Regardless of which side of the issue readers find themselves taking, one thing
stands out glaringly--as a society, we have forgotten to be polite. Every
encounter I've had with law enforcement over many years has been one of
mutual politeness and respect. When either party has shown politeness and
respect for the other, it has been returned.That practice alone would tend
to distinguish a clear difference between citizen and criminal elements and
diffuse many explosive situations. Some of those will still occur and
unfortunately turn to tragedy; it's human nature. But the overall numbers
@higv --"INtersting the phrase innocent tell proven guilty is
not found in the constitution. It is a fair trial. "It ought to
be pretty obvious that people who are presumed guilty aren't going to get
that fair trial. ;-)"We don't allow a condemned murderer on
the street before the sentencing. "Of course not.Notice that word you used -- CONDEMNED. That means he's already been
through trial and been proven guilty.I'll repeat: when citizens
are interacting with the police, they still have the right to be considered
innocent. Many many people find themselves confronted by police officers when
they have broken no laws whatsoever.
INtersting the phrase innocent tell proven guilty is not found in the
constitution. It is a fair trial. In order to save a life some action has to
be taken before a trial. We don't allow a condemned murderer on the street
before the sentencing. If we did that would be a danger to society.
@USNGary --"Are we going to complain when the cops shoot and
kill this perp?"That depends on -- oddly enough -- the facts of
the situation. And we don't know those facts yet."Obviously
this cop didn't have the time to protect himself or the others shot. This
is why the police have to be the way they are. "Police work
isn't even in the top 10 of the most dangerous jobs in America, believe it
or not. (They came in at #11 this year.) We don't allow any of
those other workers with more dangerous jobs -- including loggers, cab drivers,
farmers, and fishermen -- to kill people without cause, so why should police get
to kill people without cause?"You people commenting on this
article disgust me with your claim that the cops are always at fault when a
shooting is involved."Nobody here has made any such claim, so
you have no reason for your disgust.Police have a tough job. That
doesn't mean they get to do it irresponsibly."Power
corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely."
What about the Draper cop that was killed this morning and 2 others in critical
condition. Are we going to complain when the cops shoot and kill this perp?
Obviously this cop didn't have the time to protect himself or the others
shot. This is why the police have to be the way they are. There is usually a
reason why they are called to a situation. You people commenting on this
article disgust me with your claim that the cops are always at fault when a
shooting is involved. Wake up! You are part of the problem. Just listen and do
what's told to you. What would happen to you if you didn't listen at
work- you would be fired.
This is sensationalism in its purest form. It is so easy to judge when your not
the one facing the critical situation.
@Confused in AZ --"I've never found myself on the wrong
side of the law because I don't BREAK the laws of this country. "I guess you've never heard of the idea "innocent until proven
guilty", then.In case you've forgotten, we citizens meet
the police BEFORE trial. When police interact with civilians, those civilians
still have a Constitutional right to be considered innocent of any crime.Unless you feel like changing the Constitution?
I've never found myself on the wrong side of the law because I don't
BREAK the laws of this country. Nor do I associate with those who do. Never has
my door been kicked in and police officers with rifles entered. If you are a
criminal or associate with criminal types you can expect to be treated like one.
If you are a drug offender and hang with other dopers or buy drugs- you deserve
exactly what you get from the police. The rest of us deserve protection from you
and your ilk. No pity from me!
IMHO there are 2 things here:The first is overly agressive and cowardly
cops. By that I mean those that use force and intimidation to get what they
want. This might be OK in some incidents but can be abused by those who feel
they have absolute power. Cowardly means those who, with great padding and
such are still afraid of getting hurt. They would rather shoot a person or dog
than get injured (with little or no chance of being killed themselves). They are
placeing a value on themselves unlike the rescuer who does everything possible
to save someone. Think of the Congressional Metal of Honor.and more well armed cops. Three enemies: criminals, people by tyrants, (If some future Civil War ocures there will be
a mixture of people on both sides, military, police, civilians, thugs and
criminals. They will need equipment and training (if they are on the
"right" side).)tyrants by people. However if they are on the
tyrant's side then they must not be too well equipted.There are
good cops and bad cops as with all people. We must be sure that they are indeed
@NeilT --"The militarization of law enforcement is in response
to the dangers presented by violent gangs, and drug dealers. "In
reality, violent crime rates in this country have been dropping for decades. We
shouldn't militarize an entire country's police forces because of one
bank robbery.The more police forces militarize, the more we citizens
will see police as "the enemy". And that's a LOUSY way to
"serve and protect". Police need to work WITH the citizens -- not act as
though they're an occupying force in a hostile territory.
