'The true Soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because He loves what is behind him.' -G. K. Chesterton

19 April 2013

Some Folks Need To Get A Grip - A Rant

It's over. One is dead and the other is in custody. The cops were unbelievably magnificent. I know this is quick but if you'd indulge me for a minute I'd like to touch on what has rapidly become a sore spot for me concerning those very cops. It's really bugging me.

In perusing my blogroll and the various links and musings I have unfortunately run across more than a few who have decided that the events in Watertown, Boston and their environs constituted an occupation worthy of the Waffen SS. Yes, at least one site and it's commenters used those very words. Waffen SS. Just allow that to wash over you for a moment. Please excuse my word usage here but I'm seeing red at the moment. I really shouldn't be posting on this topic at this moment but I am a man of deep feelings and I refuse to pull punches when I think they're appropriate and necessary. The F word will be used liberally.

This wasn't a case of an armed robbery gone wrong and a suspect running loose. It wasn't a domestic violence gone bad with a significant other on the lam. It wasn't a car jacking. We used to have a name for those guys; Common Decent Criminals. Yes they are dangerous. Yes they often times killed including firing on those officers pursuing them and occasionally stray passersby. But they weren't terroristic animals who would place a bomb next to an 8 year old boy. They didn't routinely throw bombs out of a moving car willy nilly. They didn't desire to rack up the highest body count before they were finally killed in an orgy of evil, death and violence. They weren't actively working for the forces of evil arrayed against all we love and hold dear. They weren't the Enemies of America. These two scumbags were.

This was two guys who wanted to kill the maximum number of people possible and then die themselves. Want to remember what Chechen terrorists are capable of? Here ya go.  The police reacted swiftly and appropriately. Locking down the scene was the right thing to do. This wasn't a local cordon it was a desperate attempt to cut off, find and neutralize two of the most desperate and dangerous foes one can imagine. Errors weren't allowed. Miscalculations carried the highest imaginable penalties. Cutting off transportation was the right thing to do. Requiring people to stay in their homes and businesses was the right thing to do. Calling in every available officer and piece of equipment was the right thing to do. It's called Calling In The Clans and if was absofuckinglutely the right thing to do.

This was a pig pile writ large and it was absolutely and positively the right thing to do. Witness the near total lack of civilian casualties. Witness the superb use of force control. Yes, it's horrifying to see a modern American city in total lockdown but it was still the right thing to do. Welcome to the 21st Century and what a nearly perfect police response to active terrorist shooters looks like.

Ask the people of Mumbai if what we saw in Boston was excessive. Those who survived anyway. How many of them would have welcomed such an immediate and forceful response from their own police forces with open arms and tears of joy? The Mumbai cops were a pathetic joke and people were killed because of it. It's not oppression it's fucking WAR and that war is in our neighborhoods even as we speak. It's not a fucking army of occupation taking over and running roughshod over the Constitutional rights of the people. Give me a fucking break. Yes it is bad. No it is not unconstitutional or evil of reminiscent of the Third fucking Reich. And the cops have sent a very clear message to our enemies. We ain't Mumbai. You screw around over here and we'll hunt your asses down and do it quick.

This, this very thing is one of the biggest reasons we have the Second Amendment and why I support it so vehemently. But we don't go hunting the bad guys. We hunker down and protect ours and allow the men and women we have hired and sworn in to do the job we have asked them to do. I want to see the lights and hear the sirens and watch as my police officers march to the sound of the guns. Isn't that what we expect them to do? This isn't common crime its an act of War and the responding Massachusetts police were fucking magnificent. I have never been prouder of my brothers and sisters in blue and fuck anyone who doesn't like it.

Listen, anyone who has even casually perused my blog and writings knows that I don't hesitate to criticize my fellow police officers when warranted. No one is a bigger critic of police corruption and incompetence than I am. But this incident contained none of that. This was a job well done with the correct outcome. The only people who were killed and injured were the terrorists and the cops. What more can we ask? If the blood of two cops is insufficient then I don't know what to say. I hate that one of my brothers was killed with another fighting for his life in the hospital but if you ask any officer worth his or her salt they'd tell you that it was worth the sacrifice. I have said many times that if the situation calls for it then an officer is obligated to take the bullet and even die in the performance of their duties. That happened here exactly. This response should be applauded not sneered at by imbeciles and those who wouldn't understand what a tactical requirement and textbook deployment looks like if it was spelled out in their primary reader. The Mass cops were swift, careful, courageous, decisive and on the ball. The scene commander was more than competent. The responders did all the right things without ever shooting someone they weren't supposed to even with two of their own down. I salute each and every one of those cops and hold my own honor short simply because I wasn't there standing by their sides. I am in awe of them all.

