attack on the state… hmm… could we call that an act of war?

    Darin makes this statement: “Cory, if you want to artificially limit debate to who the system favors, I’ll grant you this point to a certain extent.” That’s not an artificial limitation; recognizing that we are discussing systemic bias is fundamental to understanding what “Black Lives Matter” means. “Black Lives Matter” critiques the system that police already have on their side. Using a deliberately analogous slogan creates a false equivalency that inherently rebukes concerns about systemic bias against blacks.

    I grant Darin’s point that “there is bias against the police flowing from certain elements of the public. BLM is an example.” BLM is not exercising systemic bias; BLM is critiquing systemic bias, and, unfortunately, some of its participants take that critique the wrong direction by adopting a bias against police.

    Now consider the direct impacts of those biases. When BLM protestors exercise their bias, they undermine their movement. When the system (law enforcement + courts) exercises its bias, innocent black civilians end up dead.

  95. barry freed 2016-07-19 08:48

    Mr. Pay,
    You may not know, but you live in large town, and one that has been long known for violent Police. Why don’t we hear of Gangsters killing Cops? They are said to be violent and without roots, what holds them back? Seems odd, if they don’t care about life or living, why do they resist killing a Cop as they would a Gang rival?

  96. barry freed 2016-07-19 08:59

    USA Today*:

    8:40 AM, Police see a man with a rifle

    8:42 AM, Shoot out begins.

    At the press conference yesterday, authorities called it an ambush with him sneaking up on a Cop vacuuming his car. How does one sneak and ambush when they are being watched?

    * The citation they got from the authorities shows: “ISP not found”

  97. mike from iowa 2016-07-19 09:07

    In the past week BLM leaders were being intimidated and harassed by FBI agents before the RNC trainwreck even started.

  98. Steve Sibson 2016-07-19 09:09

    “could we call that an act of war?”

    Exactly Cory:

    In a speech delivered to the Annual MAS-ICNA (Muslim American Society and Islamic Circle of North America) Convention in December 2015, Nihad Awad, the Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), urged Muslim Americans to take up the cause of Black Lives Matter. “Black Lives Matter is our matter,” he said; “Black Lives Matter is our campaign.”

    At the same conference, Khalilah Sabra, another activist, told the Muslim audience, “Basically you are the new black people of America… We are the “community that staged a revolution across the world. If we could do that, why can’t we have that revolution in America?” “That revolution” is apparently a reference to the “Arab Spring” revolutions which were inspired by the Muslim Brotherhood and which brought death and destruction to wide swaths of the Middle East and North Africa.

  99. Jake Cummings 2016-07-19 09:13

    Cory, minorities have hate crimes protections, and police have been prosecuted under them, as they should be. BLM, you, and some commenters do yourselves a disservice by insisting that all individuals are innocent [with the implication being that police are guilty, possible justifications be damned)] before the investigation is complete; for example, if Sterling was brandishing a weapon and did reach for a gun after refusing to comply with the police, was he really innocent?

    What happened to granting both the police and the suspect presumption of innocence until investigations are complete?

  100. Jake Cummings 2016-07-19 09:24

    Oh, and I use the term “suspects” due to the police either viewing the victim as a suspect, as was the case in Castile, or the police responding to possibly illegal behavior, as was the case with Sterling, not due to either individual’s race

  101. Douglas Wiken 2016-07-19 09:50

    Keep defending rogue cops and you will just see more violence against all cops.

  102. bearcreekbat 2016-07-19 10:32

    Perhaps a big part of the problem is the lack of accountability when a police officer appears to have wrongfully harmed or killed a black civilian. In part this can be traced back to unique protections enjoyed by law enforcement in the civil law. To establish civil liability for known and admitted wrongful police conduct a plaintiff must get past a hurdle the law calls “qualified immunity.”

