Cop Block And Anti-Government Extremists Are Using Liberals To Undermine Law Enforcement

SWAT officers prepare for a school security drill. Photo courtesy of Google Images.

SWAT officers prepare for a school security drill. Photo courtesy of Google Images.

After writing the recent fact-check of Oklahoma Highway Patrol Captain George Brown’s remarks which were taken out of context, I got a lot of blowback from people who accused me of being a law enforcement “boot-licker” and other unprintable remarks. This was especially evident in a long-winded, angry email that I received from the person affiliated with a branch of Cop Block who admits to “exposing” the remarks that initiated the whole smear campaign against Captain Brown. Here’s a brief excerpt from the email, which was also posted by the same individual in the comments on that article, as well as on my Facebook page:

“Some extreme left website has come out to be an apologist for rapist cops by hiding facts, not telling the whole story, and lying. I was the first person, that I know of, to mention how what Captain George Brown was saying was completely outrageous. My comments were picked up by some other people and it went viral, as the saying goes.”

“Extreme left website” and lying? I hardly think so. While my personal beliefs are all over the map depending on the issue, I couldn’t call us an “extreme left website” because that would be a huge stretch of the truth. Yet, even after the full video came out of Captain George Brown’s remarks, people still insisted that he made the remarks that were taken out of context by Cop Block and many left-leaning websites like Raw Story and Huffington Post (which later corrected their story). Some of them also accused me of defending someone for comments that they did not make, and these weren’t just anti-government libertarians either.


The problem is that there exists on the fringes of both the far left and the far right, a very real anti-government agenda which includes a hatred of law enforcement. Cop Block along with some members of the militia and Open Carry movement have a very vested interest in deepening the mistrust of police officers and other government entities – and too many people on the left are being manipulated into going along with this agenda. Take for example this article from Reason.com (a libertarian website) that argues AGAINST police body cameras, something I fully support.

While there are often abuses of power, there are also plenty of decent, hard-working officers and people who work in government every day – and we need to remember that. Allowing ourselves to be drawn into the trap of demonizing all members of law enforcement because of the actions of a few only furthers the agenda of anti-government types like Cop Block who count on easily manipulated people on the left to further their agenda. What’s more, buying into the ACAB (All Cops Are Bastards) mentality creates a lot of needless friction with the police.

We can demand justice when a member of law enforcement or a department acts inappropriately or abuses their powers without feeding into the paranoia and mistrust of the police that anti-government extremists want us to embrace. At the same time, police need to do a better job of interacting with their community, as President Obama recently stated.

“It makes folks who are victimized by crime and need strong policing reluctant to go to the police because they may not trust them,” he said. “And the worst part of it is it scars the hearts of our children,” leading some youngsters to unnecessarily fear people who do not look like them while leading others to constantly feel under suspicion no matter what they do.

“That is not the society we want,” Obama said. “That is not the society that our children deserve.” (Source)

Our job is not to allow our demands for social justice and better policing to be hijacked by the radical anti-government types that exist on the fringes of the political spectrum. Issues of police brutality, excessive force and violations of people’s civil rights do happen on a regular basis – but they are extensions of a much greater problem within government itself. For example, we have serious issues with a criminal justice system that favors the for-profit prison industry. Don’t believe me? How about the fact that CCA (Corrections Corporation of America) is a for-profit and publicly traded company under the NYSE on Wall Street? CCA also has a lobbying group, a PAC and contributes overwhelmingly to Republicans who often push for privatization of prisons, promise to “get tough on crime” and demand harsher penalties for various offenses – all while standing in opposition to repealing laws like the federal ban on marijuana, which would put fewer people behind bars.


Again, there are police out there who aren’t upholding their oath to serve and protect, but feeding into the outrage stories from Cop Block, Policestatedaily, Reason.com and other organizations with an overall anti-government agenda isn’t going to fix the issue. The way we fix the system is putting people into government who represent us and demand police accountability, rather than those who represent Corrections Corporation of America or weapons manufacturers who undoubtedly want the increased militarization of local police forces.