So. I have again removed a couple of blog links. No, I didn't leave them a comment. I have no patience for fools and refuse to engage them in useless argument. If you are one of those who look at the police response in Boston and Watertown as something Orwellian or Totalitarian then please just leave me the hell alone. I don't want to know you and for damn sure I don't want to be associated with you in any way. I'll take the blog down first. Yes, I am that angry at the moment. My brothers and sisters in Law Enforcement and the Military who also responded did an absolutely wonderful job in the most difficult and chaotic environment one could imagine. If you can't see that then just fucking piss off.


Update:  "some officers were out of ammunition and charged the brothers’ position with their police car." 
 "While Tamerlan Tsarnaev was firing a pistol with the other hand, police tackled and tried to subdue the 200-pound amateur boxer."
Yeah, sure sounds like jackbooted thugs to me.
ht: Ace


Murphy's Law said...

Amen, my Brother. Got your back 100% on this one.

Six said...

Thanks ML. I knew I could count on you.

Tango said...

I have a question about your viewpoint, then. Your post does poke a stick into a hornet's nest, but then again sometimes that needs to happen I suppose. My question, though, is:

Why is it acceptable for multiple towns to be on lockdown with searches happening where there's been no permission nor warrants granted, door to door, and threats of arrest if people leave their homes? How can that possibly pass any kind of Constitutional muster?

Ok, I apologize. That was multiple questions.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

When you are right,you are right.

Murphy's Law said...

Hey Tango...you might want to look up the phrase "Exigent Circumstances". That pretty much covers it.

Warlock Sundance said...


Tango said...

Entire cities? Just because there are KNOWN to be criminals in an area doesn't mean you can stop and search everybody. How about a warrant from a Judge that allowed them to put multiple towns under martial law?

Tango said...

What about the threats of arrest if people left their homes? Left work to go home? Decided they wanted something from the grocery store?

Keads said...

Six, I have never been on the pointy end of the spear as they say. Yes I have observed the Blogs running around. As always the problem is perceptions of a problem as "shades of gray" as opposed to "black and white".

No matter. The majority of people that take the oath put the Badge and duty belt on day in and day out deserve our thanks. Period.

A well authored post my friend. One of your best IMHO.

RabidAlien said...

Amen. Totally agreed.

Tango, as stated in the post, this wasn't some guy who just robbed a 7-11 or snatched a purse. These were two dedicated individuals who had demonstrated, at the marathon, that they had absolutely ZERO regard for human life. They hijacked a car and drove around tossing bombs randomly out the windows. The lockdown was FOR THE SAFETY OF THE PUBLIC. It was to keep people inside, remove the threat of hostage situations and more random innocents being killed. The suspect has been found and taken into custody...and the lockdown is over. I'm sitting in my room, and two rooms away I can still hear the cheers of crowds out on the streets as my wife keeps the news going (for whatever reason...there hasn't been anything new said in quite a while). Now, if someone wants to go complain to a judge, they're more than welcome to. At which point any judge with half a brain will look at the idiot and point out the fact that, while they were inconvenienced for a day or so, THEY ARE STILL ALIVE TO COMPLAIN. After natural disasters, similar measures are taken. Its called "martial law" and is declared for the safety of the public. The authorities and Boys in Blue took the necessary steps to ensure that only they would be out on the streets, moving targets for these two psychopaths. Its their job, as Six pointed out, and in this case, they performed admirably. My hat's off to you guys.

Six said...

I think Murphy's Law and RabidAlien have covered it pretty well Tango but let me come at it this way.

