March 19, 2015

The young black man who was shot to death by Madison police had set out that day on "a spiritual journey."

According to this report in Isthmus:
[Tony Robinson] asked his grandmother, Sharon Irwin, to "cleanse" him earlier in the day, says Turin Carter, who is Irwin's son and Tony's uncle. She burned sage and drew a bath with sea salt for her grandson.

What his family didn't know is that Robinson's journey involved taking hallucinogenic mushrooms. "It was a terrible choice," Carter says, adding that Robinson was inexperienced with the drug....

An adverse reaction to the mushrooms may have caused Robinson's behavior on March 6, when he reportedly attacked two people and ran out into traffic on Willy Street.... Robinson reacted badly to the drug. Fearing for his safety and unable to handle his reaction, his friends called 911 to get him help.

120 comments:

AReasonableMan said...

It is hard to overstate the incompetence of local cops.

Hagar said...

Well, I'll be damned! I speculated here before about berserker teenagers on toadstool tea, and I was right!

theribbonguy said...

Turn a convicted felon into a wild berserker with this one weird trick!!

Curious George said...

Finally garage can come out and bash the cops.

Curious George said...

"On the last day of his life, Tony Robinson had hoped to make a spiritual journey."

Sounds like he got his wish. Literally.

Laslo Spatula said...

45 years ago he could've been lead singer of The Doors.

If you don't have the Spirit of an Indian Shaman beside you then you should probably think twice about the trip.

Spiritual Indian Shaman Guides know where all the snakes are.

I am Laslo.

Curious George said...

A few questions:

When dead the dumbfuck asked granny to draw him a cleansing bath for his spiritual journey, did she inquire what he meant by that?

His uncle knew he was inexperienced with mushrooms? How?

BDNYC said...

Nice reporting. Almost makes his criminal behavior seem understandable, even respectable.

Tank said...

Re-frame.

Good one.

Amichel said...

Other people, including Police officers, shouldn't have the obligation to know that you have taken powerful hallucinogenic drugs and might appear strange and threatening to them. If you take powerful mind altering substances, you are still responsible for any violent actions you might take. After all, being drunk is not a mitigating factor for a DUI, being high on mushrooms is not a mitigating factor in assault of a police officer. If you take mind altering substances, you are taking your life into your hands.

Quaestor said...

It is hard to overstate the incompetence of local cops.

Says one who has never dealt with anything more dangerous than the lid from a can of Vienna sausages.

Obvious questions:

1) Why has it taken so many days for these details to surface?

2) Is voluntary use of an unpredictable psychotropic an excuse for assault on a police is officer?

3 Isthmus, a free newspaper, and worth every penny!

BDNYC said...

By the end of the article, you are supposed to be angry at Madison police for not assisting him in his spiritual journey.

Meade said...

Along with "No peace, no justice" protesters should carry signs that read: "Recreational use of hallucinogenic drugs can cause disturbances in orientation of self, perception and cognition. Violent behavior might be an aggressive response to anger, or it could be a natural defensive response to disturbed perception" — Adam Schroeder, a substance abuse counselor and program manager with Community Partnerships, which serves individuals with mental health issues.

Fernandinande said...

She burned sage and drew a bath with sea salt for her grandson.

A symptom of ....

"In posts this year to his Facebook page, Robinson appeared troubled, writing, “I hate my mind” and “I don’t need help im not crazy.” In a January 19 post, he declared, “My soul is dying.” In a series of messages on February 11, Robinson wrote, “You arent shit to your family when you grow up,” and “Iv been getting lied to my whole life… Mostly by famliy members.” In December, a day after linking to a video showing a police officer applying a chokehold to a man, Robinson wrote, “The only thing cops are getting trained for is to shoot first and ask questions later.”

rhhardin said...

Another gentle giant bites the dust.

Quaestor said...

After all, being drunk is not a mitigating factor for a DUI, being high on mushrooms is not a mitigating factor in assault of a police officer.

This obvious point is remains elusive to some people, the readers of dissipated fish-wrap like the Isthmus and the commenter who calls himself (with unintended irony) AReasonableMan, for example.