Do you want to change the system or do you want to just sit behind a computer and complain? Do you want your local representatives to vote in a way that favors the community and not corporations? Do you want all members of your local police force to wear body cameras to record every interaction with the public? Do you want officers to have more training and be better paid? If so, you have to vote.

Again, here’s what else is at stake besides local elections where you can make changes happen in your community.

—All 435 seats of the U.S. House of Representatives

—33 seats in the U.S. Senate

—46 State Legislatures

—38 State and Territorial Governorships.

Are you registered to vote? Do you know where your local polling place is? If not, turn off the TV, get off Facebook, and make sure that your friends and family are registered  as well. If we don’t vote, we let CCA and other corporations who represent the for-profit prison industry make decisions that affect us and our personal liberties for generations to come.



Comments

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  • Rick Derris

    A nuanced discussion about law enforcement in America?

    Oh, this will not go well for you, friend.

  • Mainah

    I think body cameras are a really good idea as well. It’s funny when people say no to police officers until they need one. And I agree, not all cops are bad. Maybe people should research what things were like when there wasn’t an organized police force. It wasn’t pretty.

    • Steve Brains

      Most cops are guys with a job, few are sociopaths, corrupt or psychotic. I think Dan Wilson was a racist and a psychopath. he KNOWS he got away with murder (with the help of an entire town government) and he is laughing in hiding, cashing his checks with impunity.

      But you have to remember, these guys put their lives on the line 8-12 hours a day. I thought it a shame in the 60’s for anyone to disrespect them and I still think it is. But I have been falsely arrested before AND had My wallet, cash and credit cards taken by the cop. My attorney went straight to the police chief and they found it on him. but they didn’t prosecute and I still have it on My record.

      • Mainah

        They have a tough job but a few bad apples will rot the bunch. Having body cameras should be mandatory. Ones that get streamed to I.A. and to the police station. Every human being has the potential to be bad, no matter what job they do, but in a position of power … I just think it’s wiser to have it monitored.
        Sorry to hear you had to go through that. I wasn’t born until the late 60’s but I’ve watched a lot of the footage from all the turmoil. My Dad, God rest him, was a Vietnam Vet. The flashbacks sucked. So, as I got older, I decided I wanted to know what was going on at that time. It looked like the world was coming unspun at that time. Prolific serial killers, campus student shootings, police shootings, church bombings, cross burnings …. it was so much unrest. Did that happen back during that time? Just curious.

      • Steve Brains

        It protects the suspects too. I have done things I NEVER imagined in My fantasies that I would even WANT to do. I never though a woman would enjoy them so much either!!!

  • pixeloid

    Tell you what. Put an end to no-knock raids, summary executions, civil forfeitures, stop & frisk, racial profiling, etc., and we’ll talk about it.

    • DavidD

      Those things you mention do go on and the people who do those things should be punished under the rule of law.If the law itself is the problem then it should be changed.
      No activity ever undertaken by humans in law enforcement will ever be perfect and that is what you are demanding
      .Give some people some authority and they will abuse it unless carefully supervised no matter what political ideology they claim to follow..
      This everyone pick sides and foul means are fair is not the way to go.
      Honest discussion is the way to go
      It’s either that or violence and violence usally not only makes things worse but has other unintended consequences as well ..

    • Steve Brains

      I agree. And arm the cops with marijuana legalization and you will see drug violence plummet. If I can GROW MY OWN pot and enjoy it in public, I doubt I would want coke or meth or smack. But if the penalties are the same, I’ll put Premium fuel in the tank.

      • Paul Julian Gould

        Sick of all the crap about cannabis being a “gateway drug,” the truth is most folks who buy it know the person selling, and, as few make a lot of bucks selling herb, there’s many times the aspect of, “Dude… got something else you might like…”

        If cannabis is a gateway drug, then tobacco use leads to alcoholism and anyone with a headache, taking ibuprofen is sure to lead to heroin addiction.

