Friday, May 22, 2009

"This is a case of PURE REVENGE. Same old story, I'M A COP AND YOU DON'T RUN FROM ME."

I was forwarded this by Threeper whose father-in-law is a retired police officer of thirty plus years experience. The retired officer offers a unique perspective on the beating of the unconcious perp.


To: (Name Redacted)

You've asked me for my opinion, so I'll give it to you, but first let me say this. When you have something of this nature happen in today's world, it doesn't matter much what the reasoning was, but rather what people think the reasoning was. Unfortuantely, when things are put forward as they really are people automatically think the worst. They think "cover-up". This is due to past events such as the Rodney King situation and the O. J. Simpson situation.

I only have access to certain amount of information. I don't know all the "facts" surrounding this incident, so I'll comment on the facts I do know.

What the public doesn't know is that law enforcement, regardless of where it is, operate under certain rules. Those rules are a mixture of the law and departmental procedure. My concept is, "always follow the law and you can't go wrong."

1. How was the pursuit initiated? Was it the result of a simple traffic violation or was it something more serious? (I noticed that the few camera shots of the suspect driver seemed to indicate he was slumping over the steering wheel, as if he was under the influence of alcohol or drugs), but I also noticed he wasn't wearing a seat belt. So the slumping could be explained that because he wasn't wearing a seat belt, he was being tossed around as a result of his erratic driving.

2. Was the pursuit leaving Birmingham or going into Birmingham? If the pursuit was for a simple traffic violation and was leaving Birmingham, then was the pursuit worth the risk? I noticed that most of the pursuit was on the interstate. I noticed that there were several police vehicles stopped or moving ahead of the suspect vehicle. So, now the question becomes, why didn''t the police utilize several techniques to acually stop this guy?

3. I noticed in their explanation, they used the event, "he almost ran down a police officer." Well, stupid, you're a cop, and if you have any experience at all, common sense tells you, "don't stand in front of a suspect vehicle being pursued at high speed". As far as I'm concerned, and I've said this over my (thirty plus) years of law enforcement, he's an IDIOT. A BIGGER IDIOT as the suspect. MOST POLICE OFFICERS ARE KILLED BECAUSE OF THEIR OWN STUPIDITY. That's right you heard me. These police officers, I'm sure, have completed their police academy and I know that their police academy doesn't teach you stupidity. He didn't have any business outside of his vehicle.

4. When the suspect wrecks I see a police officer immediately run up to the suspect. And it appears that he strikes him. Then several other police officers join in. They run up to the suspect and stike him. Then walk away..... WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. RULE NUMBER ONE, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER run up to a suspect. The man has been ejected from the vehicle, lands on his stomach. He may be unconcious, he may not. Anybody ever think this man was armed????? I didn't notice any of them checking him to see if he was armed. No, in my opinion, based soley on what little I know and watching the video, this is a case of PURE REVENGE. Same old story, I'M A COP AND YOU DON'T RUN FROM ME.

So now we go back to a previous question, WHY DID THEY CHASE HIM SO FAR AND FOR WHAT REASON?

No, I didn't say pursuing him was wrong, but you have to weigh the risk.

5. Why didn't the officers and supervisors report this through their chain of command? Why was the video turned off? Leaves too many avenues to explain. Leaves too much room for doubt for the truth.

Pretty embarrassing for a prosecuting attorney to find out this through the defense attorney. Doesn't show much for a "thorough" investigation.

Yep, I see this one getting real sticky before it's over with. Trust me, this will never go to civil trail. Birmingham will concede and pay a judgement. If they're lucky, the Judge will seal the judgement. Why, so it won't open up other lawsuits.

But, I don't know all the FACTS. Not half-truths, not fabricated lies, but only the truth, FACTS. ALL THE FACTS.

No matter what, they're is a "fine blue line" that will never be broken. One police officer will not tell on another. Shame, it hurts all of us. (Emphasis in original.)

NOTE: The original post indicated that the writer was an officer retired from the Birmingham, Alabama PD. He is not. Different town and state. His comments are still spot on.