In any police action officers may take control of the scene to provide for public safety, capture felons and preserve evidence. There isn't any limit on scene size that I am aware of. Law enforcement, in a scenario like this one, has two primary duties. Preserve life and apprehend felons. Under those strictures they're allowed quite a bit of leeway and given pretty broad authority. Even the LEGAL authority to give TEMPORARY lawful orders to the general public in times of crisis. Those orders may take many forms from 'leave the area' to 'stay in your homes'. It is perfectly legal for an officer to take control of a scene. It's in fact required. The governor has the Constitutional authority to order a temporary cessation of public transportation. This was a case where both the Governor and local police authorities exercised their Constitutional authority to take control of a chaotic and critical scene and manage it as they saw fit with public safety in mind. So long as the inconveniences were temporary no Constitutional violations are triggered. They are just that, temporary inconveniences that allow for the lawful completion of public safety measures to apprehend violent criminals currently in the act. Exigent Circumstances also gives police broad powers to control the local scene. They can enter a home absent a search warrant to apprehend fleeing suspects or perform an immediate rescue. In this case the local scene covered the city of Watertown and the surrounding environs. You can consult with a lawyer about this but you'll get much the same information Murphy's Law, RabidAlien and I have given you. It was legal and expected behavior by the civilian authorities and I happen to think they performed them superbly.

instinct said...

Bravo, Six.

Six said...

Thanks my friend.

Rody said...

Well stated, clear and concise. As a vet and firearms instructor I thank you for the thoughtful articulation and candid view.

Six said...

Thanks Rody. It's much appreciated.

OldAFSarge said...

Six, ya nailed it. People tend to forget that we're at war. These two scumbags made war on innocent civilians. Our law enforcement in Massachusetts responded beautifully and professionally. My hat is off to those brave men and women. Well done! Bravo Zulu! Outstanding!

Six said...

Thanks Sarge and I wholeheartedly agree. They were outstanding indeed.

Daphne said...

Bravo Six!

I trend libertarian and even I'm disgusted by the anti-cop, conspiracy theory idiocy, American's live under a totalitarian government line of bullshit permeating many conservative/libertarian sites.

These police officers did their very best to find the suspects and keep their city safe. They put themselves at great risk for their neighbor's benefit.

We all accept the human reality that a few cops will behave like the devil's spawn, but the vast majority won't - they're good men and women just trying to do a decent job in a necessary public service position.

I am so sick of the Libertarians bone stupid, constant complaints about cops. They just sound like a bunch of dumb, cranky assholes.

Big hugs, Six.

Six said...

Daphne!! Thank you for weighing in on this. You know how much I value your common sense and intellect.

Big hugs right back at ya!!

B said...

You guys all have the wrong attitude....While cooperation is a good idea, Obeying the police is not, and should not be mandatory.

Attitudes like this were, no doubt held by every leader who did establish a police state.

You have forgotten the fact that you are there to serve the public, not the other way around.

Jacksonian Grouch said...

This link shows that homes were searched by force, that families were pulled from their homes involuntarily.


Six said...

I think you have the wrong attitude B. Why is obeying the police in a time of crisis wrong? The idea that the police are always wrong and whatever they do is bad moronic and simpleminded. The cops were going to get criticized to matter what they did. They chose the public's safety over their own. I think they served the people exactly as they were supposed to.

I can play that game too Grouch.
Here's a link showing the citizens lining the street and cheering their cops.

If that's the best you two can do it's frankly pathetic.

Jacksonian Grouch said...

well, six - far be it from to argue from an incomplete frame of reference. So i'll try to walk the line which you seem to be referencing.

Your response shows a pro-police crowd. The Video I downloaded showed an unlawful, unwarranted entry into a citizens home, where they were cowed into submission and walked out, hands up, with guns pointed at them or at the ready to brought into battery mode. I guess you're telling me that you thought my video was anti-cop... and you call this a "game"? Or, for that matter, you presume that my video is a condemnation of every cop, of all LEO's... is that what you think you are countering?

But let me continue - one video is an extended observation of an act which is unconstitutional - the other is a reaction of relief from a local populace happy that a threat has been abated. Different places, from the looks of the neighborhood, even a different time.

Do you think it's possible that maybe the 2nd video, many if not all the people did not know about the contents of the first?

Do you think it's possible that a video showing LEO's in a negative light might be - ahem - a little "late" in getting published, if not outrightly suppressed (like we haven't seen that before)?

But never mind about my what-if's... I'm a hunch you won't see it that way. I invite you then, to look at the people in the first video. You know, the other people, that were at the end of the street. Were they applauding? What do you think their state of mind was at what they were witnessing?