Jay Tee Thanks for the insult. I have worked in Law Enforcement, have BS
degree from Weber State and a year of grad school. Do you have any idea what is
required to work in law enforcement? The packet for the background check is
several is several inches thick. You are polygraphed, interviewed and
re-interviewed. To imply that police officers are low functioning or low
intelligence is just plain wrong.A few years ago in Hollywood a bank
robbery made national headlines. The perpetrators had body armor and armor
piercing bullets. The cops were powerless to stop them. The militarization of
law enforcement is in response to the dangers presented by violent gangs, and
drug dealers. Look at what is happening in Mexico. Crime and violence are
rampant and the authorities are powerless.
@Cleetorn --"It's not the police who have made us
afraid..."Violent crime rates in the US have been falling for
decades. Yet all of a sudden our police decide that they absolutely must have
military weaponry and that they must use stormtrooper tactics?One of
my best friends from high school ended up spending years in prison because her
*boyfriend* -- not she herself -- killed her baby. The tactics used by those
detectives in their investigation, though nonviolent, were nonetheless
despicable. Needless to say, I was not impressed.No, not all police
are bad people -- but the police culture and mindset appear to be getting worse
and worse with time.@oldschooler --This past July, a 60
year old unarmed man in Florida was shot at 13 times by two officers. His
"crime" was that he was standing in his own driveway, looking for his
own cigarettes in his own car. When the officers shouted at him, he straightened
up and turned around to see what was going on. Instead of asking him what he was
doing, they simply opened fire.Luckily, they were terrible shots.
They "only" hit him twice.What "law" was he
The militarization of police has become epidemic across the nation. The
army-type tactics, and the heavy equipment sported by these men is more akin to
the paramilitary Schutzstafeln than it is to those who (supposedly) are there to
"Protect and Serve." Ironically, the Supreme Court found that police
have no real obligation to "Protect" (2005 ruling by justices Scalia,
Bader-Ginsburg, and Stevens). This decision overturned a Colorado appellate
court ruling, which had ruled previously that officers who had failed in their
"duty to protect" had failed to do so, leading to the deaths of three
children who were at the center of a custody dispute in 1999. The father of the
three children killed his daughters outside a police station in Castle Rock, CO.
It was only at this point that police took any kind of action whatsoever. The
Supreme Court ruling means that police have gotten a "get out of jail
free" card whenever they choose doughnuts over responding to a call.
The U.S.A does seem to becoming Orwellian in nature. It also appears that this
is quite intentional on the part of the ultra wealthy.
About a decade ago, police raided a home in the town adjacent to the university
of Maryland. They shot the dog and harassed the residents. It was the
mayor's home. Woops.
What do we expect? The NRA and Utah's gun fanatics have made it so easy to
get any kind of firearm, that the police now have to assume everyone is
armed.So much for the safe society the NRA claimed we'd have
with everyone running around armed to the teeth.Crime has been
trending down for the past coupe of decades, but the gun fringe wants everyone
to think it's more dangerous now. Fear and ignorance, fear and
(cont’d)I have been in Law Enforcement for over 30 years. I have
never shot anyone though I have been shot at – and hit. My family is
acutely aware of the definite possibility that I may come home at the end of my
shift injured or not at all. I’m willing to do this for you as I care and
want to think that what I do in my profession makes a positive difference. I
will continue to protect you from an element that you have virtually no concept
of. Most of my cohorts are of the same ilk. Some – the fringe – are
not and need to be weeded out.But those few are NOT most of us. Were
that not so, the Willard case never would have seen the light of day. The few
who infiltrate any group to sensationalize and defame it are not in the
mainstream. But we as a society focus on the miscreants. It’s our way.
