Tag Archives: Cops

Black: the color of the month

Coming to you today from sunny Siesta Key in Sarasota, Florida. A beautiful place to visit and live, but not for me. That is, it’s not a community where I think I would feel comfortable living. Having lived in New York City, the melting pot of the world, and the culturally diverse D.C. Metro area, at times I can feel a little out of place when I notice that no matter where I go, I’m the only person of color. I also lived in Atlanta, Ga where blacks and whites appeared to get along, they just don’t live in the same neighborhoods. Where it seemed that every single Hispanic person in the metro area lived off of Buford Highway in Northeast Atlanta. In Siesta Key, the only place where I feel like I belong is at the beach where you can find a lot of people baking in the sun trying to get as brown as I am year round.

Now that we are on the topic of color – it seems that’s all that’s been on everyone’s mind for the last few weeks – is anyone out there familiar with the tragic death of Kenneth Chamberlain? Before I begin, I want to make a few things clear before the attacks begin by those that will accuse me of morphing into a cop hating, tree hugging, nigger loving liberal since my retirement. At the time of my retirement, I had been a cop for more than half of my life. I loved being a cop, and I still love my former and current brothers and sisters in blue. I have nothing but great admiration and respect for what it is that they do every day. Not many individuals can truly understand what being a cop is all about. I will always side with the cops when they are doing the right thing, even if in doing the right thing a mistake is made. Regardless of what some may think, cops are humans, and as a result, are sometimes fallible. Am I saying that cops who err while trying to do the right thing should not be punished? Of course not.

On the other hand, I refuse to defend cops who abuse their power and authority. I refuse to defend cops whose treatment of others is affected by bigotry and prejudice. I refuse to defend cops who commit crimes and miscarriages of justice against the same individuals who they have sworn to protect and to serve. The fact that we once wore the same uniform will not automatically shield you from my condemnations when your behavior and actions are suspect. You will receive no mercy nor quarter from me.

With that said, the preliminary information that I have been reading on the this case leads me to conclude so far that the conduct of the police in this incident is suspect to say the least. It’s one thing for someone like George Zimmerman to refer to a black person as a “fucking coon”. It’s another when the police refer to someone they are supposed to be helping as a “nigger”. I’m just curious to know how Kenneth Chamberlain, the man the police were called to help, turned into Kenneth Chamberlain the dangerous criminal. Please don’t tell me it was the moment when he refused to open the door for the police. He was within his legal rights to do so. Or was it when he allegedly charged at them with a knife in his hand?

I can’t help but think that like the Trayvon Martin case, there were some people who thought that the Kenneth Chamberlain case had also gone out with the trash. And I can’t help but think that the only reason the mainstream media is reporting on it now is that it’s the flavor of the month. Whatever the reason why, we should thank the ‘left wing’ websites for ensuring that these two cases get the prominence they rightfully deserve. If not for them, these cases would have been hauled off to the dump where the cases of people who have been murdered and don’t matter go to die.

Coffee and Doughnuts – News Roundup

A few of the stories that caught my eye today:

Long Island Cop Arrested for Allegedly Forcing Woman to Grope Him at Traffic Stop

Another stunning example of men in power abusing their authority. What is going on with politicians, celebrities, cops and their penises?

Homeless Drug Addict Arrested for Stabbing 82-year-old Grandmother

The real victims of our failed so called ‘war on drugs’. Drug addiction can be so powerful that 82 year old grandmas certainly don’t stand a chance. An overhaul of our failed drug policies is long over due.

Drug use among men arrested in DC falls

“These findings illustrate why we must approach our nation’s drug problem as a public health and safety problem,” the office’s director, Gil Kerlikowske, said in a statement. “Drug addiction is too often the root of crime in our communities.”

A big thank you to Gil Kerlikowske for enlightening us with this information that we already knew. Now how about telling us something that we don’t already know.

Kentucky Man Shoots 12-year-old in the Back

Seems like this guy in Kentucky must have been having a really bad day. So bad that he takes it out on a 12 year kid playing a prank by shooting him in the back with a shotgun.  That will teach that kid not to be playing childish pranks. What would the NRA say about this? “Guns don’t kill, people kill”. That includes the psychos who can easily get their hands on them.