        One of my favorite personal cop stories goes back almost a decade… Van Nuys, California, as I was only going a few blocks, I figured I was cool with the expired insurance and registration.. more fool me – Just picking up my cellphone gave the guys a reason to pull me over… Long story shortened, my car was impounded and they took my license… After showing my medical card, though, they gave me my ounce of bud back…

      • Steve Brains

        YOU got LUCKY. The Colorado cops have a law that details what the blood serum THC level is ‘safe’ to drive. It’s about 2 hits. Like .08 is 2.5 beers. They can profile anyone and make them take a blood test. Or lose their license for 6 months. The ACLU is supposed to working on it.

        I can grow 6 plants @ a time, but only hold 2 ounces (a well cared for plant yields a pound of bud, PLUS 2# of root, stem, stalk and trimmings) at a time without a charge. it’s a $100, no charge fine for having more than an ounce “on you”.

      • Paul Julian Gould

        Well, the fact that I had just left the dispensary, and it was obvious the bag was unopened, I still consider it a funny thing.

        And the mayor of West Hollywood directed the local precinct to leave cannabis users alone, and go after those actually hurting people, so at least at the time, so long as I was on the street, and not being stupid, it was a nice surprise there, too… Yet, not too far away is the Rampart Division, as well as OC, and, as someone reminded me, the Inland Empire… weird locale, but where I was born and grew up.

      • Steve Brains

        California will make the change when the SEE the REVENUE Colorado is churning in on the dope trade.

        50 years of lies backed with ZERO RESEARCH has corrupted so many cowards who think Reefer Madness was REAL!

        “It’s No Toke: Colorado Pulls In Millions In Marijuana Tax Revenue

        They say crime pays? Not exactly. Legalize a former crime and tax it and itreally pays.

        Just ask Colorado. Perhaps not so awkwardly labeled the “Highest State,” Colorado pulled in $2 million in taxes related to the sale of recreational marijuana…in January 2014 alone. Combined with taxes on sales from medicinal marijuana, the state pulled in nearly $3.5 million in pot-related tax revenue. If that trend continues, the state will see more than $40 million in additional tax dollars in 2014. To put that in perspective, that’s approximately 1% of the total annual budgets for Delaware, South Dakota, Montana or West Virginia.”

        That will pay the Food Stamp bill in those 4 states. Imagine $500 million in California or $300 Million in Florida!

        Now FEDERALIZE that tax and @ $10 million per million citizens… (from about 200,000 people), at the Federal level, that $3,100,000,000.

        Then add in all the permits to grow and or sell…

        It won’t solve ALL the fiscal crisis the Republicans created, but it can put wheels on another imaginary
        F-35 Boondoggle fighter jet.

      • Paul Julian Gould

        It’s going to come down to exactly as you say, I think…

        Unfortunately, even if it does, it’s rather academic, as I now live in Texas… auuughh!!!

        Although I’ve actually heard some rightwingers seriously toss around the idea of full legalization here to cut the cartels off at the knees, so there’s some hope.

      • Steve Brains

        WOW!! Must be the Jr high Schoolers…

        But it is ALWAYS the economy!!!
        Even for the cartels.

        I had a load from Laredo to FtStockton and they FORBID ME on promise of termination to go through Eagle Pass and take 90.

    • Rick Derris

      The author seems to agree. He’s making a more nuanced argument, though, that wanting to reform the field of criminal justice is different from just being anti-cop for the sake of being anti-government.

  • DavidD

    Something is either true or it is not.
    i like to seek truth from facts and I deeply resent someone lying to me regardless of thier motivation.
    There is too much wishful thinking,talking points,half truths and downright lying going on from all parties concerned.
    If you lie to me then I will refuse to have anything more to do with you.We all make mistakes and I’m far from perfect but delibrate deception says more to me what your politics really are than any labels you may apply to yourself.

    • Steve Brains

      There are shades of grey in most circumstances, but either he did or he didn’t is pretty much the limit of choices.