It’s not the police who have made us afraid. It is us preying on each
other in more powerful and sophisticated ways that have necessitated a stronger
EVERY group and/or association has some members who live by the virtues they
extol and a fringe who use the cover of the organization to subvert those ideals
and then claim “authority” to do so based on their professed credo.
There are good cops and bad ones. There are good Jews, Catholics, Mormons,
Protestants, Atheists and there are bad ones. There are good politicians, school
teachers, dentists, accountants and bad ones. There are good LGBT’s and
“straights” and bad ones. There is no escaping this
fact. While the world is made up of all of them, the ones who are
“good” go on with their daily lives unheralded, unsung and
unnoticed. It’s the “fringe” who makes the headlines and draws
our attention, condemnation and dirty looks. To categorize any of these solely
by their fringe does more than a disservice to those who uphold their
standards.(more . . .)
Dear Beverly, for the most part the fatalities involving law enforcement
officers could have been prevented if the individual obeys the law and like I
said before carry out officer's instructions. I used to be in law
enforcement and never had a problem with anyone following instrucctions, only
once and due to attempting to hurt me, otherwise I would have not hit tis
individual. With very few exemptions most officer do their job in a very clear
manner: "firm and fair", as trained. Most of the victims resisted in a
way either physically or verbally. There was a case where this girl tried to run
over the detectives, a car is consider a weapon, trained officers have to use
deadly force when their life is in danger, is part of the training, if you think
too long you are dead, abd what about your family? is that simple.
Today's local police force is more well-armed and more lethal than
Hitler's domestic police - the Gestapo - ever was.______________________________They'd better be. The days of
the standard issue sidearm for police use was the .38 caliber six-shot revolver
came to end when the firepower out on the street had them outgunned.
BTW - One other comment.It goes both ways -- As more and
more citizens hate and see their Government as the enemy, the Government
will assume more and more citizens as potential "perps".
@ Nosea You described this statement as a problem "Just look at the
ratio of civilians to police officers killed, and you will see that it is
overwhelming civilians that are being killed in police to civilian
encounters.."First, I would hope you're not suggesting the ratio
should be more even..?? That would be Very scary..Second, This is
actually a GREAT thing!! This means Law Enforcement training is paying off!
This means cops are learning to defend themselves better against criminals! I
for one would love to see a day where there were ZERO police officer fatalities.
Sounds like Law Enforcement is moving in the right direction!
Today's local police force is more well-armed and more lethal than
Hitler's domestic police - the Gestapo - ever was.
Re: "We need to resist a culture of militarism."Tell that to
bad guys.Because of the murder of cops, like those during the
marijuana-grow raid in Odgen, or the traffic stop in Millard County, police can
no longer maintain a Mayberry-like profile in modern America.This is
due primarily to the moral rot initiated by the liberal sex-drugs-rock'n
roll culture that controls the American media. That's why its so comical
that it's that same diseased culture that is currently protesting the very
condition it created.Cops would love to return to Mayberry days, but
that can't happen until respect for the rule of law is re-enshrined as an
important American value.Congress and the White House would be a
great place to start, but that seems unlikely, considering all the
pro-lawbreaker positions advocated by the liberals currently in power.
WOW... Very Scary times we live in!! We as a society need to wake up and
recognize that there are poisonous groups of people that are attempting to
destroy our freedoms & our liberties!; people that are actively trying to
give power back to the criminals. People that are preaching the idea that
criminals shouldn't be held accountable, and that cops should be held
accountable for trying to stop crime.. Poisonous People that preach crazy ideas
that cops should lay down their weapons and allow criminals to move about freely
and prey on the weak. Scary people who believe its OKAY for a cop to kill a
person to save another persons life, but that it's NOT okay for a cop to
save his own life... Yes, scary indeed. You can certainly look at these
so-called 'victims of police brutality' as victims. But for me, I see
them for what they Really are/were, Criminals! Go back and read
oldschooler's comment. It really is that simple! and had these so-called
'Victims' followed olschoolers advice, they'd still be alive!
