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Our first responses to the article were in strong disagreement and to try and achieve some balance we published those as well as some that agreed. Our thanks again to those who wrote us.
The subject, having generated quite a response, we present this second page with even more comment for you. No particular order - probably pretty much as received and various views. A current sample of poll results (670 votes) shows a trend to be around 4% who do trust, 60% or so who do not and a large 29% who actually fear!
The subject is necessarily contentious, but it is felt that it is important prior to voting in the associated poll that the original article is read in full, as well as the need to view the entire video referred too as well.
Hey guys, sorry if this is not the proper way to reply but I couldn’t seem to find a way via the web page.
Anyway, I just want you to know that you have waaaaay more support on this issue than your responses would indicate. But, I mean, after all, how else would you expect them (the jackboots) to respond. You threatened their livelihood as "legalized" armed robbers and extortionists.
The militarization of law enforcement has been going on for a long long time and will probably get worse before it gets any better. Soldiers are paid to kill people and break things. That is simply not acceptable from edict enforcers in what is supposed to be a free society.
Keep up the good work and please do not let them bully you into doing anything different.
As far as I know, this does not happen in Texas. The couple of times I have been stopped, I show my CCL with my Driver’s License, and point to where the gun is located in my car. We might or might not have a discussion about gun ownership, but never has an officer asked me to give him my gun.
I just read the comments regarding Mr. Vanderboegh’s open letter. I was expectedly disappointed by the law enforcement comments denying there’s a problem, and castigating Mr. Vanderboegh and JPFO. I decided to offer my own thoughts as a military veteran, ex-cop, and sometimes private security officer.
First in the issue of these people defining themselves as "law enforcement officers". My oath was an a _peace officer_. My job was to keep the peace, to protect people. LEO aren’t there to protect; they are there to enforce whatever law and whim politicians dream up.
Any officer out there who thinks the abuses described are not happening is lying -- to us, or to himself -- or is too ignorant to be on the streets, or is in one of the very few clean departments. Even New Hampshire, which from personal experience averages better cops than most states, has problems: There was a third shift officer in one small town with a main highway who would randomly pull people over because he was admittedly bored and _could_ do it. Another officer bounced from department to department, fired for such things as beating up a kid because he was insufficiently deferential and stealing department property. He was able to do this because the departments covered for him, allowing him to keep his certification. He finally landed a job with my unsuspecting town as chief, virtually immune to being fired. He became so bad that every surrounding department suspended mutual aid agreements, and finally every officer walked off the job because he was a danger to all. My own lawyer was once disarmed by a cop who was simply curious why she was walking around her own neighborhood.
In Nevada, I was threatened with arrest simply for having a driver license from my state of residence.
In Missouri, I was taken into custody for not matching the description of a supposed bank robber. That is not a typo.
When I was a cop, a large percentage of fellow officers would brag about abuses. I was invited to join the riot squad; they said it would be great, a license to "beat the shit" out of people. Instead, I resigned.
Those are just the personal experiences of one person. Every day, in the news, I read about more abuses. Like a woman killed by a nervous cop who panicked at the sound of his own brother cops killing the woman’s dog. A drug raid on a large indoor marijuana facility in southern city revealed that the site security was provided by off-duty members of the city SWAT team. A man shot to death in his bed during a raid, in which the warrant was based on lies by an officer. An elderly lady murdered in her home by more lying drug cops, who followed up by threatening an informant if he didn’t lie for them. Or the old reliable routine of traffic stops of out-of-staters because they cannot take the time to fight the bogus charges. How many small town departments run speed traps in poorly marked zones, just for the revenue? I know a small town of fewer than 1,900 people where the cops wrote over 5,000 traffic tickets in one year.
And speaking of revenue, we come to asset forfeiture, when there was never intention of filling real charges. Imagine the Crips setting up a roadblock and shaking down cops for whatever money they have and "impounding" the cruiser. The original purpose of asset forfeiture laws was to deny the accused the financial wherewithal to afford a fair defense. Even if "legal", that is not moral. And that highlights the difference between a respectable peace officer and a law enforcement officer.
Hassles, thefts, beatings, killings; we keep seeing these things, but the cops almost invariably close ranks and declare, "He followed standard procedures." Kidnapping, injuring, or killing someone is standard procedure; cops need to step back and look at that, and understand how wrong that is.
And I do not want to hear the whole "officer safety is paramount" spiel; it isn’t. You voluntarily accepted a job with some risks, and generally get paid more than the average citizen, often far more. And the job is not that dangerous; it is not even in the top ten. Compare officer fatalities to fishermen and lumberjacks. Roofer is more dangerous than being a police officer. If you feel so threatened by a job less dangerous than roofer, don’t take it out on the people; go get a different job that does not intimidate you so much. Flower arranging, perhaps, unless rose thorns are too scary for you.
