Thursday, November 24, 2011

Move along, citizens. The bad man is gone now.

Crazed terrorist abuses bicycle, authorities react authoritatively, danger is averted.
Scotland Neck Police Chief Joe Williams said they received a call Monday night about a man who fell off of his bicycle and injured himself in the parking lot of the BB&T bank, 1001 Main St. The caller was concerned that the man was drunk.

When Officer John Turner arrived, he saw Roger Anthony pedaling away along 10th Street. He followed Anthony in his patrol car, briefly put on his sirens and lights and yelled out of the window for him to stop, but Anthony continued to ride away, police said.

Williams said Turner then saw Anthony take something out his pocket and put it into his mouth. At that time, Turner got out of the car and yelled for Anthony to stop. When Anthony didn't stop, the officer used a stun gun on him, causing him to fall off of his bike.

Anthony was transported to Pitt County Memorial Hospital, where he was declared brain dead, his sister Gladys Freeman said. He was taken off of life support on Tuesday.

Freeman said her brother was disabled, suffered from seizures and had trouble hearing. She said he was riding his bike home from her house on Sunday night. Anthony lived alone in an independent living community.
Okay, so you saw a guy fall off his bike. The thought occurred to you that he might be drunk. This concerned you so much that you called the cops? I mean, I can sort of understand the cop's actions. I don't like them, but I sort of understand. Acting like a cowardly thug toward someone who seems to be disregarding your authoritah, whether or not he's actually breaking any law, has somehow become standard police practice, and if he dies he dies. Guess next time he'll stop, huh?

Yeah, that's just the way cops think, and I can't even get upset about it anymore. But what the hell were YOU thinking, buddy?

"Never mind the guy with the beard. Well done, Citizen. If you see something, say something."

H/T to Balko.


Tam said...

"Acting like a cowardly thug toward someone who seems to be disregarding your authoritah, whether or not he's actually breaking any law..."

Depends. Is there a law or ordinance against Public Intoxication in the hamlet in question?

It would help the philosophical consistency of so many on my team if they would pick a position:

1) A cop who uniformly enforces laws without regards to person or circumstance is a badge-heavy thug who thinks with a rulebook, but...

2) A cop who selectively enforces laws is a tool of oppression, because everyone knows that a complex legal code is selectively employed to crack down on whoever you want to crack down on and favor those you like.

No wonder cops look at this and say "Well, you're just a cop-hater."

At least you own it, rather than going "No, no, I'm not a cop-hater! I just hate the bad ones!" and that is commendable.

Joel said...

Yup, I'm pretty much just a cop-hater.

But I said this one acted like a cowardly thug because shooting a person in the back with a taser is the act of a cowardly thug, unless that person is actively harming other people. Which - even if he had been drunk, and even if there was a law against that, which I don't know - the guy plainly wasn't.

There's also proportionality, even within the law. Let's say Roger Anthony was in fact drunk on his bicycle, a strong possibility given the circumstances. Let's say there's a law against that in Scotland Neck. What's the penalty for that? I dunno, but I doubt it's electroshock therapy. Anthony didn't get tased for being drunk, he got tased for disregarding "Officer Turner's" authority. Turner felt perfectly justified in doing that, which neither you nor I would ever have considered. And that's why I don't like cops.

Tam said...


I didn't say you were "just" a cop-hater. I have no problems with someone who hates cops, just as long as they're not a hypocrite about it, which you do not seem to be.

Are you familiar with Orwell's tale of shooting the elephant?

"...which neither you nor I would ever have considered."

Ah. And what would you have done?

You have been sent out to investigate a possible violation of some public ordinance or another. The alleged perpetrator is ambling off, seemingly studiously ignoring your every attempt to get his attention. How do you clear the call?

(We are assuming that telling the dispatcher "Well, he wasn't listening to me so I just let him go," isn't an option, because that would presumably be almost exactly what your supervisor would write on your pink slip.)

Tam said...

(And bear in mind that I'm purely playing Devil's Advocate, here. For all I know, the guy in question was every bit the bullying a-hole he appears to be.)

Joel said...

I really dunno, Tam. I wasn't there, and I wouldn't have been there - at least not in the capacity of policeman. When I said you and I wouldn't have considered doing what the cop did, I meant in our capacity as mere "civilians." As to the cop being a "bullying a-hole," I don't even know that he particularly is, as cops go. Maybe he's a fine fellow, always buys his round in the cop bars, nice to snakes, refrains from beating his wife and children. But in uniform he has carte blanche to behave in ways you and I could not get away with and would not consider - and he does.

But consider this, since we're dealing with what-ifs here: If he couldn't have caught the bicycle himself, why did he get out of the car? Why didn't he keep following him? I gather, though, that as a bicyclist Roger Anthony wasn't exactly Lance Armstrong. Having gotten out of the car, the cop must have had some idea that he could stop the bike. I'm not suggesting it would have been in the cop's best career interests to blow the whole thing off. But he took the opportunity to shoot somebody in the back, which was going straight to overkill. And did, in fact, kill a man who didn't even begin to deserve to die.

GunRights4US said...

Get around in front of the man perhaps - where I knew he could see me. Or maybe pull alongside in my taxpayer mobile and - again - make sure he could see that he was being hailed by a cop.

The tendency of cops to use levels of force disproportionate to the activity they're seeking to curb is the trend these days. Rather than trying to avoid conflicts with folks, cops seek it out and rush headlong into it.

And yes - I am a cop hater of the highest order. I consider them the willing tools of tyranny, and the standing army the Founders so feared.