Americans are truly ignorant if they thought for one second that their nation
could brutalise the rest of the world and they could escape their own
brutalisation at home. It doesn't work that way. What's sauce for the
goose is sauce for the gander. Americans are now paying for not caring what
horrors their country visited on poor peoples of the third world!
The one thing that I did not see on this comment board was a discussion behind
some of the reasoning for the added body armor and increase in firepower of some
parts of most police departments. The criminal is increasing his firepower and
his tactics. If a department does a strategic analysis, they see it behooves
them to have SOMEONE on their team that can stand up to the new risks in police
work that have escalated in the last 40 years. No one does traffic stops with
grenade launchers or "surrounds" the vehicle in a "pincer"
attack. Of the instances in Utah that there have been deaths at the hands of
police officers in my recollections of the last several years, the deaths were
most usually by officers in non-SWAT, non "military-style" equipment.
The Ogden warrant served was more than above the law. they had a warrant, they
served it, he opened fire on them wounding and killing. He chose to end his
life. That the police react to a development they do not control is not their
fault. Ask the criminals to play nice and the cops will too. I promise.
Craig Clark:It is not like they say, and I used to believe, "a
few bad apples," meaning a few police behaving badly. At this point it looks
like the whole bushel of apples has gone bad. Just look at the ratio of
civilians to police officers killed, and you will see that it is overwhelming
civilians that are being killed in police to civilian encounters, and often over
trifling matters that would come nowhere near a death sentence in a court of
law. That strongly suggests something has gone really awry with law enforcement,
and just maybe we have turned into a de facto police state -- also witness TSA
Too broad a brush. Most cop shooting are lawful and necessary. They deserve
our support and sympathy for those.In some cases it is a tragic
error in judgment, but with only split seconds to decide, sometimes mistakes are
made. They deserve our support and sympathy for these, and they DO try to
figure out how to avoid such incidents.In a few cases, rogue or bad
cops unlawfully kill someone, and the law has provisions to deal with them.The issue of "militarization" is a separate issue, and subject
to debate. In many jurisdictions it has gone too far, involved folks with
undesirable attitudes and should be stopped. In others, it is a valuable tool
in their toolbox, and prudence demands it be called out just in case it is
needed. It is a tough balancing act.Support our cops- the good
ones, not the bad onesCondemn the criminals, even if their families
consider them to be saints.Protect the innocent.
I was electrified when I heard about Radly Balko's book Rise of the Warrier
Cop yesterday on NPR & I ordered it immediately from Amazon. Now I see he
was in SL giving a talk & a lot of people showed up. The militarization of
the police is a matter I am highly concerned about, along with mass surveillance
of US citizens, persecution of whistle blowers, ammunition purchases by federal
agencies, license plate surveillance, facial recognition surveillance, etc, the
whole ball of wax. I am up in arms about all of it & I will NOT vote for any
elected official who tries to justify any of it. Craig Clarks comment,
"Let's stop refracting broad & wild generalizations"--he's
asleep, he's one of the sheeples. He needs to read Balko's book.
It’s distressing to hear of tragic results when a police officer uses poor
judgment. I can’t imagine how it must be for the victim’s family.Nor can I imagine what it’s like for the family of a police
officer who is killed in the line of duty. Dedicated police officers put their
lives on the line every day when they go to work. Their job is to protect the
public safety from an element of society most of us do not want to have to deal
with. That’s why we pay them. Their daily efforts often go unreported.My sympathy goes out to the families of all victims of violence. But
let's stop refracting broad and wild generalizations.
I have not lost anyone, but I too am concerned by the change in law enforcement.