Anonymous said...


He didn't retire from Birmingham. Different city, different state.

Sorry I didn't make that clear.

Dutchman6 said...

Will fix.

straightarrow said...

I cannot work up any sympathy or identification with these officers (former), nor can I work up any sympathy for the mythical "good cops". That's right! I said mythical. I do not believe they exist, except in the extremely rare case.

This video was passed around the BPD for months. Where were all those mythical "good" officers who did nothing about correcting this atrocity? Nowhere, that's where. It seems they did not exist, we certainly haven't seen any evidence of them, have we?

So you tell me, how are they any different from any other group of gangbangers?

I don't have any sympathy for the 'runner' either, but I have no realistic expectation of conduct above reproach from him, I do have a right to expect and demand it from guardians of the law. All I saw here were different criminals.

Anonymous said...

"He didn't have any business outside of his vehicle."


While watching the tape, I observed that the officer who was nearly turned into road kill, was placing a tire deflation device, onto the roadway. In order to have the device work, you have to place it in the path of the oncoming vehicle. If the oncoming vehicle is traveling at lethal speed, you have to ask yourself...Do I want to go home at the end of my shift? Sometimes, the correct answer to that question is clouded by a sense of duty, love for your fellow officers and/or an overestimation of one's abilities. When things are unfolding at a high rate of speed and you are dealing with uncontrollable variables, everything (and you) can get clustered up very quickly.

The device the officer was trying to deploy is equipped with a lanyard. In a perfect world, the officer has enough time to SAFELY deploy the device. If the officer in the video had all the time in the day to prepare, he could have:
1. Retrieved the device from the rear of his vehicle.
2. Taken the device from it's case.
3. Interlocked the sections of the device into it's deployable configuration.
4.Preposition the device in a stealthy manner (i.e under his police cruiser).
5. Unroll the lanyard and get over the guard rail to await the miscreant from the safest position possible.
6. At the perfect moment, give a mighty tug, placing the device under the tires of the miscreant while avoiding the tires of pursuing police vehicles.

What's that quote from the Vanderboegh reading list about plans not surviving initial contact with the enemy?


It appears to me that the officer did not have the luxury of time to properly deploy the device. He begins his throw from a seated position in his police car. Tire deflation strips have some weight to them. It's not like tossing a Frisbee. I'm guessing the officer bolted out of his car because he never could have made the toss from the seated position. Looks like he attempted to "Improvise. Adapt. Overcome."


Is the officer in the video stupid?. I do not have enough information to answer that one. I don't think anyone else here has enough information for that answer. Sometimes the line between stupid and brave is as thin as can be. Apparently, at that singular moment, the officer decided that the situation warranted his taking a large risk. Perhaps he felt lucky. Perhaps he did not consider that the miscreant driving the car would deliberately steer at the officer in an attempt to extinguish his life.

Being a police officer is (sometimes) a very dangerous job. You do the best you can under difficult circumstances. You live (or not, as that officer nearly found out) with the consequences.

I also differ with the previous posters opinion that they don't teach stupid at the police academy. Let me assure you, they sure do teach stupid. Some of the stupid they teach is best unlearned as soon as possible. Some of the stupid they teach does a lot to create the gulf between "them and us".

One of the most vicious, criminal acts that I have ever seen. There is no justification under the sun for that beating. Those officers should be tried for that crime. One must always guard that which makes us human. Once we lose ourselves, we are no different than criminals and should be treated as such.

The video reveals that problems beside brutality exist in the B.P.D. There was a serious failure in the supervisory levels of the Birmingham Police Department. A careful and thorough house cleaning must occur.

As always M.V, always interesting.


Anonymous said...

I quit being a LEO in October of 1987. The department was beginning to militarize. I have seen police lie about their use of excessive force, and was ucomfortable with having to remain silent or lie to cover their abusive behavior. Police are not your friends. Please do not forget this.

straightarrow said...

I would suggest anonymous that you did not "have to lie". That was a choice you made.