Although it gets delivered to my workplace, not being a communist myself, I rarely read the free Phoenix New Times magazine.
The Phoenix New Times is essentially a Johnny-Two-Note rag, and if there was no Sheriff Joe Arpaio and if all illegal aliens were granted amnesty, the rag would have little reason to exist.
However, occasionally some New Times cover story will attract my attention and so I’ll pick up a copy and take a look. That’s what happened in June of 2009 when I saw the “Good Cop, Bad Cop” cover.
According to the story “Behind BadPhoenixCops.com: The Blogger Who Took On The Phoenix PD…” by Sarah Fenske [which you can read by clicking HERE], a Phoenix citizen named Jeff Pataky was wrongly and stupidly arrested by the Phoenix police department based on manufactured false evidence and bogus charges filed by his ex-wife. Later, when Pataky started a website and a blog to expose the corruption in the Phoenix P.D., his home was raided by the cops and his computer and some of his other belongings confiscated.
Making use of inside police sources, “Blogger Jeff” has since given Phoenix P.D. fits and his blog here at blogspot – BadPhoenixCops – is a site full of scoops and rancor, which I began “Following” shortly after reading that New Times article in the Summer of ’09. The blog bits and the comments attached to them are often filled with foul insults and schoolyard taunts, and it can get down and dirty between the “Anonymous” cops and the anti-police visitors who comment at the site.
No question about it, some very interesting pieces get posted at BadPhoenixCops, but one must be prepared for some of the nasty insults and dirty street humor found at the site. I myself have commented there a few times, but I prefer to stay out of the gutter.
A November 12 article titled “Officer Chrisman's Partner - And His License Plate That Says SHOOT THEM ALL” drew more commentary from me than any previous blog bit at BadPhoenixCops (BPC). In short, the story pertains to an incident in which an off-duty officer was involved in a shooting and the questions raised by his personal license plate which says in code, “Shoot-M-All”. The entire article and the comments that it spawned can be read HERE.
In this case, I left the first comment at the site, in which I responded to something the Blogger had said in response to a sentence in a quoted article:
Author Alicia E. Barrón: “Police say the killing was justified because that suspect had a gun.”
BPC: (Of course it was. Conveniently all shootings by cops are "justified" since the only ones investigating, are other cops..BPC)
Stephen T. McCarthy:
>>..."Of course it was. Conveniently all shootings by cops are "justified" since the only ones investigating, are other cops"..BPC
Three comments later, one of the many “Anonymous” (Anon) posters there - most of whom can usually be assumed to be police officers - wrote:
>>...If all cops are so terrible and corrupt why do rush to call them everytime you feel your safety is in jeapordy?
Having experienced first-hand the "Rodney King Riots" in Los Angeles, I got a fine look at what good the cops are to the citizenry when things get REALLY dicey or dangerous. Yeah, I saw how they just freakin' DISAPPEARED from the streets of Los Angeles and left those they supposedly "serve and protect" to fend for themselves.
Five comments later, another Anon wrote:
One thing the public needs to remember about police officers is that they are simply men and women doing a job that most of you would never want to or have the guts to do. They are human beings earning a living. First and foremost, they are people doing a JOB! They are brother, sister, mother, father, aunt, uncle, son, daughter, friend... I think that the public forgets that police officers are people doing tough jobs. I am not saying there aren't some stupid and obnoxious officers out there, but why paint a brush of all of them being bad? They aren't all bad people!
As far as the person going on about the officers in LA not being around during the riots, what would you have them do? Put out officers in a mob of 100's of people who were angry about cops? Which by the way, they took their anger out on each other by looting and rioting. Remember that these officers have families that THEY want to go home to. Do you really think putting two officers in the middle of hundreds of looting, rioting animals would have done anything to stop the rioting? Do you think possibly it would have made an already horrible situation worse? By that I mean, the animals rioting would have turned around and gone after the officers and killed them. So what purpose would that have served? Why so the department could have said, they were brave? Not worth it! Sometimes it's just not worth it.
The thing about some of you posters is you have forgotten that officers are people doing a job! I bet you wouldn't do that job. Would you have our country get rid of police departments? Do you think we could police ourselves? What happens on the roadways when police aren't around? We see a lot of speeding, red light running, etc. The fact is you get bad apples in every job and there is no way around that. Fortunately in most jobs we don't generalize about everyone because of the few morons!
November 19, 2010 3:28 PM
I submitted an extensive response to that comment which, as of this moment, has not been posted at BadPhoenixCops. So I am pasting it here, on my own blog:
To: ANONYMOUS of November 19, 2010; 3:28 PM ~
It’s unfortunate that so many individuals here use the name “Anonymous” as it’s difficult to get a grasp on how many different persons are actually commenting here. It would be better if everyone would at least come up with a pseudonym and stick with it.
