Cops Gone Wild: Don’t Piss off The Po Po [commentary]

Ted Rall-las-angeles-times-pd-latimes rall vindicated la police get investigated

Here’s the problem with cop unions, says Ted Rall. It’s time to start from scratch and replace them with civilian-run organizations designed to protect you. [commentary]

aNewDomainted-rall-david-brooks-not-that-smart — Police unions are out of control.

Earlier this year, Baltimore cops murdered Freddie Gray by chaining him up and intentionally swerving and repeatedly slamming on the breaks. Rather than telling their members to behave professionally, however, the head of the city’s police union attacked people who protested Gray’s death, smearing them as — of all things! — “a lynch mob.”

About a year ago, the leader of New York’s police union reacted to the assassination of two Brooklyn cops as they sat in their squad car by declaring that newly-elected Mayor Bill de Blasio had “blood on his hands” — because he hadn’t been sufficiently pro-cop. (There is no evidence that the killer ever heard of Bill de Blasio.)

Now the Fraternal Order of Police is threatening one of the United States’ most acclaimed film directors.

FOP Executive Director Jim Pasco, threatened Quentin Tarantino, who helmed “Pulp Fiction” and numerous other major movies, and said this in The Hollywood Reporter:

Something is in the works, but the element of surprise is the most important element. Something could happen anytime between now and (the premiere). And a lot of it is going to be driven by Tarantino, who is nothing if not predictable. The right time and place will come up and we’ll try to hurt him in the only way that seems to matter to him, and that’s economically.”

Charming.

Tarantino’s “crime,” in the eyes of “there’s blue, then there’s you” cops: He attended a Black Lives Matter, where it is said he was against murderers, and for the murdered.

There’s only one logical inference. According to the police, Black Lives Do Not Matter. By their wicked logic, we should support murderous cops, not murdered civilians.

If you don’t toe the line? “Instead of dealing with the incidents of police brutality that those people were bringing up, instead of examining the problem of police brutality in this country, better they single me out,” Tarantino told The Los Angeles Times. “And their message is very clear. It’s to shut me down. It’s to discredit me. It is to intimidate me. It is to shut my mouth, and even more important than that, it is to send a message out to any other prominent person that might feel the need to join that side of the argument.”

Jacobin magazine’s description of these organizations as “The Bad Kind of Unionism” is putting it mildly. The only people they “protect and serve” is themselves — the people be damned.

It’s ironic that that Tarantino quote comes from the LA Times. The Times,  you see, is owned by Tribune Publishing. Whose number-one shareholder is a private equity firm called Oaktree Capital. Which manages the pension fund of the LAPD police union, the LAPPL (Police Protective League).

The LAPPL is one of the free-speech-hating fascist police unions threatening Tarantino. And the LAPPL appears to have gotten the Times to fire me as its political cartoonist — using quickly-discredited evidence — because I criticized the LAPD for the fact that they’re violently militarized and lousy at their jobs.

After I was fired, the LAPPL issued a press release.

So many within the LAPD were pleasantly surprised at the recent firing of Los Angeles Times opinion cartoonist Ted Rall,” the union said. “We hope other news publications will take note … ”

(They removed it from the Internet after the outcry over my firing.)

When you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail. That’s cops in the year 2015. They want to shoot and torture and rob and harass us. Without fear of punishment.

They can’t even stand criticism.

So they go after cartoonists. And film directors.

Reporters, too.

Brian Addison, a  former journalist — the “former” comes courtesy of the cops who leaned on his cowardly excuse for an editor to fire him — in Oregon is suing Baker City and its freedom-hating police chief for making his life miserable.

After the Baker City Record-Courier let Addison go as a favor to Baker City PD in 2008, the cops followed his car around, repeatedly stopping him.

When he landed another job, not in journalism, in 2014, the cops got him fired again — using a falsified “dossier” that indicated he had a criminal background.

He didn’t.

So what did Addison do to piss off the po po (police)?

He wrote an editorial complaining about an incident at a high school girls basketball game, where the fuzz walked a drug-sniffing dog through the stands during halftime. Addison’s editorial pointed out, correctly, that this was a disgusting violation of basic Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches.

Unions are an essential bulwark against gangster capitalism. Public-sector unions are just as necessary as private-sector ones. But these police — and their unions — have got to go.

Every police department in the country should be disbanded. All the cops should be fired.

It’s time to start from scratch — and replace them with civilian-run organizations designed to protect us.

For aNewDomain, I’m Ted Rall.

 

 

 

About the author

Ted Rall

Based in New York, Ted Rall is aNewDomain's chief commentator and a nationally syndicated editorial cartoonist. A Pulitzer nominee, Rall's latest book is the NYT bestselling book, Trump: A Graphic Biography.
Support his work and see his toons first at his site on Petreon. Follow him on Twitter @tedrall

3 Comments

  • One more way to go about bringing humility to these guys is to disarm them! Restrict the arms to only a select few in the force, just like how it was done in the Britain. It brought down the number of violent confrontations to a great extent. It takes political will and public voice.

  • 1. Restrict the police authority only to their specific jurisdictions.
    2. Make sure that the bad cops are not only removed, but also de-certified so that they don’t go join another department in a different area. Create an online registry with their names, just like sex offenders.
    3. Remove guns, tazers from traffic cops, resource officers, airport authorities, sheriffs and others; restrict their use only to specialized forces (10% of the total).
    4. The revenue generated from traffic violations and non-criminal offenses should not be used for paying the city coffers or spent towards administrative costs. This way citizens may not be treated as walking ATMs.
    5. Provide funding for legal aid on an equal footing with the prosecution.
    6. Exclude prison confinement for non-criminal offenses completely.
    7. Tamper proof body camera to be worn at all times.
    8. Remove the all police policies based on “broken-window” theory.
    9. Remove all restrictive measures, such as, blocking voting rights of prisoners, right to housing and employment for non-violent crimes in order to facilitate quicker rehabilitation of such prisoners into society.
    10. Compulsory submission of arrest records by local departments to a federal entity on a periodic basis to identify and stop profiling.
    11. Apply measures to remove bias in jury selection, intentional delays in hearing cases, and illegal debtor prisons (imposing penalties based on income of the violator, thereby not robbing the individual the right to work/live).

  • I really hate to criticize police online because reprisal is a feature of law enforcement nowadays, as proven by your experience. However I must commend you, Ted Rall. You’re a great cartoonist, censured for political reasons. I’ve enjoyed your work for decades and wish to thank you for your lifetime of work and brave words here. The police ARE out of control when perfectly healthy people die in jail, are shot in the back or choked and roughed up with broken bones and missing dentition. Children should never be given guns of any sort to carry outside. But how can you prevent a child from cocking his thumb and aiming his index finger at a cop? Such things reveal the lack of training and humanity in the cops these days. Fire them all.