Too many times the suspects are shot before their side of the conflict can be
heard. In the case of the Marathon bomber, the police accidently shot one of
their own and blamed the terrorist. The trouble was the kid was unarmed. The
boat he was hiding in looked like swiss cheese by the time to police had
finished. Several people in nearby houses had shots go through their walls. It
all seemed to be over the top to me.
I believe police militarization of the definitely valid issue. The police are
supposed to be a civilian organization. viewing it through who was killed by
the police is probably not a valid perspective. I'm sure most of the people
killed by the police are justified. The West Valley City police have been
mismanaged and are out-of-control, the truth is they have been since the
inception of the city. Like all organizations even cities have to mature. But
having the police turn into paramilitary organization is wrong. It is going to
continue because the whole federal government is doing the same thing. We now
have TSA agents that will be assigned at public events, football games etc. as
we all know, the Homeland security act is to keep other people out as much of it
is to keep us in.
There is no question that our local police have become militarized. They LOVE to
send the SWAT team whenever possible. But not only our police, but many
government agencies have also become militarized, from Homeland Security, the
IRS, the Forest Service, etc. They've convinced everyone to
look the other way. And like sheep, they oblige.And for those of you
who think it's great, consider this, at what point would you say
"That's enough"? If it's all about protecting these fine men
and women, why not provide them tanks? (Some communities are actually doing
this.)And for those of you who say it's all about protecting
our borders and keeping our nation secure, then why have our borders been left
open and our border patrol told to stand down?Further, where's
the left that bemoaned police brutality in the 1960s and 1970s? Why are they
silent today?The unfortunate truth is that we have quickly become a
police-state. The militarization of our police and government agencies has
nothing to do with protecting the people or our borders. The unlawful monitoring
of our phone calls and internet activity is further proof of this.
Anyone who thinks that law enforcement militarization is NOT getting out of hand
needs a reality check.Exhibit A:Just a few weeks ago --
at the end of July -- the Society of St. Francis animal shelter in Kenosha, WI,
was raided by thirteen heavily armed law officers.These agents of
the "law" had already surveilled the shelter, going so far as to take
aerial photos before the raid.Agents corralled all the workers, then
seized the perp and carried it out in a body bag.One shelter
employee had her phone seized because she was taking pictures of the raid.
Nobody was allowed to make any phone calls.The official in charge
compared it to a drug raid.The perp?A baby fawn. Yes, one baby fawn.And that's what our "law
enforcement" is coming to, folks.
I don't think we're painting with any kind of "broad brush"
here. I think most of us would like to believe that there are still good people
out there in uniform, just as there are good Muslims in the world who decry
terrorism of every kind. But unfortunately, when the good ones are silent,
they're partially endorsing the cause of the bad ones. The good police
officers, of all people on the planet, should be working aggressively to police
their own. Those who support the foolishness, run to the protection of a union,
or also just pretend that it isn't happening are doing themselves and the
rest of us a monumental disservice. Also, I don't think all people who
adhere to the principles of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are
"left wing." There will always be those who categorize all law
enforcement as "pigs" because they strongly resent any enforcement of
laws, but there are also those of us who consider ourselves conservative who
will never rationalize the abuse of power and authority.
@ oldschoolerUSA, TXTrue to some people but those who are
mentally ill, hearing or visually (or both) impaired or some form of addiction
may not think or be aware. Lets see those cops can figure that out. What
happened to those Andy Griffith days in small town. I freaked out (mid
70's) when a cop in Novato, Calif grab his gun at me when I was taking a
short cut entering the wrong way freeway toward the trail head to work. There is
no need to wear those army stuff as a Normal Cop Stuff.
It is wrong to paint the entire profession of dedicated officers with a broad
brush. To do so, only reveals the painters as left wing.
This article really rings home. West Valley and Ogden Police departments are
great examples of what we DO NOT want. We don't want warriors patrolling
our streets. Warriors know how to wage war. We need Peace officers, something
that is missing entirely.
