SYNDICATED COLUMN: Cops Gone Wild! Police Unions Are Killing Our Freedoms

Police unions are out of control.

Earlier this year, Baltimore cops murdered Freddie Gray by chaining him up and intentionally swerving and repeatedly slamming on the breaks. Rather than telling their members to behave professionally, however, the head of the city’s police union attacked people who protested Gray’s death, smearing them as — of all things! — “a lynch mob.”

About a year ago, the leader of New York’s police union reacted to the assassination of two Brooklyn cops as they sat in their squad car by declaring that newly-elected mayor Bill de Blasio had “blood on his hands” — because he hadn’t been sufficiently pro-cop. (There is no evidence that the killer ever heard of Bill de Blasio.)

Now the Fraternal Order of Police is threatening one of the United States’ most acclaimed film directors.

FOP executive director Jim Pasco, threatened Quentin Tarantino, who helmed “Pulp Fiction” and numerous other major movies, in The Hollywood Reporter. “Something is in the works, but the element of surprise is the most important element. Something could happen anytime between now and (the premiere). And a lot of it is going to be driven by Tarantino, who is nothing if not predictable. The right time and place will come up and we’ll try to hurt him in the only way that seems to matter to him, and that’s economically.”

Charming.

Tarantino’s “crime,” in the eyes of “there’s blue, then there’s you” cops: he attended a Black Lives Matter rally, where he said he was against murderers, and for the murdered.

There’s only one logical inference. According to the police, Black Lives Do Not Matter. By their wicked logic, we should support murderous cops, not murdered civilians.

If you don’t toe the line? “Instead of dealing with the incidents of police brutality that those people were bringing up, instead of examining the problem of police brutality in this country, better they single me out,” Tarantino told The Los Angeles Times. “And their message is very clear. It’s to shut me down. It’s to discredit me. It is to intimidate me. It is to shut my mouth, and even more important than that, it is to send a message out to any other prominent person that might feel the need to join that side of the argument.”

Jacobin magazine’s description of these organizations as “The Bad Kind of Unionism” is putting it mildly. The only people they “protect and serve” is themselves — the people be damned.

It’s ironic that that Tarantino quote comes from the LA Times. The Times, you see, is owned by Tribune Publishing. Whose number-one shareholder is a private equity firm called Oaktree Capital. Which manages the pension fund of the LAPD police union, the LAPPL (Police Protective League).

The LAPPL is one of the free-speech-hating fascist police unions threatening Tarantino. And the LAPPL appears to have gotten the Times to fire me as its political cartoonist — using quickly-discredited evidence — because I criticized the LAPD for the fact that they’re violently militarized and lousy at their jobs.

After I was fired, the LAPPL issued a press release. “So many within the LAPD were pleasantly surprised at the recent firing of Los Angeles Times opinion cartoonist Ted Rall,” the union said. “We hope other news publications will take note…” (They removed it from the Internet after the outcry over my firing.)

When you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail. That’s cops in the year 2015. They want to shoot and torture and rob and harass us. Without fear of punishment.

They can’t even stand criticism.

So they go after cartoonists. And film directors.

Reporters, too.

A former journalist — the “former” comes courtesy of the cops who leaned on his cowardly excuse for an editor to fire him — in Baker City, Oregon is suing Baker City and its freedom-hating police chief for making his life miserable. After the Baker City Record-Courier let Brian Addison go as a favor to Baker City PD in 2008, the cops followed his car around, repeatedly stopping him. When he landed another job, not in journalism, in 2014, the cops got him fired again — using a falsified “dossier” that indicated he had a criminal background. He didn’t.

What did Addison do to piss off the po-po?

He wrote an editorial complaining about an incident at a high school girls basketball game, where the fuzz walked a drug-sniffing dog through the stands during halftime. Addison’s editorial pointed out, correctly, that this was a disgusting violation of basic Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches.

Unions are an essential bulwark against gangster capitalism. Public-sector unions are just as necessary as private-sector ones. But these police — and their unions — have got to go.

Every police department in the country should be disbanded. All the cops should be fired. It’s time to start from scratch — and replace them with civilian-run organizations designed to protect us.