Laslo Spatula said...

"drew a bath with sea salt"

So, bath salts were involved, too.

I thought those caused you to eat people's faces.

Who knows what would've happened if he wasn't stopped, but I suspect a lot of people with half-eaten faces would be in Wisconsin about now.

You can get away with a lot in today's society, up until the point that you begin eating people's faces.

I am Laslo.

Bob Ellison said...

I've probably had fewer interactions with local cops than most, and they have not all been pleasant, but for the most part, they have behaved like nice folks who wanted to help. There's an instinct to be a hero that can be misguided, but lots, I would say most, of these men and women guide it well in police, fire, medical, and military work.

Laslo Spatula said...

'Cannibal sandwiches' filled with raw beef sicken Wisconsin locals.
From the article:
"Symptoms of an E. coli infection include stomach cramps and diarrhea. It can lead to kidney failure, particularly in the elderly, children and people with weak immune systems. It can also lead to the uncontrollable urge to eat faces."

I am Laslo.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

AReasonableMan said...

It is hard to overstate the incompetence of local cops.

And yet you make it look easy.

Meade said...

"Well, now if I were the president of this land
You know, I'd declare total war on The Pusher man
I'd cut him if he stands, and I'd shoot him if he'd run
Yes I'd kill him with my Bible and my razor and my gun"
(NSFW)

Fernandinande said...

Laslo Spatula said...
So, bath salts were involved, too.


Heh.

I thought those caused you to eat people's faces.

No, that was something the cops made up.

Fernandinande said...

Laslo Spatula said...
If you don't have the Spirit of an Indian Shaman beside you then you should probably think twice about the trip.


We have an Indian shaman living nearby; he does peyote ceremonies for all kinds of things, like a wedding or a trip to the hospital in the Big City. AFAIK, nobody ever goes crazy.

Laslo Spatula said...

Not all bath salts are bad, of course.

Scarlett johannson like to take long luxurious baths, naked, with bath salts. The only side effect I can see from her bath salts is that Scarlett, naked, gets the uncontrollable urge to give me blow-jobs.

It is a good brand of bath salt.

I am Laslo.

sparrow said...

I'd say the facts are damning, not mitigating. If the over the top behavior was natural psychosis I'd be more sympathetic. This was voluntary.

EMD said...

blow-jobs.

No hyphen. Blow jobs. Get your shit together.

theribbonguy said...

Don't be a menace while eating your 'shrooms in the hood.

Moose said...

Versus a good reaction to mushrooms...

Moose said...

Versus a good reaction to mushrooms...

dbp said...

"Robinson reacted badly to the drug. Fearing for his safety and unable to handle his reaction, his friends called 911 to get him help."

There is a lot of information packed into this statement, when reason is applied:

1. There is lots of talk about how out of control the cops are, but they were called. What is implied is that, in spite of all the demagoguery, our expectation is that the police will help you, not hurt you.

2. If you call 911 to help an intoxicated friend, you must be aware that the chances are close to 100%, he may be helped but will end up with legal trouble.

Laslo Spatula said...

Besides using bath salts Scarlett Johannson bleaches her anus..

It is a different kind of spiritual journey. Of course" police do not get involved.

I am Laslo.

drywilly said...

Read that his friend/roommate? left him in his condition to attend a high school basketball game. Hope he's sleeping well.

Curious George said...

"Madison Police Shooting: Not Just About Race Because Victim Was Biracial, Family Says"

So it was half about race? I guess the white half took the shrooms.

Dumb cracker.

SGT Ted said...

The only reason they are blaming the cop is because the cop is white.

Racism is ugly.

James Pawlak said...

A "spiritual journey" as included endangering others on Madison's street, battering another person and providing a "clear and present danger of death or great bodily harm" to a police officer by a convicted (Armed) robber? Was this an act of "Jihad"?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

An adverse reaction to the mushrooms may have caused Robinson's behavior on March 6, when he reportedly attacked two people and ran out into traffic on Willy Street.... Robinson reacted badly to the drug. Fearing for his safety and unable to handle his reaction, his friends called 911 to get him help.

