Category Archives: Officer Down!
I put this up because it’s inspiring to me, especially the first seconds especially second 0.31 bringing the guy back to life. Note that the LEO at 2.35 lives.
When the “Officer down!” call goes out, his going home may well mean going home on the other side of death, where eternal life is that from which we are exiled on this earth until we join those who lead the way.
In honor of those who have led the way, I re-post this speech given by yours truly at our local “Officer Down!” Memorial Dinner which the town helped us put on at the Community Center at the end of Police Week a few years back:
Just the other day, our friends at the FBI reported that police feloniously killed in the line of duty is up 89%. Up 89% in unrelated incidents, unrelated except for an un-American spirit of division which has made such violence possible. Those who facilitate this disintegrating culture say that to honor our law officers who died in the line of duty is partisan politics, that to honor our law officers who laid down their lives that we might live is vicious racism, that to honor our law officers who made the supreme sacrifice in the service of everyone in these United States of America is outdated and dirty patriotism, that to honor our law officers who wash away the dangers of terrorism with a flood of their own blood is religious discrimination. It has been said that to honor those who served honorably is tantamount to deceit, tricking people into overlooking one or another mistake among a million acts of kindness, the reason, it is maliciously said, why we must not have any law officers and, indeed, why all law officers must be killed.
And yet, these are also the people served and protected by our law officers by safeguarding the rule of law, the principle of E pluribus unum, “Out of many, one.” No one could possibly feel more betrayed by an ideological spirit of division than our officers of the law who, with honesty, integrity and service as a way of life, are willing at any moment to lay down their own lives in death on behalf of this unity. Our law officers’ enthusiasm is to hold to the rule of law, and we the people of these United States are indignant with today’s hateful prejudice against law officers. We say that our officers putting themselves on the front lines protecting all of us is also appropriately a religious duty. “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for one’s friends” (Jn 15:3). The great Law Giver, the Great Unifier said that when He was to be lifted up on the Cross, He would draw all to Himself. E pluribus unum.
We the people of these United States say that patriotism, respecting and cherishing our country, is not an evil, but is manifestly a gracious invitation that is extended without political, racial or any other kind of discrimination, an invitation for all to have the joy of being good citizens, helpful to each other, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice, the benefit of law for all. This is what our law officers stand for, live for, die for. Every day we are the beneficiaries of our active and fallen law officers of the judicial and executive branches of government. While they do their work, we enjoy security and another day to live. They also want to live, but just by the fact of showing up for work day-in, day-out, night-in, night-out, always on call, officers who are alive today are making the statement that they are willing at any moment to be called out to dispatch, “Officer down! Another officer down!” It behooves all to know that of the 51 officers murdered this past year, only six attempted to draw their weapons, seven had their weapons stolen, one being killed with his own weapon. Where else does that happen in the world? How very much our peace officers want peace!
They can suffer debilitating life-long injuries. And with the intensity of training, of foot pursuit of an armed felon, or of a hostage situation, or of an out of control domestic dispute, officers can and do suffer fatal heart attacks. The last thing that someone serving others wants to see is rancor, discord, and violence. Vehicular pursuit of those dangerous to themselves and others can end all too suddenly, all too permanently. Assassinations, shootouts, aggravated assault all bring in the call to the dispatcher: “Officer down!” There are still officers to this day succumbing to cancer contracted during selfless service in the toxic dust and smoke of September 11, 2001. Some tours of duty run for decades. Some for just a few weeks. The day of the End of Watch, the day of the call to dispatch: “Officer down!” … comes on average every 50-some hours year-in, year-out. If officers come to work at peril of their own lives even while they continuously see the worst side of humanity, and sometimes the best, it is because they have hope that they can make a difference in life, in death, forever vigilant.
But here’s the deal: if we take pride in our officers who laid down their lives in the line of duty, this is nothing on our part unless we also take the challenge to try to live up to their good example, to live with the spirit of the honesty, integrity and service with which they died. We are to be forever vigilant with them. When our officers give their lives in localized unrepeatable circumstances, they nevertheless give their lives for the entire country. They make their own the words of revolutionary patriot Nathan Hale: “My only regret is that I have but one life to give for my country.”
We will now have the End of Watch proclamation. Our telecommunicator at central dispatch, […], will read the name, and how many years old the officer was, and the End of Watch date. Sergeant […] will read the length of the Tour of Duty and, in just a few words, the cause of death. We begin with five included from past years from our local area, lest we forget. This most solemn reading will take but thirty minutes. In the intensity of this short time our hope is renewed. For every “Officer Down!” we have hope that another of our officers has gone up to heaven where E pluribus unum reigns supreme, where the greatest love for one’s friends reigns supreme. Remember in your prayers also the surviving parents, spouses, children, friends, and fellow officers.
— Father George David Byers
“I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves.”
“Dispatch, please tell my family I love them.”
I went up to our tiny “police station” (more like a couple of rooms in “city hall”) last week to invite our new police force to the Knights of Columbus Fish Fry which raises funds for some really good charities. This picture was taken through the exterior door which may as well have been welded shut months ago for all the times it has ever been opened, like never. That’s not really a complaint. We’re just going though some tough times. People can only do the possible.
As I found out, it’s useless to invite anyone to anything on a Friday as no one is even in-state on Fridays, and none of the police work on weekends, ever. Talk about an invitation to make Andrews a weekend playground for criminals, either locals or out-of-state knuckleheads. Friday through Sunday are the most busy days for our drug factories / distribution centers. But, I hope, that is about to change quite radically.
