Tami Jackson, a Conservative author who has written numerous articles for various blogs and news sites, and is editor in chief of RightVoiceMedia and currently executive editor for BarbWire.com, hosts her own streaming radio show once again on the 405 Media out of Los Angeles.
She contacted me on Monday and asked if I would appear on her 405 radio show Tuesday night (7 PM Pacific) with guest Enes Smith, a former Tribal Police Chief for the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Indians of Oregon, as well as a detective, homicide investigator and author of numerous mysteries available on Amazon — to the point where “Cold River Rising” has been optioned for film.
The topic is American law enforcement and the current war on cops, as most recently exemplified by a 39-year-old Seaside, Oregon police officer being killed this past Friday the 5th. From OregonLive.com:
A 13-year veteran of the Seaside Police Department was fatally shot while trying to arrest a career criminal with a history of assaulting officers, officials confirmed Saturday.
Sgt. Jason Goodding died Friday night after he and another officer attempted to take 55-year-old Phillip Ferry into custody, Clatsop County District Attorney Josh Marquis said during a morning news conference at Seaside City Hall.
They were trying to arrest Ferry on a warrant tied to an earlier assault on a police officer, said Sgt. Kyle Hove, an Oregon State Police spokesman.
He is survived by his wife and two young daughters. A husband and a father dies because of an individual who has a history of targeting law enforcement officers. If convicted, the suspect will receive much street cred and respect in prison for having murdered a police officer.
Enes Smith knew Sgt Goodding personally.
Oddly enough I have been to Seaside. My wife and I drove there during our honeymoon in 2007. We stayed in Astoria but traveled to visit the Seaside Aquarium.
American law enforcement is in a state of flux right now. There are major societal pressures on law enforcement from many directions.
There are those in Chicago who say there simply shouldn’t be any police presence in the city, as incredible as that may seem. They want the Chicago PD defunded. A Portland officer was removed from his position when he Tweeted off duty that he had to “babysit these fools” later, referring to Black Lives Matter protesters. Repeat: he made that remark off duty, on his own time. Sorry. No freedom of speech for cops.
There is, contrasting, no problem with Black Lives Matter chanting about” pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon.”
I asked, “who is responsible for the war on cops?” I wrote: Barack Hussein Obama.
Obama sets the tone and the pace for the administration in DC and, by dint of that, the tone for the rest of those who follow he and his fellow political Leftists.
Trayvon Martin became Barack Hussein Obama’s son. Obama didn’t have all the facts but proclaimed Martin a victim. Zimmermann was found not guilty, though Obama had already found him guilty.
Obama stated with Bully Pulpit firmness that the Cambridge Police Department “acted stupidly” in the arrest of professor Henry Gates, though Obama didn’t have all the facts. Gates, by the way, just “happened” to be a personal black friend of Obama’s.
Obama’s attitude of Officer Darren Wilson was that of guilt, though Wilson was never indicted or charged. Wilson’s life was, however, ruined forever though not convicted of any crime.
Holder had the opportunity to make a statement when Black Panthers barricaded the polls in Philadelphia with weapons they carried, but Holder refused to take any actions whatsoever.
Obama has fanned racist flames, whenever he could, in Ferguson and in Baltimore. It’s no secret that he wants to federalize police nationally.
Hold that thought. We’ll get back to it.
On the other hand, a black male was baldly murdered for taking leg bail on a white police following a traffic stop. That cop, University of Cincinnati Police Officer Ray Tensing, now in fact does face murder charges for the killing of Sanuel DuBose in July of 2015. DeKalb County (GA) Police Officer Robert Olsen was indicted for murder in January of this year involving the shooting of Anthony Hill, a naked black man with PTSD. A Portsmouth (VA) police officer, Stephen Rankin, was indicted for murder in September of 2015 for the shooting death of William Chapman, a black young man, stemming from a shoplifting call at a WalMart when Chapman charged at the officer
These are the exceptions and not the rule. This doesn’t count Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson who was not charged at all after the shooting of Michael Brown, as well as countless other officers uncharged in various shootings around the country. This also doesn’t take into account the white males who have been shot and killed at the hands of black police officers — a fact entirely unaddressed by media.
Statistically, roughly 5% of police shootings fall under circumstances that are questionable according to the Washington Post. The vast majority of individuals shot and killed by police officers were armed with guns and killed after attacking police officers or civilians or making other direct threats. Of the 960 people killed by police in 2015, 564 were armed with a gun. 281 were armed with another weapon. Almost half have been white, a quarter have been black and one-sixth have been Hispanic.
Fact: doctors kill roughly 400,000 people per year in the United States. Doctors are the #3 killer in the US, right behind heart disease and cancer.
In Ferguson, Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, New York, even in my own department, officers are being assaulted, shot and/or killed and some are literally ambushed and assassinated, such as NYPD Detectives Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu.