(Ted Rall, syndicated writer and the cartoonist for ANewDomain.net, is the author of the new book “Snowden,” the biography of the NSA whistleblower. Want to support independent journalism? You can subscribe to Ted Rall at Beacon.)

COPYRIGHT 2015 TED RALL, DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM

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27 thoughts on “SYNDICATED COLUMN: Cops Gone Wild! Police Unions Are Killing Our Freedoms

  1. “Every police department in the country should be disbanded. All the cops should be fired. It’s time to start from scratch — and replace them with civilian-run organizations designed to protect us.”

    And once again, a “progressive” demands the impossible, immediately. And then wonders why no one takes him seriously.

    • Why yes, a “Progressive” is – by definition – someone who wants change.

      While someone who wants to keep doing the same old thing is called a “conservative.” You’re a conservative, Whimsy – and yet you wonder why nobody on a progressive site takes you seriously.

      • LOL.

        I’m the only actual progressive on this site. because I’m the only one who supports actual progress.

        The rest of you are willing to sacrifice progress by demanding things that no one will be able to give you, and you should know by now that no one will be able to give you. Yet you reject progress in the name of demanding what is impossible to get over, and over, and over again.

        By your own definition, you’re the conservative.

      • AYKFM? You’ve argued “quit whining and stay the course” far too many times to try to talk your way out of it now.

        The only way you’re ‘progressive’ is moving progressively to the right.

    • Completely wrong, as usual.

      Yet again you deliberately misunderstand/misrepresent my position- why is that?

      Oh yeah, its because I’m the guy that knows how to actually get to the goals you only give lip service to, and you can’t stand the idea of making actual progress.

      You don’t support progress, therefore you are not a progressive – it really is just that simple.

      I’m the guy that’s been arguing “Quit whining about things that no one could be reasonably and realistically be expected to get you, and use the progress that the Democrats gave you(the vast majority of what could reasonably and realistically could be expected of them) as a stepping stone and you’ll get to your goals eventually.” That’s a progressive viewpoint.

      You and yours are arguing- “The only reason punishing Democrats for not delivering things no one could reasonably and realistically expect to get hasn’t worked for the last 40 years is just because we haven’t punished the Democrats hard enough.” That is worse than a non-progressive viewpoint, its a regressive viewpoint- “If my expectations aren’t met, I would rather the country go backwards a mile then forward an inch.” Which would be a regressive attitude even if your expectations were reasonable and realistic, but “progressive” expectations aren’t even close.

      And since your attitude is exactly what has driven the Democratic party (and by extension, the country) so far right over the last forty years, your claim that I am going to the right is so nonsensical as to be farce.

      My goals for the country are almost certainly to the left of yours, and my strategy will achieve them in time- provided you “progressives” see the light and embrace real progress instead of only providing it lip service.

      No, I’m the only real progressive here, as “progressives” are actually regressive (aka Conservatives in disguise)

      P.S. You heard it here first folks. If he gets the gig, the people who are currently Bernie’s biggest supporters will be the first to denounce him in 2018 when he accomplishes around the same amount as Obama did in his first two years. Maybe a little less, as the right knows that if they block progress long enough, “progressives” will do their job for them and tear down Bernie and the Democrats for them, consequently getting more right wing nut jobs elected. (and consequently shrinking the window of what can be reasonably and realistically expected from Democrats; but I digress because “progressives” never think that far ahead….)

      • > why is that?

        Because you keep saying it over & over, in fact you just did again: “Quit whining about things that no one could be reasonably and realistically be expected to get you, and use the progress that the Democrats gave you (the vast majority of what could reasonably and realistically could be expected of them) as a stepping stone and you’ll get to your goals eventually.”

        Sure, you wasted a lot more bandwidth saying it, but it still boils down to “quit whining & stay the course.” The exact, same, “plan” that got us Obama & has HRC lined up for the Presidency.

        We real progressives put Bernie on the map, and even if not elected – the fact he’s got so much support has changed Hillary’s tone. Yep, that’s progress, and nope, it didn’t come from the mainstream dummycrats. ::glancing upwards::

        The rest of your whiny, meandering post is devoted to misrepresenting progressive’s positions, and is otherwise unworthy of response.