Anyway, I don’t know if you are responsible for any of the other “Anonymous” comments posted here, but you responded to my comment in a very civil and reasonable way. I appreciate that and will reply in kind. It is never my choice to stoop to the ad hominem level. I am capable of it, and more than a little effective at it, but I prefer to discuss serious matters in serious and logical ways. “Flame Wars” accomplish nothing and are always a waste of every particpant’s time.
So, thanks for keeping your remarks toward me mostly “adult-like”. I will treat you with the same sort of respect.
I agree with a fair portion of what you wrote. Yes, in many instances, cops can and should be viewed as just men and women doing their jobs. (Of course, there are some compelling reasons to believe that women ought to be employed in police departments solely in Special Assignment Units for the purpose of frisking and booking female suspects or dealing with female victims of crimes such as rape, etc. But that is well beyond the scope of this comment and beyond the time I’m willing to spend on the topic of police officers.)
Due to my background as a young man and the nature of the work I do as an adult, I have had greater dealings with police officers than has the average citizen, and I have over the course of my 50+ years gained some knowledge about the personality type and the mentality of a significant number of police department employees.
You wrote: “I think that the public forgets that police officers are people doing tough jobs. I am not saying there aren't some stupid and obnoxious officers out there, but why paint a brush of all of them being bad? … The fact is you get bad apples in every job and there is no way around that. Fortunately in most jobs we don't generalize about everyone because of the few morons!”
In the first place, I specifically wrote in my second comment above: “I'm not going to paint ALL cops with this same brush, but I've known plenty of police officers on a personal basis and haven't liked most of them.”
To that I will add that of all the police officers I have known in my life (and we’re talking about at least a dozen), there are only two that I can say I genuinely liked, whom I felt were not egotists, thrill-seekers, power-mad authoritarians, racists, or just general jackasses. Two out of twelve is not a good batting average!
Secondly, when it comes to police officers as a group, my experience has shown me that we are definitely talking about more than just a “few” morons or bad apples. I’m not even going to say that the majority of officers on most police forces are bad apples, but at the very least, I believe a very significant number of them are the sorts of persons I would not be interested in maintaining a friendship with.
I also happen to be an avid fan of American West history and have studied that subject from multiple angles. Even a person’s cursory study of Law Enforcement in the Old West will prove that there was always a fine line between the mind-set of the peace officers and the badmen they pursued, and often enough that line was virtually indistinguishable. While background checks in hiring police officers has certainly improved over the last century, I don’t believe that the standard police officer psychology has changed all that much. And I am convinced that most individuals who go into police work go into it not because of a passion for justice and righteousness, but because it’s a job that pays pretty well, has good benefits, has room for advancement, and provides opportunities for a thrill-seeker to get his or her kicks.
Remember, I’ve known plenty of police officers in a personal and casual way, and several quite well, and if you tell me that most cops don’t like the idea of high-speed pursuits and kicking doors in, we both know you’re not being honest with me.
One retired Phoenix law enforcement officer (whose name might be familiar to several of the “Anons” who regularly post comments on this blog), once told me that he thought I would have made a very good cop and asked me if I had ever considered that as a career. I told him that in fact I did briefly flirt with the idea as a teenager, but decided that I didn’t possess the hypocrisy necessary to be a cop. He just nodded knowingly. And this is one of the two aforementioned cops that I HAVE LIKED personally!
What hypocrisy? Well, for starters, lets talk about cops who, while off-duty, routinely disregard the traffic laws that they bust others for breaking while they’re on-duty. Let’s talk about Joe Cop being absolutely sh!t-faced three hours after a shift has ended and then leaving “The Big Dog Bar” and driving home as intoxicated, or more so, than the citizen whom Joe Cop arrested for drunken driving only some hours earlier!
It’s curious how many of the laws that get enforced during the day get broken by the enforcers in the night.
Also, there’s a very pronounced “Us Against Them” attitude that is prevalent on most if not all police forces. And by “Them” I don’t just mean the criminal element. Cops are very, very cliquish, some evidently believing that they are a higher sort of being than the everyday citizen they (presumably) “protect and serve”. For many of them, the outlook is “Us” (police officers) against “Them” (the civvies – including the law-abiding civilians). In fact, most cops have pet terms for the average citizen, some of the terms being somewhat demeaning.
You wrote: “As far as the person going on about the officers in LA not being around during the riots, what would you have them do? Put out officers in a mob of 100's of people who were angry about cops? … Remember that these officers have families that THEY want to go home to. … Do you think possibly it would have made an already horrible situation worse? By that I mean, the animals rioting would have turned around and gone after the officers and killed them. So what purpose would that have served? Why so the department could have said, they were brave? Not worth it!”
