Random police stops increasing fast

An African American male construction worker trudges up the steps to the front porch of his house in a middle-class neighborhood of New York City; it is dusk and he’s had a hard day on the job at a construction site.  Dressed in work clothes, dog-tired, and with tools in hand he wearily approaches his front door.  As he fumbles with his keys to unlock the door of his house, a man dressed in a police uniform approaches and begins questioning him.   Quickly dismissing his initial thought that this was an Ashton Kutcher “punked” incident, the homeowner realizes he is being interrogated by a real police officer with a real gun ready at his side.

This scenario is not hypothetical.  It happens hundreds if not thousands of times each day in cities and communities across the country; and it is occurring with increasing frequency. Police are randomly stopping more than one million people, mostly minorities, throughout major U.S. cities each year.  Simply walking down the street in certain neighborhoods, or fumbling with your keys at night trying to unlock the door of your own home, can trigger an approach by a police officer, and a series of questions to convince the officer you have a right to be where you are.

In the post-911 environment overshadowed by fear in which we are living, it is not only airline passengers who are being made to feel like criminals and forced to prove to the authorities they are innocent of criminal or terrorist activities.  Average citizens doing nothing but minding their own business in areas they have every right to be, are now considered fair game for snooping police officers looking for someone to detain.

The fact that only a very small percentage of people who are being “randomly” stopped and questioned by police are ever arrested for an actual offense, appears to matter little to many police departments (or to many citizens, who too willingly submit to such actions because it may offer them a sense of “security”). 

Last year, for example, more than half a million people in New York City were stopped and frisked by police, but only six percent were arrested.  Police stops almost doubled in Philadelphia to more than 200,000 between 2007 and 2008.  In Los Angeles also, pedestrian stops have doubled in recent years.  Many police departments will not release data on such pedestrian stops.  In Atlanta, for instance, three phone calls to the police department yielded nothing except responses that the requested data was “unpublished” or “not recorded.”  In fact, it should be recorded, published, and available.  Citizens have a right to know what their police are doing, if and why they are randomly stopping pedestrians, and how many of those detained are ever arrested for something.  

After all, detaining a citizen for no reason, except perhaps to intimidate or to “make sure” a person is in the right place at the right time are constitutionally suspect police actions at best, and perhaps violative of established case law and regulations.

Of course, in a society in which buying cold medicine is deemed sufficiently suspect that every person attempting to do so must provide their name and other identifying personal information to the government, I suppose it shouldn’t surprise us that a large number of people are being arbitrarily stopped and questioned.  But it ought to bother us; and bother us a great deal.

Is there anything not considered a potentially suspicious act nowadays?  A grade school student having a Boy Scout camping utensil in a school cafeteria – that was sufficiently suspect to net the lad a near expulsion from school.  The next thing you know, the police will be questioning five-year old children because they’re riding their bicycles too fast.  Would it surprise you to know that’s already happening?

65 comments Add your comment

jt

November 11th, 2009
6:26 am

The Supreme Court ruled on 6-21-04 (Hibel VS Nevada) that people do not have a constitutional right to refuse to tell police their names or show ID.

The 5-4 decision frees the government to arrest and punish people who won’t cooperate by revealing their identity.

It is called a “police state” Mr. Barr. We got to this tragic point by the idiotic mindset of “I’m not doing anything wrong so it is not a problem with me”.

Sheep.

tom

November 11th, 2009
6:39 am

Homeless in Atlanta are targeted for trespassing when they are merely walking around or sitting somewhere. I know a homeless person who has been arrested numerous times and charged for trespassing and jailed for a day or two. A waste of jail space and money. Once I was speaking with this person near the bus station and a Atlanta Police Officer summoned this person to his vehicle for questioning. Homeless have enough probelems, they don’t need this.

dawgydawg47

November 11th, 2009
6:43 am

Maybe, the police are trying to clean up these neighborhoods. If you have nothing to hide, you should be appreciative of their efforts. Here is a thought, the citizens should be mad at the criminals who have brought extra attention from the police. If these minority groups would take back their streets, then the police would probably let up a little.

Mark

November 11th, 2009
6:49 am

people not wanting to be called a racist don’t tell “minorities” the truth so a cultural of poor behavior has developed and now it’s the police dept’s fault for having to deal with it?!

jt

November 11th, 2009
6:56 am

“If you have nothing to hide, you should be appreciative of their efforts.”

SEE.

Incredible.

Jeremy Horne

November 11th, 2009
7:10 am

I have had this happen personally for conversing with a friend in her own driveway. The police pulled up and asked for ID. After seeing on hers that she lived there, I was asked why I was there and what time I expected to be returning home. We both had to place our hands against the police car and be searched. The same police department has stopped me numerous times for things as frivolous as dirt on my tag or mud splatters on my fender and then asked where I was coming from, where I was going, what kind of work I did.

lou

November 11th, 2009
7:34 am

We live in a very rural area and every week for about two or three years they have policed our area like hard butts.My husband came home early just this week with H1N1 sick temp and shaking like my self, someone had to go to the store to get gatorade well he went,next thing he called me 45 min later to tell me he had been detained at the end of the road by a police at regular seat belt check.They made him get out searched him his work van and keept saying you are drunk or on something because he was shaking he told them over and over he was sick I am very sure it was plain to see he was sick.The fact is he did not need this he was humilated at a time of sickness being made to do tricks on the side of the road.I hope they are blessed with the same experience they gave my husband that evening.

