The Irony of Free Speech in California

Respectfully submitted by Lawrence Rafferty(rafflaw)-Guest Blogger

The term is one that is familiar to all of us.  The First Amendment gives all citizens the right of Freedom of Speech and the right to assemble.  Simple enough, right?  Evidently it is not so simple in the State of California.  Recently, members of Occupy Los Angeles were arrested while making full use of their First Amendment rights and after posting a $5,000 bond to get out of jail, were offered a deal to avoid a trial.  The Free Speech defendants were told that if they took a class offered by a private company for the mere cost of $355.00, they would not have to go to court for a trial.

At first glance that offer sounds reasonable.  Just what is the “class” all about? “For $355, protesters can pay a private company for lessons in free speech. American Justice Associates offers the educational program taught by an attorney – Neil G. Anderson – a former police officer and Supervising Deputy District Attorney for Sacramento County, and his partner attorney Deborah Bryce McKinley of Atlanta, GA.”  Crooks and Liars  This story is amazing to me on a couple of levels.  First of all, what can attorneys teach protestors who were arrested while exercising their First Amendment rights?  Are they going to tell them how many ways the government can try to control and limit those rights?  Are the teachers going to give the “students” lessons on how to maximize their First Amendment rights?  Is the class just a bad dodge by the State to avoid further bad publicity by eliminating the need for trials where the protestors can exclaim to the world that they were arrested because they had the temerity to actually use their First Amendment rights of Free Speech?

This attempt by the City of Los Angeles to make it more difficult on people who protest is an affront to the very Free Speech ideas that they claim will be taught in this class.  If anyone should take the class on Free Speech, it should be the City police and the City Attorney who is pushing this nonsense. The protestors and their counsel are not taking this class offer lightly, but they are fully aware of the irony caused by the offer.  “But a civil rights attorney who has worked closely with the protesters called the class “patronizing,” and said the demonstrators who were arrested are the last people needing free-speech training.  “There they were exercising their 1st Amendment, their lawful right to protest nonviolently,” said attorney Cynthia Anderson-Barker.  Several Occupy protesters, many of whom are fueled by anger at what they perceive as corporate greed and the increased privatization of public services, have noted the irony of being asked to pay a private contractor for the program. The tuition will go to the company, not the city, officials say.”  LA Times

It amazes me that our society has not reacted more forcefully against these arrests and post arrest tactics as well as the many militant arrests made throughout the country against Occupy Wall Street protestors. Maybe the class offered in Los Angeles will be able to explain just what happened to the Free Speech that our Founding Fathers envisioned when they wrote the First Amendment.

I wonder if the “teacher” of this class will assign a homework protest.  Maybe the company pocketing the $355.00 will hire Prof. Turley to be a visiting professor so he can explain what true Free Speech is!  Maybe not.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!

60 thoughts on “The Irony of Free Speech in California

  1. So, basically the protestors are being directed to pay a fine to a PRIVATE company that has political ties to the city or county government (or take their chances with a time-consuming trial).

    Boy, nice way to “privatize” our right to assemble, speak and “petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    And to think California is not even the worst state, rights-wise. Imagine what some of the non-liberal states will think up as a way of dealing with those pesky people who actually believe in our Constitutional rights.

  2. That is a great idea to have Prof. Turley give a class on free speech if paid by those arrested. My only reservation would be that the DA and other court officers should be required to take the same class at the same time.

  3. Would this somehow be just if the class were administered by government employees and the fine used to pay their salaries?

  4. Wonder what would happen if the local bar association set up “classes” for free to teach “free speech seminars?”

    Don’t answer that; they would not let it happen because lawyers for the local bar association would not be “qualified.”

    I can take an accredited seven hour Continuing Education seminar for half that amount. This is not about anything but making it punitive to exercise free speech rights and make money at the same time. It is what happens when law enforcement and politics gets in bed with business interests.

  5. The US has a limited government, and it is limited in part by the first amendment: no religion, no censorship, no suppressing dissent.
    So I agree with your post but with one small change. You say “they were arrested because they had the temerity to actually use their First Amendment rights of Free Speech?”

