How Many Police Lies Did We Unwittingly Accept Before Cell Phone Video?


  1. MNHawk:

    And how many more lies have been exposed by perps, because of filming.

    Maybe a society built on lies, and liars not being punished, doesn't have a very strong foundation as a civilized society. That being said...Ready for Hillary. Americans are worthy of no better.

  2. roadgeek:

    You'd think the idiot cops would learn, given that the Rodney King episode happened in 1991, almost a quarter-century ago. Yet they don't. I don't altogether think that cops aren't cognizant of living in the video age, it's that they think The Thin Blue Line will protect, as it has so many times in the past. They think they're bulletproof.

  3. Matthew Slyfield:

    They are bulletproof. How many times have cops been convicted even in cases where there was video like this? Almost never.

  4. Matthew Slyfield:

    "How Many Police Lies Did We Unwittingly Accept Before Cell Phone Video?"

    All of them.

    The sad fact is that even today, most people will accept the police lies as gospel truth even in the face of indisputable video evidence that they are lies.

  5. herdgadfly:

    Last night the Fort Wayne, IN city council voted to change the required retirement age for police patrol officers from age 60 to age 70. I feel safer already. After all, they still have to pass an annual physical exam.

    So the perps are better armed and are bigger and stronger but street officers will get older and weaker every year. One of the reasons always given for paying police more is that there was an expected limit on how long they can perform the often rigorous aspects of the job.

    Ironically, the policeman who serves on the council introduced the administrative change and voted for it. Whatever happened to ethical abstentions?

  6. HenryBowman419:

    How Many Police Lies Did We Unwittingly Accept Before Cell Phone Video?

    Multiply the number of police officers by, say, 25 to 50, and you'll be close to the correct answer. They are actually trained to lie.

  7. FelineCannonball:

    I think I'd rather have 69 year old cop stop me than a 25 year-old bulked up on steroids and coffee, ready to wrestle a pit bull.

    There's something to be said for older, wiser, caution, and patience. Tasers and sleeper holds aren't the only way to defuse things.

  8. obloodyhell:

    And yet, no one is bothering to take the more useful lesson from this:
    "Don't run from a cop, it's just fuckin' **STUPID**."

    Would he still be alive if he'd just let himself be arrested? Probably. Almost certainly, even.

    What the cop did is, by all indications, inexcusable and reprehensible. But I don't feel all that much ruth for the victim in this case, either.

  9. FelineCannonball:

    There's more to the story somewhere. Walter Scott had a broken tail light, and yet somehow gets taken away from the car (and the police dash cam) to get pressed in the dirt and tased in an alley? I'm not sure the officer was interested in arresting anyone. Sounds like he has a history of sadism too.

    I've been pulled over for brake lights being out before. I got some tips on fuses and wiring that didn't involve a taser demonstration.

  10. c_andrew:

    As an illustration of exactly that point, I give you the Orange County Jury that acquitted the murderous cops that beat Kelly Thomas to death. Even with video showing the primary perp telling the victim, who was sitting, quiescent, on the curb, that he was 'going to f**k him up.'
    So staying around to be arrested isn't a surefire means of avoiding death by cop.

  11. obloodyhell:

    Yeah, I want to know more before I pass judgement. It certainly LOOKS pretty damned bad. But there's something fucking odd here. Perhaps more than one thing. I'm in no way suggesting a bias FOR the cop. But I want to know the whole damned story -- or as much of it as can be reliably identified -- before I convict.

  12. obloodyhell:

    Hey, that's not always the case, but it's usually the much safer bet....

  13. Matthew Slyfield:

    Given a choice between getting beaten to death and shot in the back, I would probably choose being shot in the back.

  14. obloodyhell:

    Patterico has more on this story -- I'm not saying this exculpates the cop, but... it certainly says there's GOSH WHOODATHUNKIT!?!?!? a lot more to this story than just shooting someone in the back as they're running away.

  15. FelineCannonball:

    I tend to leave 99% of the true crime stuff to the courts and juries. Passing judgement based on media coverage is more of a parlor game -- or for those that like getting titillated by the stuff.

    Now it looks like the tasing was justified. Also looks like the tail lights were working. Whatever. Looks like there is plenty to let the courts figure it out.

  16. randian:

    I think the problem here won't be the shooting per se, it will be the coverup. Moving the taser shows consciousness of guilt.

  17. bigmaq1980:

    Now there are the cops in San Diego who beat a guy after a chase - all caught on helicopter's news video.

    Rather seriously disappointed in the reaction in the non-left media. The left have a tendency to overplay (to put it mildly) any white on black policing case they can find, and the right tends to just as quickly oppose the left's narrative (also before enough facts are in to warrant it).

    But all we hear is crickets on this one - why do so few not on the left want to talk about policing? It should be outrageous to anyone who supports liberty.

    Leaving it to a racism narrative that the left favors does nobody a service (but the few who can leverage the grievance industry).