Don’t bash the ‘stache

My wife suggested that I answer questions that some readers may have about cops and police work. I agreed and she has been soliciting questions from her friends for me. As a result of the response she’s gotten, I decided to incorporate a ‘Question of the Day’ feature on my blog. But I really don’t want to answer a question every day, and I’m full of shit if I think I’m going to have something thought provocative to write about every day. As I’ve stated before, this writing business is not easy. So, here’s the first entry in the ‘Question of the day cause I ain’t got shit to write about’ series. Maybe someone can come up with an acronym for me for the title of this feature.

This is the actual question. It’s really three questions in one but WTF:

Does he have a mustache? WTF is up with cops and mustaches?? Is that a requirement or something?

Does who have a mustache? My wife clarified that the reader is referring to me. I currently don’t sport a mustache but at one time I did. I shaved it off when people told me that it made me look like a Puerto Rican (which by the way I am). As far as I know, mustaches are not required accessories for cops. Most Police Departments do have guidelines in regards to personal grooming, e.g. the mustache cannot exceed the corners of your mouth. I wish they had guidelines for personal hygiene. I have ridden around in RMPs (Squad Cars) with some stinky cops. Good cops, but stinky nevertheless. As to WTF is up with cops and mustaches, I really don’t know but I’ll make a few guesses. I think some cops believe that it makes them look meaner and tougher, especially the ‘baby faced’ younger cops who are afraid of not being taken seriously cause they look like they’re 15 years old. And for those ‘baby faced’ cops, facial hair grows at a snail’s pace. Other than that I don’t know. Maybe for some cops, mustaches are like makeup for a really ugly woman and they think it hides the ugliness.

Police impersonators: what should I do?

Rather than just posting pieces about my opinions (which by the way I’m shocked that anyone reads), I thought that I would occasionally post a piece with some interesting and useful information. I don’t know how many times people have asked me what they should do should they ever have an encounter with police. Anything from what to do if I’m pulled over by a cop to what should I do if I or a member of my family is arrested. I want to make it clear that the following is my opinion based on my years of experience as a cop. I’m sure that there are active and retired cops who can add some additional tips to this posting or even offer totally different advice on what you should do. With that said, here goes.

In this case, what should I do if I suspect that the person who is trying to pull me over is not really a cop? A scary thought indeed. There are people on the streets who impersonate cops for the purpose of facilitating or committing a crime. Then there are those individuals who impersonate cops because they are ‘buffs’. What are ‘buffs’ you say? Buffs in some cases are just regular people who love cops. Then you have the buffs who are wannabe cops. These are the ones who may impersonate a police officer because they love to play cop. An obviously stupid thing to do, but in my experience they are harmless. However, whether it’s a mutt or a buff, they should be handled in the same manner.

Rule number 1 is don’t floor it and try to get away. It’s dangerous and can result in an accident which can cause serious injury. And if the person trying to pull you over is actually a cop, they’re going to be pretty pissed off once you do pull over. I’m not second guessing the advice given to the young lady by her stepdad in the article, but telling her to speed away is not something I would tell my daughter to do.

Slow down to a safe and reasonable speed. Some mutt who’s impersonating a cop and is trying to get you to pull over is in all likelihood not going to ram you off the road. They don’t want to bring any added attention to themselves, and they are not going to risk damaging and maybe disabling their only method of escape. They could be trying to jack you out of your Benz, so why damage it when they can just follow you, wait till you’re stuck at a red light and jack you there. If in fact it is a uniformed cop in an unmarked car, they will probably pull up beside you so that you can see that it’s really the police. If it’s plain clothes cops, they’re usually not out there working speeders, but they may have a reason for pulling you over. If you’re not pulling over and they are smart, they will probably request the assistance of a ‘marked unit’. Now if it’s a marked unit you’re refusing to pull over for, then you’re a moron.

Get on that cell phone that we all have in today’s day and age and dial 911. A smart 911 operator, and they usually are, will ask you several questions such as, where are you, what road are you on, direction of travel, and the make, model and color of the car that you’re in. They will also ask you to describe the car that is trying to get you to pull over and its occupant(s). Follow their instructions. And please, call 911, don’t waste time by calling someone who can’t be of any help.

If for some reason you don’t have a cell phone and you’re really unsure that it’s the police that’s trying to get you to pull over, look for a gas station or some other well lit area where there are lots of people and pull over there. If the officer is not in uniform or if uniform looks a little fugazy slightly crack open your window and ask to see their identification. Most uniformed police officers are required to also carry their identification cards. If they don’t or won’t, then ask them to request a supervisor to respond. If all else fails and they are trying to gain entry into your vehicle, just lay on the horn.