    The “free speech” clause relates to the open examination of ideas.
    The clause related to assemblies to petition is the next one.
    LA is complaining, incorrectly, about the assembly.

    The “free speech” provisions of the California state constitution, article 1 section 2, are even broader than the provisions in the US Constitution. [Pruneyard v Robins 1980]

  6. rafflaw,

    I hadn’t heard this story. I guess free speech isn’t eaxctly free in LA.


    Goodnight, Moon! Goodnight, America!
    By Richard Reeves
    Real Clear Politics, 12/23/11

    We are becoming a trickle-down police state. The latest clue to that is here in Los Angeles and perhaps will avoid national conversations, although it rings like something left over from the 1920s, the ’30s and the ’60s. I quote from the lead of an inside page story by Kate Linthicum of the Los Angeles Times:

    “Many Occupy L.A. protesters arrested during demonstrations in recent months are being offered a unique chance to avoid court trials: pay $355 to a private company for a lesson in free speech.”

    So free speech is no longer free. It costs $355. What exactly is free speech then? Apparently it is now defined by a private company called American Justice Associates, which gets all the money from people who suggested that perhaps certain financial inequities have now been built into the land of the free and the home of the brave.

    It is time, I would suggest, to read Tom Paine, Henry David Thoreau, Aldous Huxley, George Orwell, none of whom worked for American Justice Associates. Imagine that: Our very own all-American re-education camps.

    “The First Amendment is not absolute,” said Los Angeles Chief Deputy City Attorney William Carter. He rambled on about court restrictions and Supreme Court decisions. He said the idea was to teach protesters the nuances of law and free speech.

    Well, here’s my nuance: I am an American and I can say anything I damn well please without the help of American Justice Associates. Beginning with, “Screw you, Mr. Carter.”

  7. Police chief Carter says “The First Amendment is not absolute”, meaning no right is absolute, and echoing what Bloomberg said just before he kicked OWS out of Zucotti Park. By “not absolute” did he mean “not important”?
    No right is absolute, true, but no wrong is absolute either. It depends.

    Calling it camping does not make it camping. It is assembling to petition, and so it is protected activity. What is your “clear and present danger” or what exactly is your line of thought?
    Or are you just always right?

  8. I have a suggestion for those who want to explain to the City and the Police the notion of the right of assembly and the exercise of free speech. The two go together and they require territory–dry land for the soap box with room for those assembled. So they have taken our territory. Let us take some of their territory, or territory they claim to have sole proprietorship. The “Radio Free LA Project”: A thousand people buy radios which will transmit on the channels the cops use to talk to each other. Put those radios on vehicles and range around while sending messages to the City on the Channel 16 or Channel the cops employ in L.A. Let them get a taste of having their speech territory taken from them. Maybe they will let us go to some park and bark. Project number two would work well today in any of those cities which have imposed a curfew on free speech. Go to the Mayor’s church for midnight mass and sing some protest songs while they are inside getting all holy and rolly and exercising their
    First Amendment right of religious expression.

    Now that is two projects, perhaps some of you can chime in and help the First Amendment out here.

  9. “For $355, protesters can pay a private company for lessons in free speech. American Justice Associates offers the educational program taught by an attorney – Neil G. Anderson – a former police officer and Supervising Deputy District Attorney for Sacramento County, and his partner attorney Deborah Bryce McKinley of Atlanta, GA.”

    That says it all right there. I suggest that both of these “attorneys” need to be investigated as do their ties to judge(s) that offered this “option”. I smell kickback. Good job, Larry.

  10. FREE SPEECH: The right to say what I say you are allowed to say, when I say you are allowed to say it, where I say you are allowed to say it, and who I say you are allowed to say it to without having to pay anything for it except for what I say you have to pay. Other then that you are absolutely Free to say whatever you want.

  11. HenMen, you say “You Don’t Have Any Rights!”
    There is a precedent for this position….
    Page 19 of Roger Taneys opinion in Dred Scott:
    “[slaves have] no rights which the white man [is] bound to respect”

  12. Great post….now if you look from the side of the municipal risk pool…you’ll understand why they are encouraging the protesters to take these classes….They were arrested….and wrongfully in most circumstances….this is an admission of guilt….do they then give up the right to sue for the illegal arrest?…..Just wondering…..