As seems to happen a lot, everything has changed once again:
- The chief was given an ultimatum the other day (I’m not saying that was a bad idea given some difficult logistics but conditions should have been laid out before he was hired) and so he up and quit, along with another full time officer (who was subject to the same logistics; and it’s all and only about logistics). The ex-chief will stay on as a part-timer (keeping his cred that way, rightly) but the other guy is gone altogether (though he also keeps his cred by way of the now ex-chief, rightly).
- There are plans to do some other hiring and we’ll start seeing some new faces this week. A local guy with lots of experience and lots of enthusiasm for lots of reasons will be hired as an officer. That’ll be great for us.
- Another guy from Georgia will be getting his NC qualifications from Raleigh in these next days. I think he’s moving in-state, half-way between Andrews and his other job in Georgia. I gotta wonder, though, with a fellow Georgia-ite quitting and the Chief from Georgia being reduced to part time, if that will make this other guy think twice about bothering with Andrews.
- Also, a volunteer will sit at the desk in the office so that the doors might actually be open for the first time in a long time.
This will all help us to settle down a bit. It’s been crazy, and, because of that, unnecessarily dangerous for the police doing a stop or a call. It was basically useless to call in: “Officer requires assistance” or “Officer needs backup.” That situation is untenable. Even an “officer down” alert could take 15 to 45 minutes for a response. But now we might be doing a little better, perhaps. Police lives do matter. We need to act in accord with that fact. We’re getting better. We’re moving forward. That’s good. But it really shouldn’t be on a continuum scale. Either we do things with at least a minimum of safety or we don’t do them at all. Police lives do matter, don’t they? It shouldn’t be a question, just a statement.
I don’t want to put on another seven county tri-state Officer Down Memorial Dinner that includes tolling out the names and end-of-duty dates for Andrews Police…
Anyway, and I could be wrong on this, but I’m wondering whether this means that applications are once again being taken for another Police Chief… Anyone want a real challenge?
From Behind the Badge OC. Editor’s Note: The grand opening of Golden West College’s Criminal Justice Training Center (CJTC) was held April 10. The keynote speaker was the Hon. Associate Justice William W. Bedsworth, Fourth District Court of Appeal. The video was provided by GWC. BehindtheBadgeOC.com is publishing Associate Justice’s Bedsworth’s speech in its entirety, along with video. His speech perfectly captures how today’s law enforcement officers have to be vastly more equipped than their counterparts in the past. Here is a slightly edited text of Associate Justice Bedsworth’s speech:
“I know those of you in uniform probably feel like you’ve already had to listen to me too much in your career. I have both good news and bad news. The good news is they’ve only given me 10 minutes. The bad news is they’ve given me 10 minutes.
“I’ve been given the honor of joining all of you today and I want to use those 10 minutes to make some points about the need filled by this spectacular facility. I was born in 1947. I was a boy in the ’50s. John Murphy, my next-door neighbor and godfather, was an LAPD sergeant. His equipment consisted of a .38 special revolver, a billy, a flashlight, and a pair of handcuffs.
“The people who are trained here will be equipped with a .9mm semi-auto, 14-round sidearm. They will carry multiple magazines, double handcuffs, a tear gas canister, a baton, a handheld radio, a Taser, a flashlight, a voice-activated audio recorder, a body camera, a tactical knife, and a hidden backup pistol.
“In their trunk will be a shotgun, a patrol rifle and a patrol bag full of report forms, first aid kits, and a dozen other items John Murphy never imagined. They will be expected to know how and when to use all of those things.
“Sgt. Murphy had been trained to drive and to shoot. He had not learned artificial respiration. He knew nothing about CPR or the use of a defibrillator. He never saw an upper-body protection vest. He never used a computer to check a record or registration. Those tools and the expertise necessary to use them were science fiction to him. His knowledge of search and seizure law was rudimentary.
“Mapp vs. Ohio had not yet been decided, so very little evidence was being excluded on the basis of Fourth Amendment violations. He did not know the Miranda warnings because Miranda had not been decided until 1966, the year he retired.
“He knew nothing about detention law, because Terry vs. Ohio was not decided until two years after that. He did not know how the rights of high school students differed from the rights of adults because nobody knew that until the Supreme Court told us in TLO vs. New Jersey in 1985.
“The men and women who go through their training here will be able to debate the finer points of all of those court decisions and dozens of others and hold their own with any lawyer. They have to be able to do that to do the job correctly.
“Sgt. Murphy knew almost nothing about crime scene preservation or trace evidence, blood spatter interpretation, fingerprints lifted with chemical fumes, obtaining evidence from cell phones — cell phones themselves were all things none of us even imagined when the first academies began going through the facilities here at Golden West in 1969.
“When this college opened in the 1960s, the letters DNA were juxtaposed only on monogram sleeves. I was the first judge to rule on DNA evidence in Orange County and that was in the late ’80s.
“Law enforcement changes hourly, folks. It is no easier to keep up with the changes in law enforcement than it is to keep up with changes in medicine or physics or biology or ballistics or pharmacology. All of which, by the way, are things the modern police officer must know a lot about — must learn and relearn constantly.
“Do you think that’s an exaggeration? Those of you not in uniform, ask yourself about the changes in the last eight years. How much did you know about methamphetamine in 2010? How much did you know about AR-15s five years ago? How much did you know about sniper scopes and bullet trajectories before the Mandalay Bay massacre? How much did you know about opioids two years ago? How much did you know about bump stocks and high-capacity magazines a year ago?
“Every day, every time a cop picks up a paper or watches the news, she learns about something else she will have to know about probably before her next shift. The amount of education and reeducation our police must assimilate every day is staggering. It requires literally, and I emphasize, I mean this literally, not figuratively, it requires literally more daily re-education than a doctor or lawyer ever needs to do his or her job, and when a peace officer applies that reeducation, he or she has to be a psychologist, a pharmacologist, a teacher, a counselor, a lawyer, an EMT, and a bad-ass superhero, probably all during one shift.