    The rules are arcane, but in essence a police officer is protected from liability even if found to be negligent, careless, and flat out wrong in his treatment of a civilian. The officer does not have to even stand trial in a civil case unless the plaintiff first can meet a very high standard necessary to overcome “qualified immunity” by presenting evidence that the officer acted with “deliberate indifference” to the victim’s rights. Without such a showing such a civil case must be summarily dismissed without a trial.

    And as mfi hinted, prosecutors are protected by “absolute immunity,” as are judges. They cannot be held civilly liable for any conduct within the scope of their employment regardless of evil intent and clear violations of the law.

  103. Jake Cummings 2016-07-19 10:39

    Douglas, what I am defending is investigating each case without assuming that cops are “rogues” or whatever pejorative term you want to use. Conversely, police should not assume that all minorities are criminals, and if they do (and evidence supports assertions that the officer is discriminatory), they should should be counseled, and if they fail to remedy the situation, the officer should possibly be fired or forced to resign.

    Hopefully you’ve lived a life free of being inaccurately accused of being racist. I have not — I had a fellow graduate student who is a minority say I was a “racist too” b/c I questioned statements she made about her entire class being racists for giving her poor course evals, so I sympathize with people, such as police, who may be similarly labeled hours after these tragedies.

    If the arresting officers, or arresting officers in the future, target minorities, they should be sanctioned for that, including imprisonment, which I have said all along. However, are you willing to acknowledge that officers in the Sterling case were responding to a complaint and eventually had to deal with a non-compliant individual and may not have been “rogue”?

  104. Donald Pay 2016-07-19 10:42


    Actually, I think Madison, WI, cops are pretty enlightened. We have had some incidents of cops killing suspects, but these have been people on drugs or with mental issues who were out of control. We had a recent highly publicized take-down of a young black woman at a Mall who was threatening people with a knife. She had a bad day, and one cop overreacted. This crap happens, but it makes everyone think there is a lot of violence and racial animus between the community and cops.

    The gangs ain’t dumb. One of my clients was in a south side Chicago gang. He said cop killing gets them no money, and causes a lot of trouble. These gangs are usually small-time criminal syndicates and brotherhoods, more than anything. In a lot of ways they depend on the cops overreacting to create the atmosphere in a community that you can’t trust the cops. When cops overreact, people stop cooperating with the police when gang stuff happens. The cops want to get eyewitness testimony, and no one will talk.

  105. Bill Dithmer 2016-07-19 10:54

    Jerry, you are carrying a lot of cop hate around. Why didnt your friend complain before he broke or didnt break the law. If you know about bad law offivers you have to say something.

    By the way was he found guilty or not guilty?

    I will back a cop every single time right up to the time there is absolute proof of their wring doing. For the last couple of years the media has passed judgment within hours.

    If your going to bash Jackson County bring facts not second hand dribble from an unhappy person that had to go to court. What were the circumstances, what kind of case, names of those involved that wronged him. You need to bring something real instead of secondhand hate talk.

    The Blindman

  106. Douglas Wiken 2016-07-19 16:52

    Cops who have a person flat on the ground and think he has a gun in his pocket when there are three cops who could reach it or put a foot on his arm who instead shoot him in the back three times are rogues or incompetent. Cops who walk into a domestic squabble with a spouse seeking only to be safe and then the only solution cops come up with is to shoot some guy with a knife in his hand. The shoot and kill attitude as the only method available is a policy and policing failure. Cops who gin up a phony charge because somebody calls them a pig are also acting as arrogant thugs rather than as rational police. Police should not behave with the same kind of violence that is a characteristic of some non-police. They should be above that if they expect respect. Otherwise, they are no better than the worst of the thugs. You can wait for a whitewash report generated by police administrators, but they will have to write better scripts for the video that indicates failure to protect and serve. Doctors can be charged with mal-practice and it seems that should also be possible with law enforcement at all levels.

    Until we force police and other law enforcement to clean up their acts, they will continue to rouse the irrational crazies into shooting anybody they see in a blue uniform. If that is what you want keep defending the indefensible or incompetent.