GEORGIA97

November 11th, 2009
7:36 am

The reason that police profile certain groups of people is because the FACTS point out that they commit the majority of crimes. Come on people, we aren’t in Kansas anymore when a U.S. army officer frags 13 of his colleagues. We need to quit being so politically correct and take the bull by the horns. USA! USA!

deejay

November 11th, 2009
7:44 am

I was wiping down my vehicle and an officer stopped and spoke with me. He was polite and respectful. He asked if everything was ok and I said yes. He said he was just driving through. Our neighborhood is having problems with drug dealers, gangs, ect. I thanked him for patrolling the area and taking time to check out what I was doing. I have no problem with it. He is doing what our community watch has asked and I am happy with it.

Jimbo

November 11th, 2009
7:46 am

Georgia97, You’re aware that everyone is innocent until proven guilty, right? The reason that US Army officer is news is because what he did hardly ever happens, so we need to infringe on the rights of people to theoretically protect against a minimal risk? Do you even understand how risk management works?

clyde

November 11th, 2009
7:46 am

When I was going to high school in the late 50’s,I used to hitch hike to the small city 12 miles distant.The State Trooper assigned to the area always gave me a ride when he was passing.One day that all stopped.He told me he was no longer able to give rides to anyone and every time he saw me on the road after that, he stopped me and questioned me as to who I was ,where I was going,and what my business was there.Something happened in government that year that changed everyone from citizen to suspect, and it has only gotten worse over time.

Since then I have lost count of the number of times I have been stopped by the police.It’s probably approaching 200 times by now.I would like to be able to say that all of the stops were for no reason,but because of one stop I had to go to court and pay a $15 fine for not having a working light over my license plate.That is my entire criminal record,but that doesn’t mean that the stops by police are going to be any less frequent.

I have been stopped and questioned as to why I was in my sister’s driveway.I was detained in Sparta Ga,just for being there,and If I hadn’t known one individual in town that could vouch for me,I might still be there.I have been awakened and questioned about the disappearance of two individuals who were later found safe and sound elsewhere.One was sleeping in his closet because he didn’t want his wife to know he’d been drinking.I had been seen talking to him early the same day while he was still sober.The other guy was still at work and his wife called the police to report him missing.I don’t even know how I got mixed up in that case.

By the way,Bob,I’m a white guy,so don’t think minorities have dibs on police stops.

Max

November 11th, 2009
7:49 am

While I agree with Mr. Barr on many points, I can speak from experience that a great deal of pedestrian stops are generated by police departments recieving calls of a unknow or suspious person. It would be deliquent of police if they did not investigate.

Matt

November 11th, 2009
7:58 am

APD is in serious need of an overhaul. Hopefully with a new mayor and new police chief in the upcoming year they will see that some of their efforts are lead by really poor policy. Several events recently will actually end up costing taxpayers with wasted action and lawsuits resulting from lying officers criminal actions. In my opinion, the only thing they have been good at lately is getting a good part of the citizens to not trust them at all.

atlnativeson

November 11th, 2009
8:00 am

I have been stopped and questioned by the Forest Park police several times.The first occurrence was in 2001 after returning home from eating dinner.Another time was in 2005 when I was returning home from work at the Hartsfield /Jackson Airport.The police followed me from Forest Pkwy. to Phillips Rd. to my driveway.I wasn’t speeding,obeyed all traffic laws,and not in a high crime area.The officer blocked my driveway as I pulled in it.

The Blitz

November 11th, 2009
8:00 am

First, thanks Bob for addressing this issue. It’s rare to see someone from this end of the political spectrum acknowledge this is an issue.

For those who think that “minorities” are bringing this on themselves, you should re-read the article. I have a PhD, live in a good neighborhood that is diverse – why should the fact that I am African-American lead police officers to treat me differently? What have I done? I have no criminal record and enjoy my job and I am basically living the American dream – or so I thought. I bust my butt everyday working hard making my dreams come true. I should not have to be treated like a criminal. A friend of mine (also African-American) in Gwinnett county, a manager for a gas station chain, is constantly pulled over – and just questioned and let go. For what? How is that helping and serving and protecting him?

Also, as Barr noted, discriminatory policing has not yielded greater arrests – even in the “minority” neighborhoods.

Finally, just note, our nation was founded, in part, to precisely avoid these types of issues. We are heading towards a slippery slope when anyone, anywhere will be detained or held for no reason. I like the quote from Benjamin Franklin “Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither”.

Fed Up in ClayCo!