And finally, what of the people coming out of the house being faced with threatening arms at 1/2 battery, loud voices implying use of threat if they did not comply... what do you think their state of mind was?

When you're ready to have an adult conversation about this, send up a post that has a bit more depth.


Six said...

Ok Grouch. Let's have a conversation.
What led up to the events in your video? What happened that preceded that event? What was the mindset of the officers? Give me details not a video with no context. You can make it out to be anything you'd like but that don't make it true. While you're criticizing me take a moment and go on the left side of my blog under the tags column and hit on the one marked police. Read some of the criticisms I've made about my own profession. Then come on back and we'll talk. If all you're interested in doing is making knee jerk accusations without knowing facts then I guess we won't have much to talk about. If you're really interested in having a conversation and perhaps learning just a bit about policing in America then I'm ready if you are.

Jacksonian Grouch said...

sounds good, six - but get a tougher skin, ok? If you call someone pathetic on scant info, then you're gonna get some thrown back at ya.

Which weren't knee jerk btw, but I guess that's a matter of opinion.

To your points: I have about as much reliable background and context on the first video as I do on the second.

Given that lack of context (for both), what about my characterization of the video points - about the body language, the bearing of weapons, the fear of the family being forced out - you do not find those characterizations to be reasonable?

No need to look your previous comments six; I am not argueing with YOU; I am argueing your comments.

In fact, let me go one further. I don't know you, so I won't... I can't criticize you. We can discuss; agree or disagree, and when it's the latter I make my points, you make yours.

Just like a townhall, among citizens, among free men. Free Americans.

Now, having gotten that out of the way, my postulate in this discussion is:

Unless a law enforcement officer has a warrant to enter my home, or I have invited him to enter, he will NOT invade my home.

I know that LEO's won't know me from Adam, and a great stress for those on the job is to decide whether I'm Joe Citizen or Abdul the IED guy. That distinction, or the need to make such a decision (... which will then affect how they treat me...) is one for the public venue, and not my home.

The other side of the coin is, how do I know if the LEO is upstanding, an honest man, an Oathkeeper? How do I know he isn't a scumbag who will abuse the authority vested in him, and treat me or my family like vassals, all at the point of a gun?

I don't, and that's why I don't let him in my home. Not without a warrant.

Does this cover everything, every scenario? No. We both know that. But what I saw in that video, and it was of sufficient duration (... coupled with other correlating reports from the web about similar events/abuses...) that I interpret it as I've shared here.

Not all cops violate Constitutional rights. Vast majority are good men working a tough job to the best of their ability, and I support them 100%. It's my belief, based on what I've described here, that THOSE cops in that VIDEO disregarded the Constitution, essentially acted as thugs with their proverbial jackboot upon the necks of the innocent.

The oath to support and defend the Constitution has no expiration date, six. Mine is good until the good Lord calls me home on my final PCS orders.


Six said...

Don't tell me to get a tougher skin Ok? You don't know me and you never will. You have no idea of either my temperament nor history. I have stood nose to nose with folks who called me every vile name you can think of without so much as twitching. I have wrestled a much larger man for possession of the gun he was trying to kill me with just so I wouldn't have to shoot him. I have stood point in a riot and took no action as I was pelted with rocks, bottles and assorted hard objects. That's a damn poor way to start a conversation.

Ok then.

You're just wrong when you say that the police must have a warrant to enter your house. There are exceptions to that rule like exigent circumstances. You may not like that but it's a fact not wishful thinking. You. Are. Wrong. Period. Dot. I really hope you don't find that out the hard way.

You say that part about the oath and I've seen the same mentioned in other places and not with respectful intent. The clear implication is that you question my own faith to that same oath I've taken now 4 times. I remember and keep my oath but I also know and understand the law.

I have decided to take you up on your challenge. There will be a new open thread post up later today (I hope. If not tomorrow for sure). In it I explain my view of what happened and why. Drop by and we'll continue this conversation there. It's open so if you're of a mind invite your friends. I have and I'm sure we'll have a good old fashioned slobber knocker and a good time will be had by all.

I do not either dislike you nor hold you or your views in contempt Grouch. You're just wrong is all :)

I will give you the last word here but I hope you'll continue on the open thread post.

