I keep seeing friends posting stories praising police actions such as helping out the poor or themselves being victims of brutal assaults or shootings. I freely acknowledge that not all cops are bad. I have known many in my life who would never misbehave like those accused of wrongful killings of young black men in particular.

In the 1980’s a W.Va. State Trooper who was a friend of mine was killed in the line of duty and I mourned the three Pittsburgh officers killed in an ambush a few years ago. A Morgantown cop I knew when I worked for the city was kicked severely in the testicles while making an arrest and later developed cancer and died.

I get it.

Now, my friends, why don’t you get it too, that all cops are not heroes or even sweethearts on the job. Some are vicious punks no better than the people they are hired and sworn to protect us from. Mix in racism, innate or due to conditioning to consider all young black males as threats, and you’ve got the reason hundreds of thousands of people marched in protest in cities all over the country recently.

We already know about Ferguson with Michael Brown and NYC with Eric Garner where a grand jury in each case refused to indict the officer responsible for their death.

Many people rejoiced when the Ferguson result was announced, declaring Darren Wilson was vindicated and gleefully reciting excerpts from the testimony of Witness #40 whose lurid and detailed description of how Michael Brown’s actions were terrible enough to justify his shooting.

That certainly fit the scenario the officer propounded. And I would agree that may have been compelling evidence, save for one thing. Witness #40, one Sandra McElroy, was lying. She didn’t lie about what she saw. SHE WAS NOT EVEN PRESENT!, so she saw nothing whatsoever.

What makes her lying especially egregious was that the St. Louis County Prosecutor, Bob McCulloch, knew she was going to lie but still presented her as a witness.


McCulloch is subject to a Code of Conduct which he breached.


(a) A lawyer shall not knowingly: …

(3) offer evidence that the lawyer knows to be false. If a lawyer, the lawyer’s client, or a witness called by the lawyer has offered material evidence and the lawyer comes to know of its falsity, the lawyer shall take reasonable remedial measures, including, if necessary, disclosure to the tribunal. A lawyer may refuse to offer evidence, other than the testimony of a defendant in a criminal matter, that the lawyer reasonably believes is false.


McCulloch knowingly disobeyed this rule and could be…nay, should be…disbarred.

Not all police and prosecutorial deliberate mistakes result in death or even target minorities.

Take the Texas case of Chad Chadwick, drunk and lying in his tub, whose concerned friend called the police to please check on him. A SWAT team arrived with a no-knock warrant issued by lying to a judge that Chadwick had hostages, stormed his house using flash grenades, tasered Chadwick and beat him and then hit him with several charges.


There are instances such as this frequently all over the country. But, somehow, the only instances of police conduct people of a certain mindset will recognize are those in which officers are themselves victims or when they go beyond the call of duty to help someone in need.

William Stacy, an Alabama cop, had a call about a woman shoplifting at a Dollar General. When he learned she was stealing eggs to feed her grandkids, he bought them for her and his efforts led to getting the woman, Helen Johnson, more assistance.


That is not the only story of that nature one can find. And yes, the officer was white and the woman black, so not all cops are racist ogres.

I get it. I get all these wonderful deeds to help needy citizens. And I get all the memes about officers killed in the line of duty.

Police conduct is not a zero sum game. Unjustified shootings or SWAT raids are not offset by buying eggs or getting Christmas gifts for a poor family or by those policemen who are attacked and even killed by vicious or desperate criminals.

I get that there are many many honest and caring law enforcement officers.

Why can’t you get it that there are many dishonest and brutal and racist ones?

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  • Devildog  On December 20, 2014 at 3:21 PM

    “…would never misbehave like those ACCUSED (emphasis added) of wrongful killings of black men in particular”. What am I supposed to get? That those accused are guilty? You know diddly squat what went down in Ferguson and elsewhere yet you are quick to pass opinion as fact-you, a former officer of the court to boot. Just follow Mark Twain’s advice and you would be better off.

    Yeah, I get it all right. Sure, there are bad cops who do things for which they should be jailed but not nearly as many as you and your bleeding heart cohorts would have us believe.