  107. Darin Larson 2016-07-19 17:25

    Douglas Wiken said “Cops who walk into a domestic squabble with a spouse seeking only to be safe and then the only solution cops come up with is to shoot some guy with a knife in his hand.”

    This is where I part company with you. The cop’s first job is to protect the battered spouse and second to protect themselves. They are not psychiatrists that will make up for a bad childhood or marriage counselors that will talk the couple through their problems. They are there for one reason: to keep the guy with the knife from harming others. They have no duty to risk their lives by trying to disable the perpetrator in hand to hand combat. They are not Bruce Lee or Chuck Norris.

    When faced with a person who is brandishing a knife and who refuses police commands to put the weapon down, they are fully within their rights and the law to shoot to kill. I applaud the efforts of law enforcement to employ deescalation techniques if the circumstances allow. However, there are circumstances when the only reasonable choice that the police are given is to use deadly force.

    Let me ask you this question: If the police did not immediately put down a man brandishing a knife and threatening others and that man subsequently stabbed someone, who would be blamed? Ding, ding, ding. You are correct if you said the police.

    So, the police are often in no-win situations. They will be damned if they use deadly force and they will be damned if they don’t use deadly force and the guy stabs somebody. They will also be damned after the spouse refuses to press charges and the man with the knife kills her a week later.

    The bottom line is that if someone has a deadly weapon in their hand and they do not comply with the police’s order to drop the weapon or if they have already threatened to kill someone they are asking the police to shoot them. The police have no obligation to risk their lives or the lives of others by using non-deadly force when people’s lives are threatened.

  108. jerry 2016-07-19 22:21

    My friend had business with the court, he was not charged with anything and had no hatred towards the police anymore than I do. Maybe you really do not know how the court system works, but you do not have to be charged with a crime to come to court for business. For your viewing on the court system in South Dakota

    You sound as if you may have had to go there for something that may have been other business. Did they find you guilty or not guilty? Were you like Red from the Shawshank Redemption who declared that he was the only one there that was guilty or did you blame your loss on your barrister? As I do not live there, I only can speak of what my friend said.

  109. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-07-20 07:18

    I’m intrigued by Bearcreekbat’s point about police “qualified immunity” and Donald’s point about gangs not being dumb. Qualified immunity seems like a good idea: police have to do really hard work. Subjecting them to civil liability for every act they carry out on behalf of the state may be an indispensible part of making sure police can do their duty. In other words, police will always have more power to act than civilians.

    Donald’s gang analysis undermines the idea that cops are under siege by any institutional force. The gangs, the organized entities in crime, understand that cop-killing is bad for their business model. The cop killings we’ve seen this month have come from unhinged loners against whom protest is futile.

  110. Bill Dithmer 2016-07-20 07:50

    Jerry, you made it sound as if your riend had been charged.

    I have never even had a trafic ticket in my lifw, but I did have jury duty a couple of times.

    If your friend wasnt charged, what was his problem with the court? You cant just make a statement like you have made without something to back it up other then heresay.

    The Blindman

  111. mike from iowa 2016-07-20 08:06

    So cops are protected from liability by law. What about these dingbat ammosexuals running around promising to play Rambo all over the bad guys with guns to protect the police? Will they be given immunity under good samaritan statutes?

  112. Jake Cummings 2016-07-20 08:30

    Qualified immunity’s breadth encompasses more than just the police and judicial officials ( When I worked for the state, I had qualified immunity, provided my conduct did not violate certain statutes. For instance, if I made an “honest mistake” calculating and reporting education data, I generally would not be liable (unless I did something like take further illegal action to somehow hide said mistake).

    Douglas, I have cautioned against failure to appreciate the nuances inherent in this debate, and your ignorance of my comments in which I have openly admitted that police should be held accountable, when evidence supports doing so, is telling. I have never excused rogue cops; what I have emphasized is that engendering sustainable change that will ameliorate true root causes requires us to ascertain the facts.