  13. Apparently defecating on police cars and in the streets,throwing Molotov cocktails, rape, creating health hazards and intimidating business customers is not what the Founders had in mind about peaceful assembly to address grievances.

    Frankly, the idiots in LA were a public nuisance and a health hazard.

    LOS ANGELES, Calif. ( KTLA ) — Cleaning up after the Occupiers is going to cost the City of Los Angeles a pretty penny – $2.3 million – and the city attorney is considering taking protesters to court to get it.

    William Carter, City Attorney Carmen Trutanich’s chief deputy told the L.A. Times Saturday that the city is considering a lawsuit, among other options, to reimburse the city for damage.

    “The city is contemplating any and all of its options,” Carter said.

    Sign up for KTLA 5 Breaking News Email Alerts

    According to a preliminary report released Friday, the city was drained of about $2.3 million in operating and staffing costs for allowing protesters to camp in front of City Hall for two months.

    When us violent, racist, and dangerous Tea Partiers were demonstrating we cleaned up after ourselves, and there wasn’t a single case of rape, drug trafficking, or public defecation. And we didn’t cost taxpayer’s millions to clean up after us…and we didn’t need riot police to get us to disperse. we left peacefully.

    Imagine that.

  14. As I understand it, the First Amendment makes demands on the Federal government, not the states. T. Jefferson said that the framers understood at the time the Constitution was written that the states had the right to forbid or infringe on certain speech (like libel, lies, etc.). The federal government cannot infringe in anyway on speech, though it can indirectly punish fraudulent claims in a federal case.

    Again, I say, there should be an Impeachment Watch organization. It should be a clearing house that focuses on the most abusive judges in America. It could have state chapters and citizens could visit this website, find the abusive judges who are making their lives miserable, and remove them from office through impeachment or elections (where appropriate). These people have gone too far. And far too many no longer deserve the word “honor”.

  15. martingugino:

    I’m going to report anything…I just told what was. For exmaple…2.3 million to clean up the filth left behind by the protestors.

    From the Feminist Wire:

    The Occupy movement has a growing challenge that needs immediate attention: in-house rape. As of today, there are at least 4 reported rapes in Baltimore, Cleveland, Glasgow and Dallas, the latter of which includes a14-year-old runaway girl and a convicted sex offender. I imagine there are several others, most of which have likely gone unreported—for various reasons. First, many of the police officers working Occupy movements haven’t necessarily proven themselves to be “officer friendly.” Second, not all women experience the privilege of being seen as a victim, particularly where sexual violence is involved. Third, there is inside pressure not to report rape outside of the camps for fear of bad publicity (does this sound familiar?).

  16. An abusive judge is anyone who rules against my position. An activist judge is anyone who rules against what I say the framers of the constitution intended it to mean. A great judge is anyone who says they believe in stare decisis to get appointed to the bench and then ignore precedent once they are on the bench.

  17. Look up “incorporation” of rights at:

    “The doctrine of selective incorporation, or simply the incorporation doctrine, makes the first ten amendments to the Constitution—known as the Bill of Rights—binding on the states. Through incorporation, state governments largely are held to the SAME standards as the federal government with regard to many constitutional rights, including the FIRST Amendment freedoms of speech, religion, and assembly, and the separation of church and state; the Fourth Amendment freedoms from unwarranted arrest and unreasonable searches and seizures; the fifth amendment privilege against self-incrimination; and the Sixth Amendment right to a speedy, fair, and public trial. Some provisions of the Bill of Rights—including the requirement of indictment by a Grand Jury (Sixth Amendment) and the right to a jury trial in civil cases (Seventh Amendment)—have not been applied to the states through the incorporation doctrine.”

  18. After reading Bill’s fantastical claims, I am going to contact the Kool Aid company to see if I can get the distributorship in his area. I should make a fortune.