      • “Sure, you wasted a lot more bandwidth saying it, but it still boils down to “quit whining & stay the course.” The exact, same, “plan” that got us Obama & has HRC lined up for the Presidency. ”

        And again we descend into nonsense and farce. For decades the “progressive punishment policy” has dictated the course of Democrat election strategy. Its what’s driven the country so far right, and what got Obama and HRC where they are today.

        I have never advised “staying the course”, nor would I . Instead , I have repeatedly advised changing course and not get emotionally invested in an obvious and completely failed strategy such as the one “progressives” have been using for 40 years.

        You then promptly proved my point about how emotionally invested you are in your failed strategy by deliberately misunderstanding/misrepresenting my position to the point of ignoring reality and descending into farce.

        “We real progressives put Bernie on the map, and even if not elected – the fact he’s got so much support has changed Hillary’s tone. ”

        Yes, you got Hillary to change her tone. It’s cute that you think that matters, but it doesn’t.

        The ugly truth is Hillary or Bernie will only be able to accomplish around the same small amount that Obama did in between elections. As I said, probably a little less because “progressives” have rewarded Republicans so much for their obstructionism over the last 40 years that I predict they will escalate their obstructive behavior. They certainly aren’t going to stop something that they’ve been so well rewarded for- especially when the people who reward them are the ones who make the claim they oppose Republican policies.

        And when you’re excoriating Bernie for being a corporate sellout and a fraud (as you will by 2018, when he does not deliver your full expectations in an impossible time frame) I want you to remember who understands the “progressive” emotional attachment to their obviously failed strategy that he was able to call it three years in advance.

        “The rest of your whiny,”
        This is cute, coming from someone whose counter argument is basically stamping their their foot and going “I AM a real progressive! I AM! I AM! I AM!”

        Again, its cute that you think that, but no, you’re not.

        “meandering post is devoted to misrepresenting progressive’s positions, and is otherwise unworthy of response.”

        Translation: “You have so completely nailed the “progressive” position that I have no ability to offer a cogent, cohesive counter-argument. So I’m just going to hold my breath and storm off and hope you don’t notice my lack of ability to respond.”

        Unfortunately for you, as my accurate description of the “progressive” policy of the last forty years proves, my observation skills are spot on.

      • In twenty-five words or less.please explain how your “plan” is materially different than the same thing that the mainstream dummycrats have been doing for the last forty+ years.

        (Other than “quit whining” which you totally never said.)

  2. Well, personally I think CrazyH has it exactly right, treat cop killers just like killer cops. And keep in mind that anyone who is actually a union supporter will tell you that “police union” is an oxymoron. Makes no sense. Any leftist worth their salt thinks police unions have no business claiming to be unions, or having anything to do with the union movement.

  3. And somebody’s gonna have to call you on this, Ted. Saying those opposing Black Lives Matter don’t believe black lives matter is like saying opposing the Patriot Act means you aren’t a patriot. It’s just good branding on their part. OK. Be real. Hell by the same logic we could say you don’t believe Police Lives Matter!

    • After adjusting for murder rates, black male teenagers are still killed by the police 2.3 times as often as whites. This is a considerable difference — but again, over-representation of urban areas in the data set could be a big part of the explanation.

      Not very enlightening. The biggest takeaway I get from this article is that law enforcement is making little effort to monitor and track killings by police.

      Cops kill FAR too many people of all races in this country. Blacks probably do get it the worst.

      • Correct – while there is national record keeping on death-by-cop, participation is strictly voluntary.

  4. I realize I’m the only source for most of you for facts relating to such matters. So I’ll do my duty. Here’s a study. I know how much the Left loves science!

    “Black suspects were also as likely to shoot at police as be shot at…Active police officers, military personnel and the general public took longer to shoot black suspects than white or Hispanic suspects. Participants were also more likely to shoot unarmed white suspects than black or Hispanic ones and more likely to fail to fire at armed black suspects…there is some evidence from the field to support the proposition that an officer’s threat bias could cause him or her to tend to take more time to make decisions to shoot people whom they subconsciously perceived as more threatening because of race or ethnicity. This behavioral ‘counter-bias’ might be rooted in people’s concerns about the social and legal consequences of shooting a member of a historically oppressed racial or ethnic group.”