  • dluch

    send these frustrated RAMBO wanna be’s to fight ISIS… there’s no place for them in the US – this is NOT the kind of country that should tolerate this type of gestapo-military-police

    • Steve Brains

      Amen!!!

    • Rick Derris

      A lot of them are Iraq vets.

      And speaking as an Iraq vet, I can see where that’s a problem.

      • Mainah

        Thank you for your service and sacrifices.

      • Paul Julian Gould

        Ditto…

        And, yes, there are quite a few folks that came home still in aggression mode, and somehow lost the ability to mitigate it, due to never being able to have an “off” switch in the desert… I recall quite a few VN vets from my past with the same issue…

        I’m a proud vet, myself, and I can appreciate the need for constant vigilance on the battlefield… Doesn’t translate well to civilian life, hence why some folks gravitate towards paramilitary orgs. like Academi, and various forms of law enforcement, IMHO.

      • Mainah

        I didn’t serve. My Dad was a Vietnam vet. I was thanking Rick Derris for his service. And thank you for your service. I know my Dad had a wicked hard time. Growing up with his flashbacks sucked but he fought through it. Those were some mighty big demons.

      • Paul Julian Gould

        I count myself fortunate to have missed VN combat service by exactly 2 months… and Gulf War, Sr. was long after my time… Cold war, on a Nike site in Germany, trained and prepared to turn great hunks of Eastern Europe into glowing rubble… For anyone who personally knows me, that’s an even scarier notion than it appears in text… {*chuckle*}

        But, thank you, and yes, I’ve had friends who really had a hard time after coming home… And my stepson, recently discharged after Afghanistan is deeply into an Amtgard group (Creative Anachronisms with a lot less historical purism and a lot more whacking people with a padded stick) in his area in Tennessee… Brilliant young man whom I’m proud to know… and really not anyone I’d ever want to piss off… That I’m obviously gonzo in love with his mother, and that his politics are pretty close to mine helps… {*grin*}

      • Mainah

        My love was Air force, God rest him, had a stint in Germany while the Gippa was in office. I had friends of mine go in but I knew I couldn’t. Not just because I’m a female but I don’t know if I could shoot someone like that. I’ve been in fights but never had to kill anyone. And those fights were in middle school and high school … childish crap.
        Even if you didn’t see action, you still were willing to risk it all and I appreciate it. And thank your stepson and his mom. She’s done time waiting for her boy to come home.

      • Paul Julian Gould

        🙂

        There are a couple of gentleman usually on a couple of other blogs whom I’ve come to count as dear friends, although we’ve never met face-to-face. VN combat vets who still bear the internal scars, and are gracious and trusting enough to share some of that.

        They also, count honorable service as honorable service, regardless of whether one’s getting shot at as a daily occurrence… Although Air Defense wasn’t even on the radar of reasons I went in (went in as a musician… Virginia lowering the drinking age to 18 pretty much ensured that wouldn’t end well..), but considering that trying to get out would a violated my personal code of honor, let alone multiple laws, I stuck with it for 8 years. Best of times and worst of times, but the best is that 36 years ago, I met my lovely wife, during my 2nd tour in Germany (her ex and I were both on the Fire Control site, and had our own band in town, etc.).

        29th of this month makes our 3rd wedding anniversary, so I’m grateful for my own service for more reasons than just patriotism!


        edit: “wasn’t even on the radar?” Wow… best puns are accidental…

  • Steve Brains

    In the blogosphere, most people type what they genuinely believe is true. But most, when called on it, will deflect or defer or BLAME YOU and cop out with “Do your own homework.

    In math class, I got every question right in 8th Grade geometry. But I got C’s in the class because I saw a 12 step proof a 5 steps. To Me, things the teacher divided were ONE STEP. But I LEARNED TO DEFEND My position WITH EVIDENCE. Yet so few here quote a position statement and fail on the backround check.

