September 26th, 2016

Waiting for backup : the Crutcher case and police protocol

One of the main suggestions I have made about the Crutcher case and Officer Betty Shelby is that she should have called for backup and then waited. A lot of people seem to have either missed that statement, ignored it, or misunderstood what I meant and on what I was basing that suggestion. So here’s a post to clarify.

I’m not a police officer, nor am I any sort of expert on all the ins and outs of their training in general, or the training of the Tulsa police in particular. Those things are relevant, of course. But I am not making this idea up. It came to me, originally, from two sources. The first is this quote:

Police do, however, have some guidelines for when to shoot a suspect. For instance, research has shown that a suspect who comes within 21 feet of an officer can inflict harm before the cop has time to react (though some contest the validity of the “21-foot rule” in certain circumstances). So officers try to distance themselves from the suspect.

The second was an interview I saw on a cable news show with an NYPD officer (unfortunately, I didn’t catch his name and don’t know how to locate the show) who said this is what Shelby should have done, according to protocol: called for backup and waited in her vehicle.

Crutcher was not a crime suspect, much less a suspect in a violent crime. As I’ve said many many times here, there was no particular problem if he happened to get away and no special urgency. However, there was no reason to imagine he would get away, for several reasons. One is that the road had been cut off from traffic. Another is that a police helicopter was hovering above. It was taking the video that we have seen, and it could have tracked his efforts to get away. In addition, Shelby had his license plate number. Considering that this was no “fleeing felon,” there was no particular reason that he needed to be apprehended at that moment.

As I said, I don’t know the Tulsa police protocol. But you can find scads of articles (not about the Crutcher case, just general articles about police work) saying that when the person a police officer is trying to talk to is not a felon or a violent person in the act of attacking people or waving a gun around—that is, in an ambiguous situation that might become dangerous (such as Shelby’s suspicion that Crutcher might become dangerous)—and the officer is alone (as Shelby was), the officer should call for backup and wait.

See, for example, this.

See also this:

Ask any officer what the most important aspect of policing is, and the most likely answer is going to be officer safety. But studies conducted by the United States Department of Justice seem, to some extent, inconsistent with this premise. These studies were Killed in the Line of Duty: A Study of Selected Felonious Killings of Law Enforcement Officers (1992), In the Line of Fire (1997), and Violent Encounters: A Study of Felonious Assaults on Our Nation’s Law Enforcement Officers (2006). This last study comprises a summary of behavioral descriptors of victim officers compiled from all three studies. While there were a number of descriptors that were common to all, the most alarming was the finding that many officers did not follow all rules and procedures related to handling arrests, traffic stops, and waiting for backup (when available).1 The purpose of such rules and procedures is to keep officers safe or at least as safe as possible. If rules and procedures are meant to keep officers safe and officer safety is paramount to most officers, how can they be reconciled? The simple answer is that many officers do not realize their officer safety skills have eroded. They never had a problem doing it that way before, so, therefore, they should not have a problem in the future.

Also see this:

Calling for back up and waiting for backup are two different things.
Having another officer on the way can become more of a psychological security blanket than a tactical move. If a call or contact can be delayed or stabilized until additional help arrives, a wise course of action is for the officers to stage first and determine an approach as a team. If an officer plows into the call before help arrives, the officer responding to assist will enter a hot zone without important available information.

This article is about encounters with confrontational “extremists,” but the principle is the same:

Call for backup. If an officer realizes that he or she is in a potentially dangerous situation involving an extremist, one of the first things to do is to call for backup. There is no point in proceeding with an encounter when the officer may clearly be at a disadvantage vis-à-vis the extremist. Moreover, once an officer has made the decision to call for backup, that officer should wait until that backup arrives before proceeding. Several violent encounters have occurred where officers called for backup during a traffic stop involving an extremist, but did not wait for the backup to arrive before confronting the extremist.

Also see this from Police Officer’s Handbook: An Introductory Guide. It’s about searching a motor vehicle with the suspect present, but it states the principle of waiting for backup. So does this when dealing with ambiguous and potentially dangerous situations (“suspicious or unknown-type complaint”).

That’s the gist of it.

Again, I’m basing this not on my own speculations but on what I’ve read and heard about police training and policy in general, policies put in place to protect both police officers and the public. I am not a police officer and have no inside info on this, but if any of my readers are police officers please feel free to explain either where I’ve gone right or where I’ve gone wrong.