November 11th, 2009
8:02 am

Living in Clayton county is like living in militarized zone. You want to say “if you’re not doing anything, you have nothing to hide”, well I say if I’m not doing anything, I shouldn’t be bothered every other day. I have to go through roadblocks every other week. I get fined $200 dollars for going thru a traffic light at the corner of Mt. Zion and Jonesboro road when the green left arrow light tells me to go because I didn’t have my blinker on. $200 dollars? Really for that? Having a blinker on to say I’m going to the left when there is a big azz light arrow telling me to do the exact same thing is kind of redundant isn’t it? Especially after everyday I go home and see the same officer and other Clayton county sheriffs and Morrow police go thru that same light without their blinkers on. Anytime you’re over there and see someone pulled over in that KFC, that is why. They were racking em up last year. I guess that KFC’s owner finally complained and it stopped, but in ‘08, early ‘09 Morrow was killing it over there. Last year I couldn’t go home without their being someone being ticketed for that silly ish. That’s not serving and protecting people, that is serving and protecting their bottom line in Clayton. Any reason they can find to get their revenue up they are going to. Roadblocks 4 o’clock in the afternoon on a Friday? I’ve worked in Peachtree City for 8 years and have never seen that. My sister has worked in Alpharetta for years and have never seen that. My mother lives in Newton county and has yet to even seen a roadblock. Why is that okay to do in certain parts of Atlanta and not others? I was once hauled off to jail for something I didn’t do and left in jail for 24 hrs without even being charged with anything. Had my car searched without consent at my home and you tell me that I shouldn’t have to worry about that if I wasn’t doing anything? Puh-lease. Sounds like overly-righteous people that have not had this happen to them on a regular basis talking out the side of their neck about something they have absolutely no clue about. You do NOT clean up neighborhoods by harassing every citizen that lives there. All that causes is resentment against the police so when a REAL crime is committed no one is going to want to help them because they already do not trust or appreciate someone who accuses them, searches them, and harasses them every time that innocent citizen walks outside their door to go to work or wherever. I know the crime in Clayton county is high, but I shouldn’t have to be treated like a criminal because they are looking for one. But in the end, no worries- I will be moving out of the southside Afghanistan of Atlanta as soon as my lease is up. You all can have these over-caffeinated, revenue hunting, poorly trained Morrow police and Clayton county sheriffs and let them “clean up” your dam neighborhood.

david

November 11th, 2009
8:02 am

When I grew up in Atlanta during the 1960’s and 1970’s the police were thought of much differently than they are today. We actually thought and believed that the police were there “to protect and serve” and were there not only for law enforcement but were there to help the citizens as well. Today the police are not only out to get bad guys but they are also determined to harass and prosecute law-abiding citizens. How many times do we hear about police tazering older people (grandmother) or throwing women down (Atl. Airport). Today it is all about power and intimidation. Most of the police today look (and some behave) just like the SS officers and Gestopo of Nazi Germany. Our freedom can be arbitrarily taken away at their sole descretion with little or no recourse. Today it is unfortunate but true that the average citizen should fear the heavy handed tactics of the police.

The Blitz

November 11th, 2009
8:05 am

Clyde, wow! That’s amazing. I’m sorry to hear that happens.

I think we as law-abiding citizens have to re-assert the fact that the police – and even government – exists to serve us and not the other way around. We should elect folks with that understanding.

Also, to those that don’t think it’s a big deal – remember the tragic death of Kathryn Johnston. Shot and killed by APD and they lied about it. The only crime – that night – was the thuggery of the APD.

The Blitz

November 11th, 2009
8:06 am

@David

Powerful and interesting analogy.

GEORGIA97

November 11th, 2009
8:08 am

Jimbo: You are a perfect example of the weak-kneed pansies that are bringing this nation down and I bet you’re a card-carrying member of the ACLU. The reason the Ft. Hood incident is such a HUGE news item is because the shooter is Muslim and the politically correct government was afraid to hurt his feelings and risk a lawsuit so instead we have 13 dead Americans. Did whites, black, Hispanics or Asians attack us on 9/11? Nope. It was a Muslim. Your logic = FAIL.

Zeus

November 11th, 2009
8:09 am

Sounds like old Clyde may not be playing w/ a full deck there.

Great article as always Mr. Barr. I’m glad you mentioned having to give your life story just to buy cold medicine, that’s unbelievably asinine but our society has just accepted it and it appears here to stay.

Joel Dockery

November 11th, 2009
8:14 am

There’s always at least one person who says that those doing nothing wrong shouldn’t complain. Well, I would like that person to volunteer to live in a glass house. If you’re doing nothing wrong, why would you mind? Additionally we will require you to submit to random searches of your property and person. Would that make you feel even more secure?

mmm, mmm, mmm, Barack the LIAR Obama

November 11th, 2009
8:15 am

Come on, Bob. Let’s discuss what’s really important.

BROKEN campaign promises and bringing change to Washington
• Pass the stimulus bill and unemployment won’t go above 9.2%, it’s now 10.2%
• Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac need $30 BILLION more taxpayer dollars
• Health Care reform by Labor Day, Oct, Christmas, end of the year, NOT
• the White House is NOT for sale
• Transparency
• bipartisan support
• close Gitmo
• Timmy the TAX CHEAT Geitner
• ACORN
• bring the boys home from Iraq, send them to Afghanistan
• find Osama bin Laden
• NO lobbyist on the White House staff
• all bills put on line so the public can read them first
• no tax increase for anyone making less than $250K
• and on, and on, and on……let’s say it again, mmm, mmm, mmm Barack the LIAR Obama

david

November 11th, 2009
8:18 am

Blitz – While this issue has racial implications (which is unfortunate) it cuts across all areas of our society. I am 51 years old, white and politically conservative. I have not been victimized by the police. However I do pay attention to this issue and have lost a great deal of respect and trust in the police. If they have lost people like me it really shows how far things have gotten out of hand!