Jacksonian Grouch said...

Kindly provide details of what exigent circumstances are really like then. I can hit the lawbooks, or wiki, get a quick down on it, but you're a LEO, so it stands to reason that you have real world experience on this aspect, including when it is to be used, under what circumstances, and when it is not to be used.

Also, what reasons - post-act, as the action clearly takes place sans warrant - must be in place to justify the intrusion under exigent circumstances?

You know this pretty strongly... so educate me.


Jacksonian Grouch said...


Six, there is no clear implication. I won't tell you to get a tough skin, fair enough... but you sure do get prickly awful quick! :-)

Six said...

Look, do you want to have this discussion or do you want to just fling personal insults at me? If it's the former then stay on topic. If the latter then just say so and let the poo flinging commence.

Here's the legal definition of Exigent Circumstances as defined by the US Supreme Court:

Exigent circumstances are, 'Those circumstances that would cause a reasonable person to believe that entry (or other relevant prompt action) was necessary to prevent physical harm to the officers or other persons, the destruction of relevant evidence, the escape of a suspect, or some other consequence improperly frustrating legitimate law enforcement efforts.'
United States v. McConney, 728 F.2d 1195, 1199 (9th Cir.).

The Supreme Court has upheld even routine warrantless seizures 'where there is probable cause to believe that a criminal offense has been or is being committed'.
Devenpeck v. Alford, 543 U.S. 146 (2004)

For the street cop it's a case by case basis. I've run into houses in hot foot pursuit of felons and I've busted down a door when I heard shots fired within after a 911 call. I've also evacuated neighborhoods due to a very large forest fire.

"Also, what reasons - post-act, as the action clearly takes place sans warrant - must be in place to justify the intrusion under exigent circumstances?"

I'm not sure I understand what you're asking but I'll take a swing. Let me know if I misunderstood.
There is no post-act in this scenario. Once we have moved past the act then we're into a situation where the police must simply secure the scene and wait for a warrant. What we're talking about (Or rather what I've been talking about) is active scenes, where there is imminent danger, etc. as cited above.

I'd really like to switch this debate over to the next post. I have a buddy doing some fact checking on that post for me but it should be up soon. If you don't mind and are still in the mood for this discussion I'd like to ask you to wait for just a bit until I can get it posted.

Six said...

One last thing here then I'm saving the rest of my ammo for the next post. Contrary to what any might believe officers are indeed held responsible for their actions in the case of exercising the Exigent Circumstances exception to the Fourth Amendment. Cases are tossed and officers can be held civilly and criminally liable for mistakes and errors in judgement or overreaches.

Tango said...

When is the last time that's happened, though? Katrina is the only time I can think of... otherwise, "Qualified Immunity" raises its head.

Did the cops answer for their crimes in LA with those two pickups? No, qualified immunity. You and I both know that the chance of a civilian getting charges brought up against an officer and actually going anywhere close to a trial are slim and none.

Tango said...

I don't have criticism for the police... just the actions of some of them. This incident is one such incident that I don't enjoy (could you tell?) Everybody knows that the vast majority of police are awesome folks making a dollar to feed their kids. We also know that by and large, the entries were good and either warranted or permitted by the homeowner. Nobody is arguing that. JG presents a video that shows illegal entries. You present a video that shows lauding the cops. BOTH of them are accurate, but the one thing you're not considering is that the videos do not perform a 'balancing act' of sorts. The good does not outweigh the bad. You're right that we do not know the circumstances around the first video, but even though there's no proof... we know what the video shows. It shows exactly what we think it shows: People being forced out of their home at gunpoint without a warrant or evidence that they are harboring the criminal.

Maybe I'm a jerk, but I would have either been arrested or they would have shown a warrant before they would come into my home. Had I been forcefully removed, a lawsuit would go nowhere (qualified immunity) and it would only end in my spending money with nothing to show for it. That's how it works. The people have no recourse in matters like this with few exceptions.

Six said...

I can't argue that with you Tango, it's a valid point. But I will give you my anecdotal experiences.

I lived in fear of Internal Affairs (IA) Not because I was a bad cop but because even a false complaint could get you a jacket and a jacket could get you censured or even fired. Don't go only by what you see in the big departments. Most law enforcement is small agencies and their standards tend to be different from LA and New Orleans. Smaller depts. tend to take such far more seriously than the bigger ones do. That's not an excuse for the inexcusable just a reminder that this coin does indeed have two sides.