31 Responses to “Waiting for backup : the Crutcher case and police protocol”

  1. Mike K Says:

    There were actually other officers there at the time, including one next to her as she approached the suspect.

    I think this is an increasing problem with small non-athletic female officers who may be inclined to fire more quickly as a suspect approaches as she does not believe she could handle him physically. When the LAPD officers arrived at the Rodney King confrontation, CHP officer Melanie Singer had her gun out and was about to shoot him. The LAPD took him down with batons and he suffered minimal injury. They were rewarded by having her testify against them at both trials and they went to prison. She retired on stress disability. King got $6 million.

  2. neo-neocon Says:

    Mike K:

    When she started her approach they either had not come yet, or she was unaware of their presence. I also read a report that she remained unaware of their presence even as they closed in on her.

    But the important part for the purposes of this discussion is that she apparently didn’t know they had arrived when she began to follow Crutcher towards his car.

  3. Oldflyer Says:

    Neo, I know it is silly to try to get into her head, but I can’t help wondering if she initially confronted him to prove herself–then panicked. The scenario you have described in this and previous posts is certainly a bit bizarre.

    Just watched one of the ubiquitous SoCal car chases that so delight the TV news people. When the guy stopped after a long run at 100mph and got out, the cops surrounded him, but did not make a move for an extended period; and physically took him down unharmed by surprise only when it looked like he was going to jump off of an overpass. Overwhelming force on the scene–including a disappointed K9– but considerable patience.

    Mike K. there is a lesson in your comment. I have advised my grandchildren to never be confrontational with a police officer–although 3 of the 4 would never be, and hopefully the 4th is now mature enough to also use good judgement. I should probably point out that a police officer who does not appear physically robust enough to be confident could be even more dangerous.

    Commented before. The unarmed London Bobby was invariably a physically imposing individual. But, you couldn’t use such criteria when recruiting now.

  4. Artfldgr Says:

    she should have called for backup and then waited

    sorry, but in their effort to appear equal to someone twice their size that spent their childhood doing different things, they do not want to call for help because to do so is to show weakness compared to who?

    [they announced hofstra the place of the debate lost its football team to Title IX… ie. not enough women to do sports, and cheerleading is not a sport under title IX, so mens sports are gone… ]

    in essence she would need to call more often than a man twice her size who can take a punch… ie. her calls would reflect her reduced capacity compared to someone who has thicker bones, larger resperatory function, stronger upper body strength, more explosive strength, a lot more strength in general, less drive to self preservation, etc.

    What It’s Like to Be a Female Cop

    here is the bs express

    Many civilian women would warn me to call for back up (although it was usually on its way) if they were in a fight with their boyfriend and he was a big guy. Most guys would go into their flirtation mode and even try to get me to go out with them!

    Another assumption is that women just can’t handle the job physically the way a man can. Interestingly, most women are better at calming people down with verbal techniques so they don’t often have to be as physical. But when the adrenaline hits, most women can get that superhuman strength they need, to contain a suspect when necessary.

    not only can yuo bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, never forget that yrou superhuman srength makes you better than the man..

    and there you go…
    you see… women are not human, they are super human… in a pinch, a 120lb woman, with 25 lbs of equipment on her, is stronger than a 235lb man, who is a foot and a half taller and can bench press 300… even though she cant do more than what?

    now you know why things are soooo fkd up.

    by the way, if women have this super hero ability, then why botgher having womens shelters, or anything. they can just beat up the man using their superhuman powers and the whole point of that other stuff is a farce.. and a lie…/sarcasm

    Officer whose jaw was broken by thug at public event sues PSNI for failing to protect her

    Woman police officer’s jaw broken during domestic violence

    and here we have a video of that superhuman ability to calm things down and stop big men
    Cop Assaulted by ex-con in front of daughter.