    We have a serious issue in policing today, and in the unbounded criminalization and use of criminal law for harassment and revenue generation.

    Here are a couple of good articles on policing and over criminalization.

  18. bigmaq1980:

    Eight!!! shots might be pertinent.

    Also, if we are to believe the video and witness, not providing aid should be another factor.

    Just way over board, as to be punitive.

  19. bigmaq1980:

    Obviously the victim was extremely stupid (made extremely poor choices). BUT, that is not the issue.

    The difference between most of us and a cop is that a cop gets training and has more specific guidelines on when they are justified in use of force.

    A simple google on "use of force matrix" will come up with many many samples of what law enforcement typically uses to educate their officers on when it is appropriate to use what levels of force. I doubt they venture far from what a court would find appropriate.

    Regarding lethal force, the over riding theme on several of them is the notion of the "threat of immediate or imminent death or serious physical injury". They also get aligned with the assailant's "intention and ability to cause" this.

    If these are to be believed as a standard for cops to follow, then the video seems to indicate that the situation falls well short of that. The victim was running away, was not armed, made no threats. He resisted and fled. Not sure if the cop caught up to him the first time (the 50+ y.o. was probably relatively slow), or if he had second thoughts and waited - we may never know.

    Police have not said (yet) if the man was considered armed and dangerous, and if the cop went into the situation knowing this. Short of something like this, it appears rather gratuitous use of force.

    Here are a couple of representative matrices: (notice there is little margin for error on this one).

  20. Matthew Slyfield:

    As to the comments from "Cugel".

    No, in order for the rule allowing a cop to shoot a fleeing felon to apply, the cop would have to know or have reason to believe that the suspect was a felon before firing. Bare speculation that evidence of a felony might be found is not enough.

  21. Ann_In_Illinois:

    According to the press release yesterday from Mark Keel, chief of SLED, Slager was arrested and charged with murder following an interview Monday afternoon at his then-attorney's office. They got the video from the family Monday evening, so he was arrested and charged even without the video, before they had seen it. The investigators had already noted other suspicious circumstances, one of which was that Wilson had been shot from behind four times. Slager's statements were not simply accepted without question - we shouldn't automatically assume he would have gotten away with it.

    I'm always surprised that more people don't compare these cases to the he said/she said problem with rape accusations. When all you have are the claims of two parties, neither of whom is unbiased, it's hard to figure out who's telling the truth. Sadly, that means that injustices occur, but there may not be an easy way to stop them.

    This case and the Michael Brown case should be viewed as bookends illustrating how the innocent on both sides can benefit from police wearing cameras. Slager would have been guaranteed to be caught if he'd been wearing one (and perhaps wouldn't have committed the crime to begin with), while Darren Wilson would have been spared the horrendous false accusations that he had to face if he'd been wearing one.

  22. obloodyhell:

    That he had no papers for the car, changed his story TWICE with regards to it, then fled.

    Naw, That doesn't smell even vaguely like he might have stolen the car. No cop in his right mind would consider that possibility. Nope Never, ever.

    And auto theft,... pretty sure that's a felony where *I* live.

    A quick internet search on "Auto Theft":
    Grand theft auto, or stealing an automobile or other vehicle, is a felony in most states, and may be punished by imprisonment.

    Here's a link for the laws in SC:

    And it's not like Cugel didn't point this out himself, such that I shouldn't need to repeat it:

    This looks to me like the policeman had reason to believe that Scott had stolen the car, and after Scott fought with him, he had reason to believe that Scott was dangerous.

    So unless you're arguing that the laws in SC aren't such that auto theft is a felony, from some personal knowledge, you're not just wrong, but pretty blatantly wrong.

  23. obloodyhell:

    }}} Obviously the victim was extremely stupid (made extremely poor choices). BUT, that is not the issue.

    Dude, this is ALWAYS an issue. If he had not fled, there is no reason to believe he would not be alive and probably out on bail. The cop would have had ZERO cause to shoot him, instead of possibly a full legal defense for doing so.

  24. c_andrew:

    You're probably right about that. For the present, anyway.
    However, I do think that with court granted immunity and the general mindset of the public, we're going to see self-selection start playing a much bigger role in what kind of cops we get. And I think that the trend is going to be toward nastier and more violent individuals.
    Maybe recording the bastards can stem the tide. But given how regularly the blue wall covers for these sociopaths, I wonder. I'm of the opinion that this happens a whole lot more than has been documented and that the putatively 'good' cops are complicit in covering up after the fact. Even in this case cops arriving on the scene asked no awkward questions. I think that the HuffPo piece that details just what we would have been treated to, absent the 3rd party video, is spot on, and representative of what has happened in similar instances where video was not available.

