Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News

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_gunslinger_

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As I said, there are Adam Henry's in every walk of life, you seem like a real winner! Hope after the cops clean up after you and your .357 that you're not being lead away in handcuffs. The statistics are pretty clear, the presence of a gun in your home makes it much more likely that you, your spouse or your kids will be killed by a gun.

I'm as liberal as most, and am also concerned that the laws seem to impact the poor more than the rich. The drug war is another story. I'm in favor of legal marijuana. I'm not in favor of legalizing anything more addictive. The reason is that the vast majority of property and identity crimes that I investigate were committed by heroin and methamphetamine addicts who need money to score their next high. Making the drugs legal won't change that, it'll just make them more accessible. The drugs will be just as addictive, but not really any cheaper. Your wild west solution, supposedly shooting anybody breaking into your home will just get you shot. Or more likely your gun stolen, since you can't really pack a .357 everywhere you go.

The statistic on cleared burglaries is skewed. Most burglaries are part of a series. When we catch the suspect, we can't always prove every instance, and even if we do, prosecutors don't always charge every instance. My partner and I broke up a burglary ring in the middle of last year, and put three druggies away. Even though we tied them to 17 burglaries, the proof was most compelling in five of the cases, so those were the ones that were charged. Since two involved guns, the ringleader got two strikes. So, 17 cases were cleared, but only five with an arrest.

ID thefts come in several kinds. The most common is when your checkbook or mail gets stolen, and the druggie passes some washed checks at Safeway, much easier to investigate locally, and very often prosecuted. I've closed many of those cases with successful prosecutions over the years. The other common one is when your skimmed card number or fished identification that gets sold, and used somewhere else in the country, or outside the country. These are nearly impossible to investigate.

Wow, the cop love is overwhelming. I hope you haters never have the need for an officer if your identity gets stolen, your house get burglarized, your car gets stolen, you get assaulted, etc.

Are there jerks in law enforcement? Absolutely, just like there are in ALL walks of life. I work with some folks that I cant' stand, not because they are crooked, but because they are lazy. Personally, I don't know any crooked cops.

In some parts of the country the pay for cops is so incredibly bad (New Orleans) comes to mind, that the only people really drawn to law enforcement as a career are bullies. That was one of the reasons for the professionalization movement, and the push for higher wages 20 years ago. It was to draw people who might otherwise work in the private sector to police work. It worked, but there is obviously a long way to go. Something as ingrained as police culture takes a long time to overcome. Something else, I've noticed that we have a lot of combat vets moving into law enforcement. I work with one who's a great young cop, but overall I'm afraid it's not always the best fit.

The difference between today and 20 years ago is that these days everybody has a video camera in their hand. Don't forget that video can be edited and manipulated to make anybody look bad, just look at the ACORN and Shirley Sherrod videos that turned out to be totally bogus. But there are also many examples that cannot be defended, and officers often do get charged and fired. Good riddance, the profession does not need people like that.

When the police have been called to something in-progress, it means that things have escalated to a point that the caller can't handle it. The police arrive, and are immediately expected to take control of the situation. Sometimes this requires ordering people to do something that they don't want to do, like shut up and sit down, or drop a potential weapon. Then the cops are expected to interview people who are in the midst of a really bad day, and try to determine what happened. It's a very tough job that most people are not prepared, either physically, mentally or emotionally to handle.

If at some point, a cop yelled at you and your feelings got hurt, that's your problem, but voicing understanding for the wanton execution of two men who were doing nothing more than eating their lunch in uniform is insane.

One last thought: one of the reasons cops ask you where you're going and where you are coming from is because they suspect you might be up to something criminal. I regularly stop suspicious looking people who are out walking in the early morning hours (midnight to 4am). A surprising number have outstanding warrants, or have been recently involved in criminal activity. Sorry for doing what I get paid for! If you're driving, and an officer suspects that you might have been drinking, they'll ask these questions in an effort to engage you in conversation to see if you exhibit any signs of intoxication. It's not a violation of your rights for me to ask these questions. Check points...that's another matter. They've been ruled unconstitutional in Washington State.

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