  • Wayne Muller  On December 20, 2014 at 5:35 PM

    David I think perhaps people see so many posts about police officers that are negative in nature and post positive ones in what they see perhaps as a balance. You acknowledge good intentioned officers for instance, but of your last 50 posts concerning cops, how many would you say present them in a positive light?

  • Tourist  On December 20, 2014 at 7:58 PM

    “You know diddly squat what went down in Ferguson . . . .” (Devildog)

    UMOC knows quite a bit about what went down in Ferguson. We all do, including both outcomes. The word “justified” has become as obscene as “collateral damage.” “Justified” is not “necessary.” “Justified” is not “commendable.”


    But listen to the defenders of the police in these latest cases… do you really want to live in the world they are promoting? One where you must immediately acquiesce to any request/order give by anyone in a uniform, without question or complaint… under penalty of death if you don’t comply, or comply too slowly for them? Do you really mean to give people in uniform the power to kill, maim, imprison any person simply because they questioned why they were being confronted or resisted rough treatment? Is the uniformed officers word to be deemed absolute, without recourse… and his/her power to punish to be deemed limitless?

    I can tell you from experience that police officers are just like everybody else – they are not all the benevolent guardians of small children, grannies and fluffy puppies. They do over use their authority, they do have bad days and they do lie, cheat and steal. But just as importantly, they do mostly try to do what they are asked to do. And what they are too often asked to do is… to protect you… from me.

    Not from the educated, lawyer/judge me, or the granddad me, or the mentor teacher me… but from the Black menace me. The problem is that for too many of our citizens and our police they are one in the same!

    [Moved to here.] They want their police to protect them from the black person in the mugshot on the front page of the news paper. They don’t question his or her guilt. And they don’t question whatever actions the police take to apprehend them. And they don’t question whether I am any different.

    [Omission here.] We are tired of letting their subjective “fears” be reason enough to make us bury another child.



    The full comment is longer. Except where indicated, those paragraphs are complete. The ellipses are in the original.

    • Devildog  On December 21, 2014 at 12:08 AM

      Justified is justified, neither necessary nor commendable-neither jail time nor MOH for Wilson.

      Much of what AJ says is correct but I have a comment on that and on the issue in general.

      AJ concludes by saying that Blacks can’t change how Whites perceive them; it is up to Whites to do that. Is he kidding? Is that a denial that the behavior of too many Blacks is what plays a major role in how Blacks are perceived by Whites?

      The lessons of Peter and the Wolf should be heeded. Pick your cases carefully. If Ferguson was just one of many cases, it was not the one to choose to make the cause célèbre. The guy was a thug attacking a cop to do what!

  • umoc193  On December 20, 2014 at 7:59 PM

    I know enough of what went down in Ferguson that any competent and unbiased prosecutor could have procured an indictment. During a trial hopefully all the facts would come out, which, to date, only allegations have been made on both sides of the issue. And that includes facts that may be admissible which were never presented to the grand jury such as Darren Wilson’s prior police record and the history of racial mistreatment and profiling by Ferguson police.

    Then again any witnesses testifying either way could have their credibility destroyed through cross-examination and rebuttal witnesses. So it is conceivable that Wilson was justified in his actions, at least by the ordinary standards applied in police shooting cases as I believe I outlined in a prior post. It is just as conceivable that the facts would prove it was a cold-blooded killing.

    Mugsy, I’m not sure if your reference to fifty prior posts is to the blog or on Facebook. I doubt that many blog posts have concerned cops though I’m not making a count. On FB my guess is you are right about the number even not falling short of the correct total.

    But that is because in the ordinary course of life cops do the right thing. It’s not news when the traffic lights all operate properly. It is news when some are out and wreak havoc with traffic. Too, on FB I may not have posted positive stories myself but I have “liked” a great many of them posted by others.

    • umoc193  On December 20, 2014 at 8:07 PM

      Let me add that, although some misguided souls are celebrating the blatant murder of two NYC cops today, just about anyone who has been protesting is horrified that this took place. The killer may have been part of a Baltimore gang that has sworn to kill cops. Obviously that is a developing story. Were it to be shown that the two officers themselves were guilty of some misconduct in the past, the killings would not be justified by any standard of decency.