    Man Attacks Hampshire UK Police Woman | Female Cop Officer Brutal Assault | Body Camera | FULL VIDEO

    she needs help and she is not going to ask for help
    [this one is graphic and will make you feel bad… ]

  5. Artfldgr Says:

    Look up older training manuals and such, when it was the disposable sex, the citizens were the most important… when women entered the force, officer safety and disproportionate response became the mantra… and citizen deaths went up in proportion to the number of women on the force… then they stopped tracking that inconvenient number.

    the point was in the past, fire and police had the attiude of military… ie. your job may entail dying and be unsafe as we try to keep the citizen safe…

    but even the military is trying to be safe now women are there, to the point we cant fight… i guess giving up is safer… but the old days where you knew someone would come and risk their lives to save you, are gone… yeah, they do risk their lives, but barely compared to the past.

    oh, and in the UK, where health and safety is involved too… they will let you drown in water you could walk into and get the person… and stop others too… because you have to wait for the specialists… (all men) who will go into the water.

    Charity shop worker drowned in lake just 3ft deep after firemen refused to wade in due to health and safety rules

    Drowning Simon Burgess, 41, was just 20ft away from firefighters but inquest hears they refused to save him
    Police officer who went in to water was ordered back
    Witness claims firemen told her they couldn’t go in if water was more than ‘ankle deep’

    such rules keep the women on the force safe
    and we care if they die
    we dont give a sh*t if men die…
    ergo, we are the disposable sex

    oh, another side of this is the misuse of taser…
    ie. torture them into compliance with taser is easier than dealing with them otherwise, and so, there are tons and tons of misuse events

  6. J.J. Says:

    Oldflyer: “Commented before. The unarmed London Bobby was invariably a physically imposing individual.”

    And the average beat cop back in the day was the same. I always used to marvel at the cops walking beats that I used to see (50 years ago) on layovers in big cities. Invariably quite large men with a baton (or as we used to call them, a Billy Club) close at hand. Most had guns but you could tell the weapon of first choice was the baton. The beat cop, a job that is no longer performed – low tech and requires too much manpower.

    In the village of 800 souls where I grew up our police force consisted of one man. Eph Holton was his name. He was about 6’5″ and 270 pounds. A big man for those days. (1930s and 40s) When Eph told you to go home, you went home, no questions asked. Low crime. No one locked their houses and most left the keys in the ignitions of their cars. Those were the days. 🙂

  7. steve.c Says:

    FWIW, The 21-foot rule isn’t arbitrary, it’s derived from this:

  8. huxley Says:

    The “21-foot Rule” showed up in the long-arc TV show, “Justified.” A bad guy with only a knife takes on an armed US Marshal, gambling he can reach the marshal with his knife before the marshal guns him down.

    I really enjoyed “Justified.” It didn’t have the heat of “Breaking Bad” but I loved the show for its largely sympathetic portrayal of backwoods country folk.

    The nemesis of the show, played by the wonderful Walton Goggins, was based in part on a teen friend of mine who became one of the most prominent white supremacists in the 1980s. They wrote new laws because of my friend and he served ten years.

  9. tdgrafaton Says:

    The 21 foot rule comes from feudal times; in Europe and japan. You can find some odd reference in old Greek before there was a Greek nation. The only place most Americans are familiar with it is from Tueller.

    Also the rule for back up applies to everyone on the force. Not just women. The question I still have; why was back up necessary; why was a tactical approach necessary; why was a gun brought to bear necessary. I have not heard anything about that. ( there are rumors that crutcher had just got out of prison from 9 years and also had multiple warrants out. Waiting to hear more about it.)

  10. neo-neocon Says:


    As far as I know, if an officer calls for backup they aren’t ordinarily second-guessed. I assume she called for backup because she suspected he was on PCP and she suspected he might have a weapon. I don’t think that’s the sort of situation where a lone officer is supposed to take it on him/herself without backup, unless it’s some sort of extreme emergency. Which this wasn’t.

  11. huxley Says:

    My bit of mindreading is Shelby was frightened and ambitious to prove herself.

  12. Richard Aubrey Says:

    I think we need to look at..what else?…definitions and details.
    For example. Had she backed off to wait for backup, how far would that have to be?
    We used to tell the troops that if you didn’t think you could hit the guy with a rock,, you probably couldn’t hit him with a pistol, either. But that stuff goes flying down range and can kill at a hundred yards if things go right, or wrong, depending.
    So, at what distance of “back off” would she feel sufficiently safe that she wouldn’t need to shoot the guy? And, at that range, what is she doing in cop business? Might be completely out of sight.
    Should she remain considerably closer, using, say, the car as cover, she would be safe as long as Crutcher didn’t approach, didn’t manage to skip a round under the car. But, at least, she’d be in a position to engage the guy if he started on something else dangerous to others.