I'm sure the writer just didn't have room to mention that his friends also feared for the safety of others, like the two he reportedly attacked, right? Does that (attacking people) seem like a valid reason to involve the police (whether called by his friends or by others)?
#InnocentBystandersAttackedByPeopleOnDrugsMatter

Unknown said...

Together? Laslo's so high on bath salts that he thinks Lena Dunham is Scarlett Johansson! Poor guy, maybe it's better not to tell him. All cats are grey...

SGT Ted said...

Look, if you're 6 foot 5 inches and you go for a cops gun, expect to be shot, high on mushrooms or not.

Fen said...

Another "he was turning his life around" bs meme.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

"In society, don't we want our children to be able to call for help when a situation has gone wrong?" he asks.

Yes, ideally the call for help results in a safe outcome for everyone. But if part of a situation "going wrong" is that the person on drugs is violent and phsyically attacks an armed individual in a confined space, I for one am not surprised that the outcome in that specific situation is a dead individual.

AReasonableMan said...
It is hard to overstate the incompetence of local cops.


In what way were they incompetent in this specific case, though? They responded to a call or calls about a violent person. From what I've read the officer approached this violent person in a building--the violent person was in an area with other people who were presumably at risk from possible violence. If the guy's high and standing in the middle of a field posing no immediate danger to others or himself I can sse the argument that the police should just watch and wait, but in this specific case it seems like they had a duty to try and restrain the suspected violent individual to prevent him from harming others. It would obviously have been better for everyone if that attempt had gone better/been accomplished without the need to resort to lethal force in self defense, but from what I've read of the situation it doesn't strike me as an example of obvious incompetence. Maybe you can elaborate.

Jim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jim said...

https://screen.yahoo.com/ask-president-carter-000000735.html Too bad President Carter wasn't there to talk him down.

SGT Ted said...

Plenty of unarmed white guys on PCP have been shot dead by police and no one cares.

Black racists are still racists.

SGT Ted said...

I'm sure AReasonableMan will post up where he graduated from Police Academy and how long he served as a street cop, so we can know that he is competent to judge this case on the merits.

Anonymous said...

Think of it as evolution in action.

AReasonableMan said...

SGT Ted said...
Plenty of unarmed white guys on PCP have been shot dead by police and no one cares.


This is, of course, bullshit. Reasonable people hold the view that the cops shoot too many citizens, of all kinds.

Ralph Hyatt said...

This is an attempt to reframe the narrative. However, the question is not, "was the young black man a nice guy who made a stupid mistake that he shouldn't have died for?"

The question is whether or not he was acting in such a way that the police responding were acting reasonably when they shot him.

Did he present a danger to the police and others and was shooting him the only safe method for stopping him?

I'm not a cop. I don't know any cops. But, I am willing to bet that the first thing that goes through a cop's mind when encountering someone acting in a violent manner is not whether or not they are nice guys most of the time.

T Rellis said...

Drugs kill way more people than drugs, so the lefties who reframe this take one out of their favorite "gun death" column and move it on over to the "never happens" drug death column.

Fen said...

AReasonableMan: It is hard to overstate the incompetence of local cops.

...says the keyboard commando who wets his panties at the first sign of conflict.

T Rellis said...

"Sir are you on drugs? It is an important question before I shoot you for assaulting my partner."

SGT Ted said...

Other cops unjustifiably shooting other people does not make this shooting unjustifiable.

Your logic is flawed, ARM.

The Drill SGT said...

But, I am willing to bet that the first thing that goes through a cop's mind when encountering someone acting in a violent manner is not whether or not they are nice guys most of the time.

echoing SGT Ted, there is no requirement that a beat cop make every encounter into a fair fight.

The police get multiple 911 calls, one of them says a citizen is being strangled.

Officer arrives and heads into the building where he hears shouting and a struggle.