    That is what I think some of the gun crew and your attacker have done. They hold their beliefs as FACTS and even when confronted with the truth, don’t have the integrity to apologize for being WRONG. And with CBS’ example after total humiliation from the Laura Logan Benghazi SCAM she devoted a YEAR to producing… I can understand why so many Republicans feel like they NEVER have to be accountable for ANY inflammatory hallucination they parrot robotically in a blog. Liberals have the some who stick to their fabrications as well.

    But the big deal here is that since Nixon, who resigned because he got caught and not because he was wrong, set the stage for the next half century of Republican Model Governance. “Cheat as much as you can and lie about it as long as possible.”

    The Koch Brothers intentionally misled A QUARTER BILLION targeted voters with WRONG poll locations, voting days and polling hours. they also have done this before, in BOTH the last two elections, stooping to the point of sending fraudulent ballots out to confuse voters.

    ALMOST A BILLION TIMES and not a single thing has been done. NONE of the EMPLOYEES of a Republican Marketing firm that DESTROYED another 1/4 billion registrations and no one, especially the CEO, spent a day in jail for Election Tampering or Voter Fraud. more than ONE BILLION provable counts of republican VOTER FRAUD and nothing.

    yet at the same time, those very same voters have been ritually victimized again by the same cabal, through Voter suppression legislation masqueraded as “Voter ID laws”. What we have in aMerica is AN MASSIVE INTEGRITY PROBLEM. The only thing a politician will sometimes resign for is a plea bargain when he uses tax money for hookers. The Gaypublican in the airport took more than a YEAR, Engels more than two…

    The last two Republicans with any integrity that could be measured were Goldwater and Eisenhower. The last democrat was Carter, Humphrey and Truman. I can’t count either of the Presidential Kennedy’s and certainly not Mr Chappaquidick.

    The point is that the citizen’s have followed the lead of Supreme Court Justices, Presidents, Senators and Congressman into the despicable pit of corruptive, corrosive deception that will never be cured. I do NOT beleive that a single person in Washington has upheld his oath of office. it’s like the screenplay for the Eddie Murphy movie “The Distinguished Gentleman”. The most corrupt of which looks JUST LIKE John Boehner, just with out the day glo orange exterior.

    Do you think thanking and complimenting those who DO apologize for a mistake and not just retract an error but actually CORRECT IT would make a difference?

  • Brad Rogers

    So which is it, did he not say it or was it taken out of context? Because you claim both in the same sentence and they are mutually exclusive.

  • Matthew Reece

    http://www DOT christophercantwell DOT com/2014/05/17/myth-good-guy-cop/

    • Rick Derris

      I’ve seen the whole “myth of the good cop” and I know the argument. The idea that the good cops don’t snitch on the bad ones. And I liked the idea for a while.

      But then I saw entire police departments that are squeaky clean. They’re mainly in rural areas, where the cops know most of the citizens personally and grew up with them. They’re the type that will find a kid shoplifting and just send him home to his mom. I know one of the cops that openly hates what the cops are doing in Ferguson and has condemned them.

      Good departments do exist. It’s why we need to strongly enforce the concept of community policing and accountability of officers.

      • Matthew Reece

        DId you read the article? The argument is that the best government police officer is a do-nothing tax leech, and officers who are less than best are committing acts of aggression in the name of the state. So there is no truly moral government police officer.

  • Matthew Reece

    It is logically impossible to fix the system because the state is inherently illogical. The system must be abolished so that we can form something better in its absence.

  • Eg Kbbs

    I’d like to know what is the core difference between extremists vowing to destroy the govt (from Ted Bundy’s crew, Posse, White/Christian Identity, etc.) and ISIL ?

    • Matthew Reece

      The US government compared to ISIL would be a closer comparison. Both meet the definition of a terrorist organization, as both are groups of people who achieve their goals using violence, fear, threats, and intimidation. Government just has different euphemisms for their violence, fear, threats, and intimidation.

  • Matthew Reece

    “Do you want to change the system or do you want to just sit behind a computer and complain?”
    Neither. I want to abolish the system and replace coercive government monopolies with competing private alternatives in a free market.