Turd Ferguson

November 11th, 2009
8:18 am

Years ago I had a cop pull me over about 4:30 a.m. coming from a girlfriends house. This was a weeknight mind you so any over the top drinking partys had yet to commence.

At any rate, he pulled me over for the ever popular “tag light” being burned out. When he asked if I would like to get out of my car and have a look, I declined. Mr Man seemed a bit confused and I stated “if you say its out then it must be out.” He gave me verbal warning then sent me on my way.

Funny thing was when I checked later the tag light was working fine. Still dont understand why he wanted me out of the car though.

Cops are all stoned, and full of Horse$#@!

The Blitz

November 11th, 2009
8:23 am

David – I think you have a point. Honestly, I didn’t realize that it is beginning to cut across so many lines in our society.

I wonder what is happening in our society? If it were just racial – it would be easy to determine a cause and, possibly a solution. Why is this becoming even more widespread? I think we, as a society, need to reflect on what we need from our law enforcement officers. We definitely don’t need racism or any other “ism” that precludes them from serving and protecting.

I wonder what the solution is to this problem.

v mancuso

November 11th, 2009
8:26 am

Security or no security. You can’t have it both ways. “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” Answering occasional questions for the sake of securing your neighborhood is not above and beyond the call of duty. Those who complain will be the first to ask, “but, where were the police?”

neo-carlinist

November 11th, 2009
8:32 am

while I do not completely agree with Georgia97; Jimbo, you are off the mark. “innocent until proven guilty” does not exist beyond the Courts. in the REAL WORLD, the Fort Hood shooter is GUILTY. you obviously have NEVER been to Court (as a plaintiff, defendant or juror). like the current fiscal situation confronting most cities, revenue (taxes) is down; so ticket-writing and “code enforcement” is up. you gotta “feed the beast”. the same holds true in the “public safety” (dare I say; ‘homeland security’) world. government at all levels (municipal, state, federal) needs to convince citizens it is providing a service (security, personal safety, etc.). we all know it cannot, and ironically, the government is rapidly becoming a threat to the “security/safety” of Americans. of course, the media is complicit in this ruse; what with all the CNN coverage and 24 hour coverage of shootings, memorial services, etc. as a previous poster notes; it’s called a “police state”. so, while We the People throw red tomatoes and blue tomatoes at each other, the “state” uses our tit-for-tat squabbling to “edit” the Constitution and consolidate its power. and spare me the “socialist” stuff. socialist state’s consolidate power as well. and like our gub-ment, they simply urinate on us and tell us it is raining (actually, it is raining in Atlanta, but you get my point).

david

November 11th, 2009
8:42 am

Blitz – good question. I’m quite pessimistic about the future prospects for our freedom. Unfortunately I think the horse is out of the barn and the only way to reign it in is to elect leaders who are sensitive to this issue and who are willing to do something about it to bring it back under control. I am not aware of such a person or persons in today’s political arena.

clyde

November 11th, 2009
9:18 am

Dear Zeus,

What would make you think old Clyde isn’t playing with a full deck?

lou

November 11th, 2009
9:25 am

ATL not the only place this is happening I am white my husband is white live in rural NEGA.We have seen most of our white kids in touble for a lot of petty stuff that will ruin the rest of thier lives,This all started during Bush era.I guess if you have a war monger for president then other goverment will follow the leader because they know they can get away with it, just like Bush.

Jimbo

November 11th, 2009
9:36 am

Georgia97

Your argument breaks down in several places.
1. Islam is a religion, not an ethnic group. In fact, it’s a religion made up of many different races and ethnicities, including, but not limited to, Blacks, Whites, Hispanics and Asians. Like any religion Islam is not a large homogenous blob of like minded people, but a fractious mess of different factions, sects, and denominations. However, I wouldn’t expect you to get that, since you think they’re a race of people. I will say this: You should go to Kosovo and see just how wrong you are about Muslims. Maybe you should learn more about the Azerbaijani soldiers serving in the GWT in Afghanistan before you spout off at the mouth about them.
2. Following your logic that police profile people because their demographic is responsible for a majority of a given crime means that we should be paying a lot less attention to Muslims and a lot more attention to Christians, there are more of them here and they generally commit more crimes in this country than followers of Islam. I’d also point out that most “active shooter” tragedies in this country are perpetrated by white men. This could lead me to conclude that by your logic, the army should be paying the most attention to white, Christian, men in order to best protect against this sort of violence. This statement is also supported by the identities of the parties who attacked out nation on April 19, 1995.
3. Any power the government takes for itself to invade the lives of any citizen outside those granted by the constitution is a travesty. I can’t speak to any failures in federal law enforcement to spot Major Nidal and investigate him, but that’s sort of irrelevant to random police stops and questioning, since posting on inflammatory websites in support of terrorism (which might just be Nidal presenting unpopular but constitutionally protected ideas) or trying to contact Al Qaeda members might constitute probable cause and warrant an investigation. That’s a far cry from a guy standing in his own driveway suddenly having to present ID and answer a series of questions. The latter seems very “Papers please” to me.