I assume at some point, the officer meets the drugged up guy at close range. e.g less than 20 feet. At that range or less, A guy with a knife can kill you unless you already have your gun out. 6' 5" Druggie makes a move. Gets shot. end of story except to note that after the fact we learn the druggie is a convicted armed robbery felon on parole, for which his current activities would have put him behind bars for 3 years. Parole violation (e.g. drugs and violence)

"Be Polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet"

rules for gunfights

Michael K said...

"It is hard to overstate the incompetence of local cops."

Yes, you can but they are doing their job and really should refuse to go into black read if they were smarter. By your standards, of course.

T Rellis said...

Not sure how drugs kill more people than drugs, but they do kill more than die from guns.

AReasonableMan said...

SGT Ted said...
Your logic is flawed, ARM.


No. Policing is deeply flawed. It is not a dangerous occupation and they kill too many people.

Michael K said...

" If the guy's high and standing in the middle of a field posing no immediate danger to others or himself I can sse the argument that the police should just watch and wait,"

But they keep getting those calls from Starbucks.

SJ said...

@AReasonableMan,

[cops] kill too many people

During an earlier Althouse thread on this topic, I referenced information provided by the FBI.

To wit, among the ~22000 Police Agencies in the U.S., the FBI gets reports of ~500 people killed by Police during the average year.*

That number is higher than I like, but I have a hard time seeing that as too many.

------------------------------
*The FBI classifies these as "justifiable homicide by Officer"...

If you don't want to do the math yourself, that 1/44th of a homicide-by-Officer per Department per year.
Or, for every Police Department that sees one such Homicide-by-Officer per year, there are likely 43 other Departments that saw no such killing during that year.

This is skewed by the fact that Departments in large cities likely see more than one person killed by Police during a given year.

Anonymous said...

Spiritual journey? Maybe. What do the toxicology panels show?

AReasonableMan said...

If any other government agency was killing 500 people per year there would be outrage on the right. Why do the police get a pass? They clearly perform much better in other countries.

Matthew Sablan said...

What are the rates in other countries, and what are their crime rates, and are police equipped the same -- what level of violent crime occurs in other countries?

How do they clearly do so? What other countries?

Has there been a systemic review of the 500 people killed? How many were justified, not justified? You realize that the Boston Marathon bomber who died is part of that statistic for the year he was killed, right? So, how many of those 500 were not right?

We want deep thoughts on this, not superficial 500 IS TOO MANY!!!! thoughts. It might be; my instinct is that that's a lot lower than I would have guessed [I was ball parking at about 1,000-2,000, with about 60-80% obviously justified shootings, the remainder being clear accidents/bad judgments/actual misconduct.]

Kyzernick said...

Of course they would, ARM. If the EPA were killing 500 Americans a year, one would stop and wonder why. Same thing for the Dept of Education (though those employees are probably raping or abusing over 500 per year in our schools). But the police are charged with public safety and crime control. Sometimes realizing those goals requires civilian death. When that happens only about 500mtimes a year in a nation of 300 million, that ain't bad.

AReasonableMan said...

Cops are public servants, no different to homeland security, arguably a greater threat to liberty. Why do they get treated so reverently by the right?

If homeland security was killing 500 citizens per year imagine the outrage.

AReasonableMan said...

When that happens only about 500mtimes a year in a nation of 300 million, that ain't bad.

Why are other countries so much better?


Matthew Sablan said...

"In 2008, 12,501 local police departments with the equivalent of at least one full-time officer were operating in the U.S.
In 2008, local police departments had about 593,000 full-time employees, including 461,000 sworn officers. About 60% of all state and local sworn personnel were local police officers."

"The Department of Homeland Security has a vital mission: to secure the nation from the many threats we face. This requires the dedication of more than 240,000 employees in jobs that range from aviation and border security to emergency response, from cybersecurity analyst to chemical facility inspector. Our duties are wide-ranging, but our goal is clear - keeping America safe."

You're comparing two unlike things. Comparing the number of sworn officers, out policing, you have almost twice as many as DHS *TOTAL* employees, including desk jockeys. If the marginal amount of DHS people comparatively killed 500 people, it would be a MUCH different thing.

Matthew Sablan said...