“It has always been a tough job. Long before anyone had ever heard of Stefan Clark or could find Ferguson, Missouri on a map, law enforcement was a brutally difficult way to make a living.
“Well, for one thing, the Constitution — our police take an oath to defend — was devised by rebels. Our founding fathers were protesters. Think of the Boston Tea Party and the Bunker Hill massacre. Those were protesters. They were men who had been oppressed and subjugated and they were determined it was never going to happen again.
“So when they won the revolution, they instituted a system designed to restrain their new government, designed to make sure that they would never be oppressed by the government again. The whole system is set up to exalt the individual and to limit the government.
“Folks, the United States of America is the only place on the planet where in a case called Miranda vs. the State, Miranda wins. That’s what the revolutionary army fought and died for, and that’s what our police protect.
“When you represent the government in a system like that, you have to know it’s going to be difficult and it is. It is as difficult a job as there is on this planet.
“Imagine doing what you do. I don’t know what your job is. Whatever your job is, imagine doing it with people throwing rocks at you, people spitting on you, people trying to kill you, and then think about what their job description is.
“Their job description, these people in uniform, is putting your life on the line every day for strangers, dealing with the mentally ill, mediating domestic violence, counseling child molestation victims, consoling the bereaved, pulling people out of burning vehicles, chasing psychopathic 15-year-olds down blind, dark alleys, knowing they have a gang (and) gun, but they don’t yet have a conscience.
“What kind of person takes that job?
“I don’t understand it. I’ve never understood it. My jobs have required me to study cops for 37 years. I’ve worked with them. I’ve played ball with them. I’ve drunk beer with them. I’ve laughed with them, I’ve cried with them, I’ve celebrated with them, and I’ve suffered with them, but I have never for a single moment understood them.
“I cannot imagine what kind of person does all the things they do for a society of strangers, 3 million of us in this county who they will never meet, but for whom they are always committed. Always there. Always ready.
“It’s not a job, folks. It’s a calling, and if you haven’t been called, you can’t understand those who have been. So, I no longer try to understand them. I just thank the Lord for continuing to turn them out and I suggest you do the same.
“And as long as I’m giving thanks, I thank all of you for supporting them. I thank all of you for supporting endeavors like this spectacular new facility, I thank you for making sure they will have the training and support they need for this complicated job.
“I thank you for continuing to encourage our best young people to take up this work and I thank you for giving me 10 minutes to express my thanks to you and to them.
If you google – Arnaud Beltrame Hero – you’ll get the story about his taking the place of an ISIS hostage in a supermarket just the other day in southern France, a boring little out of the way supermarket like any other as in any small town anywhere in the world. Here’s that supermarket, your supermarket:
Arnaud Beltrame is just another guy with a bit of military background like most Law Enforcement Officers anywhere in the world. But just another guy, Catholic, as most people are in France. The ISIS guy shot him four times and, by the way, no, he did not get the opportunity to get sacramentally married before he died from those wounds).
We recall Maximilian Kolbe taking the place of a fellow prisoner facing execution. Yet, the response is muted by a lot of conservative Catholic blogs. He was civilly married, though on his way to a sacramental marriage. I was a priest in France for two years but I wasn’t responsible for marriage prep and don’t know if getting civilly married means anything. In some places it doesn’t mean you are living together, just that you have an intention to get sacramentally married sometime in the foreseeable future. He had some 30 hours of prep time put in, his pastor “accompanying” them (ooooh, Amoris laetitia). I assume with all that prep time that this couple was living chastely and had always done so. But even if they were not – he in that case being no Maximilian Kolbe before his death – I would still nevertheless assume that he went right off to heaven with this selfless act of love.
Arnoud Beltrame laying down his life for someone under his protection – he being a Law Enforcement Officer – has done what Jesus calls the greatest act of love. That’s God saying that:
“This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:12-13)
Oh, and let’s not forget what we read elsewhere as inspired by the Holy Spirit:
“Above all, let your love for one another be intense, because love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaining.” (1 Peter 4:8-9)
Question from a reader: Can we ask for prayers for him?
Answer: Why would you want to do that?
I mean, sure, go ahead. Yes. Pray for him. And, by golly, there will be a massive funeral like France hasn’t seen for perhaps a half century or more for Arnoud Beltrame. Great!
But here’s how I think that will go. Those prayers and that Mass will go for those in purgatory, but not him. Indeed, I think Jesus will laugh at the attempt of such prayers and ask you if you are serious about that. Why oh why shouldn’t this guy go straight to heaven? I can’t imagine that he wouldn’t, you know, taking Jesus’ words seriously. Fulton Sheen once said about another soul that was controversial: “Upon hearing of his death, I firstly prayed first for the repose of his soul, and then I immediately prayed to him.”
I suppose I will be condemned by ultra-traditional-ism-ists for playing a dark side of Amoris laetitia. But, no. That’s not the way it is. I suppose I will be condemned by ultra-liberal-ism-ists for not confirming everything they exaggerate in Amoris laetitia for their own dark ends. And I’m good with that condemnation by them.
OK, now let’s give the proper direction to this event
There are lots of words being thrown about, like “hero,” and I agree entirely, and with that I would also point to similar selfless accomplishments of Arnoud Beltrame in the military. Really, very impressive. I rejoice in all that for him. What a great guy.
But in saying those things we had better not be “building the tombs of the prophets” in all hypocrisy, running away from doing the necessary when it is our turn. I dread my weakness and ask my guardian angel to help me in such a situation. Exclaiming “He’s a hero” is not about us basking in the limelight simply because we are the one’s voicing words like “hero.” As one operator of operators told me (“The Guy”), having a hero is not about lifting someone up; it’s about striving to follow their example.