    DFP posts about the Castile shooting have demonstrated that commenters are not taking the time to analyze the situation. We had one person question how Castile could be the driver if Reynolds’ video appeared to show him in the passenger seat (it’s because Reynolds shot the video using the “rear camera” function on her phone). We’ve had other commenters apparently believe that a concealed carry permit rendered Castile “unarmed” and that Sterling was unarmed.

    On the police side, we had Yanez stop Castile and Reynolds, individual(s) he allegedly felt were suspects in an armed robbery without using a “felony stop” strategy. In addition, Darin shared video of an officer who stopped a man with an outstanding felony arrest warrant, again without engaging in a felony stop, and the officer was eventually assaulted by the alleged felon. In these cases, I would want to investigate the officers’ decisionmaking and ensure that we can minimize the chances that mistakes will be repeated. Ideally, this will prevent deaths like Castile’s and assaults of LEO’s. I believe that the chances of this happening in the current climate are infinitesimally small, which is extremely unfortunate and counterproductive.

  113. Douglas Wiken 2016-07-20 10:32

    South Dakota needs a totally independent review board or commission to consider all police shootings. Cumings, I am not ignorant of your posts, I just don’t necessarily believe you are any kind of a special authority who warrants instant gratitude and appreciation for your sterling wisdom.

  114. Jake Cummings 2016-07-20 13:35

    Douglas, can’t say I’ve ever demanded such recognition or implied I any wisdom. I’ll let objective viewers of our posts judge the rationality of each.

  115. Jake Cummings 2016-07-20 13:42

    Douglas, can’t say I’ve ever demanded such recognition or implied I have any wisdom. I’ll let objective viewers of our posts judge the rationality of each, and whether thinly veiled ad hominem attacks lend credence to your assertions.

  116. Douglas Wiken 2016-07-20 17:08

    Cummings, I guess your posts indicate what thinly-veiled ad hominem attacks really are.

    So what do you think of cops or sheriff deputies who barge into the wrong house. There they find a mentally retarded man who can’t comprehend what they say or why they are there, so they shoot him?

    Most SD investigations of law enforcement are white-washes designed to minimize liability rather than find justice or truth. This is putting the foxes in charge of monitoring the foxes. More lame excuses and white-washes will just feed the fires of “rebellion”.

  117. Jake Cummings 2016-07-20 17:46

    Douglas, if you want to overlook how you’ve mischaracterized my posts as defending rogue cops and dismiss my clarifications in response to your glaring errors as ad hominem attacks, you should probably revisit the definition of an ad hominem attack. Moreover, when you use loaded terms like “barge in,” “rogue,” etc., you reveal your biases and refusal to consider alternative explanations.

    Indulging your hypothetical, if the officers unconstitutionally entered anyone’s house, that merits outrage and possible sanction; conversely, if they responded to reports that an individual was threatening or endangering others, that is an exigent factor.

    Now, let’s tie this to the current Sterling situation, if the police had merely decided they wanted to “roll” an African American the day Sterling was killed, I would be as outraged as the BLM activists and commenters on this site (and I still may be pending results of the investigation); however, the reports I have read indicate officers were responding to complaints about a man matching Sterling’s description who was brandishing a pistol, and when they encountered Sterling, he was non-compliant and armed. Again, these are exigent factors, and as I have stated, BLM and DFP commenters do themselves a disservice by refusing to acknowledge those facts.

  118. mike from iowa 2016-07-20 18:34

    In the United States, 98 percent of those who commit mass shootings are male; 98 percent of the officers who have shot and killed civilians are male; 90 percent of those who commit homicide by any means are male; and 80 percent of those arrested for all violent crimes — murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault — are male.

    From Chicago Tribune Commentary

  119. bearcreekbat 2016-07-20 18:39

    mfi – your stats appear to support legislation that limits the possession of weapons capable of killing to our female law enforcement.

