20 Aug 2010

The Policeman Is Not Your Friend, 2nd Denver Edition

Big Brother 24 Comments

[UPDATE below.]

Yikes, just six days ago I posted a video of Denver cops beating up a guy who was standing there, talking on his cell phone. To counteract the inevitable “hey man, this is one bad apple, I bet you call the cops when a guy breaks into your house” comments, I mentioned that I come across videos like this weekly.

Well, this time we came in ahead of schedule. David Kramer over at LRC tips us off to this video. Cops pulled a car over and ticketed a guy for running a stop sign, and a guy walking his dog went up to tell the driver, “If you want, I’ll testify in court that you stopped at the stop sign.”

Naturally, the police put him in the hospital.

UPDATE: A few more thoughts on this:

(1) In addition to putting a guy in the hospital for daring to mess with their Ways & Means Committee, the cops here probably were ticketing a guy who actually stopped at the sign. I mean, if I’m out walking my dog and see cops stop someone who blew through a stop sign, I’m probably not going to “fight the power” by walking up and offering to lie to help a guy who might have run me over or hit my dog.

(2) For those of you who dismiss these types of videos by saying, “Well, I’m not a black guy in my 20s,” or, “I don’t wear baseball caps sideways and go to strip clubs at 2 am,” how do you feel about this one? This was a white guy walking his dogs, and his apparent offense was offering to help someone who apparently was being wrongly fined. So that means in order for you to “keep your head down” at this point, not only do you have to be white and not hang out in rough neighborhoods at night, but you also have to keep your mouth shut when you see cops breaking the law.

(3) Am I the only one who is shocked at the comfort with which these keeps methodically beat this guy up, in broad daylight and with traffic going by? Wouldn’t you think that the cop on the left would have hesitated to openly punch the guy several times, knowing there could be a bunch of witnesses?

24 Responses to “The Policeman Is Not Your Friend, 2nd Denver Edition”

  1. Robert Wenzel says:

    Sorry Bob,

    No video, but you can add this to your collection.

    Last week I was walking in the Gallery Place part of DC (a mini-Times Square) where some Muslims were preaching (about five of them) I came on the scene about 5 minutes after the confrontation but here’s what a bystander told me.

    The cops pulled up to the preachers, got out and said something to one of them, the preacher replied (bystander was too far away to here the conversation but he said the entire exchange took less than 15 seconds). With this short exchange the cop spins the Muslim around and handcuffs him.

    One of the other Muslims pulls out his cellphone and starts recording the incident. One of the other cops who responded tells the guy to put his cellphone away. He keeps on recording. Cop maces him and both Muslims are handcuffed and taken away.

  2. Sieben says:

    The more I see these videos, the more police look like evil henchmen from the old batman series.

  3. Phillip says:

    As an undergraduate student in economics it’s always perplexing to see, on the one had, a scorning of evil “market power” and monopolistic behavior. Yet, on the other hand, a complete embrace of absolute monopolies in areas such as law enforcement. Price goes up, quality goes down. The only difference is no one can legally compete.

    • mike says:

      Free Market fo life

  4. Jason says:

    This guy should get rid of that dog. There’s no barking, biting at the heals, nada. This dog must have seen the videos where the cops kicked the guys front door in and shot his dog a couple months back.

  5. Jay Bird says:

    Has anyone heard where this video came from? By that I mean, who shot it? It’s obviously not from a patrol car. At first I thought it might be from a traffic camera. But in the longer version of the video, the camera follows the guy and the cops as they start to walk down the street. So someone seemed to be actively filming the scene. Was Zapruder nearby or something?

    • Knox Harrington says:

      If it were Zapruder the frames would have been shown out of sequence. 😉

    • Peter says:

      From what I know about the area (I’ve been to this place a lot), It looks like its coming from a condo complex about 300 yards away. Either that or a traffic camera with someone in the control room watching the whole thing.

    • TC Bell says:

      This is one of the government’s own ‘street cameras’. You can tell because the intersection is in the upper left hand corner.

      I called the DPD yesterday and was talking to a ‘public servant’ about this situation. He told me that the man was resisting arrest even though I pointed out this was only after he was told to hand over either his camera or ID. The ‘public servant’s’ response was that we have to comply with any order an officer makes, failure to do so immediately falls under the ‘crime’ of ‘interference with a peace officer’. If you or I don’t like what we are being told to do then we can ‘take it up in the courts’.

      Charlie Brown said it best ‘Aaugh!’.

  6. robbie says:

    New thoughts 1, 2, 3.. Don’t you mean 1, 2, and C? ..just a joke.

  7. Tim says:

    Almost unbelievable.

  8. JimS says:

    What I find interesting is that the Rules of Engagement for service members over seas are more strict than what governs police officers. In Afghanistan, you may not fire unless fired upon. Here an officer may shoot if he feels his safety or life is threatened.

    Does anyone remember Stuart Alexander? He had a sausage factory in San Leandro, CA that had been in his family for three generations. FDA agents shut him done for allegedly under cooking the product and having the wrong expiration dates on packages (no one became ill from his products). After reopening the factory the agents came back a second time and shut him down. He threatened to shoot them. Their reaction to this was to laugh and taunt him. He grabbed a gun from his office and killed three agents. When the police arrived, he simply walked up to them and said “I’m the guy you are looking for.”

    For those who say the perps in the videos got what they deserved, did the agents get what they deserve? I know Bob does not condone this and neither do I, but I remember revenuers were very hesitant to enforce the laws in Appalachia from the ’30’s-60’s. Many of them were never seen again. Wouldn’t a private policing agency sort of be an army against other agencies? Is that right? Would this deteriorate into a scene from Shane or Open Range, or The Magnificent Seven? Is Allan Ladd our only hope?