Maybe you are thinking, "But that isn’t what I do. I’m nice. I don’t bully people." Understand this: That is not enough, if you tolerate that behavior in your fellow officers. There are laws that make it a crime for a citizen not to report a crime he knows of. We do not get to tolerate bank robbers. And if I knew a neighbor was abusing a woman, I would not tolerate that; I would -- in fact, have -- intervene. You need to intervene when you know a fellow officer is doing something wrong. When you were a kid, did you dream of becoming a police officer so you could follow standard procedures that let you abuse people and maybe get a paid vacation for it? Or did you want to help people and have their respect?
Do you really want to be on the same side of that thin blue line as Detective Tuason, who advocated killing innocent people because he does not like their activities, which he acknowledged to be lawful?
If not, you need to change your, and your fellow officers’, ways. Start by admitting there is a problem. Maybe you do not read the news, but we do.
But if you did dream of being an abusive bully, and associating with people who think killing honest citizens is OK...
Well, that brings us back to Mr.Vanderboegh’s letter.
I read your post on the JPFO police/firearms issue and am concerned about your statement:"And yes, I believe that felons need to be armed and should participate in policing society too. Felon disarmament is a recent and unconstitutional ("shall not be infringed" means shall not be infringed) innovation."
Are you saying the 2nd Amendment is an absolute? If so, then convicted murderers shall have the RKBA - so too shall 5th graders be allowed to pack a Uzi to class and inmates must be allowed to pack heat in their cells. Where do you draw the line?
The line, for good or ill, was drawn by the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution which abolishes slavery, "except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted."
Disarmament, being a badge of slavery, is authorized as a punishment for crime after conviction.
Due process requires that the punishment for a crime be in writing and that the writing describing the punishment exist prior to the commission of the crime (no ex post facto laws).
In Oregon, punishment for our crimes ends after the prison sentence and post prison supervision. Although some people are sentenced to life terms, most felons’ sentences end after a few years.
So, to answer your question, felons in prison can be disarmed as they have the status of slaves. Once the felon’s sentence is complete, his right to keep and bear arms should automatically be reinstated.
As to children, traditionally, children have not been treated as adults for most purposes, including the right to keep and bear arms. Traditionally, the parents (or the father) rather than the government determined which rights the children had or did not have.
I, a parent of three children, am comfortable making decisions for my children, including when and how they may exercise the right to keep and bear arms.
James E. Leuenberger
Attorney & Counselor at Law
I want to think that 99% of cops respect their position of trust and service to the public, and that if you are a good person, you will likely only meet a bad cop, and God help you, then. Wrong Place, Wrong time, Wrong Cops = You are dead.
I am far more afraid of the police than I am of the common criminal. I have the ability and the means to defend myself against the criminals. Citizens are powerless to sucessfully defend against rogue cops. Do we need more examples than Ruby Ridge, Waco, and Katrina? Oh, sure, years after the fact, a civil settlement may be awarded to the victims (if they survive) of police misconduct. But that is small comfort, and even smaller justice. I am old enough to remember when the police were the citizens’ friend. I had several close friends who were police officers and deputies. I had a passing acquaintance with lots of state and local police thirty to 40 years ago. They were "Peace Officers," and I respected every one of them. The not so subtle shift from "Peace Officer" to "Law ENFORCEMENT Officer" has created an adversarial relationship of distrust and, yes, downright fear of our current crop of police officers. I believe that most police officers, even the good ones, will behave exactly like the ones in New Orleans behaved. If they are ordered by local, state, or federal "authorities" to kick down doors and forcibly disarm citizens, they will do it, under the guise of "just following orders" and/or "just enforcing the law." And, unlike the relatively benign aftermath of a righteous self-defense shooting of a conventional criminal, shooting a rogue cop will precipitate an all out attack by fellow "law enforcement officers" which can have only one ultimate outcome: no matter how many of them you "take with you," you will be killed.
I remember all to well in Nazi Germany, and Waco USA, how those sworn to protect citizens fell right in to aiding Jackboots and Red Armbands with broken crosses. The police will go as the Powered elite demands. The police are not your friends, and they are not there to help you. The thoroughly cowed public has been groomed from birth to outsource all the major life decisions in deference to the overarching Nanny State…and most especially the right of self defense; now, we allow heavily armed, masked men, to kick down doors at night while conducting warrant-less raids where many times the results are innocent people getting killed!
Is this the America we want for ourselves and our children?
I believe that in any society which claims to be more than just a framework for organized thuggery, there are two essential principles pertaining to those who voluntarily accept the duty of enforcing the law. They must be held:
(1) In the highest of respect, and
(2) To the highest of standards.