  13. SCOTTtheBADGER Says:

    Don’t be so sure that backup is just around the corner. As a deputy in a county 30X70 miles, at night there were times that my nearest backup was 45 minutes away. The person you stopped also has a say in how fast conditions go up the Force Option Continuum. I am going to wait for the whole story to come out. Traffic stops, and even motorist assists, as this at first appeared to be, can become scary very, very fast. The only thing worse than a high risk vehicle stop, which is what this de facto became, is clearing a building, when you know someone is in there.

  14. neo-neocon Says:


    The helicopter arrived overhead before she began her walk behind Crutcher.

    And letting Crutcher go was no big emergency, either, if backup hadn’t arrived (plus, the road was blocked off).

  15. Richard Aubrey Says:

    So far, in urban terrain, choppers are not backup. They can track, which would take some strain off the guys on the ground who don’t have to keep contact. But they can’t shoot and, unless somebody’s ready to fast rope down, they can’t reinforce.
    Letting Crutcher go is not an emergency if the issue was to catch him some time or another. If Shelby thought he was impaired or was in some other way, dangerous to allow to go on, letting him go could be problematic.

  16. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Oh, yeah. Not sure how cops deal with this. But there are people who give you the chills, or disgust you, or make you dislike them on sight…all without any behavior or characteristic you could name, and which, if you could drag out some kind of articulation, would be laughed at in safer situations.
    See Gavin de Becker’s “The Gift of Fear”. One of his implications is that we take in and process numerous details subliminally and that what we think of as a hunch, or a feeling, is more than likely right.

  17. Ymarsakar Says:

    If Shelby thought he was impaired or was in some other way, dangerous to allow to go on, letting him go could be problematic.

    As people have already realized by now, police union officer safety indoctrination prioritizes the safety of the officer. It doesn’t matter what happens to anyone else, since all civilians not on this side of the thin blue thin, are potential crims and targets. The objective isn’t to get the public safe, it’s to get the union dues paying member safe. The era in which police officers determined how to enforce their own policies, has long since passed, given the federal/military/union corruption of various police forces.

    As for why many LEOs refuse to follow their own safety tactics courses, it’s mostly because they lack confidence in them. They have survived up to now, doing what works. They aren’t going to trust some fancy technique or set of “policies”, just because the desk jockeys say it is better.

    But they can’t shoot and, unless somebody’s ready to fast rope down, they can’t reinforce.

    Which was accounted for when Shelby began decreasing the distance to the target in order to arrest the target. It was her choice to engage the target with whatever assets were on hand.

    A private security force in Detroit has higher standards for community safety than the Detroit police departments. If people didn’t want the US to become like this, they should have done something about the Leftist alliance before it got this way.

  18. Richard Aubrey Says:

    It was her choice to engage the target with whatever assets were on hand.

    Year. Be interesting to find out what she will say about that decision.

  19. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Crap. What is it with this thing?
    There is a safe distance, which is beyond that at which the cop would think a pistol would be a threat.
    There is another safe distance which is where a cop can take a guy down–somehow–if he goes for a gun.
    In between, the cop is in a dangerous area.
    For safety, you go back or forward.
    Why would she pick one instead of the other?

  20. Ymarsakar Says:

    Why would she pick one instead of the other?

    I wouldn’t head towards PCP users, because their most effective weapons are damage absorption and grappling abilities. Getting within grappling range, and then the PCP guy takes my gun and uses it on me, would be pretty hilarious but fatally sad.

    Shelby probably took out the gun because she knows PCP users are resistant to lower force options. The other officer was probably good using a tazer because he saw Shelby had the gun out. Two for the price of one. If tazer doesn’t work on “drug user”, we’re still golden.

    As for why a person would walk forward, tunnel vision tends to do that to people. Human predator instincts, if the target walks away, you keep the same distance to them, even if you are afraid of them. It’s irrational, but instinctively it works.

    If humans are afraid of something, either we run away or we close the gap and engage. That’s the two primary options at least.

    For civilian shooters and warriors, there training is different. They can’t just pull out their stuff whenever they feel afraid. They have justify it with some self defense claims.

