I recently watched a YouTube video that featured a Boise Idaho police officer interacting with two young Black males who were suspected of peeking into cars after midnight which violated a curfew law for minors. They also allegedly matched the description of suspects involved in several vehicle burglaries. This incident occurred in November of 2019.
In the body-worn camera footage, both males were seated on the curb while the officer was trying to get information from them. None of them were handcuffed at this point. The two suspects were verbally chipping away at the officer, although it was comparably mild to what I’ve seen and heard on many other police body-worn camera videos.
The officer, seemingly annoyed, engaged in a verbal dispute with one of the males who was swiftly kicked to the ground when he tried to stand up. The officer ordered this same male to cross his legs as a means of gaining greater control of him. When the male suspect refused the order, the officer handcuffed him and walked him to the rear of his patrol car. It was at this point that the handcuffed suspect kicked the patrol car causing the officer to throw him to the ground. After striking a sign when he fell, the handcuffed suspect began to scream and screech in order to create as much chaos as possible at the scene.
This is a very common overreaction among Blacks when detained or arrested by the police. They do it to gain sympathy from any gullible observers and to make themselves appear as victims of “racist white police officers.”
White Officers Must Adjust to the Racial Climate of the Times
My point in highlighting this incident is not to critically dissect everything that went wrong at the scene, but to illustrate how seemingly large numbers of cops throughout the nation still do not understand the times we are living in. They have not yet adjusted to the political and racial climate of much of the nation in their policing styles. They are caught up in a mindset that is at least twenty years outdated.
This seems like such an obvious and even unnecessary thing to point out, yet I wonder at times whether the average police officer really understands it and the implications. Simply watch the various incidents involving cops on YouTube which records the demeaning attitude and conduct of officers who know full well that they are being recorded on video! How could they be so brazen and seemingly unaware of the public backlash that will occur? I attribute it to arrogance, probably because they’ve gotten away with it throughout much of their career.
Have Officers Forgotten the Law Enforcement Code of Ethics?
Created in 1957, the Law Enforcement Code of Ethics expresses beautifully how officers are to conduct themselves, the level of professionalism they are expected to exhibit regardless of whatever personal biases they may carry. They are to treat the public they serve with respect, civility, and fairness in all they do. Such expressions found within it as: “I will keep my private life unsullied as an example to all and will behave in a manner that does not bring discredit to me or to my agency. I will maintain courageous calm in the face of danger, scorn or ridicule; develop self-restraint; and be constantly mindful of the welfare of others.” And “I will never act officiously or permit personal feelings, prejudices, political beliefs, aspirations, animosities or friendships to influence my decisions. With no compromise for crime and with relentless prosecution of criminals, I will enforce the law courteously and appropriately without fear or favor, malice or ill will, never employing unnecessary force or violence and never accepting gratuities.” This conduct was codified so that each officer knew what was expected of him or her.
Yet does any of that seem to mark the caliber of today’s officers? Granted, many officers throughout the nation conform well to the standards outlined in the Law Enforcement Code of Ethics. But I suspect that a good many do not as is evident in the many police body-worn camera videos available on social media. Far too many officers, it seems to me, have little knowledge of what can and what cannot be done within the limits of the law. They act as if their authority is limitless. They have forgotten everything they were taught about constitutional law during their academy days.
What is it about cops in the age of George Floyd who haven’t yet learned to tone down their rhetoric and conduct when dealing with Blacks — or anyone for that matter? This is especially so for the White officer wearing a body camera so that every word and deed is going to be scrutinized by their own department, the DA’s Office, as well as by the defendant’s civil rights attorneys?
These two young Black males featured in the video above were proverbially yanking the officer’s chain, but he was too caught up in the moment to realize what was being done to him. He allowed them to dictate how things would turn out. He reacted quite predictably as they wanted. How did engaging in a pissing match with two juvenile minority suspects benefit this White officer? It clearly didn’t, and he was lucky things didn’t turn out worse for him.
Boise’s Interim Police Chief, Ron Winegar, called the video “troubling” in an internal department staff email. Winegar later told the Idaho Statesman newspaper in an interview that “the police department’s internal affairs office reviewed and investigated the incident, after being notified by a supervisor and watch commander. The investigation found that “the sum of the conduct depicted in the video was clearly unacceptable,” Winegar said. . . . Winegar added that corrective action — which could be anything from counseling to termination — was taken. He declined to specify what kind. The investigation was closed in April 2020, mayoral spokesperson Maria Weeg told the Statesman in an email” (Alex Brizee, 3/2/2023).