    And there’s the money shot. Cops are so concerned about racism that they take longer to shoot blacks than white suspects in the same situation.

    • Well, so much for civility.

      Too bad that your reference is a university study of random participants under laboratory conditions, rather than real police officers in the field.

      The researchers do, however, reference one actual stat from the street. To wit, “we need to understand whether the police are shooting black unarmed males more than they are white unarmed males. And at the moment, nobody knows that.

      Which pretty much invalidates your final sentence above.

      • You are truly hopeless. What part of “Black suspects were also as likely to shoot at police as be shot at” don’t you get? Are you gonna pull “poverty” out your ass again? So when it’s white on black it’s racism but when it’s black on white it’s poverty? You don’t even notice the hypocrisy and bias of your assumptions. You expect the worst of whites and the best of blacks. Nothing will get through to you on race issues.

      • Exactly. Because there is nothing you can say about it. More blacks die at cop hands because more cops die at black hands.

      • “At the moment, there are no comprehensive statistics on whether the police do inappropriately shoot at black males more than they do at white males.” But CrazyH and Black Lives Matter are ready to assume so!

      • ““At the moment, there are no comprehensive statistics on whether the police do inappropriately shoot at black males more than they do at white males.” But CrazyH and Black Lives Matter are ready to assume so!”

        And you’re ready to assume the opposite. If making unwarranted assumptions is a bad thing, then why do you do it?

        But let’s get back to those facts that you claim to be representing. What we do know is that cops kill blacks 4X as often as they do whites (proportionately)

        So, either they shoot at blacks more often, or they take better aim when shooting at blacks. I don’t think either possibility speaks well of the cops.

        “You expect the worst of whites and the best of blacks.”

        What was that you said about pulling stuff our of your ass? I never said anything of the sort. The fact that you repeatedly make those kinds of gross misrepresentations says far more about your arguments than mine.

      • There are so many real reasons to attack them. Surveillance, evidence planting, civil asset forfeiture, domestic violence handling.

    • To hijack a Star-Wars metaphor, it is the institution of law enforcement in America (and most of the rest of the world) that has been subverted (primarily by their own unions) by “the dark side.” Percentage-wise, Blacks are shot at by cops more than are White folks. Can we presume here that the White folks have at least as many guns as the Black targets of police patrols? Or, by being a better armed community, perhaps cops shoot at White people less, thereby producing less confrontation.

      Ultimately, the problem is the police forces that shoot both Black and White victims. Additionally, how often are these statistics fudged by cops who plant — post mortem — guns on both Black and White people that they’ve murdered?

      Meantime, both White and Black people in their thousands are slaughtered by cops. Is race the primary cause? Or is it just another symptom? Cops are taught that they’re at the top of the food chain … even so, is it surprising that, occasionally, they still eat their own?
      https://www.reddit.com/r/Bad_Cop_No_Donut/
      http://copcrisis.com/reports/

      Regardless of the statistical anomalies, it’s a “known known,” cops are murderers much more often than they are murdered.

      DanD

  5. Here’s another suggestion – level the playing field. Ensure that cop killers gets the same sort of treatment as killer cops.

    Kill a cop: you get paid vacation until the furor dies down. Your case will be heard by an independent board of people made up of the families of Freddie Grey, Tamir Rice, etc. If they determine that your actions were justified: get out of jail free!

    I suppose that the cops *could* clean up their acts, but that’s just crazy talk.

    • How about cops being required to have personal liability insurance so the community they offend isn’t required to pay its own members’ damages out of funds that should be going to community services?

      If you are too much of a risk to the insurance company bottom line then you are too much of a risk to the community to be a cop.

      Other professionals have professional liability insurance to keep them out of bankruptcy when they screw up. They don’t get subsidized by the state. It’s called personal responsibility.

      • I li-i-i-ke it.

        It should be just like auto insurance. If you work in a high-cop-killing area, your rates go up. Use the insurance, your rates go up. Use it too often, it gets cancelled and you can no longer work…

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