The German Gestapo would murder German citizens over petty issues also, just
because they would not comply with everything the officer demanded for instance
-- is that really the kind of police state we want to live in in the US? That is
where we are headed with way too many citizens being killed by police officers
in any encounter they have over most often trifling matters. Do we want to give
that kind of authority to often the least intelligent among us who go into law
enforcement -- giving the most fire power to those often the least educated
(certainly judging by some of the officers I have ran into)? I am sympathetic to
this cause, and certainly do not want a police state for my children to grow up
On January 4, 2012, Officer Mared Francom, 30, of ogden PD was shot and killed
from ambush in the home of Matthew David Stewart. Five other officers were
wouded in the ambush. This occurred during the service of a legal warrant on
Stewart's home where he was growing marijuana. Francom left behind a wife,
Erin, and two little girls, Samantha and Hailey. Was he remembered by the crowd
at the library last night?Danielle Wars may have been slight of
build, but she was evidently using her very heavy Subaru vehicle as a weapon
when she backed toward Officer Cowley at a high rate of speed. it seems that
officers like Cowley, Francom, and others must join the statistics of Utah peace
officers killed in the line of duty before certain groups of citizens are
It's a sad day when we're actually paying and funding our enemies in
this country. Unfortunately, the functional intelligence and ethical standards
and requirements for someone hired in law enforcement are often amazingly low.
Whenever there's a monopoly on power and/or resources, there are a number
of individuals who display their character weaknesses by being "large and
in-charge" and quick to lord it over others. Almost as astounding is the
number of naive people who are quick to jump to the defense of the aggressors,
and claim that "If you just comply completely and do as you're asked,
all will be well and there will be no problem." The exact same phenomenon
was seen in Germany with Hitler, and in Russia with Stalin. People will
continue to put their pictures of food on Facebook, and in effect say,
"Well, if it doesn't affect me personally, then I don't want to
think about it." Sad days for America.
I think it's telling that many police cars in the valley have changed their
stenciled slogan from "To Protect and Serve," to "Solve the
Problem." If you're not a cop, you're a 'perp'
according to police logic. And you know exactly how the militarized police go
about solving the problem.
Dear Oldschooler: If only life was that simple. Police officers are
human beings. Like all of us, they make mistakes. If you work in a
non-threatening job, your mistakes will not hurt anyone. When you work in an
environment filled with risk and threats, and you have the legal power to
arrest, use force, and so forth, when mistakes are made, the can destroy lives.
Just following the directions of a police officer is not sufficient advice to
prevent the current problems facing Utah law enforcement.
No police wants to take a life and it is split 2nd decision. As for military
even the Us military is were it is for mostly unselfish reasons. Taking a human
life is the last thing any police officer wants to do and try to avoid it at all
costs. IF people cooperated there would be no police slayings. Besides many
police put there lives on the line to protect us. When a fatality occurs it is
either the individual or the police.
If people just do what an officer asks you to do as soon as they tell, there
would be a LOT less incidents and deaths, but keep resisting and arguing and
these are the results. Just obey the law and carry out officer' orders, is
If the 9/11 terrorist attack destoryed anything in America, it destroyed
Community Policing. As funding flowed from the federal government to local law
enforcement, most of the funds were earmarked for equipment that is better
suited for war than helping communities. Equipment designed for war creates
training designed for war like tactics. In the process officers view the
community as the enemy and the only trustworthy people are other police
officers. It is a national shame.
Tragic indeed! My condolences to those who have been wronged. May God bless
you to find peace. I commend you for trying to right the wrong and prevent
future events.Some very valid concerns are reflected here. The
effort to take away local control of our police has been going on for many
years. President Obama has said that he wants and needs a national police force
as large as our military! Stop and think about the ramifications of that for a
minute.Google: "Support your local police and keep them
independent" to find out more and what you can do to keep our police forces
under local control.And perhaps we should bring our military home to
defend our own borders as well. All the spillover from loose borders is placing
enormous pressure on our local police to deal with problems that should be
stopped at the borders. At the same time I would like to commend
and thank all the police officers who sincerely try to perform their jobs in a
manner consistent with our constitution and who are trying sincerely to
"Protect and Serve". That is not an easy job. I salute you!