I have seen officers sued successfully. I have seen officers fired for corruption, dereliction, etc. I have seen complaints upheld on the flimsiest of evidence simply because the department gave more weight to the citizen's testimony than it did to their own officer. I don't say that bitterly, I happen to agree with all of it. I happen to believe we need to be held a higher standard and we should suffer the consequences if we fail. My point is that in spite of the spectacular cases and failures a system of redress does exist. The system works no matter what the naysayers want you to believe.

instinct said...

I just want to throw this in. Officers risked their live to save the lives of their fellow citizens, even though the courts have ruled that they don't have to do so

“There is no constitutional right to be protected by the state against being murdered by criminals or madmen. It is monstrous if the state fails to protect its residents against such predators but it does not violate the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, or, we suppose, any other provision of the Constitution. The Constitution is a charter of negative liberties; it tells the state to let the people alone; it does not require the federal government or the state to provide services, even so elementary a service as maintaining law and order.” –Bowers v. Devito, 686 F.2d 616 (7th Cir. 1982)

Yep, all the police really are required to do is clean up the mess afterwards, and yet they put themselves on the line for their fellow man.

They have families, friends, children and parents just like everyone else but unlike everyone else they step out every day to the possibility that their job may try to kill them.

Jacksonian Grouch said...

Six - telling you that you get prickly, and following that with a :-)... you call that flinging a personal insult??? You don't see the irony in that?

FWIW, the above is my last word on the subthread of imagined insult. You prob have a final comment on it; have at it - I won't address this side anymore.

you answered my question about accountability in your segue - in extremis acts once undertaken, should not be done so meekly. "In for a penny, in for a Pound" as our cousins across the pond put it. But once the moment of crisis has passed, then accountability and the judgement exercised by the law should and must be held to account.

Tango encpsulates this discussion in a straight shot - the good does not outweigh the bad.

Or, in the context of our discussion, the video applauding does not outweigh the violation conducted with the illegal entries/searches.


Six said...

Sigh. I'm quickly getting the idea that the prickly one here is you grouch. It's the height of arrogance to come here and deign to constantly lecture me on my behavior as if you're the authority on such and are therefore empowered to call others out based on your own personal perceptions of their personality. I'm a bit exasperated with you so I'll give this just one more try and respond in kind shall I?

You need to grow two things grouch, a thicker skin and a new brain. Your own skin is so paper thin you got offended at what I wrote simply because it was offered passionately and forcefully. You're obviously either thick headed or ignorant if you insist on tossing out a casual insult over your shoulder every time you leave my house and can't understand why I respond. Strong words frighten and intimidate you? That's too bad because I don't care. If I'm too strong a personality you are invited to depart and never return. Otherwise, if you're going to stick around here and engage with me you had best get a bit tougher because I tend to be pretty firm in my beliefs and there isn't an ounce of back up in me. Every time you try to bitch slap me I'm going to give it right back to you. Every time. No one comes to my house and drops shit bombs without getting called on it. Do you understand that? Am I being too subtle here? Frankly, at this point you strongly remind me of a five year old trying to argue with his big brother. You're wrong and to make up for the fact that you cannot win you resort to throwing in an insult every time you leave the room. Constantly calling me a poopy head just makes you look like an idiot and hardly convinces me that you're a serious person with whom I should engage. Stop smearing your feces on my couch grouch or fuck off and go away.

So. We can go at this one of two ways. If it's a poo flinging contest then simply do not bother. I'll simply delete any comment that contains such. If it's a serious discussion with points and facts and questions then I'm ready, willing and able.

And if you want to continue, take it to the next post Grouch.

Got it?

agirlandhergun said...

I know you know how much respect I hae for you and how much I value your insight, but I have to tell you watching people being yelled out and forced out of their house scared the crap out of me.

I have never had an issue with the police. have always respected them and valued what they sacrifice and do, but that should not give the right to whatever they want in the name of their safety.

I do not know what the answer is and I do not know enough about every law or circumstance to make a valid argument on either side, but frankly I was disturbed and horrified by many of the events that took place by the "good" guys in Boston.