    The primary reason why a certain Detroit private security force doesn’t injure or kill criminals while they are bodyguarding the poor or securing the premises of businesses, is because they train their people to ensure that everyone gets out alive, including themselves. It’s not a confrontational approach or competition. They don’t need to arrest perps, just prevent and deter crime. Often times, just by being there, the criminals go after somebody else, which is fine.

    If LEOs are commanded to just arrest people, that will obviously put them in conflict with the civilians. Police then say that if you obey their commands, you won’t get shot. I’m sure that did a lot of good in Waco 1 and Waco 2.

  21. Ymarsakar Says:

    See Gavin de Becker’s “The Gift of Fear”. One of his implications is that we take in and process numerous details subliminally and that what we think of as a hunch, or a feeling, is more than likely right.

    Applying that to LEO and SWAT work is a disaster.

    They just shoot everything and everyone, on account of “I perceived a threat”.

    It used to work better, because veterans and combat experienced individuals could calm the other ones down. But like the DC police execution of the black woman who got lost and backed out of a barricaded street, incompetence is infectious. One person will shoot, then everyone will start shooting. And usually miss.

    There’s no safety here. Safety is in avoiding the problem to begin with. Trying to be “safe” while arresting people, just ends up with people dying of any manner of issues. That’s because fear is infectious. When the police start acting afraid, then they slam on the aggression as per their training, few people you try to “arrest” will be capable of calming down. That then fuels the cycle, which endangers the police and the public.

    If LEOs want to be “safe”, they should disarm, be like the UK police, and not try to arrest people. Like normal peace officers, who only use arrest as a last resort.

  22. neo-neocon Says:

    Richard Aubrey:

    Because it is recommended police protocol in such a situation, as the quotes and links in this post indicate.

    Because when a person becomes too fearful and there is no pressing need for confrontation (as in this case), it is usually best to retreat and wait for help and the arrival of cooler heads with whom to confer, in order to come to a better and stronger approach to the problem.

  23. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Neo. The pressing need might have been…how far to retreat and still be doing police work? Close enough to do, or think one is doing, or be seen doing, or think one is seen doing police work is…what distance and what is that distance in terms of threat from a pistol?
    There is such a thing as being right for the wrong reason and you don’t get many points for it in organizations.
    Crutcher had some bad items on his record and, even though Shelby didn’t know it–presumably–she was right that he had the potential to be a threat. Lucky guess? Vibes? Ran the plates and got his record? Read his behavior like an open book?
    Counterfactuals can never be proven, but we do know how bureaucracies work. Had Crutcher been allowed to get in his car and do something awful–ram the barricade or start shooting at the cops there–we can be sure Shelby would have been blamed. Which people in bureaucracies know.
    Another thought occurs to me.
    There were brief reports of a thirteen-year-old kid, black, shot and killed by cops. The reports came and went so fast that I do not know if…the kid was trying to rob people using a toy pistol indistinguishable from the cops’ own service weapons, or was on the spot when the cops arrived at an armed robbery report although not having done the crime himself and waving the toy gun around.
    In the latter case, why didn’t some adult take the think away from him, or tell him to drop it or something?
    Are these deaths getting to be too useful?
    Tamar Rice: Cops were wrong but what was he doing, been allowed to do, not been told was a bad idea?

  24. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Now comes El Cajon.
    Cops called to a scene where a black guy is acting strangely, walking into traffic, wandering around. The traffic thing is dangerous. If he’s allowed to wander into traffic and gets killed, the cops would be at fault. If he wanders into traffic and an accident happens because drivers tried to avoid him, the cops would be at fault.
    So, after some moments of not taking his hands out of his pockets, and otherwise not complying, he pulls them out and takes up a shooting stance and is shot dead.
    What is going on?

  25. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Recall that Sandra Bland, with a history of mental illness, was arrested after not complying at a traffic stop.
    She hanged herself in jail. Reports were that her family could have bailed her out for $50, but they didn’t.

  26. Ymarsakar Says:

    What a lot of police circle the wagon people don’t like to talk about is that civilians and peace officers, those who aren’t even armed with much of anything, have far higher success rates in arresting their fellow civilians, without casualties or escalated violence.

    The police standards have fallen so low, that random civilians on the street have become more capable.