Whatever you do, don’t get out of your car unless you are certain that they are who they say they are. If for some reason you didn’t heed this advice and you got out of your car, don’t get into theirs unless, once again, you’re certain of who they are.

Contrary to what many people unfortunately believe, cops are not stupid (well most cops). Depending on the situation, they’re going to quickly realize that you may be being cautious due to the fact that you’re unsure of who’s trying to pull you over. A word of caution, don’t try their patience by continuing to drive for twenty miles while calling all of your FB friends seeking their advice. And please, don’t read this post and think you know now how to bust a cop’s cojones. Someone tried that on me once during the middle of the day while I was trying to pull him over in a marked car while in uniform. And then he had the audacity to tell me he didn’t think that I was a cop and that he was being cautious, all the while with a smirk on his face. Well I’m sure that the 8 summonses I banged him with removed all doubts as to the validity of my identity.

The bottom line is to remain calm, don’t panic, and use your head. You want to make smart decisions that are going to ensure your safety while not endangering the public or the cops. In some cases, the cop maybe a little pissed. That’s their problem, you just want to be safe. And in most cases, your failure to immediately pull over, if justified, is not going to always influence that cop’s decision to ticket you for the initial violation. More about what influences a cop’s decision to ticket you or not in a future post.

A Week Without Cops

After writing yesterday’s post I decided that I would take this holiday weekend off from writing. This writing thing isn’t as easy as I thought it would be. It’s hard taking on the mantle of writing thought-provoking pieces. It’s even harder when you’re trying to do this while hearing “Daddy I want, I want” 10 times in 10 seconds.

But I made the big mistake of getting on my laptop and making the morning rounds of my usual media outlets. I should have stopped there and gone out to play with the griller smoker that I purchased yesterday. But instead I ended up reading a blog post about a raid that the police in Columbia MO conducted on a house suspected of trafficking in drugs, marijuana in particular. The writer basically takes the position that it was police overkill. Here’s a snippet from his piece: “Cops dressed like soldiers breaking into private homes, tossing concussion grenades, training their guns on nonviolent citizens, and slaughtering dogs as a matter of procedure.” Are marijuana dealers any less dangerous than heroin dealers? Take a quick look at the Mexican drug cartels and you can answer that question. The crux of his piece and several others is how the ‘war on drugs’ is pointless and serves to only give the police the right to violate nonviolent drug dealing citizens of their rights.

Hey, he’s entitled to his opinion and so are his readers. After all, this is America. But what is troubling is the content of some of his readers’ comments such as:

“…this kind of thing will continue unless and until someone takes action against the perpetrators AT THEIR HOMES. This may not sound nice or pleasant, but I’ve got to call it like I see it. It’s just the way it is. Either nobody takes any retaliatory action and this stuff continues, or some folks do take some retaliatory action and some degree of deterrence is achieved. As of now, there is NO deterrence whatsoever.”

The perpetrators that this individual is suggesting retaliatory action be taken against are, of course, the cops and their families.

So I thought about this for a moment and what pops into my head is a movie that I saw several years ago titled, “A Day Without a Mexican” whose premise is that one day, all of the Latinos have inexplicably disappeared from the state of California, leaving everybody else to do the jobs they used to do.

My proposal is not to just have a day without cops but a week. Not just cops but everyone who is a member of a Law Enforcement Agency. And while were at it, let’s include the criminal justice profession, prosecutors, judges, court officers, correction officers, parole and probation officers. What the heck, let’s throw in the firemen, they often get a raw deal too. Anyone who’s part of this horribly oppressive, unnecessary system that’s apparently standing in the way of everybody’s freedom and liberty.

Just like in the movie, this will be unannounced. Americans will wake up one morning to find that all of the people who protect and serve them have decided to take a week off in protest of how underappreciated they are and for how too long they have been taken for granted, that they are sick and tired of being labeled as thugs and criminals as a result of the actions of few who disgrace the uniform or the office.

Frantic callers to 911 centers all over the country will be greeted by the following recorded message: “You have reached 911. If this is a true emergency, you are shit out of luck. Due to the public’s lack of respect, underappreciation, and at times outright hatred for its police, we have decided to not give a shit about what happens to you or your families for the next week, thank you and good luck.”

A Week Without Cops – I better get started on the script.

And one last word: for those of you who truly hate government and police, who would love to live in a nation with a pure free market, no gun control laws, no taxes, no police or law enforcement, well you should consider moving to Somalia – they have no government at all, and it ought to be a dream come true for you.