      • Devildog  On December 20, 2014 at 8:40 PM

        UMOC, as we used to say in The Bronx 60 or more years ago (with no racial intent then and I have none now-just reminiscing), “that’s mighty White of you”.

        More later! Are you happy to hear that?

    • Devildog  On December 20, 2014 at 11:36 PM

      UMOC- “…any competent and unbiased prosecutor could have procured an indictment”. Yes, probably true, but so what. It is not the job of a prosecutor to procure an indictment. As for your implied bias claim, what is your evidence? That “his” (“he” didn’t actually handle the hearing) father was killed by a black man. Insufficient evidence counsellor!

      It was not “allegations” that were made at the Grand Jury hearing but, rather, sworn statements. “Conceivable, conceivable”, anything and everything is conceivable.

    • Wayne Muller  On December 21, 2014 at 5:24 PM

      David I was referring to FB posts, and certainly did not intend to say anything about your posts in any negative manner. I trust that you are well intentioned and sincere. I think many of the pro-Police posters are as well. There is an element of “Dog bites man vs. man bites dog to the issue, so I understand that when policemen act badly it is more noteworthy than otherwise, yet still I think that some feel that there is an element of piling on when the police are criticized. I think in this instance it makes quite a difference who you are and where you live. Out here in the burbs, the experience that we have of our police departments are no doubt quite different than the experience of people in the inner city, and if that indeed is the rule then I would assume there are numerous exceptions to both positions. I think that both your posts and those that post positive accounts of police interactions have a place in the discussion, and maybe you both get a part of it, but not all of it. What you believe about these situations is very much influenced by what you though going in. Some of us are quite pre-disposed to support the police, some the exact opposite, according mostly to our direct and indirect experiences with them.

  • Tourist  On December 20, 2014 at 8:02 PM

    UMOC, I announced this hijack in the previous thread. I don’t mean to distract from your topic. I think, though, that I now have to follow through for Minx. I appreciate the space without having to do the work of maintaining and sustaining it.

    Slow intro: I read the posting of your military archive that appeared here for a while. I guess you did not intend it to.

    ‘Twas good to remember. One piece was about an old Rob Rogers cartoon and featured a string of comments to it. Oh, the names! I think about those people sometimes – really. Is it five years, six years, that we’ve been doing this? There was honest debate and dialogue once. The tenor of what passes for them today is such that there might as well be none. No, the blame need not be shared. Anyway, you tipped my balance. I had already seen a letter to the P-G titled “Michael Brown’s actions led to his death,” appearing on December 4. It had more than a hundred comments and a portion of the thread addressed the moderating of comments per se. There have been similar discussions elsewhere, of course. Sufferers seem resigned.

    Out of all of that, I ask you to be the repository of my story. Most people will not have noticed, and, not for me, I think it should exist somewhere.

    I pushed on the moderating, mostly at the Rogers blog – on how it was being done, never on the right to do it. I tried to avoid the “What’s wrong with my comment?” approach. Rather, I would re-post my deleted comments unchanged until they stuck, which most did, and use that to argue that there was nothing wrong with them in the first place, that there were no lines, merely whims and games, and that the method was particularly frustrating in rare, brief moments of actual communication. I never got a response, publicly or privately.

    My final comment was in late August, on guns. It was callous toward gun nuts who had become victims of their own callous disregard. I understand that the powers might prefer something more respectful of the demographic. I did not think preferring was the standard of the forum. I wanted to say it.

    When I persisted, Rob Rogers locked me out and erased everything I ever wrote there, to the beginning of time. It was an artful move. Gone also are every comment in direct reply to me, and to those. (Sorry, my friend.)


    I wrote to Mr. Shribman, with a copy to each columnist where I had been commenting. In form – “What am I asking for? Nothing. I report. You decide” – no answer was necessary and I got none from anybody. Since then, to the address I used for that correspondence (not my Carlson Tripp address), I have been receiving regular subscription solicitations and promotional announcements from the P-G.

    The laugh was worth it.