    First of all, those claims come from where? I recall there was a claim by Scott Walker, soon to be former governor Walker, that the protesters caused over $100,000 worth of damage to the Wisconsin state capitol building. There were claims the tape they used damaged the marble which would have been repaired. Local newspapers and TV stations learned they protesters had only used blue painter’s tape which leaves no residue; they had cleaned up after themselves and there was literally nothing the janitorial staff of the capitol building had to do other than routine cleaning.

    Then there was that police incident mentioned previously where the police investigation stated the officer who ran the light and killed the guy was only doing about 40 miles per hour. Later, it came out, probably over the objections of the police and politicians, the officer was doing 78 miles per hour in a residential area. They are still engaging in public relations gymnastics to make it the fault of the dead guy.

    Poor Bill. Believes everything he reads.

  19. Tootie, the Constitution applies to everyone. What applies to one, applies to everybody. The First Amendment applies to both Federal and State governments, right down to the smallest town council.

    Tootie: Often wrong, never uncertain.

    Merry Christmas, Tootie, hope you have a nice day with family and friends. Just don’t overdo the wassail.

  20. For all of you outraged and what seems to be the too close connection between the courts and these teachers, please realize this sort of handwashing bullshit and corruption occurs thousands of times every day in family court, which has largely cowardly, ignorant, and lazy judges outsourcing every decision to incompetent, lying, cowardly assholes that claim expertise in family matters though they have suffered through their own divorces many times over, and are part of the court-psycho-industrial complex.

    In this case, OWS LA is “Lucky” at only having to pay $400 for the privilege.

    I do think OWS needs some teaching in free speech and civil disobedience, and in fact, I wish they would reteach America in what free speech and civil disobedience is all about.

    “Waldo, the question is what are you doing out there?”

    I think OWS would have a bit more traction if on various holidays, a significant number would peaceably occupy City Hall and occupy the bank buildings, not the parks.

  21. Otterray Scribe….

    If tootie is back we will all learn a lesson in something….I am not sure…what exactly….but…something…

  22. HenMan,

    You’re probably right….and I was going to initially add….that that is the mantra for the Tea Party…..but after reconsidering it….I think that “paranoia, bigotry, and rage” pretty much explains both main stream Republicans and Democrats….

    I wonder after this last week in Washington if the UN could investigate Congress for possible Human Rights Violations….

    Did you see the one where Trump has dissociated himself from the Republican Party….

    Trump drops Republican Party registration in NY

    A spokesman for Trump says the businessman and television host changed his affiliation to preserve his option to seek the presidency in 2012.

  23. AY-

    The Donald threw a party and no one came.

    The Donald will get even.

    The Donald plans to hold his breath until his Mommy gives him a cookie and reads him a story.

  24. OS,
    You are correct that the Right is working very hard to find something evil about Americans exercising their Free Speech and Right to Assemble. The Police are so expensive because it costs alot of money to assault peaceful protesters.

  25. And when the libs concede, they minimize it…like all their another failings…or blame Bush.

    “Politics Maxine Waters on Deaths and Crimes at Occupy Protests: ‘That’s Life and It Happens’

    Posted on November 16, 2011 at 11:33pm by Tiffany Gabbay Tiffany

    For Congresswoman Maxine Waters, the string of deaths and crimes that have occurred across the Occupy movement nationwide is nothing more than “life” and “it happens.” She also said the incidents are merely a “distraction” from the Occupiers’ ultimate goal.”

    Rape and death reports are mere right wing distractions.

  26. Bill, if any of the lawyers here ever got you on cross examination, you have proven you would make an excellent stationary target.

    Isn’t it true Officer Bill, you have no idea, within a reasonable certainty, that the person making relief was a protester?

    And just how do you know, beyond a reasonable doubt, that it was a protester and not either an agent provocateur and an a actual protester?

    What proof are you prepared to present today, other than your own opinion or that of your local Fox News reporter, that the person was an actual protester and not a provocateur?

    Assuming, it MIGHT have been a protester, you are aware, are you not, Officer Bill, that the City refused to allow PortaPotties or other sanitary facilities anywhere near the OWS sites?