The lesson here is that as a White cop, you’ve got to be smarter, more discerning, and wiser than the criminals and the defense attorneys they employ.
You’ve got to expect that whatever you say and do on a department-issued body-worn camera is going to be used against you if you find yourself in a use-of-force incident, or in an officer-involved shooting. Anything said that even has the slightest hint of “racism,” or suggestive of a “racist motive,” is going to be used to discredit a White officer. They will scour the entirety of his social media comments, his Facebook page, and they will interview other officers and associates in hopes of finding a ‘white supremacist’ they can parade and shame before the public. There is no forgiveness or rehabilitation for such White officers in today’s racially obsessed society bent on destroying any vestiges of White America.
Never forget that soft-minded jurors are going to watch that body-worn camera footage. These folks are in large part sheep — simpletons who believe all they’re told in the mainstream media and on social media. They know little about the realities of police work. If they are White jurors, chances are they have been badly propagandized by current “diversity” dogma. Why, then, would any officer — especially a White officer — potentially raise the ire of a jury by getting into a pissing match with two Black male juveniles? Why make matters worse by throwing one of them onto the pavement which caused his head to strike a nearby sign? The suspect, after all, didn’t kick the officer, he kicked the patrol car. Big deal.
When I was a cop, I had suspects kick my patrol car on several occasions. They would also intentionally bang their heads against the protective metal grill that separates the front seat from the rear seat of the police car. So what? If they were stupid enough to harm themselves in this way, more power to them. The point is that kicking a patrol car upon being arrested doesn’t justify throwing a handcuffed suspect to the ground. The officer should have restrained him better and made sure to secure him inside the car while causing no physical injuries to the arrestee.
The primary officer involved in this altercation, Tyson Cooper, a nearly seven-year veteran of the Boise Police Department, appears to have gotten off easily in this case. His chief was unwilling to provide to the Idaho Statesman details about corrective disciplinary measures given to the officer, and he remains employed by his department. I doubt this would have been the same outcome if Cooper were employed as an officer in any big city, blue-state police department. He’s lucky that Idaho is a staunchly red state, and even though Boise has a growing politically liberal enclave, there is still a large population that supports its police officers.
You Get What You Give to Others
Prior to my retirement, I was a police officer for many years. For fifteen years of my professional career, I was a Field Training Officer. My specialty was to train new officers fresh from the academy how to do police work the right way. I taught them in practical ways how to handle emergency calls, principles of officer safety, how to conduct a thorough criminal investigation, how to interview suspects, how to get information from witnesses, including the policies of our agency, relevant case law, and how to have a long and productive career in law enforcement.
I taught each of the new officers assigned to me that they were expected to treat everyone with respect and dignity and that, contrary to what some sour or cranky veteran officer might say, it would never benefit them in the long run to talk down to people. Even the criminals in the city I worked for were treated fairly and respectfully because that was the culture of our department, one that I wish more agencies followed as strictly as we did. We all knew that our investigations would be hampered, and we would not get as far if we were demeaning and officious toward those whom we contacted. Arrestees were more inclined to give us confidential information if we treated them with common courtesy and civility.
None of this negated the truth that there are times when an officer must talk directly to people in terms they can understand. There is a time for everything, and police work is not always pretty. But these should be rare occasions, and never the routine way an officer should speak to people. I taught new officers that their approach with people should always be on a calm, low-key level unless circumstances dictate otherwise. I essentially taught them the “Columbo method” of contacting and interviewing people which at its core is unassuming and nonauthoritative. You talk to people as you would have them to talk to you. You still aim to have your questions answered. You’re still doing your investigative job as an officer. You’re just doing it in a subtle and inquisitive manner as opposed to one where you’re acting officious, threatening, or dictatorial. Time after time, this approach proved fruitful in my investigations.
More than that, I taught these same officers the principle that if there are going to be any mistakes, let it be the suspect who makes them. The perceptive officer realizes that he or she has the greater price to pay if they are caught doing something stupid or illegal to a suspect. That price is being sued and losing one’s home, one’s livelihood, or even a prison sentence. In an age where there is a greedy attorney on every street corner, and where Americans are ready to sue others at the drop of a hat, why would any officer negate or downplay such practical realities?
