At what point should a COP pull his weapon, or surround around a group of people?

Ask yourself what of these things should be illegal:

  1. Should voluntarily peaceably assembling be illegal? Freedom Of Assembly
  2. Should you have the right to refuse search without a warrant? Mind you, if #1 is true, then you cannot use an assembly as probable cause to violate #2. Constitution 4th Amendment
  3. Should you have the right to refuse unlawful orders from a government official that is violating your rights? Constitution 5th Amendment Constitution 9th Amendment Constitution 10th Amendment

So here is the scenario:

A peaceful group of people meet in a parking lot after hours. The landlord, rather than asking the people to leave, calls the cops.

Rather than explaining that the landlord considers this incident tress passing, and gives them time to leave. The cops surround the people who don’t know that they are unwelcomed at this time, and start barking orders.

At this point, it doesn’t matter weather or not these people were doing anything illegal. As far as we know, they were just stretching their legs, or planning the next stop on a trip. Maybe they all met up to plan to go to a bar? Maybe they were planning on doing something illegal. It doesn’t matter, because at this point, there is no other issue going on than the landlord went directly to the cops to get these people off their property.

Lets put you in that group:

You had this group of people in a discussion and suddenly a swarm of cops come charging in barking orders. What is your first instinct?

Lets look at this from  the COP view:

You get a radio dispatch that there are trespassers on commercial property of a retail establishment.

When you arrive, you are not the only officer there. And the other officers decide to coordinate a swarming action to detain the trespassers.

I am going to pull this apart from as many views as I can see fit:

  1. Landlord: Why didn’t he find out what was going on? Hell, he may have been able to help the people with no more of an expense than a few minutes of his time.
    1. Lets say he did try. The art of nonviolent communication is not easy. Very few people I know actually try to use it. I fail at it regularly. Partially because I fail to remember to use it.
  2. The group of people:
    1. Did they try to arrange that they could use the parking lot for an extended amount of time?
    2. Did they realize that the landlord wanted them to move on?
    3. Were they lost, and frustrated?
      1. How many other mitigating circumstances were going on?
      2. Remember, when tired, frustrated, and otherwise not in their comfort zone, humans are bound to react to new stimuli emotionally rather than logically. This also includes the police.
    4. Were these people harming someone else? Or was it simply because there was a group of them that they were scarey?
      1. You know most scarey people are only scarey because of perception. If you give them a chance to show who they are, most are not scarey at all, just different.
      2. I am not asking police or anyone else to drop their guard when confronting an unknown, I am asking that they realize that there are more than one point of view to most things. Explore those views.
  3. The COPS:
    1. Did you have all of the information leading up to the confrontation?
    2. Had there been a peaceable helpful attempt at resolving this?
    3. Was it necessary to swarm the people before you knew what was going on in the first place?
    4. Remember, SERVE and protect isn’t just for people with money. These people may have needed more of the SERVE than the protecting the shit out of them.

Now, let me flip this around to a more public event, Ferguson:

The cop was in his car, pulled up to talk with Michael Brown.

Michael reached into the car and started pounding on Officer Darren Wilson. Darren did need to defend himself, and pulling a gun out was reasonable. Discharging the gun is also reasonable if the gun itself wasn’t a deterrent.

Brown has many close range wounds from the gun discharge, indicating that it took a few rounds to get Brown off of Wilson. At that point, had emotions not been running high, Wilson could have holstered his gun, and switched to a tazer since Brown was already injured. Even I don’t expect emotions to drop that fast. There are too many chemicals running through the brain, like adrenalin, that will block clear thinking.

So I want to talk about the REAL mistakes of this issue, which happened afterwards, starting with the mayor.

  1. You have your electoral out there protesting. These are not criminals, these are voters. Your next action will make or break your re-election.
    1. Do not treat protesters as criminals, it ALWAYS looks bad in the eyes of the public and the media.
    2. Do not treat the media as criminals, you just gave them an excuse to put this story on the front page, and the top of the hour of every media source.
    3. Do not send out heavy military style equipment. You are not stating that this is a paramilitary action, and these people are insurrectionists in your imperial court. Sorry, but you are just an elected official. You own none of them.
  2. Now on the COPs, you are to SERVE and protect.
    1. Planting instigators into the crowd is the exact opposite of serving and protecting. You are instigating. At this point the whole police department should have been shut down. I have lost the link, so anyone who still has it, pls reply with the link to the undercover officer who was recognized by people in the crowd as a cop and an instigator.
    2. Pulling our assault vehicles, military grade weapons, and teargas is probably the stupidest thing I have ever seen. The best thing to do is to approach the mob, and ask them to keep critical traffic corridors for emergency vehicles open. Also keep a ground presence available at all times to provide protection against criminals who would take advantage of the situation and pillage local businesses.
    3. If you pose yourselves as not an enemy of the people, but the servants of the voters, then you have a much better chance of diffusing the situation rather than building it.
  3. Now the citizens
    1. A person can be both a victim and a criminal.
      1. It is clear that Brown committed a crime. It is clear that the COP was defending himself. It is also clear that there were many false testimonies, I won’t claim purgerous testimonies, as a person who has accidentally offered false testimony, I know how easy it is to not remember high stress events correctly.
    2. It is clear that Brown had a criminal history. So when protesting, keep in mind that there was a chance that he was the instigator.

In the end I don’t see a single innocent person in this whole chain of events.

Summary:

Should cops pull their gun, or surround around a group of people? Only when there is an obvious crime or in a clear defense of life and liberty.

In the last several years, I have been seeing again and again hard evidence of criminal actions by the people who are sworn to defend us.

More importantly, the number one reason that police officers claim to justify raids and attacks on the citizens is the war on drugs. End the war on self medication and the sale of products through voluntary exchange, and you will see the end of the majority of police violence.

If we can get people to go one step further and state that victimless crimes should never be a crime in the first place, then we cut the need to most police actions all together.

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