If law enforcement declines to meet the second principle, it has no moral or practical right to demand the first.
Unfortunately, MPD leadership are traitors to the Constitution, their Oath of Office, the Public Trust, 10 Commandments, and the cops are out of control in this country and believe they have absolute authority over us!
When will we, Sovereign American Citizens, put a stop to this?
Hello, honored friends -
As a friend of Mike V, the author of the article - and as a man who KNOWS him pretty well - I will say that if people would get over their knee-jerk defensive squawking and actually READ the article, or if they are too emotionally spent, have someone read it TO them, they would find that Mike said the same thing that most of the complainers are saying - that not all cops are bad, that the many are tainted by the minority of power crazed thugs ( and who do you know who does NOT have a personal experience story of a cop using his authority in a bullying way? ) and that all LEOs need to be honest, take off the Hollywood super-hero outfit, think about their lifelong oaths and examine their consciences to see IF they are living their oath.
That is something that ALL of the three per centers and Oath Keepers have been doing, themselves, for a long time. Why do some people get their panties in a wad just because an article challenges THEM to be as honest with themselves, as the rest of us?
And do these objectors think that the majority if people who state that they no longer feel they can trust the police, all just suddenly went psychotic and made that decision with no basis in reason, logic or life experience? Were people from coast to coast ( and in England and Zimbabwe, to my knowledge) all gassed by some paranoia-inducing aerosol drug, causing them to simultaneously lose trust in the police? That is not a sane conclusion.
Rather, one might want to ask - what experiences DID cause people across all geographic and societal borders, to reach the same conclusion? Are people everywhere criminals, who fear that the LEOs will ferret them out as they all sell crack to school kids and rape old ladies before stealing their welfare checks?
How foolish; in fact, when people voice a distrust of cops, it is invariably because they or their family or closest friends have had experiences in which a cop or cops, bullied, menaced or intimidated them with no just cause. And on a more mundane level - how many people do you know, who have been pulled over for a very, very minor traffic infraction in their neighborhoods, when they could point with one hand to crack houses, dog-fight pits or corners used by whores and their pimps, within a few blocks - and who do their business day after day, year after year, with no interference by the local police?
A good cop is a good man and a good friend to his community; and a good, trained, armed individual citizen is a good man and a friend to any good cops. Police who are serious about their oaths might do well to build better links with the law abiding citizens and stand in common cause.
Keep up the great work.
I like to simplify the complex.
When cops become GESTAPO or STASI they ARE the enemy.
Jerry Levine wrote:
Greetings, Following my initial reading of the article I decided it best not to respond until later and after a re-read. I have worked as an LEO and worked with offenders for much of my professional career. I have worked in, "the big city," in rural areas and in high end small towns as well. While I agree that there are some bad LEO’s, I must say that they are the exception and not the rule. Your article is both mis-leading and mis-guided. Always ranking in the top three of the most dangerous situations LEO’s face is the, "routine," traffic stop. Training, training and more training are helpful and this includes the lawfully armed citizen who can learn to keep both hands plainly visible for the approaching officer and immediately declare the presence of a weapon or not. JPFO is off the mark on this one both with regard to facts and attitude.
I received a number of good, private comments today.
Interestingly, I had a deposition today for a client who was abused in jail by corrections officers.
She was denied medicine and she was ridiculed for complaining about pain.
The part of the video I found most compelling was not the violence, which I have seen before, it was the uniform response to requests for complaint forms. I had not seen that on video before.
In Portland, the forms are available on line.
The problem is, the complaints are treated here just as they are everywhere else.
A friend attended a citizen oversight committee for the Portland Police Bureau yesterday evening.
A guy had just won $55,000 for having been beaten and illegally arrested.
Internal affairs had cleared the cops.
Yesterday, the lawyer for the victim explained how and why the internal affairs investigation was wrong on every particular.
My friend, who attended the meeting, is named Larry.
James E. Leuenberger
Attorney & Counselor at Law
If law enforcement thinks that we are going to take this paramilitary KGB attitude
without fighting back,someone needs to have a very serious talk with them before
it is to late.
I fully support the article, it was right on the money!!! Many years ago, I served in undercover ops. Some of the creeps I worked with, were worse then the criminals we were after. As for me and a few old timers we would never compromise the law and that much less the Constitution. The oath that is taken is real and there is no time limit on it. The fact is that each of us as citizens have the duty to protect and defend our CONSTITUTION. Those who enter any type of public service are bound with extra responsibility to do so. Unfortunately, more often then not, those in public service are the worst of violators and the worst of the traitors of our Constitution and of our laws...