SaveOurRepublic

November 11th, 2009
9:42 am

I’ve never been personally harassed by the police, but it seems these types of incidents are becoming more commonplace. Unfortunately, many local police & sheriff departments are becoming “Federalized” and most accept the quasi-Orwellian training (which is rampant in these federal Fusion Centers). When local PDs accept Federal funding (filtered down via the State or otherwise), they also get the Fed “training” which often pushes these police state tactics. NYPD/NYC is a good example of a growing police state…embraced by Neocon/RINO Mayor Bloomberg & Chief Raymond Kelly (who openly lauds London’s “Iron Triangle”/Oceania in the making). As a paleo-Conservative Independent, I feel we must stand for our fleeing Constitutional rights & Republic.

http://www.infowars.com

Jimbo

November 11th, 2009
9:43 am

Neo-Car Oustide the courts we have probable cause. It’s just a shame that what passes for reasonable is so subjective.

jconservative

November 11th, 2009
9:59 am

“Those who willingly give up their liberties in the name of security, deserve neither.”

Zeus

November 11th, 2009
10:08 am

Clyde,

Did you read what you wrote? If you aren’t exaggerating it sounds like you’ve put yourself in some pretty bad situations. Where there’s smoke there’s fire. As bad as the police are, if you’re a white guy whose gotten in that many run ins with the law; you are either not very bright or someone who isn’t exactly a model citizen.

clyde

November 11th, 2009
10:14 am

Jimbo,

Sorry to tell you this,but Islam is much more than a religion.It’s also the government,the law, and everything associated with everyday life.

GEORGIA97

November 11th, 2009
10:17 am

Jimbo: When the sh*t hits the fan you can spew all of your political double speak to Allah and his followers but don’t come running to us real Americans when you need help. We need to take that tablet out of the Statue of Liberty’s hand and give her a Louisville Slugger with a message that says “You want a piece of me? Come and get it?”

peter leppert

November 11th, 2009
10:26 am

We live in a very rural area and every week for about two or three years they have policed our area like hard butts.My husband came home early just this week with H1N1 sick temp and shaking like my self, someone had to go to the store to get gatorade well he went,next thing he called me 45 min later to tell me he had been detained at the end of the road by a police at regular seat belt check.They made him get out searched him his work van and keept saying you are drunk or on something because he was shaking he told them over and over he was sick I am very sure it was plain to see he was sick.The fact is he did not need this he was humilated at a time of sickness being made to do tricks on the side of the road.I hope they are blessed with the same experience they gave my husband that evening.
________________________________________
First, gatorade is no better than water but if you think it is then why don’t you keep some at home all the time? Or why doesn’t your husband call you and tell you he’s coming home and get him some gatorade? Or why didn’t he stop at the 7-11 on the way home? Or if he was in that bad a shape to be stopped why did you let him go and endanger others for his stin’in gatorade? You’ve got to take care of your man and buy him some Powerade (we are in Ga)!

Jimbo

November 11th, 2009
10:37 am

Clyde, what ideology hasn’t tried to cement itself to government power? Islam is just following the common model. You’re telling me the ten commandments aren’t a basis for government, the law, and everything associated with everyday life? You’re trying to tell me that Catholicism didn’t exert power over nations and governments for centuries? Religion is about control, regardless of the diety. That’s why the two, religion and government, get along so well. Turkey, for example, is influenced by their Islamic majority. However they resist it in government, usually with a zeal that makes us seem uncommited by comparison.

Georgia97, you’re certainly welcome to your opinion. Rest assured I’m plenty ready for any fan driven fecal matter.

clyde

November 11th, 2009
10:47 am

Jimbo,

I mentioned no religion other than Islam.Other religions seem to have matured to the point where others ,not of the same belief,can exixt among them.In fact this is a founding point of this country.The freedom to relidge as one chooses.Not so in countries where Islam is dominant.And Islam is dominant.That is it’s founding point.

neo-carlinist

November 11th, 2009
10:55 am

Jimbo, you’ve lost me. “probable cause” is there for the police. they use it when it serves there needs. as far as Islam and Ft. Hood, Hasan committed a crime. who cares which mythical deity he worships? seems to me he was a loose cannon from day one and he is now playing the “faith card”. at the end of the day it was the DoD/Army’s responsibility to monitor his behavior and investigate/charge him if necessary. ironically, it would appear the DoD did NOT “harrass” him when it should have. like most criminals (police, at times included), he’s spinning the story to protect his sorry behind. just as the DoD, the media, politicians, et al will spin it to serve their needs.

Glenn Beck's Appendix

November 11th, 2009
11:03 am

The police are not to be trusted anymore.

Random stops my a**. This is nothing more than unconstitutional search and seizures performed by jackbooted thugs with badges and guns. They ought to change their uniforms to brown shirts.

Welcome to the Stalinist People’s Republic of America.

Where are the police and the legal system in this case out of NYC?

If this doesn’t meet the definition of “hate crimes” then what is it?

Why was this thug released without bail?

I guess that if you’re any race except white the rules are different for you…..

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/prof_busted_in_columbia_gal_punch_JmsXQ3NzaAt8uG6uUySGTN#postyourcomment

Lousy Cop

November 11th, 2009
11:12 am

Dear Mr./Mrs. Citizen

Well, I guess you have figured me out. I seem to fit neatly into the category you place me in. I’m stereotyped, characterized, standardized, classified, grouped, and always typical. I am the lousy cop.