The sensible officer, then, knows he is always being watched. Even when he thinks no one is watching him, there’s always some citizen observing and possibly even recording him—likely a big reason why there is a huge upsurge of crime in big cities, as police are reluctant to do their job. There’s no real or guaranteed privacy when you’re attired in a blue uniform. More reason, then, to conduct oneself in a professional and courteous manner when interacting with anyone, no matter who he or she may be or what you may think of them.
Here’s another thing to consider. Just as a criminal defendant might try to portray himself as innocent to a potentially sympathetic jury, so also the smart officer plays to the jury in portraying himself as innocent too. The difference is that while the criminal defendant does his best to convince the jury after he’s been arrested and while standing trial, the officer does his convincing before and during any arrest.
In other words, his words, respectful demeanor, and professional and policy-abiding conduct at the scene of any arrest or use of force serves as his defense before the jury. What real need is there to persuade a jury that the officer’s actions were justified and without malice when they can watch the body-worn camera footage for themselves and see how the officer conducted himself throughout the entire ordeal?
Granted, there are no guarantees because any body-camera footage must still be filtered through someone’s interpretation of the events. I’m also not denying that the most well-behaved officers may still need to testify before a jury or a judge to explain what they have done and why. My point is simply that the officer is more than likely going to be vindicated in his actions if he behaved in good faith and sought fully to conform to the law and departmental policy.
The smart officer, then, anticipates how a later jury or judge will rule dependent on how he communicates and behaves at the scene.
This must always be in the forethought of an officer when dealing with anyone. This means he doesn’t verbally belittle any suspects he contacts (commonly referred to as “jacking up” someone). He doesn’t intentionally provoke them so that a use-of-force incident ensues. All of this will later be carefully investigated, and if it’s shown that the officer was guilty of goading the suspect to react the way he or she did, the officer will be held accountable (or, at least, should be) which may result in a suspension or even termination.
The same principle applies to an experienced officer during a DUI investigation. He knows that a defense attorney will later try to pick apart everything he did at the scene of his arrest. So, he makes sure to perform a careful and full DUI investigation, followed by a meticulous arrest report in which he anticipates and addresses the kinds of objections that the defendant’s attorney will later raise during trial.
Everything a prudent officer does, then, is a form of risk management in which he forecasts and prepares for any damages or accusations that his conduct might later bring.
The Value of Body-Worn Cameras
What an officer says and does on his body-worn camera can either destroy or justify an officer’s continuing career in police work. I recall being asked by another officer years ago about the value of body-worn cameras when they first came out. He felt they were an intrusion of the officer’s privacy and would skew the opinions of anyone watching the resulting footage of any incident. I disagreed and told him that body-worn cameras would do no such thing. If an officer routinely spoke down to others or in any way mistreated them, body-worn cameras would surely ruin the careers of such officers and rightly so!
On the other hand, body-worn cameras would also serve to justify an officer’s use of force if he did what was right within the law and departmental policy. Body-worn cameras would also vindicate officers who were wrongly accused by citizens of misconduct or any other inappropriate behavior. I can personally attest that the body-worn cameras I wore saved my bacon on more than a few occasions when I was falsely blamed for things I never said or did. In the absence of video evidence, many juries, propagandized by the Defund-the-Police movement, are likely to assume the worst about the officer and side with the arrestee. Body-worn cameras to my way of thinking, then, became an important and protective tool that was just as integral to my job as my firearm, portable radio, and handcuffs.
Dealing with “Constitutional Audits”
Another thing to address is the popularity of “constitutional audits” seen on social media in which individuals record the activities of officers while in public. Whether the officers are arresting or questioning someone, or just engaged in writing a minor traffic violation, they are routinely video-recorded by “auditors” who claim to be holding them to constitutional accountability for anything they say or do in their official capacity. Some officers are annoyed by it, but most take it in stride. The truly disturbing thing about it is how many officers are easily provoked by the auditors and completely “nut up” while being recorded. How embarrassing to have been filmed getting easily triggered while violating the U.S. Constitution at the same time, and then having it plastered all over social media!
Many of these same auditors, of course, are intentionally trying to antagonize the officers, to get a rise out of them, and possibly a lucrative settlement for false arrest. Some of them have been quite successful at it too! The officers who succumb to having their chains yanked by these folks seem often to have little awareness that American citizens are permitted to film them when they are in public. So long as they do not prevent an officer from performing his or her duties, such public recordings are perfectly legal. What’s worse is how many officers will seemingly create out of thin air a reason to arrest an auditor. I have repeatedly watched on YouTube obscure legal justifications on the part of officers for detaining and arresting an auditor simply because he’s recording them in a public place. Many of these same officers are soon corrected by a supervisor who arrives on scene, and they’re forced to walk away in shame.