Have we compared the number of police killed in the U.S. compared to the "better" countries?

Matthew Sablan said...

"In total, 126 officers were killed in 2014."

How does that compare to "better" countries? Are American police officers being killed at a significantly higher rate than "better" countries' police forces? If so, is dealing with more violent, murderous criminals a possible reason they shoot more people?

Matthew Sablan said...

Now: This isn't to say that some police are obviously abusive. But, we need to actually look at individual cases to find them [and you will! Police are people, and not all people are good.] But, to simply look at a single number, think "That's higher than other countries. Police are bad." is such shallow thinking that it is not contributing to the discussion, at all.

SJ said...

@Matt,

I might have to double-check...I thought that the FBI gathered data from some 20000 Law Enforcement Agencies for its Uniform Crime Reports.

However, I can't recall how County Sheriffs, University Security Departments, Fish&Game wardens, etc., are counted in that number.

Nor do I recall how many Federal Agencies have Law Enforcement branches that end up in the FBI's UCR.

A quick search ended up at the US-DOJ's Bureau of Justice Statistics, wihch indicates some ~18000 local/state Law Enforcement Agencies, with something like ~12000 classified as Local Police Departments. (Which agrees with the number you cite.)

@AReasonableMan,
the FBI not only publishes numbers for Officers killed on duty, but also Law Enforcement Officers Assaulted/Injured.

Those numbers run into the tens of thousands of injuries per year.

And you may have forgotten something.

In the case in Madison, was the fatal shooting justifiable or not?

If it is, then how do we reduce the number of un-justified shootings, while still allowing justified shootings?

And don't you want to be careful to distinguish between justified shootings, and un-justified shootings?

AReasonableMan said...

Policing is not a dangerous occupation.

Cops are social workers with guns. They want to pretend that they are in constant danger but actual social workers probably face more risks.

Total police deaths are meaningless since most of these are car accidents. Which is another issue, the way cops drive and the number of people they kill with their car

Sigivald said...

As Hunter Thompson said, "there's no room in the drug world for amateurs".

Matthew Sablan said...

"Firearms-related incidents were the leading cause of death among law enforcement officers in 2014... Ambushes were the leading circumstance of officer fatalities in firearms-related deaths. Of the 50 firearms-related fatalities in 2014, fifteen officers were shot and killed in ambush, more than any other circumstance of fatal shootings in 2014."

Surely the difference between "my job sometimes comes to an end when someone lies in wait to shoot me dead from behind" and "logging accidents" makes some impression on you, right?

Matthew Sablan said...

Link for quote.

There aren't as many injuries as some jobs, that doesn't make it NOT dangerous. The way an injury occurs is also different [accidents vs. malicious attacks.]

Ralph Hyatt said...

"Cops are public servants, no different to homeland security, arguably a greater threat to liberty. Why do they get treated so reverently by the right?"

I don't think I treat the police with reverence. There were a couple of incidents in the not too distant past where the cops shot people and they should have been charged (that guy who was walking around Walmart with a pellet gun that he picked up in the sporting goods department and someone called it in as brandishing and the 12 year old who had an airsoft pistol.)

But for some reason the left keeps choosing to protest shootings that no reasonable person, looking at the facts, is going to find unjustified. Its almost like the real goal is not reform at all.

AReasonableMan said...

Selective quoting - as the link shows more cops have died in car accidents since 2000. Being a cop is not a dangerous occupation.

If you aren't going to make an effort to present your sources fairly what's the point?






n.n said...

So that's why there is a demand to legalize marijuana and other psychoactive drugs: "spiritual journey". It calms the cognitive dissonance.

AReasonableMan said...

Being a cop bears no relationship to what you see on TV cop shows. Cop shows are revenge fantasies for those who feel fearful of the world. They are yet another example of the fact that popular culture is driven solely by commercial concerns, not a liberal agenda.




Char Char Binks said...