I essentially agree with you. I don’t believe that the cops could have quelled the majority of the rioting, but they failed to show up even where there were small pockets of rioters, where the police could have actually had a positive impact. I was living there, so I know what I’m talking about.
But even for that I’ll give them a pass. But here’s what pisses me off: If the cops are going to abandon those they claim to protect and serve, then they need to drop the whole friggin’ “tough guy” and “tough chick” routine. Give it a damn rest! We have SEEN that you won’t be there when the going gets really tough, so cut the crap and the macho persona that goes with it! Shave the mustache! (Yeah, that goes for you Chicks-In-Blue, too! Shave ‘em!)
And let’s not too hastily forget that the reason the idiot “civvies” were rioting in the streets of Los Angeles in the first place is because the police department (as happens far too often) wasn’t just satisfied with arresting Rodney King and bringing him before the judicial system. No! The police wanted to play cop, judge, jury and executioner all in one. (They’re only being paid to play ONE of those parts!)
Although the rioting was illogical, it was a direct result of cops acting like the thug they were arresting! So, the bottom line is: the cops ran and hid and abandoned the innocent citizenry they’re sworn to “protect and serve” when the rioting - which the cops were largely though indirectly responsible for - began.
The truth of the matter is (as shown every two weeks in the “Exercising The Right” Second Amendment feature of The New American magazine) that when citizens most need a cop, chances are a cop will arrive too late. (Or as the saying goes: “When every second counts, the police are only minutes away.”) The people had better take advantage of their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms and learn to protect themselves, because more times than not, a police officer will be on the scene after the fact and merely to write a report.
I will not forget the time I was driving in the number one lane of a two-lane road in L.A. when a motorcycle cop suddenly swerved into my lane without looking, nearly hitting the front passenger side fender of my truck. And then, after freaking out over the near accident he would have been responsible for, he pulled me over and cited ME for reckless driving.
Nor will I forget the time, maybe a little over a year ago, when about 100+ motorcycle gang members conducting a funeral procession for one of their dead buddies, commandeered a couple of the avenues here in Phoenix. These were major thoroughfares that are ordinarily cop-infested. Funny thing though – I drove for over a mile and never saw a police car in sight while that motorcycle gang had completely taken over the number 2 lane of the avenue.
I feel certain that any number of persons must have placed cell phone calls to the police informing them of the avenue takeover. But I sure didn’t see any cops responding to the situation. It was sort of like the Rodney King riots all over again, only this time in Phoenix. And once again we see that when things get REAL dicey, the cops go missing.
You began your comment with this: “One thing the public needs to remember about police officers is that they are simply men and women doing a job that most of you would never want to or have the guts to do.”
That appeared to be a general remark, not directed specifically at me, but it is evidence of that aforementioned “Us Against Them, Tough-Guy Persona” that I told you I dislike so much and find so inappropriate.
Not to make myself out to be a Mr. Tough-Guy too, but just to respond to your opening remark, I will let you know that although the motorcycle gang was occupying only the #2 lane of the avenue and riding slowly, every automobile driver on that street was afraid to drive in the #1 lane alongside that motorcycle gang. Every single driver except one that is: Yours Truly.
I figured that as a taxpayer I had every right to occupy the empty lane on that road, and so I drove in the #1 lane, right past the motorcyclists. But I drove slowly in case one of them should suddenly decide to change lanes right on top of me, like that motorcycle cop had done to me years earlier (and cited me for).
When we got to a major intersection, one of the motorcyclists parked his bike in the middle of the road, and began directing traffic. To hell with what the traffic signal said, he stopped all traffic so the 100 or more motorcyclists could negotiate a right turn together without being delayed by the stop light and separated by other motorists.
No cops directing traffic, just a dirty motorcycle dude, who flipped me off as I ignored his hand signal to “stop” and drove right on by him.
As to whether or not I have “the guts” to be a cop, I’ll let you decide. But what I do know is that I had the guts to be in the presence of that motorcycle gang, completely unarmed, and to ignore them when they attempted to commandeer the streets and illegally direct me in traffic. The armed cops you seem to think are so “gutsy”, I didn’t see anywhere.
The Phoenix Cops: They are who we thought they were!
Yeah, I suspect I have “the guts” to be a cop. It’s the hypocrisy necessary to fit in with the Clique-In-Blue that I lack.
In the mid-1970s when I was 14 and 15, I belonged to a Police Explorer Program in another state. It’s a branch of the Boy Scouts but related to law enforcement work. Many police departments sponsor Police Explorer posts, with police officers volunteering to serve as advisors to the teenaged groups. That’s where I first became acquainted with police work and got to know a number of cops on a personal basis. It’s also where I first started my underage alcohol consumption and viewed hardcore pornographic movies. Yeah, our police officer advisors provided the beer and the porno movies on our many “camp-outs”.