  120. jerry 2016-07-20 20:29

    Of course it is hearsay mom, I heard my friend say this to me. I did not witness it as I indicated, BTW, who made you the watcher of Jackson County? As this is a trusted friend, there was no reason to fabricate it to me. An observance was made. If you want, you could go to court there as well or to any other place and see what you see. If you see more Native faces there than my friend saw, then my friend was correct. If on the other hand, you see more white faces there than my friend saw, I am sorry that you did not go to the court the same time my friend did. Now lets move along.

  121. Douglas Wiken 2016-07-20 21:31

    Jake, those are not hypotheticals. They are all events that have happened in SD or recently in Minneapolis, Dallas, etc. You first used the term ad hominem and you are the one who should look it up. I don’t think I labeled you as ignorant, stupid, uninformed, etc.

    I am just less than awed by your arguments which are the same tired arguments we get from law enforcement no matter how egregious is the behavior.

    Law enforcement must come up with better ways to protect and serve than to shoot first to kill…or they will remain targets of assassination by those crazed by the behavior and the lame excuses for rogue police behaviors.

  122. jerry 2016-07-20 21:59

    Mr. Dithmer shows in two statements how white priviledge and blind justice work in America regarding police in court cases. Mr. Dithmer states “I have never even had a trafic ticket in my lifw, but I did have jury duty a couple of times”. So now you are in a court of law as a defendant, in most cases, the police have the resources that you, as the defendant, do not have. Mr. Dithmer states “I will back a cop every single time right up to the time there is absolute proof of their wring doing. For the last couple of years the media has passed judgment within hours.” Eric Garner was strangled to death on live tee vee, there was nothing the media could do but show him being strangled.

    Even when there are cameras rolling, even when there are statements given to the contrary, the police always get the green light. That is what is wrong with the system and how it is gamed against those who have little or no voice. So, how would you like to be the defendant with Mr. Dithmer as your peer?

  123. Jake Cummings 2016-07-20 23:10

    Douglas, if you are referring to the case of James Harrison, police did not “barge in;” they were called there by the family, and it was not the first time they were called. See how you ignore all but about 15 words of my prior post?

    Could the police have handled the Harrison situation differently, yes; however, making snap judgments about their actions and mischaracterizing them as barging in or going rogue ignores important details.

    I’m sure you’ll be the first in line to help fund the initiatives to develop the better ways to serve and protect that you advocate.

    Your responses are textbook ad hominem attacks because you rarely address the statements made, instead you try to pass me off as a defender of rogue LEO’s, and I would think the very person calling for an independent review would be the first in line defending waiting to apprise the facts, which I have advocated all along, lack of Wiken awe or not.

    Lord help any of us facing a jury of our Wikens (there was an ad hominem attack by me upon you, Douglas).

  124. jerry 2016-07-21 07:15

    Of course, in folks like Dithmer’s case, the black dude that got shot deserved it for trying to help a fellow human being that was his client.

    I am quite sure the policeman will not be charged because he actually did not kill the dude lying down with his hands up. His aim was off so his punishment will be to go back to the range to improve his aim. Then the police wonder why these recent events happened in Dallas and Baton Rouge. This is what is happening all over the country including right here in South Dakota. Until the police become the professionals that we pay them top wages and hiring bonuses to be, until they start to police themselves, these events will take place. Blue lives matter because we need them to serve and protect us all professionally.

  125. barry freed 2016-07-21 07:44

    MFU gives an excellent example of how utterly worthless statistics can be and how people use them to lie.

    Though it is 100% worthless, as is the rest of your statistical lying, what was the #1 Race committing these crimes?

  126. barry freed 2016-07-21 07:51

    In Baton Rouge, the Authorities have released stills from video that show a scary masked man with an evil gun. When do we see the rest of the video?

  127. mike from iowa 2016-07-21 08:44

    Worthless? Hardly. Got you totally bent out of shape and I wasn’t even trolling for you,troll.

