Cops are never wrong

Erik Kain

Erik writes about video games at Forbes and politics at Mother Jones. He's the contributor of The League though he hasn't written much here lately. He can be found occasionally composing 140 character cultural analysis on Twitter.

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12 Responses

  1. Cascadian says:

    If we don’t hold our police accountable to higher standards, then we’re not going to have very good police, and that leads to communities who don’t trust their police officers which inevitably leads to more crime, more conflict, more tension.

    I think this is a very important consideration. Canadian police (and military) are currently losing their previous good reputation.Report

  2. Sam M says:

    I am not sure who offered a free pass.

    What we have here is one cop and six subjects, all of whom are noncompliant in some fashion or another. You can’t keep track of six people. Then a crowd starts to gather and things get even worse. OK. You can call for back up. How long does that take? Thirty seconds? Too long. Things are very tense. You are trying to subdue one subject when an other subject intervenes and grabs you, breaking your contact with subject 1, making the situation even more dangerous.

    I am a libertarian. I am against the drug war. I think citizen journalists do yeoman’s work.

    And I think that people who grab a cop when he’s trying to arrest somebody deserve to get punched in the face. I don;t care if the infraction is a seatbelt violation.Report

  3. Scott says:


    No ever said that, “the police are never wrong.” so please save your hyperbole for someone who cares. You were the one ready to call what the cop did police brutality at the drop of a hat. I suggest that you become a cop or at least talk to one. As for Fairfax County, I grew up there and it is a great place to live.Report

  4. Jaybird says:


    Apparently we live in a society where the standards are that if a cop saw you punch a chick in the face after she yelled at you and grabbed your arm, nothing would happen.

    This is why we wonder at the idea that cops be held to a higher standard than the one we hold ourselves to.Report

  5. Rufus says:

    I’m late to this, but my understanding of perps in general is that they get arrested for bad behavior, so they are generally held to a high standard in that way. Usually arrest is a good motivator. About half the things I’d like to do I don’t do for that reason.Report

  6. Plinko says:

    I think the discussion of this issue at Balko’s site should give you pause, ED.

    Given his readership is extremely skeptical of police use of power and withering in its criticism of officer conduct, the fact that the reaction seems split 50/50 should give some pause to the idea the officer is necessarily in the wrong here. Any criticism in my mind ought to be about tactics really – though the proper ones were probably more dangerous than taking a swing – ie tasing.

    That said, on your actual point, I’m blown away no one is attempting to charge whoever filmed the incident with some kind of crime or at least severe harassment.

    The PSS is possibly the great unasked question of the ‘Don’t Tread on Me’ Tea Party Johnny-Come-Latelies (excepting possibly ‘where you from 2000-2008?’). The reality is, most of the loudest voices are not interested only in freedom from the stuff they don’t like. They see the police as stalwart allies against degenerates and dark-colored drug users.Report

  7. Jim says:

    “….namely we can fine or arrest them.”

    This is seriously clueless. It implies that the issue was proper punishment of the girls, rather than self-defense for the cop so he could finish carrying out his duties. Just serioulsy removed from and irrelevant to the situation.Report

  8. Herb says:

    Sam, let’s make a list of all the things you can do to deserve getting punched in the face.

    At the top, we’ll put “grab a cop when he’s trying to arrest somebody.” What else are we going to put on the list?

    PS…..I think there are many situations when a cop is justified in punching someone in the face. Many of them.

    But a 17 year old girl getting lippy over a jaywalking ticket isn’t one of them. You know what justified in that instance?


  9. Mopey Duns says:

    I always have the mildly creepy sensation that, while everyone appears to be talking about the case in point during these sort of discussions, the mental focus for all of the debaters is their memories of a run in with an authority figure they had as a child. Like there are all kinds of emotions you can’t possibly see or understand without knowing the person’s life history just bubbling under the surface when we see an authority figure using violence.

    Makes for interesting debates.Report