Just like Michael Brown with his Jesus talk and seeing angelic and demonic visions shortly before he died, Robinson showed signs of mania. Both men had either drug-induced psychosis, or were self-medicating a pre-existing condition.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

ARM: you are discussing U.S. policing in general but I am asking about this specific case. What was done or handled incompetently here? If you pretend the guy responding wasn't a cop, but instead a concerned neighbor who happened to be armed and heard a commotion and/or someone calling for help, would that in any meaningful way change your opinion of the outcome?

AReasonableMan said...

HoodlumDoodlum said...
ARM: you are discussing U.S. policing in general but I am asking about this specific case.


It would seem to me that shooting an unarmed anybody is by definition a failure of policing.

Matthew Sablan said...

Define a dangerous occupation; I think the problem is we're working from different definitions.

Matthew Sablan said...

"It would seem to me that shooting an unarmed anybody is by definition a failure of policing."

-- Please tell me you're joking.

AReasonableMan said...

Matthew Sablan said...
Define a dangerous occupation; I think the problem is we're working from different definitions.


No, you seem to have no understanding of quantitative analysis. From the link:

"Policing doesn't make it into the top 10 most dangerous American professions. Logging has a fatality rate 11 times higher, at 127.8 per 100,000. Fishing: 117 per 100,000. Pilot/flight engineer: 53.4 per 100,000. It's twice as dangerous to be a truck driver as a cop—at 22.1 per 100,000.

the average from 2003-2012 shows that felony killings accounted for only a third (34%) of all officers fatalities. That would make the murder rate for police in 2013 something closer to 3.77 per 100,000, well below the national average."

BDNYC said...

@ Matthew Sablan: He's not joking.

But his name has "reasonable" in it and his avatar is a bust of an ancient Greek or Roman philosopher.

So he's smarter than you.

Matthew Sablan said...

Right, see, something can be dangerous, even if bad results don't happen frequently.

Something can also be safe, but be misused in such a way as to cause damage/injury.

When people say policing is dangerous, they don't mean, "It is statistically more likely to cause injury in that job than others," any more than someone might say a dog that has only bit one person [out of the hundreds it interacts with] is dangerous.

EMD said...

I don't have any reverence for cops.

I wish more cops had reverence for civilians.

They're often the problem, not the solution.

They're increasingly over-militarized.

They've become a refuge for COD wannabes.

They often escalate situations when they should be trained to diffuse.

They should not be allowed to perform no-knock raids.

They're always minutes away when seconds count.

They're clean up specialists.

And yes, shooting unarmed people seems to be a common failure of their ability to do their job.


(ALSO The reportage at The Isthmus is garbage)

Matthew Sablan said...

Zoo animals: Many are dangerous. They very infrequently attack people because we have all sorts of safeguards that are supposed to keep people from frolicking with tigers.

I would not try and tell someone that tigers are not dangerous because, thus far, the zoo has done a good job of keeping tigers from maiming guests.

AReasonableMan said...

You seem to completely fail to understand risk analysis. It is not a dangerous job. I would prefer my kid to be a cop than a fisherman, simply because he would be more likely to come home as a cop. There are statistically dangerous jobs, being a cop is not one of them.

Cops are less likely to be murdered on the job than the average citizen. Not dangerous.


Big Mike said...

I just got back from the cafeteria, where CNN is showing on the TVs. Ashleigh Banfield is in a tizzy because a black schizophrenic man holding a screwdriver was shot by police -- the horrific video of the event was being run over and over by CNN almost like it was on a loop.

Fourteen months ago a schizophrenic young man named Keith Vidal was shot dead in front of his family, who had called police for help controlling the youth. The officer who shot him said "We don't have time for this." But I don't recollect CNN or Ms. Banfield running with the story. Why not? Perhaps because the man killed in Dallas in 2015 was black while Keith Vidal was white? Just askin'

More closely related to Tony Robinson, last August police in Salt Lake City shot a young man named Dillon Taylor who was suspected of having a pistol after he failed to comply with their orders fast enough. Possibly the fact that the young man was wearing headphones had something to do with that. No gun was found. Why did no one raise the hue and cry over this event? Why are we concerned about Michael Brown and Tony Robinson but not Dillon Taylor (where the outlines of the story suggest that concern over over-aggressive policing is even more merited)? Could the fact that Dillon was white have something to do with that?