    To curve the sphere on that one, people have heard of various terrorist shooting people on train incidents, where Americans or other civilians subdued and neutralized the terrorist with the AK 47.

    If they can do, why can’t the police do it with far lower thresholds of danger and risk? Because the police standards these days are inferior to average civilian first responders.

    There’s also that story about a US veteran who had some kids shoot and kill his dog. The US vet then runs down the kids on foot or in a car, and puts them under arrest. No executions or waving of guns or firing full automatic was needed. Why can’t the police go to a Domestic Violence call and figure out that they don’t need to kill everybody there that they feel is a threat to them?

    Now for the most part, untrained civilians are still inferior to the police training, which is why most civilians aren’t going to chase down some crook and arrest them. They might shoot the crook, but that is it. The police’s standards have fallen so low, that their people have to obey their orders to arrest people, whether that’s a good idea or not. That’s not keeping the peace, nor is it even particularly keeping the LEOs safe. The LEOs that have bad judgment and reflexes, must obey the commands to arrest targets anyway. Civilians have more freedom to choose. If they don’t feel confident they can take down a suspect while being entirely unarmed, they just don’t do it.

    LEO patrol members and SWAT members, even if they are grossly incompetent at managing risk and personal fears, still obey their orders, which becomes a problem and a disaster later on.

  27. Ymarsakar Says:

    Richard Aubrey Says:
    September 28th, 2016 at 10:43 am
    Recall that Sandra Bland, with a history of mental illness, was arrested after not complying at a traffic stop.
    She hanged herself in jail. Reports were that her family could have bailed her out for $50, but they didn’t.

    None of which is the cause of why police standards have fallen so low, that now average civilians can make an arrest without casualties or injuries.

  28. Ymarsakar Says:

    Had Crutcher been allowed to get in his car and do something awful–ram the barricade or start shooting at the cops there–we can be sure Shelby would have been blamed.

    That’s ridiculous. Prosecutors, defense lawyers, and judges are all complicit in releasing criminals yet I don’t see any of them going to jail or being executed for doing so.

    It’s even more ridiculous because the punishment for police not following their own procedures is often administrative leave with pay. Which is not, in all intents and purposes, a punishment. But if they were punished every time a criminal went loose, they wouldn’t have any manpower left.

  29. Ymarsakar Says:

    To curve the sphere on people’s rationalizations on this matter, the Vista killer was visited by the police. The police followed procedure, but not zealously because their neighborhood doesn’t tolerate that, but as a result the guns and other behavior of the Vista killer was not found out in time.

    By Richard’s logic, every time a police department did that, they would have to punish their people. Except they don’t. Punishing people for following official procedure and guaranteeing the rights of American citizens, isn’t going to work well in the long term.

    As Americans become more desperate, confused, and stuck with self rationalization, a police state will make more and more sense to them.

    Just on a human conscience level, shooting people just because you’re afraid your boss might blame you later for something political, is something Americans were supposed to be above. But not anymore.

    Now the excuse in self defense and police work is “I had to shoot them, if he had done something bad like kill someone, I would be blamed”. So it is better to be blamed for murdering a human, rather than to be blamed for indirectly leading to other people’s murders… that’s basically human logic and weakness in a nutshell.

    None of which is going to solve the corruption in police departments in the USA, I remind people. The problem is only going to grow worse, the more people ignore it. Much as they ignored the threat of the Leftist alliance, saying it was a foolish fantasy.

  30. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Ymarsarkar.. It’s an old, dead trope to pretend that pointing out something is supporting it. It’s old. Dead. Grok that. It will make your life better.
    Judges and prosecutors are not blamed because they’re not the bottom of the food chain.
    I’m making the case that the situation was considerably less clear-cut–presuming what Shelby knew, should have known, could have been presumed to have known, what she was supposed to do–than is supposed.
    From that, it follows that perhaps there are more facts yet to show up which might change the complexion of the case.
    Protocols and procedures are designed to regularize actions in various situations. Problem is if a situation isn’t clearly in one category, or another category, or in between. You have to know the category before you can apply the appropriate protocols.
    You can be right for the wrong reasons or wrong for the right reasons and how that shakes out for you is dependent on how it makes your supervisors look.
    Extraordinary leaders move blame up and praise down. That’s why they’re extraordinary. Extraordinary also means rare as hen’s teeth.
    The rest of us deal with the reverse flow.
    My basic question is how far Shelby should have backed off while waiting. Beyond the distance involved in doing some kind of police work? What wee the cover opportunities?
    Was she required to remain close enough to engage if things went wrong? Or could she have been a hundred yards off as long as she could still see the guy?