Unfortunately, the reverse isn’t true. I can never figure you out. From birth you teach your children that I am a person to beware of. Then, you are shocked when they identify me with my traditional enemy….The criminal.

You accuse me of coddling juveniles, until I catch your kid doing something wrong.

You take an hour lunch, and several coffee breaks each day, then, point me out as a loafer if you see me have just one cup.

You pride yourself on your polished manners, but think nothing of interrupting my meals at noon with your troubles.

You raise hell about the guy who cuts you off in traffic, but, let me catch you doing the same thing, and all of a sudden I am picking on you.

You know ALL the traffic laws, but, never got one single ticket you deserved.

You shout “Abuse of Authority” if you see me driving fast to an emergency call, but raise 9 kinds of hell if I take more than 30 seconds responding to yours.

You call it “Part of my job” if someone hits me, but yell “Police brutality” if I strike back.

You would never think of telling your dentist how to pull a badly decayed tooth, or your doctor how to take out your appendix, but, you are ALWAYS willing to give me pointers on how to be a police officer.

You talk to me in a manner, and use language that would assure a bloody nose from anyone else, but, you expect me to stand there and take your verbal abuse without batting an eye.

You cry, “Something has to be done about crime”, but you cant be bothered to get involved.

You have no use for me what so ever, but of course, it’s OK for me to change a tire for your wife, or deliver your baby in the back seat of my patrol car enroute to the hospital, or, save your sons life with CPR and mouth to mouth resuscitation, or even forsake time with MY family working long hours overtime trying to find your lost daughter.

So, dear citizen, you stand there on your soapbox and rant and rave about the way I do my job, calling me every name in the book, but, never stop a minute to think that your property, your family, and maybe your life might someday depend on one thing……Me.

Respectfully,
A Lousy Cop

Jimbo

November 11th, 2009
11:16 am

*cough* North Ireland *cough*

clyde

November 11th, 2009
11:17 am

I am going to spend the rest of the day remembering the veterans of this country.The ones that fell and the ones that lived.Some of my family didn’t come home.Some returned wounded.Some of us came through unscathed.I raise my glass to all who served.Thank you.

Joan

November 11th, 2009
11:44 am

If we are talking DeKalb cops, well then, maybe that was what they were doing when I called 911 about an intrusion. It took 40 minutes for the officer to arrive. When he did, I didn’t want him walking through my home.

Bob's A Cherry Picker

November 11th, 2009
11:55 am

Hi Bob,

Way to get folks riled up. Nobody winds up isolated incidents with minimal facts better than you!

How about some more specifics on that example in your first graf?

If this is such an issue, why use an example from NYC? How about something here in Atlanta?

And how about some stats to back up your claims? What if police stops of pedestrians in LA are up because of a spike in gang activity?

Personally, I hear more about there not being enough cops out there, but you seem to be saying that they’re all up in your grill…what gives?

And for the guy whining about Obama, I hate to even respond, but I’m going to: Unemployment numbers are a function of the Private Sector, not the government…unless you want the government to hire everyone, and I don’t think you do. So if you’re gonna cry about unemployment, take it to the free market. That’s what regulates employment.

lanerlaw

November 11th, 2009
12:03 pm

Bob you also forgot that in many jurisdictions, including the one you live in, the cops often sit and run the license plate of every car that goes by, reason or no reason, cause or no probable cause, anythign they can do to raise revenue. Whatever happened to probable cause??? How much of our freedom are we willing to give to the war on drugs?

Dawgdad

November 11th, 2009
12:18 pm

It goes back to the old saying, ” you can’t serve two masters”. The two masters are #1, Revenue enhancement and #2, crime control. Unforntunately #1 is given 90% priority by the County Commissioners, Mayors, Sheriffs, etc, so the officer only is successful and gets promoted if he focuses on #1. The true professionals who use sound judgement and experience in planning his day to day activities gets poor performance evaluations and soon leaves the force. The guys who love to make arrests and run up their numbers progress up the chain. Until we can separate revenue from police work, we will never improve the crime stats and community relations.

Snafu

November 11th, 2009
12:27 pm

Wait one minute, I can’t for one minute believe that people are complaining because Barr brought out this issue of Police ABUSE OF POWER and people are criticizing him for it. This goes to show the ignorance and stupidity in this STATE and this COUNTRY. As long as people allow these uneducated, don’t know the CONSTITUTION, don’t know the LEGALITY police officers to continue then they will continue to operate in and ABUSE in this manner.

When are the PEOPLE going to stop being cowards and stand up. There are more PEOPLE then there are police officers. I will commend an officer for doing his job of protecting citizens but when it comes to illegal acts..no way. When did you give up your CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT?

There will always be some that believe the police can do no wrong and if the police are doing something THEY like they will side with them even though it is wrong. Those who side with the police on the infringement of rights are truly ignorant and stupid. And when it happens to them they want to cry foul. WAKE UP PEOPLE. Its a sad state of affairs when AMERICANS want to be bad as**es across the pond but will not stand up in their own Country!!!