Personally, I have a profound reverence for Arnoud Beltrame. O.K. We pray for him: Hail Mary… And now, I say: Arnould! Pray for me! Pray for us!
It’s been dark and stormy here, so much so that even in the middle of the day a good half the cars on the major highway had their double-emergency-flashers flashing.
Pictured above (gleaned from the back window digital recorder of Sassy the Subaru Forester) is one of our unmarked pursuit vehicles of the Sheriff’s Department. We like Dodge Chargers in WNC. He screamed about on Main Street and got in behind me for the next six miles. It’s always nice to see Church-State cooperation.
This is the usual, although he was a little slow on the uptake. He took a whole, I guess, 55 seconds to fall in behind me after my very first Communion Call of the day. I had stopped for a few seconds for a picture of some flowers for the Immaculate Conception. My bad. The record for getting a tail is just 5 seconds, a record which has almost been broken a number of times. The local LEOs “assist” me in this way really quite frequently I must say because… well… I’m not sure why.
- Maybe they think my last three scores for the Federal Air Marshal Tactical Pistol Course coming in at just 94% just isn’t good enough for me to be on my own. Nah.
- Or maybe Sassy the Subaru Forester looks especially ferocious. Definitely not that.
- Maybe he wanted to suggest that a donkey would be a better form of transportation on such a dark and stormy day. Maybe.
Anyway, thanks, guys.
It’s a happy duty to give thanks to Law Enforcement Officers. Many have been ambushed and executed in these last weeks. It’s soooo dangerous. The media trash police continuously and create an environment in which such ambushes are easier to accomplish. That’s really, really evil. But our LEOs just do their jobs, day in day out, night in night out.
Thanks, guys. We appreciate it. We truly couldn’t get along without you.
I gotta be careful in what I say here. But I have to say I’m upset. Perhaps I’m wrong. Tell me if I’m off base. Here’s what happened:
Our last remaining police officer in town, a really good guy whose passion is to serve and protect, was down at the courthouse of the county in the neighboring town when a call came in for the nearest vehicle to offer assistance to an officer in distress. He was the nearest, so he did, for as long as he was needed, which was only a short time. Then he went back to what he was doing. Great. That’s what I would expect.
Blue uniform? Black uniform? Brown uniform? Undercover? Doesn’t matter. When an officer is in distress and puts out an “officer needs assistance” call for the nearest vehicle, not only does that vehicle show up, but all others who can possibly get there even if they are not the nearest: city police of whatever city, deputies of the county, forest service police, tribal federal police, DEA, et alii. The last thing we need is for an “officer down” call to go in minutes later because the nearest officer did not respond for specious reasons.
Our last remaining officer was, however, publicly severely castigated, in print, for having spent a few minutes coming to the aid of an officer in need. He was even given a disciplinary measure. Just. Wow.
Our new Mayor, who appointed himself interim Police Chief with exactly zero training and zero experience, said, at least according to the local newspaper: “I totally understand backing up other officers that are in distress, but it puts us at a liability to the town.” Just. Wow. “A liability.” Reading between the lines the rest of what the Mayor said, it looks like our last remaining police officer is on his way out of the police force, leaving no one but the Mayor to do the policing, but – Hey! – he’s the Chief, you know, with exactly zero training and zero experience. Talk about a liability. Maybe our officer will survive. We’ll see.
I’ll tell you this, if any law enforcement officer is being smashed down by violent criminals with no help in sight, I’m going to stop and offer assistance regardless of what any Mayor says, even if it’s in his town. Correction. Even if it’s in my town. Our town. Borders like that don’t matter when someone – whoever – is in distress.
Some people are against the police until they need to call them. Our LEOs serve even those who hate them, mock them. Out LEOs give their lives not only for their friends, but even for enemies, the greatest love doubled over. Sergeant Anderson was called to a rape scene and was executed when he arrived. It’s like ISIS killing doctors because “they’re too good.” But is it enough to say “Thank you” to our LEOs? I think not. As the best of the best of the best told me: “Don’t just say ‘Thank you’; strive to follow their good example.” Yes, that is the kind of thanks that is especially appreciated. Also by our Lord, who, in laying down His life for all sinners while they were still sinners, said, “As the Master, so the Disciple.”
Some quick points:
- For whatever we think about choosing this or that patron saint on whom to lean especially when the going gets tough, the reality is more about whatever saint, human or angelic, who picks us up as a special project.
- That patron saint isn’t at all interested in helping us avoid this or that circumstance that we don’t particularly like, because what’s important to them is that we learn to look to our Lord in loving trust in whatever situation, they perhaps having suffered through precisely what we would rather avoid, and, to say it honestly, what we would rather avoid so as not to have any deeper loving trust in Mary’s Divine Son, you know, because that would cost us having to stop depending so much on ourselves, on our make-pretend control of whatever in our lives.
- Thus, while Saint Damian the leper might intercede with God for a cure of someone’s leprosy, if that does the person or those around that leper some spiritual good, the saint is much more interested in having the person look to our Lord in humble thanksgiving no matter what, no matter how bad the leprosy gets, and so perhaps bringing many more to heaven because of such a serene faith in adverse conditions.
- Thus, when LEOs call on Saint Michael the Archangel, warrior for the cause of right that he is, such a magnificent spiritual being might well not help the LEO to avoid injury or death, wanting instead, in view of eternal life, that the officer look to our Lord in such pain and suffering, perhaps in the last moments of life, to that, aimed at heaven at their passing, they might enter into their eternal reward. After all, it does take some of us going through catastrophic events to have us finally turn to the Lord in deep sincerity. For the angels in our regard, it’s all about “whatever it takes.”