Just askin'

DanTheMan said...

>> Being a cop is not a dangerous occupation.

It seemed dangerous to me. It seemed dangerous to the guys I worked with who were shot, stabbed or killed on duty. (One of whom was killed by an "unarmed" man, by the way)

But I realize all of this pales against your assertions.

AReasonableMan said...

DanTheMan said...
It seemed dangerous to me.


No one is saying there is no risk. It is relative risk that is at issue.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

How much violence will you accept from someone who does not have a weapon before it's ok to shoot to defend yourself? I mean, there is a spectrum from harsh language to stomping your skull flat, so let's be specific. If I don't have a weapon but I knock you to the ground and start smashing your head against the pavement, say, is it still a failure on your part if you shoot me? What if I am just on top of you punching and you are otherwise unable to defend yourself? Hoe about the same thing (knocked you down) but now I am instead wrestling with you and trying to take your weapon (knife, gun, whatever)? In those scenarios do you think the officer should refrain from shooting, since to do so would be unfair somehow, would be a failure of policing?? If it helps, try doing what I said and imagining a similar scenario with a private citizen instead of a cop.

If your point as applied to this case is that any situation where the police use force/fight with citizens is a failure of policing (or only in the case where the citizen is unarmed) I guess I will have to ask how, in your opinion, a competent cop would have handled this situation. You will have to beore specific than "not shot an unarmed dude" (unless you think he should have just accepted a potentially fatal beating).

n.n said...

policing is dangerous, they don't mean, "It is statistically more likely

Exactly. It's recognition that that their risk profile changes to reflect elevated exposure to probable causes of personal injury.

DanTheMan said...

ARM,
You said: "Being a cop is not a dangerous occupation."

At least admit to being wrong in that statement before making yet another assertion.








Matthew Sablan said...

The biggest reason people on the right seem more "pro-police," is that they tend to be less reactionary. See the shooting in Ferguson. A lot of conservatives I know kept their powder dry, waiting before jumping in and saying certain one way or the other. I'm incredibly cautious of police, but just like with any other individual, I give them respect and treat them decently until shown that I shouldn't. I, personally, have known many officers -- I've never once met a bad egg, though I know that there's bound to be some out there.

If you look though, a lot of far right-leaning people are just as, if not more, vocal about demilitarizing the police.

Matthew Sablan said...

Cautious might be the wrong word; like any other government/public servant, they have authority and legal power. That's something that needs to be observed, checked and verified that these people can be trusted. Just like you'd do some due diligence in choosing a bank.

AReasonableMan said...

DanTheMan said...
ARM,
You said: "Being a cop is not a dangerous occupation."

At least admit to being wrong in that statement before making yet another assertion.


Is it as dangerous as any of these jobs?

1. Logger
2. Fisherman
3. Aircraft pilot and flight engineer
4. Roofer
5. Structural iron and steel worker
6. Refuse and recyclable material collector
7. Electrical power-line installer and repairer
8. Driver/sales worker or truck driver
9. Farmer, rancher, and other agricultural manager
10. Construction laborer

No it is not. These are dangerous professions. Being a cop is not that dangerous. It is a myth propagated to increase respect and pay.

Being a cop is a difficult job, no question, but so are a lot of other jobs. I personally would prefer to be a cop rather than be a middle school teacher. That is my personal definition of hell. I would be a cop in preference to being a day laborer. There are a lot of difficult jobs.

Brando said...

It's almost as though you can't go on a drug fueled rampage without risking getting shot by the cops these days.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

EMD: I agree with about 5 of your separate statements! I'm sure we all agree that sometimes when the police shoot an unarmed person it should have been avoided and is a symptom of a failure of policing. The question, though, is IN THIS SPECIFIC CASE is that true-dies the shooting in this case indicate incompetence, SHOULD it have been avoided by te cop taking different actions, and if so which actions specifically.

HoodlumDoodlum said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sparrow said...