    Officer Bill, were you one of the arresting officers who thew protesters, who were exercising their legal right under the First Amendment to peaceably assemble and protest grievances, into vans and hold them there for hours without allowing them to use a bathroom despite repeated pleas of physical distress?

    Officer Bill, you are aware of course, that the OWS General Assemblies had a policy of keep the areas clean, but it was the police and city workers who trashed the sites, not giving adequate notice, or allowing protesters to remove personal belongings before taking them from protesters and throwing them into the trash?

    Officer Bill, you are aware, are you not, that there were repeated instances in which people leaving the scene after being ordered out, were chased down by police in full riot gear and arrested, some of them being beaten?

    And you are also aware, are you not, that some of those arrested, beaten and had their cameras and computers seized and destroyed were accredited reporters from major news outlets?

    Out of the hundreds of videos of police beating and pepper spraying protesters, how long did it take you to find a single video of something you thought was inappropriate?

  27. OS,

    Bill did not have to dig deep…when you live in the hood…you know who’s on your side and who ain’t….some call it the top of pond water while others in the same boat call it scum….

  28. OS,
    You can tell that the OWS movement is working by the response by the police and the Right. Now, even if Bill is correct that some crime happens within the OWS movement, doesn’t the City of Los Angeles have crime in every neighborhood?

  29. I decided to catch up on this thread and found two small Christmas gifts. Bill has stopped pretending he’s a reasonable cop and Tootie returned.

    Thank you, Santa.

  30. Tootie, you say “the framers understood at the time the Constitution was written that the states had the right to forbid or infringe on certain speech (like libel, lies, etc.). The federal government cannot infringe in anyway on speech, though it can indirectly punish fraudulent claims in a federal case.”

    The second clause of the first amendment, “freedom of speech and of the [printing] press” is about the same idea as “academic freedom”. It protects the discussion of ideas, not lying, fraud, porn…

  31. Otteray Scribe:

    No more excuses. Your blog is hardly a court of law.

    You have right to assemble to address grievances you have with gov’t.

    You do not have a right to create health hazards, target local businesses with the intent to stop customers from exercising their right to purchase good or services, or stop the businesses from exercising their right to provide those goods and services.

    You have right to assemble to address grievances you have with govt. not to take over public land and facilities financed and maintained by all the taxpayers— rendering it useless for the purposes intended by those who paid for it.

    You have right to assemble to address grievances you have with gov’t. You do not have a right to create a haven for rapists, thieves, drug addicts and other common street criminals and then discourage your victims from reporting the crimes to police. There are several throughout the country who have already reported that occupy organizers have pressured crime victims to shut up.

    “Officer Bill, you are aware, are you not, that there were repeated instances in which people leaving the scene after being ordered out, were chased down by police in full riot gear and arrested, some of them being beaten?”

    No, I am not. The only protestors “chased down” were those who thought they could throw bottles, some filled with urine, and rocks at police from a crowd and not be seen. We videotaped them and the videos will be played at their hearings…but most have, or will, plead guilty once their attorneys get copies of the videotaped proof.

    In LA, the protestors were given 72 hours to leave. When they left, the taxpayer had to pay $2.3 million to clean up their trash, feces and urine, & rotting food. Some parts of the area were unsafe for human traffic until the areas were cleaned with sanitizing solutions.

    Are you aware of some of the nazi era anti Jewish hate signs and slurs that came from the occupy groups?

    What is it about Jews that bothers you so?

  32. Blouise, yes I have noticed Bill’s true colors are coming out. When confronted with some stuff he cannot wiggle out of, rather than deal with the hypothetical questions that are based on truth, he resorts to ad hominems, strawmen, and outright lies. Since Godwin’s law has already been proven, I am comfortable in observing that Goebbels and Himmler would be proud of him, not to mention Karl Rove. He has learned well from them. Attack the opponent’s strength and hope it will stick.

    The fact the 99% and their police minions are running so scared is because the OWS movement has struck a chord down deep in their limbic systems. Perhaps in some dimly remembered past life, they recall being aristocrats during the French Revolution. For all the bluster, the fear is palpable on wall street and in the banks.