    • umoc193  On December 20, 2014 at 8:15 PM



      I am not sure what “military archive” you are referring to. I will look into that. I had not been checking comments here for a time as I was distracted by some personal events. I will try to go back and read up on what you are referring to.

      As to P-G comments it seems you may not have caught up with the latest information I have on actions to take when they go missing. Instead of re-posting email socialmedia@post-gazette.com and inform them what happened. A reference to the RR cartoon or letter or op-ed should be sufficient for them to track down. Someone is always monitoring that email inbox. I have been successful in getting comments restored since I began using it.

      • Tourist  On December 20, 2014 at 8:40 PM

        UMOC, on the order of a week ago, before my December 17 comment in the previous thread, I came here as usual to see if there was anything new. At the top, newer than “Sleep No More,” was “Military Archive.” It was a number of old posts going back at least to 2010. Why it was there was unexplained, but nothing caused me to think it was unintentional. I assumed you were going to make a point about continued relevance or something. Anyway, nostalgia kicked in and I read it. It was a lot of material. I didn’t mark or capture it, or pay close attention to the dates. When I came back the next time it was gone. That’s when I figured it was a goof or a glitch.

        • umoc193  On December 21, 2014 at 12:15 PM


          I’m not sure why “military archive” showed up but all my posts are archived by category. Therefore if you go to the left of the screen you will see certain areas of access including “Categories” Click on that and a drop down menu will appear and you can scroll down to military or any other category you may want to revisit to view the posts on that topic.

    • Devildog  On December 20, 2014 at 8:48 PM

      Tourist, at your “worst” your comments were not as “bad” as many comments that appeared. Hope you are not a sensitive person; no rhyme, no reason for so many things in life.

      • Tourist  On December 21, 2014 at 12:16 AM

        Thank you, Devildog. I think I could be as bad as anybody if I wanted to. Sensitive? Not in the way you mean. I’m not sure UMOC got the magnitude, though.

        UMOC: “everything I ever wrote.” I was disappeared. Your suggestion is that I shrug, start fresh and take my appeals to the social editor?

        I repeat: They can do what they want. I think what they did should be known.

  • Tourist  On December 22, 2014 at 2:53 AM


    Chickens, eggs and tangled webs. I’m trying to communicate (can’t you tell?), not battle. You express some understanding of AJ, and you say some interesting things. Let me twist a few together. These are not cases of agreed statements of problems followed by obvious, effective solutions.

    “Much of what AJ says is correct,” you say, “but . . . AJ concludes by saying that Blacks can’t change how Whites perceive them; it is up to Whites to do that. Is he kidding? Is that a denial that the behavior of too many Blacks is what plays a major role in how Blacks are perceived by Whites?”

    That’s collective guilt. It’s what justifies perceiving AJ as a black menace – AJ the lawyer, judge, grandfather and mentor – and it blames him for the perception.

    You know me, in a manner of speaking. What does your gut tell you? Am I a likely shoplifter? When I’m looking at something in a store and reach under my coat for my reading glasses, I do it in the middle of the aisle, turned toward a clerk if possible, or a camera. It’s well known here. People like me steal.

    You: “Sure, there are bad cops who do things for which they should be jailed . . . .”

    Maybe if that happened a little more often. By what order of magnitude is the number of prosecuted cops exceeded by the number of “no charges”? Maybe good cops wouldn’t be lumped with the bad as readily if they distanced themselves from the bad more convincingly. Maybe when children are shot and adults are choked, if police unions didn’t rise up demanding apologies and punishment for asking why and wearing T-shirts, it would be easier to differentiate the good from the bad.

    Cops. Blacks. Caucasians in Asia. Stereotypes. Attitudes. Deadly force.

    As the right likes to say of fast-food workers, if they don’t like the job, they can get another one.

    Fifth Amendment: It is not the job of police to punish bad guys, even thugs. “[N]or shall any person be deprived . . . .” That’s the job: not depriving. Depriving comes later. Due process comes first.

    • Devildog  On December 22, 2014 at 5:52 PM

      Tourist, I am so saddened by your comments-mainly because I know you to some degree and expect more.