    Go read the commentary for yourself. You do know how to google, don’t you?

  128. leslie 2016-07-21 17:53

    late to the party but, after Lee Henning replied,
    “I agree.”, was he also disciplined?

  129. leslie 2016-07-21 18:22

    Until the police become the professionals that we pay them top wages and hiring bonuses to be, until they start to police themselves, these events will take place. Blue lives matter because we need them to serve and protect us all professionally.

    well said.

    the policing format in this nation needs to change for the safer. rather than armed police confronting possible criminal citizens and other civil matters, crimes should be prosecuted by camera and correspondence, always when possible. avoiding personal interaction under unknown circumstances will reduce unnecessary injury and death of all involved. higher prosecutorial standards will result, “to protect and to serve”. using force, violence, weapons and ultimately death to prosecute enforcement of a law is generally a ridiculous proposition. we can rethink our system. police are called upon to do too much. let’s protect our mentally ill, and our mentally healthy citizens. gestapo “ruthlessly suppressed opposition to the Nazis in Germany and occupied Europe and sent Jews and others to concentration camps. From 1936 it was headed by Heinrich Himmler.” we don’t deserve any semblance here, yet “there it is”. BLM is legitimate and other derivatives only seem to be cheap dilutions of this valid sentiment, contray to dicta’s musings. Occupy was a similar legitimate sentiment diluted by those afraid to take on the public debate.

  130. leslie 2016-07-21 18:25

    “hands up” and GOP Obstructionism come from the same place.

    elect trump and the world as we know it and once were happier with, will cease to exist.

  131. BIll DIthmer 2016-07-21 18:58

    Never said that Jerry.

    The Blindman

  132. Kris 2016-07-21 19:17

    is dis da cop hater section?

  133. Donald Pay 2016-07-21 19:45

    The police gang task force pretty much knows the gang members, at least the one’s who have grown up here. The gang members know many of the police personally, not necessarily because they have been arrested a lot, but because the cops have spent a lot of time with them since middle school trying to keep them out of gangs or trying to get them out of gangs or trying to persuade the gang members to cool it. So, yeah, there’s also this weird personal dynamic at work that makes gang members less likely to go after cops. Now that may not be the case in larger cities, but our police try their best to know the gang members and try to find a way to get them out of that life.

  134. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-07-22 06:27

    Leslie—how about robot cops?

  135. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-07-22 06:31

    Donald, that is a weird personal dynamic. But it shows that a key part of preventing violence is social connection. Police need to be out and about. They need to visit the schools, work with the kids, make themselves known as real people, not just armed soldiers behind armor and shields and big vehicles.

    They also need to monitor their language and not act like Donald Trump. Like pastors, they need to avoid emotional and divisive statements that make entire subsets of the community feel as if the police don’t respect their legitimate social concerns.

  136. Darin Larson 2016-07-22 07:42

    I saw this morning that Barney Fife was attempting to shoot the autistic man the other day and instead shot the black man laying on the ground with his hands up. Apparently, the cop thought that the guy with hands up was being held at gunpoint by the autistic man. The autistic man had a toy truck in his hand and the black man was a therapist who was trying to get the autistic man back to an assisted living facility. Sometimes it is not racism at play–it is just stupidity.

  137. Jake Cummings 2016-07-22 08:57

    Darin, I wholeheartedly agree that Kinsey should not have been shot; reports have indicated police were responding to a call regarding a suicidal man with a gun. The autistic man, assumed to be the suicidal person, apparently “wandered away” from the facility, so there could be an issue with security/restraint of possibly dangerous individuals at that facility.

    In addition, Kinsey was apparently directing the autistic person to do/not do certain things (i.e. lie down on the ground), but the individual was not complying, so the police went to a situation where even the therapist wasn’t in control. This does not excuse seeming police negligence, it just helps establish context as to why weapons were drawn, etc.