- Having said that, yes, of course, all the saints, angelic and human, are filled with God’s own love, and they will hear our petitions such as “Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle!” And, if it be for our benefit or that of others, if it be according to God’s will, they will certainly answer that prayer. Sometimes we are surprised at how our prayers are answered, but they are answered always in a way that is for our best good. Sometimes we shoot too low. The saints help us to be on target with our petitions.
- So, if an officer were to pray to Saint Michael for a good arrest, instead of, say, a good encounter which may or may not end in arrest, depending, our angelic friend will go out of his way to make sure that it’s an encounter that will do good for all involved, come what may, arrest or no arrest. The officer might not be quite ready for such sincerity, and so things might go badly indeed, but getting smacked down by one’s guardian angel for said purpose is a job Saint Michael will gladly delegate our guardian angels to take up with added vigor. Asking for the help of patron saints is serious business. They will take it seriously even if we don’t, especially if we don’t.
- Having said all that, invoking Saint Michael “Who Is Like God”, so humble is he as to let God’s goodness and kindness and justice and truth shine through him… that always does good for the soul, you know, being reminded that one’s modus agendi is to involve humility, and not only justice and truth, but also goodness and kindness.
- The more one asks for Saint Michael’s help, the less corruption or abuse of office will be possible, either because one learns humility, or because subconsciously one makes sure that one is found out (the ironies are innumerable), or because one is removed from employment for whatever reason. Again, invoking Saint Michael is serious business and will do good for our souls one way or the other if we have even the tiniest smidgen of sincerity, of humility.
- Finally, as I’ve said before, Saint Michael doesn’t take it lightly when his own are dissed. Saint Michael is, as it were, God’s first police officer. When someone tries to hurt police officers, Saint Michael takes it personally. Saint Michael is not someone you want against you. So…
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly hosts, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan, and all the evil spirits, who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
Update: Dearborn MI open-carry inside police station / Brandishing vs. me at Police Station, Andrews NC. Yikes!
In Dearborn, Michigan, these guys are pulled over pretty frequently by the police so as to ascertain if they are creating a public disturbance, purposely terrorizing people. But now these guys seem to have gone too far. They open carried right into the police station with rifles and pistols and really a lot of ammo, one of them with a ski-mask covering his face. I don’t know if all that is legal to do in Michigan, particularly Dearborn, Michigan. They say it is. The police are understandably a bit nervous. Here‘s what one of the police officers yells out:
“Put it on the ground or you are dead,” one of the officers screams in the video that was live-streamed on the Internet via cell phones by Baker and Vreeland as the confrontation unfolded. “I will shoot you. I will put a round in you. What the hell is the matter with you?”
I don’t know what the motivation of the two open-carry advocates is, whether it is all about self-promotion or about the second amendment or if it is perhaps about their possibly being nervous because of the rumors, true or not, about un-official but somewhat de-facto sharia law observance in Dearborn or all or some or none of the above. Whatever about their motivation…
The fact remains that entering a police station armed to teeth (truly, the list is long) and with a ski-mask pulled over one’s face just doesn’t seem to me to be a good idea. FWIW.
Meanwhile, in Andrews, NC, I was sitting inside the police station just the other week having a chat about the executive order on immigration when a gentleman came waltzing in brandishing a fairly large pistol. Brandishing in any law enforcement center is, generally speaking, illegal in North Carolina. He was waving it about in my direction and I, trying to deescalate the situation, asked him in a sing-song naive voice and all smiles, much like Alfalfa of the Little Rascals:
“Hey! Wow! Is that one of those pistols that also shoots shotgun shells? It looks like the barrel is really big! Is that called ‘The Judge’?”
This threw him a bit, as it’s a stupid question. The Taurus Judge is actually a somewhat snub-nose pistol which can also fire off .410 shells. Although he had his hand around the handle of the gun and I could easily be mistaken, his .45 looked like a Colt, a Smith and Wesson, not small at all. He answered:
“Oh no. It’s, um, just a .45.”
As he looked down the barrel of his own gun I should have bolted and smashed him hard to the floor, as he was only about three steps from me.
At any rate, he then turned to the officer on duty – the gun still in my direction – and asked if it was O.K. for him to carry inside the station. The officer said:
“Well, you know, it’s not really allowed but I guess it would be O.K.”
I couldn’t believe my ears. I must say that although the guy was a nice guy, I did feel threatened since it was clear that everyone knew this was an illegal situation and that the officer, who had visibly tensed up and who had glanced over to me, may have only agreed to the brandishing of the gun under duress of the brandishing.
I kept my trap shut since this could have merely been a way on the part of the officer to buy time, deescalating the situation until such time as they could make an arrest and not get hurt. Never pull a gun when someone already has a gun in your face. They only have to pull the trigger, which is faster than whatever you can do.
I also thought the guy might be an ex-cop and that they might have all been friends and/or relatives, and I didn’t know quite how legal or illegal his situation might be in that circumstance, although I suppose I should take a hint from the actual officer on duty that “it’s not really allowed” for him. I will be happy to know if this guy was eventually arrested when this could be done safely. I was the one in the direction this guy was waving his .45 at…
If the situation went badly, I would have been shot first, as I was closest to him and he already had the gun aiming in my direction. Meanwhile, the officer would have had the time to draw and shoot him while I was getting shot. That saves the officer. Fine with me. I suppose I could have tried to avoid my getting shot by bolting behind a physical structure next to him and myself and then trying to slam him to the floor. He did have a second person with him. But if that other person didn’t have a weapon, I think I could have kept the guy pinned for the few seconds it would take to get the officer to shove a gun barrel into the back of his neck commanding him to let go of his weapon. I don’t know. If I had bolted toward him, first going behind the physical structure for cover, he could have first shot the officer before I got to him, easily shooting me in that time frame as well. Maybe the “permission” part of the conversation was a cue for me to tackle the guy as he was distracted at that point. After all, the officer had glanced over to me. He would have followed me with his gun, possibly shooting, but leaving the officer alive. I would have been behind the physical structure for a second. He would have been totally distracted. The officer could have taken a shot at him while that was going on.