On October 24th of last year, my department lost Deputy Danny Oliver, who was shot and killed during a suspicious person contact adjacent a motel. That same suspect fled that scene, shot a civilian, and then killed Placer County Sheriff’s Detective Michael Davis Jr a short time later. Detective Michael David Davis Jr. was killed 26 years — to the day — after his own law enforcement father was killed. Both deputies were slain by a Mexican national who had been deported twice and had drug arrests.
The Ferguson Effect isn’t simply a phrase, it’s a phenomenon that is, I believe, a contributing factor — amongst many — to the rise in crime rates across the nation. Even FBI Director James Comey believes there is such a thing as the Ferguson Effect. My department is not exempt from it. Deputies are having to consider not only the physical officer survival aspects of the job, but the career survival aspects as well. What are the, now, political ramifications of doing something on a call? Certainly, officers are responding to calls for service. But trust me when I tell you that what is termed “self-initiated activity” is plummeting. Good or bad, that is a fact.
This is occurring as, in general, the populace seems to culturally be turning more to port, whilst cops tend to be representative of a mid-to-starboard rudder position.
There is a general disrespect for authority and a specific disrespect for police, where the most recent public display occurred by Beyonce during the Super Bowl halftime, in full support of Black Lives Matter by way of the Black Panthers.
In front of a TV audience of one billion, her dancers paraded in outfits similar to controversial activists the Black Panthers. They also raised their fists in an apparent tribute.
The tiides have changed to the point where it is acceptable to denigrate the police during the Super Bowl. And most persons are sufficiently ignorant as to be completely unaware.
Body cams for police officers will change everything. There are large issues with body cameras and there are many varieties from which to choose. Officers are already accustomed to dash cameras, many of which have an audio microphone placed on the officer themselves.
Video has changed the landscape for police officers nationally. Not only are cameras everywhere, from freeways to intersections to bank ATMs to businesses far and wide. Video cameras are in public transportation, buses, trucks and locomotives. They are endemic. It is customary now to video police, pushing the police as much as possible solely for video reactions. YouTube is replete with examples, mostly focused upon “bad cops.”
Body cams create a lack of privacy for police that no one quite yet knows how to resolve. When do you turn the cams on and off? Who has an expectation of privacy regarding police body cams? What about citizens on mundane report calls? Their children, visiting neighbors or friends, people entirely uninvolved with a given call for service?
Will cops be videoed urinating, defecating? Because, as an attorney, I can make an excellent argument that, unless turned on at the beginning of watch and only turned off at end of watch, “your officer specifically chose when to activate his camera to the detriment of my client.” You see where I am going, I presume.
This is monitoring on an ultra scale, and does not even address the issue of expense, time and space. Body cameras are not cheap. The Denver Police Department has estimated a cost of $6.1 million taxpayer dollars to outfit their agency. Then there is the issue of storage, mandating huge servers and huge space requirements. Baltimore estimates a cost of $2.6 million dollars per year just for storage. Then: how long do you keep your video take? Where and how do you keep it? And moreover, who can see it, when, where, and why?
That last question has huge connotations and unanswered issues.
Then there is the physical issue of uploading. Police vehicles already outfitted with dashcams are generally automatically and wirelessly connected to police station servers at end of watch. Some downloads are easy, some are difficult. Police vehicles have been taken out of service for subsequent shifts because their uploads have not completed. That already occurs in my department.
There is also the issue of comparing styles of police enforcement. More and more US cops are being compared to England and other European countries who do not arm or minimally arm their police. Norway, for example, recently decided to disarm their officers completely. Again.
In the face of greater terror threats, ISIS, Syrian refugees, I believe this philosophy will not pay off for the lawful citizens of European nations. Many EU nations are already wishing they had their own version of the Second Amendment.
People — and Obama — want US cops “de-militarized” despite the fact they are true first responders. Not the FBI, not FEMA, not the national guard. Your local law enforcement. Yet Mr Obama and some citizens want police agency to give back their “scary equipment” like free MRAPs, military nylon equipment, ballistic helmets, dark boots and those even-more-frightening black rifles with funny thingies protruding all over. They all look scary. But they have been historically free from the US government as military surplus.
Funny thing: Mr Obama wants police departments to give back their scary equipment, but doesn’t mind leaving thousands and thousands of tons of equipment behind in the Middle East for ISIS to wrest from the grip of former allies of the US — to include MRAPs and its variables, Hummers, automatic weapons, shoulder-fired weapons, explosives and a host of armored vehicles to even include tanks. Yes, there are US tanks now being driven and controlled by ISIS.
The Syrian refugee issue IS coming to the US, and just as what you see in Europe could easily happen here. Mr Obama wants Syrian refugees imported into the US and that is already in occurring. Ask any Texan. With that importation comes the myriad problems associated with those young war-age males who bring no skills, no training, and entirely different and frequently incompatible cultural values.