      AJ is, most probably, a fine man though I have no way to know for sure. But, fine men are not “perfect” (goes for me too). At this time of year, I must say that only one-oh, never mind. AJ and you seem to think that cop behavior and white attitudes are more the cause of black “unrest” than the culture prevailing now in the black community. I beg to differ.

      “Collective guilt” you say. No, guilt is not the right word. I prefer “caution”. That is common sense, even by blacks about blacks-though blacks have to use caution is certain ethnic neighborhoods, more so in the past than now. That’s why I am astounded that so many fine black educated people like AJ and liberal educated people like you (who might be yellow or whatever since i don’t know) hang there hats on cop behavior and white attitudes and racism rather than what I see as the main problem facing the black community (and that may be the reason why Cosby is being framed-just kidding by the way.

      Fifty-second amendment-it is the duty of police to arrest people who in their opinion are committing or have committed a crime (and take the necessary action to consummate that arrest), with questions about their behavior to be answered through the judicial system.

      Tough to eliminate stereotypes. Best way to do that-by ones behavior.

      • Tourist  On December 22, 2014 at 11:07 PM


        1. If you expected better, you overestimated me.

        2. I invoked “chicken or egg” with the usual implication that there is no definitive answer, and you answered egg without a doubt.

        3. I wrote from what you said. You wrote from what I “seem to think.”

        4. After all the times I’ve said I’m an old white guy, plus “Caucasians in Asia,” you said you “don’t know” and that I “might be yellow,” which is pretty close to calling me liar, and isn’t this kind of conversation fun? Where are we, on barstools?

        5. You: “Best way to [eliminate stereotypes is by] one’s behavior.” I don’t shoplift (in case you weren’t sure about that either). What more should I do to overcome the stereotype, the presumption of my guilt?

        6. You: “It is the duty of police to arrest people who in their opinion . . . .”

        Opinion based on cause or on stereotype?

        “. . . are committing or have committed a crime (and take the necessary action . . .”

        Necessary-must or necessary-easiest?

        “. . . to consummate that arrest). . . .”

        Making every dead suspect a police failure to at least some degree?

        “. . . with questions about their behavior to be answered through the judicial system.”

        Who is “their”? Either way, I agree.

        After much deliberation, I’m stopping here. Merry Christmas, Devildog! And Happy Holidays!

        Merry Christmas, everybody!

        • Devildog  On December 23, 2014 at 12:00 AM

          I’ll answer only #4 Tourist. I don’t know who you are, what you do, or anything else about you except that you are now residing in Japan and are married (I remember you saying that). I neither said nor implied you are a liar and I have no recollection of you saying you are an old white guy (though i don’t doubt that you said it many times). Congrats on being among the privileged.

          Happy holidays!

          P.S.-“their”- both, as well as you, me and everyone else.

          • Tourist  On December 23, 2014 at 12:37 AM

            Peace! Pass it on.

  • toadsly  On December 23, 2014 at 3:46 PM

    Merry Christmas and a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year to all.

    • Little_Minx  On December 23, 2014 at 4:05 PM

      Happy Solstice to all — only 3 months until the Vernal Equinox (countin’ the days)!

  • Little_Minx  On December 26, 2014 at 1:15 PM

    Toadsly! Did you see the new “Call the Midwife” special last night? If not, perhaps it’ll be rerun (or on streaming video online?). Won’t spoil the surprises in the plot for you, just in case…

    • toadsly  On December 26, 2014 at 2:06 PM

      I didn’t catch it. But I will try to now. Thanks for heads-up.

  • Little_Minx  On December 31, 2014 at 11:06 PM

    Toadsly! The “Call the Midwife” 2014 holiday special will be rerun on Ch. 13 on Thu., Jan. 1 @ 9:30 PM.

  • Little_Minx  On January 1, 2015 at 5:39 PM

    “TV Review: ‘Downton Abbey,’ Season 5”:

    Most interestingly, “PBS will […] air a one-hour special presented by historical advisor Alistair Bruce, ‘The Manners of “Downton Abbey,” ‘ immediately after the premiere.”

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