Hooray for the cops

NYPD Officers Moreno and Mata Acquitted of Rape

Officers Kenneth Moreno and Franklin Mata were acquitted today by a Manhattan jury of raping an intoxicated woman they were supposed to be helping. Hooray for Mata and Moreno. Tough luck for all the other cops in the NYPD and police departments throughout our country. Another nail in the already stained and tarnished coffin of police officers. I will no longer refer to these two as police officers or cops – in fact, they aren’t anymore. Commissioner Kelly’s justice was swift, and they were fired just hours after being acquitted. But I didn’t have to wait for Kelly to drop the hammer on them to stop referring to them by the title that they certainly do not deserve. I lost all respect for them a long time ago.

Just use that wonderful device you’re reading my blog with and peruse the newspapers of major cities from coast to coast. You won’t have a problem locating stories of police corruption and misconduct. That in itself is troubling, but read the comments that are left by the readers. The anti police sentiment is even more troubling. It seemed that after September 11th police in New York and across the country were held in high esteem. It took a tragic event such as that for people to realize the courage and commitment of those who take an oath to serve and protect them. Disgraced individuals such as Moreno and Mata and others who violate their oaths and the public trust are slowly eroding whatever esteem the public still has for cops. There will always be those who dislike cops no matter what. Whether this dislike is justified or not and the reasons for it – that’s a topic for another blog piece. But what these unworthy few have done is ruin the reputation of the police among not just the usual haters, but the general public.

Whether you agree or disagree on whether Moreno and Mata raped that young woman is a moot point. The jury has decided and the verdict is in. I believe, like most people who have been following this story, that there was sex in that apartment that night between Moreno and the victim. I base that on the content of his testimony, the victim’s testimony, and the audio recording of Moreno stating that he wore a condom. Moreno and Mata took advantage of the situation they were in, took advantage of someone who they were supposed to protect that night. And in the process, they have disgraced the uniform and badge of every single police officer who dedicates his or her life to public service. They have disgraced the police officers whose names are etched in marble at that memorial in our nation’s capital dedicated to those police officers throughout our country who have made the supreme sacrifice while serving others. Moreno and Mata have chipped away another little piece of the already fragile veneer of respect and trust that must exist between the police and those that they serve. And as they did so, they made the jobs of the good cops that much harder.

“Cops die. That’s what we’re here for.”

National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund

I wish that I could take credit for the title of this piece. But I can’t and I won’t. It’s a play on a line I borrowed from a favorite movie of mine, “Full Metal Jacket.” Here is the entire line for you movie buffs: Today, you people are no longer maggots. Today, you are Marines. You’re part of a brotherhood. From now on until the day you die, wherever you are, every Marine is your brother. Most of you will go to Vietnam. Some of you will not come back. But always remember this: Marines die. That’s what we’re here for. But the Marine Corps lives forever. And that means YOU live forever.

I thought of that line in the movie shortly after chatting with my wife this morning online (my wife is the only person I know who can edit a version of “War and Peace” while having several “chats” at once. She takes multitasking to a whole other level). Her friend’s husband is a cop who was shot while conducting a raid last night. Thank God that he was wearing his vest and sustained no serious injury other than probably a little bruising. I’m only assuming this because it seems that the media in their city didn’t run this story. I guess cops have to be killed to make the news nowadays. There are more important things to report about like American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, and let’s not forget Jersey Shore and the exploits of Snooki or Pooki or whatever her name is.

Her friend’s Elizabeth’s story got me thinking of two of Nassau County’s bravest that were killed in the line of duty this past year, Police Officers Michael J. Califano and Geoffrey Breitkopf. I especially remember Geoffrey – he was one of my recruits when I taught at the academy. But Elizabeth’s comments describing how scared she was on her way to the hospital, not knowing what had happened, got me to thinking about another group of special and brave people: the ones who wait at home for those that they love, those that leave the security of their homes and the warmth of their families to do a job that requires them to strap a gun to their waist, a vest on their chest, and pin a shield on their outermost garment. Do we ever take the time to think about them and thank them for the sacrifices that they make every time they see their loved ones off to work, knowing that there always exists the possibility of getting a phone call like she did?

There have been 74 police fatalities in 123 days so far this year. We memorialize those who have made the supreme sacrifice so that they may never be forgotten. Let’s not forget those who were as not as lucky as Elizabeth and her husband.