I found the responses to Mike Vanderboegh’s letter from the Peace Officers, I mean Law ENFORCEMENT Officers here on this site to be the usual pathetic whining that they always resort to any time their rice paper thin skin is bruised. I have never seen a bigger group of cry babies.
Why is it that anytime you question them about anything all you ever hear is "I am only doing my job, it’s not my fault, blame the politicians, the law is the law, we MUST enforce the law, don’t blame me, you MUST comply, you MUST submit, don’t challenge my authority, etc., etc., etc., ad nauseum?" It sounds an awful lot like the mantra that was spouted at Nuremberg to me. The moment you question anyone with a badge they get all defensive and start saying you’re unpatriotic, uneducated, immature, have a bad attitude, take your pick. Ben Franklin said that "it is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority." That approach doesn’t go over too well with government in general or them in particular anymore. Especially when they are actually wearing the badge at the time, then a clubbing, tasering, or worse is coming.
Well the citizenry is getting real tired of it as Mike’s letter so eloquently expressed. They need to start treating us as equals again. They need us a heck of a lot more than we need them. The last time I checked the fruits of my labors were taken from me through taxes to support their six figure salaries and lavish benefits. Where is the appreciation for that. No one in the private sector gets 90% retirement after 30 years and we are supposed to feel sorry for them? Give me a break. A recent Rasmussen poll which indicated that 61% of the population feel that the government no longer has the consent of the people should be a real eye opener for them.
They should ask themselves how that relates to their perceived authority (in actuality their lack thereof). Most will probably ignore it but they would do well not to. It is time for them to get down off of the snivel boxes and take a good hard look in the mirror. If their heart is in the right place and they hold their fellow brothers in blue to task when they are out of line with the citizenry then I applaud them and they have my support. If not then they better take Mike’s letter to heart and stop the whining over their ruffled feathers and tarnished pride because it is highly deserved. Nothing good will come of the situation as it currently exists and even more worrisome is the direction that things are heading. They have the power to make a real difference in the fate of our Republic as long as they can keep their overinflated egos out of the way.
I have had a 25 year career in the criminal justice system, and I am still going strong. In fact, I am in my prime. I have worked as a prosecuting attorney, but I am now employed full time as a defense attorney.
I also made many, many friendships with cops over the years. Likewise, I have made many enemies by holding people accountable for their actions.
In my humble opinion, your presentation was "spot-on." Police, as a group, are hyper-sensitive to ANY criticism, and will NOT TOLERATE anyone attempting to hold them accountable. The prevailing mindset is that they are a modern-day Praetorian Guard that must, at all times, be shown adulation. ALL police actions, by definition, or as a self evident truth, MUST BE RIGHTEOUS. Anyone arguing to the contrary, must, by definition, be either evil, traitorous, or at best, severely deluded and misguided. Vast numbers of police, prosecuting attorneys, and judges hold this view. I believe it is this mindset, or world-view, that is behind the vehement objections to your presentation, from some quarters.
The older guys, many retired, over beers in the evening, are quite open about police abuse they have either seen or participated in over the course of their careers. Many of them strongly disapproved of the brutality, often criminal in its own right, but none of them ever did anything to bring the perpetrators to justice.
The belief is strong (and probably true), that attempting to do so would bring massive retaliation from the top administratively (the department doing everything possible to propagandize the public to believe the police NEVER do that sort of thing - to maintain the esteem of the institution) and at the street level, where other cops would NOT watch the whistleblower’s back in dangerous situations with violent felons.
One of the biggest problems is the incredibly incestuous relationship that police departments have with both the prosecutor’s offices (natural allies and entirely predictable) and also the judiciary (supposedly detached and neutral but almost ALWAYS composed of extreme authoritarian ex-prosecutors). Both of these powerful offices routinely turn a blind eye, or even actively cover up police crimes against the citizenry, up to and including murder. They actively condone the type of activity you have attempted to expose.
The other major problem is that the bulk of the public either supports this sort of police barbarity, or is indifferent to it (until it comes knocking on THEIR door).
I think it is sheer folly to underestimate the incredibly hypocrisy of the typical American citizen in contributing to the situation we find ourselves in. Decade after decade, nearly without exception, my own clients (and/or their families) have supported the harshest and most draconian police and court actions against their fellow citizens (shallowly and superficially defined as criminals - otherwise they wouldn’t be in contact with the police and courts, right?), until and unless they or their loved one was falsely accused, or unjustly beaten up, or got behind the 8-ball of an unjust law or statute. Then, all of a sudden, they want something DONE about this! Personal experience changes peoples perceptions dramatically.
Feel free to share my thoughts on your site.
You are true Patriots, and are clearly doing God’s work.