There is also a push to re-train US cops like officers from Sweden and Scotland. Major unmentioned differences between these nations include a history of gangs, a history of multiple groups and ethnicities, our western manifest destiny with firearms, and the size of the population and minimal comparative resources available.
There is the issue of the mentally ill. Training. The never-ending threat of those with mental problems, juveniles, those with no concept of mortality or death. I told my trainees there was almost nothing more dangerous than a mentally deficient male juvenile with a firearm. I would have been inclined to the drop the hammer on a person of that type more readily than most anyone else. A tough concept to swallow but based in reality.
We decided in the 60s to stop housing our mentally ill in buildings away from the population in general. Good or bad, there are now thousands of mentally ill persons walking the streets, involved in crime, encountering officers, being arrested, and only receiving treatment for whatever brief periods they remain in national jails — then released back onto the streets.
Just because someone is mentally ill doesn’t make them less dangerous to the officer on the street and playing the “mentally ill card” seems to, more and more, excuse citizens and damn cops for force and violence between the two.
All along, there is huge, massive competition by law enforcement agencies for grants and assets they normally otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford.
There is also the Millennial Recruit issue — soldier veterans vs civilian recruits. Cops are only as good as their surrounding agency gene pool. We have to remember that Millennials — unless they served in the military — have seldom if ever been struck in anger. You can train and train, but we are seeing that cops want to avoid going “hands-on” with a potential suspect as much as possible. This is being reinforced by societal and agency administrative reactions. Injured or killed cops cost money.
Millennials also aren’t familiar with many of the psychomotor skills and aspects of law enforcement required to do the job, such as EVOC (few Millennials, if they drive, drive large chassis vehicles), firearms range training and hands-on weaponless arrest tactics.
Millennials have no loyalty to jobs, change jobs, are into jobs for the working conditions first, and money a bit down the line. How kindly and considerately they are treated by supervisors and managers makes the greatest difference to them. What kind of car they get to drive, can they wear a beard, wear shorts, what kind of gun will they get to carry — those are all important aspects to Millennial recruits. In their first weeks of training they will ask when they can take vacation days. Their drive for patience and sacrifice is lacking. Hand them a graveyard shift with crappy days off and few vacation days — well, that becomes a death knell.
Law enforcement realized many years ago that risk management has a great deal to do with police conduct, planning and training. Because there are more attorneys per square inch in the United States, much of what law enforcement does is predicated upon their fiscal exposure to suits and resulting case law. Gordon Graham was a man ahead of his time but still makes massive sense.
Law enforcement can still do better with its Risk Management. Gordon Graham rules that venue with his Seven Rules of Risk Management and High Risk/Low Frequency incidents. Liability, lawsuits, massive awards; all a part of law enforcement because of deadly potential consequences on so many calls.
Of course there are common sense applications to cop work. To any job. Common sense is how I operated as a cop and as a Sergeant. I am an Oathkeeper, and a believer in keeping law enforcement as simple as possible — a very difficult task in the face of ever-changing and sometimes diminishing societal mores — but still do-able.
Wrap that all up in the average time at any given law enforcement call for service, where you have roughly 10 or 15 minutes to solve a set of problems that may have been growing and festering, sometimes, for weeks, months, maybe five, ten, sometimes twenty years.
A wise old Sergeant named Bill Roberts said something to me a long time ago that held then and holds now. He said, “kid, there are only three things you need to do to have a good career. Tell the truth. Do your job. Don’t be malicious.”
True then and true now.
There was a time when, literally — as I was told in the early 70s by a grizzled veteran of the Sacramento Police Department — the police academy was held in the shed of the Rose Garden of McClatchy Park for two weeks and, on their first day, they were handed the keys to a car and a shotgun.
Those days are gone, as well they should be.
We know that law enforcement is in the midst of a very important and perhaps potentially radical paradigm shift.
How radical? Here is potentially the most important, as the advocacy wave is growing. What wave? The one where all national law enforcement shootings — and perhaps even all use of force incidents — are investigated by the federal government.
Trust me when I tell you that this will be the next trend in law enforcement.
In spite of these trends, there is hope. Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke is a standout law enforcement administrator, as are Sheriff’s Joe Arpaio and Paul Babeu.
In closing, there are three things I know that are eternally immutable.
- I am a Sheepdog. For those of you who don’t know what that is, click the link. I took an oath as a law enforcement officer and, even though I am retired, my oath has no expiration date. I will defend my Constitution and foundational documents against all enemies, foreign and domestic, to my last breath.
- If you want more cops, buy ’em.
- Finally: society gets the kind of law enforcement it wants and deserves.
If the US keeps on its current path, it is going to get the kind of law enforcement it deserves.