    • Rick Derris

      There is no free market. It was a myth made up by the wealthy that control it.

      • Matthew Reece

        The free market is the sum of transactions in which no initiatory force was involved. There are always some transactions which meet this criteria, so there is always a free market.

      • Rick Derris

        Bullshit. There’s always initiatory force involved.

      • Matthew Reece

        Last week, I had some sunberries that I grew and a friend of mine had some apples that he grew. I wanted his apples more than my sunberries. He wanted my sunberries more than his apples. We traded them. No initiatory force was involved.

        The great thing about opponents who make this sort of absolute statement is that I only have to find one counterexample to prove them wrong.

      • Rick Derris

        Yeah, because the whole economy is based on apples and sunberries.

        The economy is based on force. An employer is forced by law to pay the wages given. An employee is forced to take the wages with no recourse (unless they have a union to negotiate). Banks force interest rates on consumers.

        Voluntaryism is a myth.

      • Matthew Reece

        I never said the whole economy is based on apples and sunberries, so that is a straw man fallacy. You made an absolute statement, so I refuted it by providing a counterexample.

        The current state-sanctioned economy is based on force, as you point out. An employer is forced by law to pay at least a certain wage. An employee, however, is free to accept or reject that wage by choosing to work for someone who will pay more and/or gaining skills to increase one’s value. And banks offer interest rates which customers may accept or reject by choosing whether to invest in a particular bank (or no bank).

        Voluntaryism is a philosophy which is consistent with logical morality.

      • Rick Derris

        “An employee, however, is free to accept or reject that wage by choosing to work for someone who will pay more and/or gaining skills to increase one’s value.”

        Bless your heart!

      • Matthew Reece

        What I said is true. No blessing needed.

      • Rick Derris

        Whatever you say, buddy.

        Be sure to take your meds.

      • Matthew Reece

        Not whatever I say, but what is objectively true.

        Ad hominem is an admission of defeat and ignorance.

      • Rick Derris

        When you make statements that stupid, you don’t get anything better.

      • Matthew Reece

        You already lost by going ad hominem. Now you get flagged for spam.

      • Rick Derris

        You lost by being an idiot.

        Flagged for spam? Why that sounds like an act of aggression!

        Hypocrite.

      • Matthew Reece

        I did not harm your physical body or damage your private property, therefore I did not commit an act of aggression.

        For going ad hominem again, have another round of flags.

      • Rick Derris

        Whatevs.

    • Paul Julian Gould

      Good luck with that, Don Quixote… let us know how it works out with the windmills…

      Meanwhile, in the real world….

      • Matthew Reece

        I’m sure we anarchists can manage to do better than murdering 350 million people in a century like governments did in the 20th century. Also, a priori theory trumps and corrects experience, not vice versa.

  • Brian

    See, when you sit here and say things like “Yeah, but the police are evil so we should be on the same side as these guys!” That’s how fascists hijack legitimate movements. That’s how Hitler hijacked the German national socialists. That’s how Stalin hijacked the Bolsheviks after Lenin died. THAT’S HOW THESE VERY SAME FASCISTS HIJACKED THE REPUBLICAN PARTY!

  • Mark Schmidt

    First, there has not BEEN a “far left” in the USA since maybe 1980 at the latest – it exists only in the imaginations of right wing extremists. Second, when you have cops all over the US using extreme force to the point of murder for NO ACTUAL REASON other than that they know there will be no consequences, there is a real problem than must be addressed. But I do wonder why none of the police aggression has been directed at the anti American armed right wingers, such as the terrorists out west…are the cops that fearful of those with effective arms or are they sympathetic to that “cause”?

  • Nancy

    I’m not anti-cop, nor anti-government, but couldn’t do more than skim the article, as I don’t think that Manny Schewitz is thinking through many of the issues that he is commenting on. In fact, I’m afraid that he is trolling about several issues. I like hearing from all sides of issues, but want them to be informed opinions.