Kick your fanny

November 11th, 2009
12:30 pm

Just a couple of weeks ago, my wife and I were returning a rental car after she had come back from doing State work. She was trailing behind me in a rental vehicle. We turned down a residential street to bypass a construction area up ahead. As we proceeded through this area we approached a stop sign, a ‘T’ intersection; darkness had just fallen. A DOUGLAS COUNTY Sherrif’s vehicle faced me in the opposite direction as I came to a complete stop at my stop sign. I proceeded, he sat. My wife pulls up he still sits and does not move. She waits an extra few seconds. As soon as she proceeds he peels off and busts a U-turn. I am watching this whole thing transpire mind you. He jumps out of his car slams his door and stomps toward my wife in the rental car yelling and screaming. Basically, he was trying to create a hostile situation. He had no idea what he was trying to pull had a witness and that she was with me. So I look out my window back at him and ask what she is being stopped for (I wasn’t about to get out of my car, understanding my Blackness being what it is; I didn’t need any “mistakes” or sudden sightings of weapons. So, he gave us the garbage and I alerted him to the fact in a nice way that he was lying about his trying to turn left and her failure to yield to him and that I saw the whole thing transpire. By the way he would have been turning into a dead end Cul de Sac. So while he was running the plates, license and such I got on the cell phone with her, planning to contact a friend who is prominent Atlanta attorney. Of course after he came back, he suddenly had a change of tune. Maybe he realized after running the checks and the rental agreement had her name with her State Agency on it that he just didn’t have some criminal minded Black folks rolling through this neighborhood. I really wanted to file a complaint, but my wife couldn’t get a car number, because he made sure to reverse his vehicle to go off in the other direction.

Corrupt swine. And yes to some who may read this, the truth WILL hurt. It should.

Snafu

November 11th, 2009
12:46 pm

Cops are nothing but “revenue collectors”. They are some of the most uneducated folks carrying weapons trying to enforce the law. There should be higher standards for those serving in law enforcement, At least a bachelors’ degree with CONSTITUTIONAL LAW!! That won’t happen because we have idiot politrickans who think they are above the law.

The police are nothing but and arm of the IRS!!!

Max

November 11th, 2009
1:03 pm

Lousy cop there sure are a lot of people that have had a lot of bad police experience. I am willing to bet if some of the folks on here drove on a drive along for a week with a cop, their opinions would change. Most people appreciate the police. Let’s face it most of the people you have day to day interaction with are the bottom of society. AND please anyone of you folks who were harassed by the police and your complaint was legitimate I am not talking about you. I would also say again the most police interaction in generated by the public calling the police Don’t drive “dirty” and give the police a reason to pull you over. I could go on and on, but I will stop. I support the police, and of course there are some “rotten apples out there.

Marion

November 11th, 2009
2:21 pm

The only time my home was ever robbed was by Union County Georgia deputies. Dirty cops are everywhere and as we get closer to a Socialist/Communist state the few rights we still have are being taken away daily.

MrLiberty

November 11th, 2009
2:45 pm

The simple solution is to eliminate all government law enforcement officers and go to private security whose job it is to protect individuals and their property by contract. These problems are a direct result of the war on poverty, the war on drugs, the Patriot Act, the prison industrial complex, and the presence of government that is out of control.

Turd Ferguson

November 11th, 2009
3:04 pm

Another one.

About 6 years ago my brother-in-laws truck was stolen during the night from their driveway. Cops came out made a report. Sis filed the report with the Insurance Company and requested payment. In turn the Insurance Company came out to “visit”. Long story short a few days later some County detectives showed up and accused my Sis and Brother-in-law of setting up the theft as a scam.

Told Sis to tell the cops to F-off and get an attorney. Which she promptly did (dont know about the F-off, however, an attorney was retained). Sis eventually received reimbursement from the Insurance company.

Funny thing was that up until that point she trusted the po-po implicitly and would badger me for not doing same. Oh “they risk their lives” and the usual mantra. However she sees things quite differently now and agrees that The COPS are NEVER to be trusted.

I teach this to my son, nieces, nephews and as many persons as possible.

NEVER, EVER TRUST THE POLICE OR ANY LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER, SOLICITOR, ATTORNEY GENERAL ETC. THEY ARE ALL CROOKED.

The Blitz

November 11th, 2009
3:37 pm

@Cop. Good points. It’s clear that many officers take their job seriously. What can we do to bring the two perspectives together?

joe matarotz

November 11th, 2009
3:48 pm

This scenario is not hypothetical. It happens hundreds if not thousands of times each day in that vacuous wasteland known as Bobolink Barr’s mind. For one thing, beat cops in New York went out in the seventies. For another, the yokels in Mayberry might go around frisking the newcomers, but in a real department, in a real city, cops will not put themselves at risk because they don’t like somebody’s looks.
Bobo, you’ve been watching too much CSI on tv. Put down the bottle, turn off the tube and try to get some sleep. You’ll feel better in the morning.

jt

November 11th, 2009
6:52 pm

Hey Turd-

It ain’t the same next door without you.

I’ll do ya a solid in the A.M.

what me worry

November 11th, 2009
8:23 pm

Joe- what about 500,000 illegal searches or 200,000 unwarrented (in more then one way) stops is made up. NYC police patrol in cars instead of on their feet now so what. They don’t put themselves in harms way for nothing, really? Tell that to Cathrine Jonhson’s family. The antedotal incidents add right up with the real numbers. CSI has nothing to do with this reality.

So taxes are down and fine revenue is up. Rights be damned, you don’t like it I got black boots a brown shirt and a taser gun so get in line and get your wallet out.