What to do? The situation did deescalate… I don’t know if there was an arrest that followed later…
Did I do the right thing in delaying, letting it deescalate? It might not have deescalated at all. He could have killed me and perhaps also the officer after that. He was pointing the gun in my direction the whole time. Each nano-second was a risk for me, and then the other officer. What would you have done? Suggestions?
It just happened to work well. This time. Just because it worked out this time doesn’t at all mean that it was best to let it deescalate.
Should I have possibly taken a bullet possibly saving the officer? I could have commanded the guy to PUT THE GUN DOWN NOW! while moving unstoppingly in his direction. I’m a pretty big guy… with a pretty big voice if I need it. His voice was just so familiar and soft-spoken when he talked to the officer on duty that it really did seem they were friends or relatives or the guy was absolutely to be trusted because of his own background… But it’s often like that. For instance, bank robbers are usually extremely soft-spoken and nice because in that moment they have all the power.
The thing is, I didn’t know any of that possible background (which I think is actually the case regarding a friend or relative). It was extremely imprudent for him to brandish like he did. He could easily have pulled the trigger on me, unwittingly, if I tackled him. Actually, I’m still pretty upset with this guy for recklessly putting lives at risk. Unless the police tell me different, I think I will tackle anyone brandishing in the police station here. There are plenty of people who are fully capable of brandishing in the police station, having the mentality of the two in the video at the top of this post. They brag about it. Loudly. That’s just the way it is. And now they have a good example as it seems to me someone who does this without getting arrested, if that’s the case, is a hero to very many people around here.
The lesson for all of us is that you just don’t know how you’re going to react in whatever situation. This was good training, whether I did the best I could or if I could have done better. It helps to go through real situations. The point of training is to get better. Which reminds me about the FBI training: Active Shooter: The Coming Storm (FBI: Train now!) Critical incident situations are simply not easy. One does need to be trained. I see that more clearly now than previously.
P.S. Just to say. I did not have a weapon with me. It would have been illegal for me inside a law enforcement facility. But I could have tackled the guy. I probably would have died. But I could have saved the officer’s life. I don’t know. I just don’t know. Ideas?
UPDATE: As I now find out, not only was this guy not arrested, this incident was not even reported within the office. My response: The next time someone is brandishing against the law, following this guy’s bad example, I will end the threat, whether I get shot or not. At any rate, I was told that this will be brought up for training purposes in the department. That’s all I can ask for. That’s a good result.
Rays of the sun flooding Arlington National Cemetery as seen from the bridge to such honor during my pilgrimage witnessing light in the darkness. Visited were:
- United States Holocaust Memorial
- National Police Memorial
- World War II Memorial
- Korean War Memorial
- Vietnam War Memorial
- Arlington National Cemetery
- USMC Memorial
- Memorial honoring Martin Luther King Jr
- National Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, whose various national chapels in honor of the Mother of God often commemorate untold numbers of martyrs in various countries visiting those shrines during dire persecutions
More on all of these in future posts. I had intended to go to the CIA memorials but ran out of time. What impressed me deeply was the brightness of the honor in all the darkness. The brightness of the honor that could not, cannot and will not be besmirched with compromise. I was filled with zeal to strive to join however unworthily that noble company. And for that great gift I thank them for being a light in the darkness.
Full story on FoxNewsInsider (sent in by a reader on the other side of the world).
Brat Lies Matter in the USA because we have free speech. On that level it doesn’t matter if everything said is a lie, “It’s a book!” or some such lie aimed at inflaming violence, injury and death, though it does matter if the continuous lies directly incite violence, in which case people may well be going to prison, and rightly so.
Of course, to be perfectly correct about the matter: Error has no rights at all. But anyway:
Have you noticed that it’s not about black and white? The police officer is black and the police chief is black and protesters are both black and white. This is about anarchy and hatred of society, really about self-hatred. Now there’s a state of emergency and the National Guard has taken to the streets. A friend said that just outside of Charlotte, all day yesterday, the sky was filled with Black Hawks at the ready.
Anyway, I mean, here’s the deal: maybe the guy was mentally deficient or otherwise disabled, but he exited his car at a police stop and pulled a gun. At that point any claimed disability, whether a lie or the truth, doesn’t matter at all. People have a right to self-defense, and black police officers are people too. It’s all sad.
But let’s be clear: Brat Lies Matter hates black police officers because they are black. And now one civilian is at the edge of death and twenty some police officers are injured.
If I were head of schools in Charlotte I would require immediate and mandatory classes on how to interact with police, regardless of racial heritage:
- At a traffic stop, pull fully off the road, turn any music off, do not unbuckle your seat belt, don’t rummage around in the center console, under your seat or in the glove compartment, roll down the window 50%, keep both hands on the wheel, be polite with the officer when he approaches your vehicle, follow his instructions no matter what.
- If the officer says to exit the vehicle and get on the ground, and you’re parked over a mud puddle, you’re going to get wet. Get over it. Deal with any treatment issues later. Now is not the time to use threats and foul language. Don’t jerk away. Don’t argue. Just comply.
- Don’t hit the police officer. Really.
- Don’t pull a gun on the police officer. Really.