    I’m not sure of the answers, but I do see these boys step over the line rather often while allegedly enforcing the law.


    • Isaac says:

      I don’t know who got the stupid idea of private police forces somehow being a good idea…. they’d be little more than mafias that break your legs one day and come to collect “protection money” the next…. it’d just be the same shit all over again. What we need is a citizens militia composed a diversity of people that can supersede both the police and military. Say, 60% of everyone ages 13 to 65.

      • bobmurphy says:

        Isaac, it just so happens that next week I’m starting a 4-week class examining these ideas (maybe they’re not stupid after all). I encourage you to participate; I truly would welcome some skeptics to the discussions so I’m not just preaching to the choir.

      • Tom Woods says:

        Isaac, think. If people viewed the police as part of a company, they’d be much more skeptical of them — and public opinion creates the limit of what they can get away with. Nowadays, the monopoly police are viewed with awe as part of a civic regime we must salute and praise. You really think a competitive alternative would be _more_ open to abuse than _that_?

        • Isaac says:

          How would public opinion impose any meaningful limit on what they can get away with? If the people lack the firepower to keep the police in line they will still develop a cognitive dissonance that allows them to pretend that the police are “good guys”. If the people have enough firepower to keep the police in line, it’s reasonable to assume that they also have enough firepower to keep the criminals in line and foreign invaders at bay.

  9. Todd S. says:

    I wonder how much longer we as a people can tolerate this? How many more videos like this have to surface before someone – perhaps in Denver – says “enough”?

    • Isaac says:

      there was a trend I noticed awhile ago while living in SE Michigan, every time the Detroit Police killed someone, or killed a dog, without reason a Detroit cop would just wind up dead about a month later.

  10. Aaron says:

    Going back to the previous video of Denver cops beating a guy for just talking on his cell, he was on his phone talking to his dad who is also a cop.


  11. Adam says:

    Are you kidding? I hear about these stories daily. Go to Google News (news.google.com) and search for Police Brutality, Police Misconduct, Police Corruption, etc., and you’ll find at least 2 or 3 stories every day about new cases of police misconduct usually regarding police brutality or some sort.

    • bobmurphy says:

      Are they on video, and where it’s cops beating up somebody who clearly posed no threat to the cops or society at large? That’s what I meant when I said “I see these about once a week.”

  12. Anon73 says:

    I know radgeek posts these stories a lot but no I don’t know if there is a big source for police brutality videos. And Bob, I’m surprised you would say something like this:

    “Wouldn’t you think that the cop on the left would have hesitated to openly punch the guy several times, knowing there could be a bunch of witnesses?”

    You would only think that if you haven’t seen enough of these videos. The cop who shot Oscar Grant did it in a crowded subway full view of dozens of witnesses. They do it in front of dozens of witnesses all the time. The reason they do is because they know no matter how ridiculous and monstrous their abuse, they will never get punished for it (rarely they will be fired or disciplined). I can say with a certain incredulity at myself that I would not at all be surprised to see a cop walk up to a little old lady in a busy intersection in broad daylight and gun her down in front of hundreds of people, because he can always say the magic words “I thought my life was in danger” and all is forgiven.

    • JimS says:

      I have a bit of inside info on the Oscar Grant shooting. I strongly believe that was an accident. This does not excuse the officer. You can argue that Grant should not have been detained (he was hardly a good guy), but I sincerely believe the officer mistakenly grabbed his pistol instead of his taser (again you can argue either weapon was wrong). Most departments will not let you keep both weapons on the same side of your body for this exact reason. It was a training and procedural failure

      The other thing that is interesting about that situation is the crowd was somewhat menacing toward the officers, which may have contributed to what happened, certainly not an excuse. What is most interesting is that this crowd that disapproved of the officer’s actions did nothing after the shooting. Were they disuaded by fear? Fear of similar treatment? Grant had hardly been compliant, did they think he set the climate for what happened?

      Speaking of accidents; the Santa Rosa PD had an accidental discharge at a firing range resulting in another officer being injured. The department dismissed it as an accident and did not investigate.

      I am a former Marine. As far as the Marines are concerned, there are NO accidental discharges. Not only would there have been an investigation, it would have resulted in severe disciiplinary action. I do not know of anyone who accidentally discharged a weapon who did not suffer at least the loss of rank even if no one was hurt. I’m very disappointed in the SRPD’s attitude and it speaks directly to their lack of professionalism and it sets us up for incidents like the one invovling Grant.


  13. Honest Citizen says:

    In regards to Anon73’s comments: true. remember, cops lie… probably more so than real people do. and every time their misbehavior is captured on film, they will trot out this one in particular: “well, the tape doesn’t tell the whole story”. this, unfortunately, frequently works. the correct response to this is “the tape tells a lot more of the story than the cops do”. when that poor kid got beaten up in lodo, the cops conspired to lie in the arrest report and stole his phone to try to cover up their crimes. i trust audio and video footage a lot more than i trust these dirtbags in blue.

    the other big cop lie to watch out for? “we need the tools to do our jobs”. this is always used in response to our justified worries of giving up our freedoms and civil liberties. perhaps you saw the ruling today from the 9th circuit court that o.k.s it for police to sneak onto your property to attach a gps tracking device to your vehicle, surreptitiously and without a warrant. wanna guess what some police union spokesman will soon be saying?

    i have to admit, any time i read / hear about some cop being killed on duty, i think “he who lives by the sword…”