What these officers don’t seem to understand is that times have changed. The days when officers were respected by the general public are largely over. The era when people would just do as an officer told them by virtue of his authority has passed. The country has changed, and that for the worse. Their word is no longer trusted. Our judges don’t even trust them. An anti-authority mentality has gripped much of the country. Cops aren’t seen as good guys trying to protect us, but as “racist bullies with a badge” who can’t wait to gun down any Black person they see. A blatantly distorted picture, no doubt, but that’s how many easily manipulated Americans see it.
This negative opinion of police officers is more widely held than people think, though admittedly it’s not as prevalent in majority-White regions of the U.S. Our own federal government and its complicit media have so badly poisoned the mood of the country and its view of cops, that it’s not surprising to find that almost every police department throughout the nation is having great difficulty recruiting candidates and retaining them.
The anti-police mentality that prevails throughout much of the country, then, is really a symptom of the greater breakdown of our society. When traditional norms are constantly under attack, including that of the family, historic American institutions, and all forms of authority, it should surprise no one why there would not also be virulent attacks on cops.
This is not meant to deny that some officers have abused their authority and rightly earned the hate they’ve received. But all things considered, they comprise a small number compared to the overwhelming number of officers who comply with their sworn oath and conduct themselves honorably. For an in-depth and critical look at the widespread lies and outright distortions about police officers, I highly recommend two books authored by Heather Mac Donald: Are Cops Racist? (2010) and The War on Cops (2017). Both works serve as a corrective to the falsehoods promoted by such groups as BLM and other radical anti-police organizations. Mac Donald, unlike the great majority of mainstream conservatives, is not naïve about racial realities and she understands well the anti-White climate that has taken root in our society (see her The Diversity Delusion, 2019). This is from a recent article:
The perpetrators in this wave of predation are overwhelmingly gang members and overwhelmingly black. (At street takeovers, by contrast, it is not unusual to see Mexican flags.) Since Floyd’s death in May 2020, the mainstream media and Democratic elites have relentlessly sent the message that blacks are the victims of endemic racism. President Joe Biden claims that the criminal-justice system treats blacks unfairly. That message inevitably spreads into such underclass enclaves as South Central Los Angeles, where it produces more alienation and contempt for the law.
Yet, who would want to be a cop in an era when they are despised by so many and viewed as “white supremacists” ready and eager to gun down all minorities? White people seeking a career in police work, then, better prepare themselves for how they will be perceived by much of the public, especially so if they choose to work in a community with a large minority demographic.
These same easily triggered officers have forgotten that they are sworn “peace officers.” If that term means anything, it surely implies that those given authority to protect the public ought to have the qualities of a peacemaker, a person who instead of bullying or instigating conflicts is known rather as calming things down as well as respecting the rights of all.
Finally, White officers working in the law enforcement profession in the era of George Floyd need to be especially on guard when dealing with Blacks or any minority group. Your words and actions are going to always be carefully sifted through the lens of race, more so than any Black, Asian or Hispanic officer. You might not think it’s fair to be specifically targeted in this manner, and it isn’t. But that’s the kind of society we have deteriorated into, and it should surprise no one why we and the civilization we built are in decline as a result.
Strange as it may sound, the White officer must intentionally put on his kid gloves when dealing with Blacks. If you expect to have a long police career, not get successfully sued and lose everything you own, or not find yourself serving a prison sentence in protective custody, you need to be strategically smarter and wiser than the hostile Blacks you encounter on the streets. This doesn’t mean you debase yourself or jettison your dignity, but only that you watch your words, watch your attitude, and conduct yourself in a way that doesn’t provide ammunition to those who would be happy to destroy you and your way of life.
If you’re unable to do this, then I’d recommend you get out of police work altogether. This once-respected profession has fast become one geared for compliant government types who will do nothing to oppose tyranny so long as they are paid handsomely. The assumption that most officers will uphold the Constitution they’ve sworn to protect is naïve at best. If the federal government or their own agency were to require them to confiscate the firearms of law-abiding citizens, I fear most of them would put up little resistance to such an order.
Racially conscious Whites who have eyes to see what is being done to them and their once great nation, might want to think twice before endeavoring in a law enforcement career that assents to all the basic ideas and ‘values’ of a tyrannical system that stands against the racial and cultural interests of Heritage Americans.
The future of American law enforcement