Thursday, January 23, 2014

Good Cop, Bad Cop

“We don’t have time for this” was allegedly said by a North Carolina policeman as he shot a small 18 year old man suffering from schizophrenia while the man was under restraint by two other officers.

A good posting with numerous remarks (including mine) is by Guffaw in AZ.

As is the norm, not all the facts are available, but jumping to conclusions has never been slowed by mere absence of facts. Hopefully, the authorities there will do their due diligence and follow through with appropriate actions.

I contrast this with a personal experience in 1985 in Renton, WA involving my oldest son. He is a high functioning autistic man, about 5’4”, 110 lbs., with an awkward gait. Mentally challenged people are still people, with all the emotional components all people have. In his case, he was in the normal teenager rebellion phase including flirting with drugs. A pusher had him convinced my son owed him money. When his mother refused to give him the money my son demanded, my son decided to rob a local bar.

His weapon of choice was a 1” diameter twig about 3’ long. He brandished the twig and demanded money. The bartender called the police. When the police arrived at the back door, he saw them, screamed, and charged them waving his “weapon”. They grabbed him, subdued him, and took him to jail. I was called to come down.

When I arrived, he was sitting in the lobby with the two officers. My son ran to me, and wrapped his arms around me. Both officers were nervous as they explained what happened. My son was scuffed up with scrapes on his hands and face. I guess the officers were concerned I might go off on them. Instead, I thanked them for their restraint and professionalism. They could have shot him, and been justified in doing so. I was able to take him home with no charges.

I would like to think what happened to my son is the norm in this country; that most police officers would have done the same. I am disturbed by what I see as a trend, “I am going home safe to my family”, regardless. As I have mention before, I have enough past and present LEO relatives to staff a small police department. Of all of them, only one comes to mind who would do what the officer involved in this shooting allegedly did. That relative is a complete asshole, to the point he was kicked off the LAPD back in the day when you had to be really rank to get booted.

Becoming a police officer means you have voluntarily taken a high risk job. If you don’t want the risk, don’t take the job! A certain amount of bruises and injuries are part of the job. Restraining people who don’t want to be restrained is part of the job. Again, if you don’t accept the risks, don’t take the job!

I think of my youngest son who is an Army Healthcare Specialist, aka a combat medic with a downrange deployment. His scores were high enough he could have had any training the service offers. He knowingly took on a high risk job. There have been some negative personal consequences as a result of that decision. He doesn’t bitch about it, just drives on. (Do I need to mention I am immensely proud of him?)

I’ve seen on other blogs and posting words to the effect, “If you don’t obey the laws that protect us from you, don’t be surprised if we ignore the laws that protect you from us,” in relation to the police and the public. I would add, it is your profession, and the primary burden to keep it honest and honorable is on you. No “yeah, buts”, be that officer the public wants to admire and respect.  


  1. Good points WSF... And thankfully you got to take your son home.

  2. My son probably would have judicial punishment to what he got at home. No corporal punishment, but there were consequences!