- Don’t run into traffic.
- Don’t ram the police cruiser.
As part of these school lessons, everyone will be required to be respectfully present and participate if possible…
- In singing the National Anthem while saluting or with hand over one’s heart
- In reciting the Pledge of Allegiance
If it’s a Catholic School, I would have the students take a knee in chapel and recite before the Most Blessed Sacrament the Consecration of the Human Race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, that is, the full version, with no politically incorrect bits taken out.
Last night, the parish of Saint Thomas Aquinas, near ground zero of the Charlotte riots, had an all night session of adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament. And that’s exactly the right thing to do. Good for them. We’re not going to change anything for the better without Jesus, Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception.
Please pray for Officer Nick Tullier, who is in a Baton Rouge hospital fighting for his life. Prayers for him that he pulls through.
Update 14 September 2016: A kind reader let me know early this morning that Nick underwent another successful surgery. Thank God. Let’s keep praying. To follow Nick’s progress:
Now, after that bit of humor (though, O.K., I hope the fellow didn’t die and we are not supposed to rejoice in the downfall of anyone), please, see this, which does not have a sorrowful ending, but which is sobering, and so very, very Catholic (Saint Michael, God’s first Police Officer, pray for us!): http://www.onepeterfive.com/the-last-photo/ And please pray for the souls of all the police officers, so very many, who have been recently assassinated by the terribly evil elements in our society.
All the law enforcement and firemen I know – whether Catholic or Baptist or whatever – invoke Saint Michael the Archangel. Hey! He’s all over the Sacred Scriptures! It’s a really bad idea to do some misdeed against law enforcement when they have Saint Michael looking after them. He doesn’t take it kindly when his own are dissed. I sure wouldn’t want Saint Michael angry with me.
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly hosts, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan, and all the evil spirits, who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
Captain Melton (46 years old with Tour of Duty of 26 years)
TO THE FAMILY, FRIENDS AND COLLEAGUES OF KANSAS CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT, CAPTAIN ROBERT DAVID MELTON.
This was written by Senior Master Investigator Cardell L. Dobbins #188 (Ret.) Illinois Secretary of State Department of Police District 01, Region 01 – July 20, 2016. Please note that the one was in Kansas and the other in Illinois. Solidarity. ///
My heart is filled with great sadness at learning of the lost of your loved one and fellow Officer. We in the law enforcement community are a family, although our uniforms may be a different style and vary in color, a badge, shield or star may be pinned upon our chest. Our areas of enforcement may vary but our goals are the same, to Serve and Protect our communities. We consist of many different agencies from across the nation, for we are: Municipal Police Officers, Sheriff’s Deputies, State Police Investigators, State Highway Patrol Troopers, Conservation Police Officers, College Campus Police Officers, Correctional Officers and Federal Agents just to name a few.
We patrol small towns, large cities, college campuses, county roads, state highways, state prisons, county jails, state parks and the United States Borders. Whether active duty or retired, we are one family, a Law Enforcement Family, the thin blue line of protectors, brothers and sisters bonded together by HONOR, SERVICE and PRIDE. Daily we honor our fallen brothers and sisters never forgetting their sacrifice and the sacrifice of their families.
Daily our position is clear that we will Serve and Protect our communities without faltering and with no hesitation. Daily we show pride in our chosen profession LAW ENFORCEMENT, for we willingly walk the line of good over evil facing the unknown with courage keeping our trust and our faith in GOD.
We know that evil roam these streets and at any moment in the course of performing our duties the ultimate sacrifice might be required of us in the service to our community, for Law Enforcement is not a job but a calling and only a few will make the decision to commit to that calling to serve for some will give all that they have.
ALL LIVES MATTER – LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS SHOULD BE RESPECTED – If we don’t respond to that call for help, or investigate that suspicious subject, or stop for that stranded motorist, or rush to that call of shots fired then who will?
- You did not die in vain.
- You sacrificed your life in the service to the citizens of Kansas City in the State of Kansas with HONOR, PRIDE and DISTINCTION.
- I’m proud to have worn the uniform of a law enforcement officer like you did.
- I’m proud to have pinned the badge upon my chest like you did.
- I’m proud to have Served and Protected my community as you did.
- I’m proud to call you my BROTHER!
- I commend you my fallen brother for making the ultimate sacrifice in the performance of your duty.
- For you left us doing what you chose to do.
- Performing a job you were trained to do.
- Upholding the oath you swore to do.
- Most importantly doing what you loved to do………. Serving and Protecting your community with Honor and Pride making a better and safer place for us all.
FOR THOSE WHO FIGHT FOR IT, “LIFE HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW”. FINAL CALL —
Captain Melton status……….
Captain Melton status…………
Captain Melton status………..
Attention All Units……………. [I this point I always tear up]
Kansas City Police Department, Captain Robert David Melton having served the citizens of Kansas City in the State of Kansas with HONOR, PRIDE and DISTINCTION is now 10-42.
Rest in Peace my fallen Brother, YOU WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN!!!
US Catholic Bishops: Law Enforcement Officers are guilty always & everywhere of racist violence because they are LEOs
In his capacity as President of the U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, has demonstrated his anti-Cop attitude, in an attempt to pit all Law Enforcement against the Catholic Church and all peoples against Law Enforcement. This is an encouragement of more violence against Law Enforcement Officers (which, in his view and that of Black Lives Matter, is a race war of black against blue, as if all LEOs were white or effectively white). A cursory glance of his statement might leave one with the impression that he is against violence. I’ve written of this already (Ambush-Assassinations of our LEOs: Damnable statement of the USCCB) but we need to drill into this deeper. It seems that I’m the only one willing to do so. Am I wrong. I think not. My emphases and [comments]. ///
WASHINGTON—Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, issued the following statement (HERE) in relation to the July 17 fatal shooting of police officers in Baton Rouge, Lousiana [sic]. Full statement follows.