  25. c_andrew:

    My question would be, "did the police department have a substantive understanding of what the video portrayed, even without seeing it, before they moved on Slager?" Because if they did, then this move would be more in the vein of CYA than in the pursuit of justice.
    I agree that more body cameras on cops would probably decrease the number of incidents and make resolutions more timely and just. I also agree with Radley Balko that in the case of a 'malfunction' that the officer's story should be made immediately suspect and the citizen's story should be given added weight. I don't remember the police department; Oakland? Houston? where 6 officers' cameras all failed spontaneously in the runup to a violently executed arrest. There should be severe sanctions against such behavior and it should start with utterly discrediting the officer's account of the interaction.

  26. Ann_In_Illinois:

    Is there evidence that they knew about the video before it was turned over? I'd be very interested in more information on the timing of this.

  27. bigmaq1980:

    Yes, a trial is definitely warranted. However, the video is extremely strong, compelling
    evidence against the cop.

    You dismiss these links too easily. They point to the standard he should have been operating to.

    We know police do use such models - the first link is from Chicago PD.

    And, there is legal theory that does exist about appropriate use of lethal force. Can certainly point out other links, but they may also then be "vaguely relevant".

    His lawyer's own statement was that he "felt threatened". It is his word against the video and police standard.

    No indication from his police dept that there was a criminal record to think there was imminent threat. More specifically, they charged him rather quickly with first degree murder.

    Doesn't sound like a police dept and prosecutor that thinks that maybe there are much mitigating in the case to warrant eight shots towards the back of a fleeing man.

    Anyway, I put these links here for others to consume as well, to make their own judgement.

    Is this proves in court to be worthy of a guilty judgement, would the death penalty be appropriate?

  28. Matthew Slyfield:

    "Scott fought with him"

    There is no evidence other than the cops word that Scott fought with him.

  29. c_andrew:

    I would like to see that as well. The reason I asked the question is that the investigating agency, SLED, claimed that they had had found 'troubling inconsistencies that were confirmed by the video' but there is no available record of any such doubts before the video was made public. And since I am skeptical of such claims made by public employees without corresponding documentation, I'm wondering if such a statement is an after-the-fact attempt at putting a better face on what, in my opinion, would have been another whitewashed killing.

    Now if minutes or notes of a meeting, held before SLED had knowledge of the video, are released that reflect those serious doubts, then I'd be happy to walk back my conviction that SLED's public statement is an ex post facto attempt at CYA.

  30. Ann_In_Illinois:

    I've been looking for a timeline of the investigation, and can't find it. The press release from Keel, Chief of SLED, definitely said that Slager was arrested and charged Monday afternoon, after a meeting/interrogation of Slager in his then-attorney's office. That attorney was still defending him on Monday, and then withdrew on Tuesday after seeing the video (but that doesn't tell us when the investigators saw/knew of the video, only when the attorney did). One article which I can't find now on Google News (I think it was by an LA publication, which seemed odd) reported that Slager was arrested Monday afternoon and then said that the video was turned over to the police Monday evening, according to the family. But I can't even find that again.....

    I know that CNN had lots of interviews with the family and the man that took the video. I think that was on Wednesday, and then the video of the initial traffic stop came out (Thursday?) and now other aspects of the story have been more prominent. I've gone back a little to watch interviews to try to find out when Santana said he turned it over, but haven't found a time of day yet. Both Santana (who took the video) and the victim's brother say that it was turned over sometime on Monday, but I haven't seen when.

    But the time when Slager was first arrested and charged should be part of the official record, and a description of when and how the video was turned over is probably out there somewhere and I just didn't find it. I hope someone clears this up soon - I'll post again if I find any more.

  31. c_andrew:

    Thanks Ann,
    If I run across anything I'll do the same.

  32. marque2:

    In about 1/2 the cases I side with the victim. This case, it seems like gross overkill. Another memorable one was the cigarette guy in New York, where the New York government(s) are so tax crazy, they will kill people over it.

    But it is interesting how often these victims of the police set themselves up to get into these situations. I don't have alimony issues, but if I did, I probably wouldn't run when the cop pulled me over.

  33. Matthew Slyfield:

    " I don't have alimony issues, but if I did, I probably wouldn't run when the cop pulled me over."

    His issue wasn't alimony, it was child support, and men can be sent to prison for unpaid child support in his state.

  34. marque2:

    Point still sysnds, I would be making efforts to pay child support, and not be years in arreers. They don't throw you in jail for me a month late. And then, I wouldn't run from the police. Again, the officer went too far, but it is interesting how this person seems to have brought this upon himself on when a normal thinking person, probably would be driving away.

  35. billford:

    Here's another fairly recent one, luckily caught on camera. The kicker here is it seems that the police planted cocaine in his car afterwards, but the victim had a steady job for over 30 years, tested negative for any kind of drugs at the hospital where he was taken after getting beat up, and the now-fired police officer had been charged (but not found guilty) of planting drugs before, and the victim passed a polygraph test denying the drugs were his.