Rules are Rules

Rule #1: Do what the police tell you. To include stopping and not trying to run them over.

Rule #2: If you find yourself getting your ass beat, check and see if you’ve violated rule #1.

Police had chased the van almost 50 miles, winding from downtown Birmingham to suburban Hoover. The video captured the van knocking down a police officer standing on a roadway, then turning up an interstate highway ramp, where it flipped over and rolled into a ditch.

Warren was ejected from the van and stopped moving. The five officers — one black, four white — ruthlessly beat the suspect, who is black, the video shows.

I’m not saying it’s right. I think maybe the officers went a little overboard here.

But if you make the cops chase you for over 50 miles and run over one of them in the process, should we be surprised if they lose a little composure?

Not to get all Roger Trinquier on this situation, but take this point of view regarding interrogating terrorists..

No lawyer is present for … an interrogation. If the prisoner gives the information requested, the examination is quickly terminated; if not, specialists must force his secret from him. Then, as a soldier, he must face the suffering, and perhaps the death, he has heretofore managed to avoid. The terrorist must accept this as a condition inherent in his trade and in the methods of warfare that, with full knowledge, his superiors and he himself have chosen.

I think there’s a little bit of a parallel here. If you break the law, you must be prepared to deal with the consequences.

The people who are judging these officers have never been in a 100 mile an hour car chase. They’ve never lived knowing that every situation can turn deadly in an instant. They’ve never had a moment where their body is pumping on pure adrenaline and in fight-or-flight response mode.

If you push the police into a “you or me” situation, you don’t get to bitch when they choose themselves over you.

and neither does your lawyer.

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4 Responses to Rules are Rules

  1. Niall says:

    But I think the driver and the terrorist are two very different situations. In the case of the driver, we have him on video committing crimes. In the case of the interrogation of the “terrorist” we usually don’t know for sure whether he is really a “terrorist” at all. As we are now learning, the criteria for who counted as a suspect terrorist was pretty much non-existent. We’ve tortured lots of people who turned out to be completely innocent. Big difference, no?

    Another important difference: in the case of the terrorist, we want to find out everything he knows. So in this case it is a true interrogation. In the case of the stupid driver there’s nothing more to know. Torturing the terrorist will just get you false information, which is the opposite of what you want.

  2. fastnav says:

    While you bring up valid points, you’ve completely missed mine.

    The point is, if you do the crime, be prepared for the consequences, no matter how bad they may be.

  3. Niall says:

    And I’m afraid you’ve missed mine. Namely, that in the instance of the driver we can make a reasonable assumption that a crime has been committed (it’s on video, after all). But in the case of the “terrorist” that is what has yet to be determined. In the first case, police violence is a form of punishment for deeds done (however valid or invalid the violence may be. In the second case, the violence of torture is meant to secure evidence of guilt, not punish it.

  4. Hayball says:

    Point not discussed, the silly bastard had managed to stun himself and fall out the window face down on both hands. The approaching cops could not tell if he had a gun, and he did not respond to orders to place his hands where he could see them. So they subdued what to them was a potentially deadly threat – until it was clear there was no threat. And yes, once you are in the fight, not boxing, fight for your life – in your hindbrain, you don’t back off until the threat is incapacitated.

    Unfortunate that the perp got a drubbing, but he’ll live. H

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