Turd Ferguson

November 12th, 2009
8:04 am

jt…look for “Boogers for the Children Fund.” There you will find the Turd!

joe

December 3rd, 2009
11:30 pm

im simply amazed at those who say and think “im not doing anything wrong, so it doesn’t matter if the government listens, or if im stopped”? its hard to simply type here without quivering with anger over those types of idiots. im not doing anything wrong, but in no way shape or form is it ok to harrass, yes, harrass individuals based on the whim of overzealous government employees looking for a promotion. ive been pulled over and asked what im doing and where i going…its none of your business!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i do not believe that armed conflict is the way to go in almost any circumstance, but when will we, as americans, grow a backbone and at the very least start filing lawsuits every single time these travesties happen. there is a huge difference between what is right and what is legal, and this is a perfect example. somewhere along the line the government decided it would start telling us what to do, as opposed to the ideals of our founders, which is THE PEOPLE tell the government what to do. if every single person made a big deal and exhibited it with civil disobedience, guess what? things would change, by protest or at the barrel of a gun. the constitution is not debatable. “GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH”!!!

M. Clarke

December 8th, 2009
8:22 pm

My wife was stopped at the Atlanta Airport by the APD, she was not even pulled over yet, in the loading area outside of baggage claim while the person she was picking up was right there on the curb waiting for her to stop. The officer ran to her vehicle and told her she can not stop anywhere in that area (as other were doing that and signs stating that you could). The officer did not even give her time to reply when the officer put her hand on her gun backed up in a stance position and told her to get moving.
We went to court ready to confront this officer on her behavior in front of the judge, The officer did not show and the judge did not waste time dismissing the case, My wife still told her side and all the judge could say was sorry, next!

M. Clarke

December 8th, 2009
8:29 pm

Here is another one that bugs me. I know you may not take on any effort into reading a case such as this one and a little off topic but I fell a little related, however I would like to make a notice of a practice that is getting all too common concerning the behavior of law enforcement agencies and many district attorneys I feel has lost the connection to where their duties as public servants should be with the public they are suppose to serve.

Newton County Georgia (Where I live) has had their issues with police Brutality before, The NAACP got involved in a few cases in 2006 in Newton County Georgia. I have been noticing an increase of issues with law enforcement taking advantage and making a deliberate effort to impose on the poorer and more unfortunate people of the County by harassment, threats, etc.

One example, A case involving a then 18 year old student (Zachary), was arrested on, Feb. 19 for Obstruction or hindering law officer, possession of marijuana less than one ounce.

Beyond what the official story that originally came from the sheriffs department the real story is that Zachary was asleep at a friends house on the couch, sheriff deputies broke down the door and raided the house with masks on, no identification and no announcement of who they were, Zachary stumbled off the couch thinking they were getting robbed and not knowing what was happening in a sleepy daze when one officer punch Zachary in the chest with the but of a shotgun knocking him down. They also arrested the resident of the home who was charge with dealing. Zachary was caught with less than an once of marijuana on him. Officers then wanted Zachary to call several of his friends to come over to buy from him so they could arrest them as well, Zachary said he does not and would not deal although he did start using and wanted to talk to an attorney before he discussed anything further with the officers. The officers then started threatening Zachary that he was not going to get to talk to an attorney and if he did not do as they wanted they would make up other charges on him. Zachary refused and they then also charged him with obstruction and/or resisting arrest.

Zachary was awarded a public defender, however nothing has been done with his case and the public defenders office will not do anything but present the required paperwork/pleas. The District Attorney refuses to drop these other made up charges and wants to make an example of him.

I know Zachary, is is not violent at all and would never resist anyone. He is a very mild and mannered Boy and very polite. I am a business professional making well over six figure income and hopefully very respected member of my community so when I tell you this story I am hopefully does not fall on deaf eyes.

this is one story I know of personally, but is at the top of my frustration level as this kind of thing has been going on too long know with many police agencies and district attorneys across the Country. Something needs to be done to increase awareness to the abuses in our legal system from those we put in charge. We need this type of lock anyone up that does not play well attitude done away with! We need more education, programs to help those who make a mistake but are not criminals, real criminals belong in jail. People make honest mistakes, some are just down in their lives and make a simple mistake, not hurting anyone but themselves but are labeled criminals, may as well be a murderer or a jay walker, not much difference in the eyes of our legal system today.

We have to do something before this country becomes that which many people before us have fought and lost their lives fighting for and protecting us against. The tyranny and persecution that our ancestors fought for all of us to have our independence, freedoms, liberties and justice. we need laws, but those that guarantee to keep the peace and protect us in whole from those that would inflict harm, not from ourselves when the jeopardy of our own freedoms are much at stake.

I want to make an issue of this one event to raise concern to it and others as well. I want to get this noticed somehow, have people raise concerns as may impact their lives one day if they ever do something that is harmless but can destroy their lives for a long time to a degree that the punishment for will overwhelmingly outweigh the mistake.

Too many in our so called justice system has been overtaken by the greed of power that affords their position, abusing this power at an all time high. Corruption, bribes and payoffs are still rampant in the Georgia judicial system as I have witnessed several times with other cases in my community.

I am tired, Tired of all this mess, We need to do something before we become the new communist culture we have fought for decades to eliminate in the rest of the world.