  31. Ymarsakar Says:

    Judges and prosecutors are not blamed because they’re not the bottom of the food chain.

    Or perhaps the real story is that you think police are blamed because you would do so, considering your previous rendition of how police not arresting a drug using driver, led to you and your wife being rear ended. Although the direct chain that lead to the second person being rear ended was how you didn’t hold the person responsible, responsible at the scene. But even if the police had arrested the drug user, unless that person is locked in Police State example 1 forever or Siberia, they would be out using drugs and someone else might die. But so long as they weren’t within your chain of evidence, it might feel better. But then again, if the police went out of their way to force an arrest, they or the driver might have suffered casualties as a result too.

    From that, it follows that perhaps there are more facts yet to show up which might change the complexion of the case.

    None of which are going to appreciably change police culture or render it more effective at fighting domestic insurgencies or even enforcing their own rules.

    Since all people are going to do is debate endlessly about irrelevant topics, and then do the same a million times later in the future, the complexion of the case may change but the original root problems are not. The root cause will stay, it’ll be ignored, and it’ll get worse. As usual when humans are involved.

    Extraordinary leaders move blame up and praise down. That’s why they’re extraordinary. Extraordinary also means rare as hen’s teeth.

    Same problem as mentioned before, human hierarchy system problems aren’t going to be noticeably affected by single case examples of people on the bottom, like Shelby. Civilians are expected to obey LEOs like Shelby, but Shelby doesn’t even decide what to do most of the time, and in times when she does, her rational policies are turned off by indoctrinated, conditioned, fear reflexes instead of rational self interest based decision making.

    The police unions and various city departments have corruption and evil so deep and thick, that not even wiping out a 100 cases like Shelby would do any noticeable damage or improvement to the system.

About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

Monthly Archives


Ace (bold)
AmericanDigest (writer’s digest)
AmericanThinker (thought full)
Anchoress (first things first)
AnnAlthouse (more than law)
AtlasShrugs (fearless)
AugeanStables (historian’s task)
Baldilocks (outspoken)
Barcepundit (theBrainInSpain)
Beldar (Texas lawman)
BelmontClub (deep thoughts)
Betsy’sPage (teach)
Bookworm (writingReader)
Breitbart (big)
ChicagoBoyz (boyz will be)
Contentions (CommentaryBlog)
DanielInVenezuela (against tyranny)
DeanEsmay (conservative liberal)
Donklephant (political chimera)
Dr.Helen (rights of man)
Dr.Sanity (thinking shrink)
DreamsToLightening (Asher)
EdDriscoll (market liberal)
Fausta’sBlog (opinionated)
GayPatriot (self-explanatory)
HadEnoughTherapy? (yep)
HotAir (a roomful)
InFromTheCold (once a spook)
InstaPundit (the hub)
JawaReport (the doctor is Rusty)
LegalInsurrection (law prof)
RedState (conservative)
Maggie’sFarm (centrist commune)
MelaniePhillips (formidable)
MerylYourish (centrist)
MichaelTotten (globetrotter)
MichaelYon (War Zones)
Michelle Malkin (clarion pen)
Michelle Obama's Mirror (reflections)
MudvilleGazette (milblog central)
NoPasaran! (behind French facade)
NormanGeras (principled leftist)
OneCosmos (Gagdad Bob’s blog)
PJMedia (comprehensive)
PointOfNoReturn (Jewish refugees)
Powerline (foursight)
ProteinWisdom (wiseguy)
QandO (neolibertarian)
RachelLucas (in Italy)
RogerL.Simon (PJ guy)
SecondDraft (be the judge)
SeekerBlog (inquiring minds)
SisterToldjah (she said)
Sisu (commentary plus cats)
Spengler (Goldman)
TheDoctorIsIn (indeed)
Tigerhawk (eclectic talk)
VictorDavisHanson (prof)
Vodkapundit (drinker-thinker)
Volokh (lawblog)
Zombie (alive)

Regent Badge