  33. Oh yeah, at least some of your “explanations” are based either outright lies or half truths. That has been an ongoing problem for me in dozens of cases over the past forty years as I have watched officers testify. Kind of like that officer who was only doing 40 miles an hour through that intersection until forensic proof surfaced he was doing 78 at the time of impact.

    As I said, it would be kind of fun to get you on cross examination. Keep digging. Hope you like Chinese food ’cause you are well on your way.

  34. Has anyone actually been to an OWS event? I have and was even a “Peacekeeper” (someone who is supposed to help with “crowd control” and typically wears a safety vest for id).

    I can say first hand that it was an incredibly peaceful and respectful event with close cooperation between the police and OWS to avoid any problems. There were a few individual “protesters” who had absolutely nothing to do with OWS associated with outlandish and bigoted messages on the fringe that were ostrizied/ignored by everyone from the OWS. All in all they have been remarkably peaceful and uplifting events.

    Free speech means protecting the right to speak of those whose words and message is most offensive to us personally. It is why we allow Nazi’s to march in Skokie, or religious fanatics to protest the funerals of fallen soldiers. It is the same principle by which even the most seemingly guilty person is still entitled to the presumption of innocence and trial even if we have to pay for their defense.

    Once we begin to draw the line on what is acceptable speech or not we risk drawing the line on our own words and ideas. If we are to err in where the line is drawn it is far better to do so by allowing the widest range of speech then the narrowest. If there is a cost to free speech let us bear it thankfully as a welcomed expression of our rights rather then a burden on our pockets, even when the message is not to our liking. some may prefer the cost of police and clean-up of a ticker tape parade for heroes then a protest against a greedy society, but in the end they are both a celebration of the fundamental right to free speech.

    it is perhaps an axiom of power that those who have it do their best to hold on to it and those without it must fight to be heard. If we can celebrate the Boston Tea Party* as an expression of protest on the road to the founding of the nation, surely we have a place to allow and celebrate a protest against the same and even greater inequity of today. Not surprisingly those who wave the flag of freedom the highest seem to have a way of only concerning themselves with their own freedom without minding to take away the freedom of others..

    *Note: in fact the Boston Tea Party was really a protest of the wealthy who didn’t want to pay a tax even though it went largely to the cost of defending the colonies. Private property was destroyed. As such the Boston Tea Party is a fitting symbol of today’s Tea Party. Needless to say, you might also recall the Tparty had its start during the Healthcare debate when they shouted down discussion of the issues making it all but impossible to conduct town hall meetings.

  35. OS Bill gets some of his ideas from the mainstream media as well. I recall an article in Huff Post headline – Occupy Oakland murder. The article described a murder but only after a few paragraphs did the writer quote a police officer who said that this was an Oakland violent incident, it was a bad neighborhood. It had nothing to do with OWS. When I was watching one of the morning shows, ABC, CBS, or NBC, forget which at this pointm, they told the story of the shooting at the White House. The reported explained did not know who or why and then stated “Occupy is a half a mile away so he MAY have been hiding out there.
    Sadly you no longer need just Fox to distort the news.

    As for the article, hopefully, the saying “As California goes, so goes the nation” is not prophetic.

  36. “Are you aware of some of the nazi era anti Jewish hate signs and slurs that came from the occupy groups? What is it about Jews that bothers you so?”


    I happen to be proudly Jewish and a supporter of Israel to boot. The charge of anti-Jewishness by OWS is a phony one. All of your charges against OWS are overblown and phony. When you watch FOXNews so often you begin to believe their propaganda. Then to there is the work of
    Counter Intelligence activities. In NYC for instance it was shown that the police were picking up homeless alcoholics and dropping them off a Zucotti Park. The trick of inserting agent provocateurs has been operable in this country since the beginnings of the Labor Movement. Look up the history of the Pinkerton’s/Mollie McGuires if you doubt me.

    Secondly, even though there have been documented instances of unwarranted police brutality against peaceful OWS supporters, most haven’t been because the coverage by the press was limited and means of taking photographs were destroyed.