“Stop, no more of this!” (LK 22:51) [This citation is his title for his statement. These words of Jesus reprimanding Peter for using his sword to protect Jesus sets up an equivocation between self-defense of self and others on the one hand and then on the other hand Jesus willingly laying down His life for our salvation, standing in our stead, the innocent for the guilty, that He might have the right in His own justice to have mercy on us. This is a false equation because you and I are not Jesus redeeming the world, nor are we in Gethsemane with Peter when Jesus is laying down His life. There are many times we can and should and must lay down our lives as well (e.g. Saint Thomas More), but self-defense of self and others outside of Gethsemane is the right thing to do inasmuch as we can do it. It is charitable and a positive contribution to the virtue of justice and can involve laying down one’s life as well, yes, also as a martyr. There is no greater love…]
A Statement from Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops [In other words, this is done in his official capacity and so is speaking for all the bishops of the the U.S. Bishops Conference.]
I offer my prayers for the officers and families affected by the horrible shooting in Baton Rouge. We find ourselves amid a prolonged prayer of lament as we join to console the grieving and support the suffering. [Agree…] People are suffering because their uniform is blue [Agree, because we mourn together… but then…], suffering because their skin is black [Whoa! In this context he’s saying that ALL Law Enforcement Officers always and everywhere are violent racists.] and suffering simply because of their station in life. [Wow. So, in this context, he is saying that poor people suffer from all Law Enforcement everywhere because they are poor.]
The temptation to respond to violence with violence is strong. Even St. Peter himself lashed out upon the arrest of our beloved Savior. Jesus’ response was clear. “Put your sword back into its sheath, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword” (MT 26:52). [Not “sheath” but “place” which also means “proper usage” or “office.” In other words, with Jesus purposely laying down His life, this is not the time or place, though not to say that there isn’t a proper time or place for the sword.]. As followers of Christ, let us always embrace love and ask ourselves how we can best invite all people of good will to live with us in peace [In other words, the Bishops are saying that all Law Enforcement Officers and our Military for that matter are anti-Christs for taking up the sword for the self-defense of self or others. This is a terrible insult. They risk their lives 24/7/365 for you and I. What a terrible insult to them. Look, the “living by the sword” bit refers to a sword outside of it’s proper usage. Jesus’ words are NOT against weapons as such.].
The reasons for so much suffering are complex and varied. As a society, we must come together to address the lingering evil of racism, the need to safeguard our citizens from the present danger of extremism and the overall breakdown of civility [He’s talking about black violence (his generalization) against LEOs and that of LEOs (his generalization) against blacks. But his generalizations do not express reality. There are simply a handful of individuals on both sides who do things they shouldn’t. Period. To generalize is actually to encourage a race war and a war against Law Enforcement Officers (in his perspective).]. As a Church, we will seek out ways to foster this life-saving dialogue. Answers will not come easily nor as quickly as we need. We must continue searching and listening until they do. [So, are Law Enforcement Officers NOT supposed to supply overwhelming force to stop someone who is pumping bullets into their fellow Officers in an active shooter ambush/assassination situation? They can and should and must do this. Dear Archbishop, let’s see you walk up to an active shooter and tell him to get with the program of dialogue. No, seriously, do a ride along with your local Law Enforcement every night and get dropped off in front of the active shooter shooting the windshield of the cruiser you’re riding in. Then command the Officer to drive away so that you don’t have the benefit of armed backup as he continues to pump bullets into those in the situation. No, really! Put your life where your mouth is. I’ve signed up to volunteer for the local Crime Victims support team, which does do ride-alongs to violent crimes. But I see no reason for armed Law Enforcement to drop me off and run away so I can dialogue with some guy while he beats a woman and her kids to death. I would want LEOs along while a Gas Station Attendant is dying and there’s an active shooter in the area. I would want them there, armed to the teeth. But, I insist. Practice what you preach. But you know what. It won’t happen. Not because you wouldn’t try, but because Law Enforcement would also protect you from yourself. And they don’t all of a sudden want a hostage situation. You would only make the situation worse and put more Officers at risk. Get it?]
As we seek a dialogue that cultivates a true respect for every human being, we should also seek ways, large and small, to be a sign of hope in the everyday routines of life. [Great. That’s invited by Law Enforcement, but there’s a time and a place.] The next time you are pulled over by a police officer or walk past one on the street, thank him or her for their service [but not for their service with weapons, right? They would soon all be dead. Some thanksgiving that is.]. For those in law enforcement, the next time you make a traffic stop, thank the person for their time [“time”? How about: “Thanks, Officer, sir, for putting your life at risk for us each and every day”? How about that.]. The task of building a society upon the strong foundation of love begins with each one of us every day. [Right, and that love encourages one to make a positive contribution to the virtue of justice by way of a self-defense that needs in the present conditions weapons that bring overwhelming force to an unjust and mortal aggressor.]
===== My continued comment:
Dear Archbishop Kurtz and bishops of these United States and territories:
Take a look at my Officer Down! website and read through the speech I wrote for our Officer Down! Memorial Dinner, and then take a look at my Officer Down! Twitter feed. Learn a lesson about mercy. And then, I beg you on behalf of our Law Enforcement Officers and on behalf of peace in these United States and on behalf of the Catholic Church in these United States, please, retract your comments and put out something that respects the rights of all. You have unjustly incriminated Law Enforcement Officers, all black and poor people. Have mercy.
Father George David Byers
Missionary of Mercy for Pope Francis in this Year of Mercy