Posts Tagged ‘police’

I suspect everyone, and no one!

Saturday, 18 September 2010

I loathe the way that police officials and journalists will use the word suspect as if it means perpetrator, as in

When the register was opened, the suspect partially jumped over the counter and thrust both hands into the cash drawer, police spokesman Joel DeSpain said.

A suspect is one suspected — that is to say surmised — to have done something. To baldly declare that a person did something is to speak with far more than suspicion.

One can have multiple suspects even knowing that an act was committed by just one perpetrator. And one can have no suspects despite knowing that some person or persons must have acted; the use of suspect for perpetrator becomes utterly absurd when virtually nothing is known about the perpetrator. Here

An unknown suspect (or suspects) allegedly entered the garage during the previous night and removed a Cannondale bicycle valued at $500.
the police don't even know how many perpetrators there were. On whom does suspicion fall? Here
officers have no description of the suspect, except that he was wearing a black, red and white bunnyhug
they have a gender and a hooded, tri-color sweatshirt. On whom does suspicion fall?

Regnat populus?

Saturday, 5 September 2009
Fire chief shot by cop in Ark. court over tickets by John Gambrell of the AP

It was just too much, having to return to court twice on the same day to contest yet another traffic ticket, and Fire Chief Don Payne didn't hesitate to tell the judge what he thought of the police and their speed traps.

The response from cops? They shot him. Right there in court.

[…]

Now the police chief has disbanded his force until things calm down, a judge has voided all outstanding police-issued citations and sheriff's deputies are asking where all the money from the tickets went. With 174 residents, the city can keep seven police officers on its rolls but missed payments on police and fire department vehicles and saw its last business close its doors a few weeks ago.

Police Killings of Dogs

Friday, 8 August 2008
Prince George's raid prompts call for probe by Doug Donovan of the Baltimore Sun

When the shooting stopped, two dogs lay dead. […]

[…]

Police have said the dogs engaged officers. Calvo confirmed that Payton probably moved toward the door but would have ultimately done nothing more than lick them.

[…]

Chase was shot while running away from sheriff's deputies, Calvo said.

Okay, now I could write about the idiocy of the War on Drugs, but I want to instead talk about something else that makes me furious.

Far too many police, in far too many cases, have clearly demonstrated that they believe themselves to have the right to punish criminals by executing their dogs.

I'm not talking about cases where the dog has attacked, or has behaved in a way that indicates that it is an immediate threat.

It's not the right of a police officer to punish, period. And it's not the right of anyone to punish some person by killing an innocent companion animal. It doesn't fundamentally matter, when it comes to the killing of the Calvo dogs, that the Calvos were innocent. Even if they had been guilty of something truly criminal, it wouldn't be the right of police to kill their dogs because of who their owners were.

Police officials who needlessly kill dogs are never given worse than slaps on their wrists. Instead, they need to do hard prison time. More specifically:

  • If it can been shown that police conducted a raid such as this, where they could have brought and deployed non-lethal measures but did not, then one or more of the officials needs to spend years in prison. It should even be a criminal offense (albeït perhaps just a misdemeanor) for any participating officer not to know who has been assigned responsibility for those non-lethal measures, so that treasonous bastards cannot merely pretend that there was a mix-up. Note that I am not claiming that non-lethal measures can always be employed; but, when it is practicable to prepare them, police should be required to prepare them.
  • In any case where lethal methods have been used against a dog that is plainly not acting aggressively (as in the case of the dog who was attempting to flee), there should be years in prison.
These sorts of laws need to be effected on a state level. Governor O'Malley of Maryland should be recalled from office if he isn't the very first governor to produce a bill to such effect.