    Third, the Tea Baggers had many people holding up very frightening signs implying assassination and other dire threats to the President. May were shown to be openly armed. Beyond that they disrupted legitimate meetings of congress people with their constituents, yet the police stood by. Why is that.

    Let’s look beyond that though. LEO’s generally come from the broad working class of people. You know very well that today Cops are getting screwed right and left by layoffs, overtime reduction and internal politics. This doesn’t even mention the bureaucratic red tape thrown up that hamper your ability to do your jobs. Yet in general LEO’s support the people who could be called the 1% politically and generally vote conservative. You are treated like crap by the current political system, except for the Pols who come to your funerals and preach pious respect for your work, while at the same time screwing you on pay, pensions and working hours. This is the same for the military, who are praised when overseas and screwed when they get back.

    I don’t get it. I know that the history of American policing was always one of the wealthy getting protection (See any history of Frontier lawmen, Wyatt Earp for instance) from the poor. Most LEO’s are not dumb, yet they identify with the people who are screwing them and not with the screwed like themselves.

    Just in case you tell me I don’t understand, you’d be wrong, I do because I’ve got a history of working with both police and prosecutors. As far as telling me the crap about the dangerous working conditions, I worked alone for many years in the most famous “bad” areas in NYC, day and night. Most of them were places where the News would say police wouldn’t patrol alone. “Fort Apache” in the Bronx was one of them that I covered, unarmed, on foot and alone. I was never once attacked in those areas and yes occasionally I’d see stuff happening like open drug dealing that I’d report and the police would ignore me. Now the truth is I’m a big guy, who looks even bigger. My shoulder length hair (I had hair then) and my full beard made me look mean, tough and most probably a Narc, so maybe people avoided me. The statistics in NYC though show that most police never even have to draw their guns, except on the range. When will you guys stop identifying with the people who screw you and realize you’re just like the rest of the 99% in the eyes of the 1%? People to be used, screwed and discarded.

  37. Don’t play class warfare with me. If you want more money go earn it. don’t ask the gov’t to force those who earned their money to give it to you. If I don’t feel that taxpayers pay me enough, then I will get a second job, or start my own business, or go to a different department. But I am not going to whine to our local taxpayers, who already pay way too much, to pay me more and more and more and more. I am thankful and very appreciative to the taxpayers for what they pay me now and the small salary increase they have offered when the economy recovers…God willing!

    LEOs identify with those who deserve protection from those who abuse the rights of others. We see the effects of the welfare state every shift of everyday.

    That is the reason the vast majority of police are conservatives. Many are tea party members. We see everyday, people who are generational abusers of taxpayer kindness. 90% of all crime is committed by 5% of the people. And of those 5%— the overwhelming major are habitual recipients of taxpayer handouts.

    Did you know that since the 3 strike law took effect on CA, our crime rate is down to 1950’s levels in most areas? It is amazing that once you get a certain element off the streets,(like habitual criminals) the streets become much safer.

    And LEO’s couldn’t care less what the crooks economic status might be. I’ve arrested millionaires, wealthy business owners, landlords and their kids. But my everyday work involves the investigation of street crime; and the overwhelming majority of those crooks have an entitlement attitude.

    There isn’t much difference, in the crook’s minds, between expecting taxpayers to give him something he wants, and taking what he wants from his neighbor. It takes just a small step in logic to get to that point.

    As for your assertion that New York City police never un-holster their guns, well in CA it is a different world I guess.

  38. Bill,

    Read your last comment. Given that and your whole history here of not knowing the law, I doubt you even are a LEO. What I do know is that you either are, hope to be, or identify with people who could care less about the citizens of this country. In short nothing but a no-nothing tea bagger. A waste to deal with because you’re incapable of reasoned argument..

  39. Mike S-

    You should cut Bill some slack. Life is very frightening for people who believe everything they hear. He didn’t have the benefit of the Drill Sergeant I had in basic training who gave us some excellent advice: “Believe nothing you hear and only half of what you see, and you will get along just fine”.

  40. HenMan,

    Don’t know how else he was, but that Drill Sergeant gave some wise advice. A corollary should be always question what you “know” is fact.

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