    As for the negligent firearm discharge, it could be a Glock that doesn’t have a manual safety. Regardless, barring a catastrophic equipment failure that resulted in an unlikely “spontaneous” discharge. the officer in question should almost inevitably not have a job involving firearms; moreover, one wonders why s/he was pointing the gun at Kinsey.

    Cory, how is referring to killing innocent, unarmed black men (when referencing Castile and Sterling), whom reports indicated were armed, not just as divisive? We need to hold both sides accountable
    if we are to have any hope of generative dialogue.

  138. Jake Cummings 2016-07-22 09:10

    Cory, if Aberdeen hasn’t changed since I went to NSU, police will allow you to go on a ride along so you can witness what they experience and the tactics they employ. I did that for the first time in Dr. Donelan’s community policing class and have gone on several in Pierre since then. Maybe doing so would dissuade commenters from labeling police a rogue’s gallery. Then again, bull-headed vitriol could just lead to further tension.

  139. Darin Larson 2016-07-22 09:21

    Thank God, Barney Fife was a bad shot. He fired his gun at one unarmed white man with a toy truck in his hand three times. All three of his shots missed the white guy and unfortunately one of his misses hit the black guy laying on the ground next to the white guy. I’m thinking Barney Fife thought the white guy was holding the black guy at gunpoint with the toy truck. But the black guy was telling the police what the situation was and Barney went in guns a blazing. If these facts are confirmed by the investigation, Barney Fife should lose his job.

  140. mike from iowa 2016-07-22 11:33

    Empty chambers. ’nuff said.

    Next you need to watch the white cop in Texas throw an elementary school teacher(black of course) to the ground and wrestle her up and down. The video as she was hauled to jail in a different cop car is very revealing about white attitudes toward all black suspectys.

  141. Douglas Wiken 2016-07-22 11:44

    Trump, the evangelist for less big government wants more “law and order”, better prosecutors, etc. He is also going to cut taxes so business can flourish, etc. All these things do not go together. It is the same with turning local police into occupying armies. The problems get worse and the costs get higher. Keep doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result is one definition of insanity.

  142. Jake Cummings 2016-07-22 12:51

    Unfortunately for many of you, the police are one vital stakeholder that will need to be involved in discussions and eventual efforts to improve the situation, and I cannot fathom how you would fail to realize how the rhetoric about them being armies and mistreating all minorities and lack of acknowledgment of facts in these tragedies minimizes the likelihood they’ll participate in subsequent initiatives and instead become defensive.

    I think I agree with many of you on most issues, but on this issue, I think we’re running the risk of creating an echo chamber where acknowledging that police in these cases may not be racist hyperaggressive militants somehow weakens BLM or negates the fact that systemic bias exists. Plus, it hypocritically allows diametrically opposed bias to poison our efforts, and labeling people who advocate waiting for investigations to be completed apologists or rogue police sympathizers serves only to ensure that individuals who could be bridges in these efforts will remain alienated.

  143. Jerry 2016-07-22 13:14

    Good words, but how long do you give them to get their talking points

  144. Kurt Evans 2016-07-22 14:16

    Douglas Wiken writes:

    Trump, the evangelist for less big government wants more “law and order”, better prosecutors, etc. He is also going to cut taxes so business can flourish, etc. All these things do not go together. It is the same with turning local police into occupying armies. The problems get worse and the costs get higher. Keep doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result is one definition of insanity.

    Mr. Wiken and I may disagree about Darwinism, but we agree about this.

  145. Douglas Wiken 2016-07-22 15:24

    Police and their apologists need to ask themselves, “Which came first, police militarization and fatal shootings for disrespect, minor errors ,or minor crimes or…. criticism of police militarization, etc. It is not general citizen behavior that needs to be changed. The obligation to change is on the promoters of official violence against citizens.

  146. mike from iowa 2016-07-22 17:40

    North Miami cop who shot black guy on ground with his arms in the air is a member of the S.W.A.T. team. Good kerist-nobody is safe.

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