Now, I will admit that I wasn’t objecting to these things at that time. But nevertheless, let those who think that all of the persons who get into police work do so because they have a high regard for our laws and societal mores and want to see law-breakers brought to justice, let them think about this some. I do not believe that my experiences in the Police Explorer Program were unique. So much for the righteousness of “law-loving” cops.
You wrote: “Would you have our country get rid of police departments? Do you think we could police ourselves? What happens on the roadways when police aren't around? We see a lot of speeding, red light running, etc.”
I consider police departments to be a necessary evil. But I also believe there are probably better ways to organize police work. There’s no point in my expounding on this as things aren’t going to change no matter how well thought-out my views might be. I have never said that all police departments ought to be disbanded (it’s a nice little fantasy though).
Truth be told, police departments are more about generating revenue for cities, counties and states, than they are about crime prevention. To be honest, speeding and red light running don’t much bother me unless those things are responsible for causing a very specific accident or problem. Although I myself don’t run red lights, if it’s 11 PM (or even 11 AM for that matter) and there’s no traffic that would be adversely affected by it, I would have no problem with a person driving through a red light.
If I’m on some road and someone blows past me exceeding the speed limit, so what?! Unless that person drives faster than he or she can safely operate their car and causes an accident, as far as I’m concerned, no “authentic” crime has actually been committed. Let’s be forthright with each other, unless damage or inconvenience to another results from an action, what we’re really talking about here is sneaky methods of further “taxing” the citizen to pay for some overly inflated bureaucratic budget.
Frankly, one of the problems I have with the police is their excessive regard for the letter of the law while not sufficiently appreciating the spirit of the law which the letter of the law was created to merely support.
If you’re at all interested in getting a better overall impression of how I view law enforcement, read “FINALLY FOUND! A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER I RESPECT” .
In the above article, Sheriff Richard Mack is quoted as saying: “I was… a by-the-numbers jerk.… We had to write tickets and lots of them. ... Is law enforcement really about public service, or public harassment?”
In another place in the above article it states:
[Sheriff Richard Mack’s] soul searching, combined with years of research, led him to the following conclusion: “I am now totally convinced that the ‘Drug War’ is a farce. It provides no benefit to the public and actually makes the drug problem worse.” This personal epiphany didn’t just stop at the issue of drug prohibition but also extended to the entire method of using law enforcement as a revenue-raising tool for government. “I got fed up with the numbers game in law enforcement and with the idea that we, the police, were here to force people to wear their seat belts and to have their papers [license, registration, insurance, inspection, etc.] in order before they could freely go about their lives.”
Anonymous, in closing I will tell you that I am a basically law-abiding citizen. The only things I am guilty of are, consistently driving about 7 miles an hour over the speed limits, and I rarely wear my automobile seat belt.
But when law-abiding citizens such as myself (and many, many others just like me) generally dislike police officers, it’s well past time that cops took a good, hard, honest, introspective look at themselves and asked why they have such a public relations image problem with so many of the law-abiding citizens they have sworn to protect and serve.
If more law enforcement officers would reevaluate what they are doing and why they are doing it, and then adjusted their actions and their views of proper law enforcement to be more in line with that of former Sheriff Richard Mack, I am certain that my own views and judgments about cops would also change for the better accordingly.
‘Loyal American Underground’
And that, my two readers, gives you a good idea why anti-police remarks occasionally pop up on this blog as well as my other blog, ‘Stuffs’.
The Rodney King Beating
[Had this not been videotaped, the Thugs-With-Stinking-Badges would have gotten away with it. And some still did.]
John McKenna And His Friendly Neighborhood Cops
[Had this not been videotaped, the Thugs-With-Stinking-Badges would have gotten away with it.]
Critical Mass Bicyclist Assaulted By Cop
[Had this not been videotaped, the Thug-With-A-Stinking-Badge would have gotten away with it.]
Cop Assaults New Jersey Man For Standing On A Street Corner
[Had this not been videotaped, the Thug-With-A-Stinking-Badge would have gotten away with it. Actually, for all I know, he may have.]
Racist Cop Kicks Innocent Man In The Head. Officeress Joins In.
Now ask yourself, how much of this crap do you suppose goes on that never gets caught on videotape?
YE OLDE COMMENT POLICY: All comments, pro and con, are welcome. However, ad hominem attacks and disrespectful epithets will not be tolerated (read: "posted"). After all, this isn’t Amazon.com, so I don’t have to put up with that kind of bovine excrement.