ARM,
I think you should change your name, unless you intend irony

AReasonableMan said...

sparrow said...
ARM,
I think you should change your name, unless you intend irony


Empty pointless invective. Try harder not to be a bird brain.

Anonymous said...

His friends called 911 to get him help because of his paranoid reaction?

Sigh. Great.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

ARM: can you please confirm if you are saying 1. This specific case is an example of police incompetence (and such incompetence is common, policing isn't dangerous, etc) or 2. without getting into the details of this specific case cops are often incompetent, trigger happy, etc?

I honestly don't know if you are asserting 1. and I want to make sure I am addressing your actual argument.

AReasonableMan said...

HoodlumDoodlum, this captures my view almost perfectly.

SOJO said...
His friends called 911 to get him help because of his paranoid reaction?

Sigh. Great.


Too frequently cops make a situation worse rather than better. If EMT had arrived first the guy would still be alive. If this had happened in Holland the guy would still be a live.

Many US cops are very poor at de-escalating conflicts with citizens.

The Drill SGT said...

"Being a cop is not a dangerous occupation."

It is a very stressful job and people under stress have poorer decision making processes

n.n said...

SOJO:

This is why we cannot have affordable health care and individual equality: psychoactive drugs, pro-choice, and urban hazards. The risk of living and doing business in an urban setting creates unnatural distortions in the political, social, and economic environment. Somehow this high risk environment escapes the sensibilities of the censors.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

If the EMTs had arrived first may e he would be alive, or maybe you'd have an.EMT assaulted, the cop shows up, and then he gets shot.

I agree cops often do a bad job of de-escalation, and have generally too stubborn/prideful/respect my authori-tah an attitude, which can lead to violence when that could have been avoided.

I don't think a shooting is by itself proof that de-escalation could have been successful, though. From what I have read about this case it does not sound like the cop acted or reacted in an obviously incorrect way. The circumstances are unlucky and tragic, but I don't see obvious incompetence in what has been reported so far.

Alex said...

Those damn bath salts again! We really have to clamp down on those salts!

Alex said...

You can get away with a lot in today's society, up until the point that you begin eating people's faces.

Silly Laslo, who are you to judge face eaters? That's right up there with racist attitude.

Zombie Lives Matter.

Alex said...

Many US cops are very poor at de-escalating conflicts with citizens.

Many, not all.

Alex said...

AReasonableMan said...
DanTheMan said...
ARM,
You said: "Being a cop is not a dangerous occupation."

At least admit to being wrong in that statement before making yet another assertion.

Is it as dangerous as any of these jobs?

1. Logger
2. Fisherman
3. Aircraft pilot and flight engineer
4. Roofer
5. Structural iron and steel worker
6. Refuse and recyclable material collector
7. Electrical power-line installer and repairer
8. Driver/sales worker or truck driver
9. Farmer, rancher, and other agricultural manager
10. Construction laborer

No it is not. These are dangerous professions. Being a cop is not that dangerous. It is a myth propagated to increase respect and pay.

Being a cop is a difficult job, no question, but so are a lot of other jobs. I personally would prefer to be a cop rather than be a middle school teacher. That is my personal definition of hell. I would be a cop in preference to being a day laborer. There are a lot of difficult jobs.


How about serving as a Marine in Afghanistan or Iraq? I'd put that UP there in terms of dangerous occupations.

AReasonableMan said...

Alex said...
How about serving as a Marine in Afghanistan or Iraq? I'd put that UP there in terms of dangerous occupations.


Not sure why the military wasn't listed. Maybe because casualty rates vary dramatically over time and can't be easily compared to other professions. Also it is not a single profession but multiple jobs with widely varying risks.

Diogenes of Sinope said...

From the eyewitness accounts I thought Tony Robinson was stoned. This had nothing to do with racism and everything to do with stupidity.


More false claims by the evil racists.

AReasonableMan said...

Diogenes of Sinope said...
From the eyewitness accounts I thought Tony Robinson was stoned.


So the default sentence for being stoned is the death penalty?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

AReasonableMan said..So the default sentence for being stoned is the death penalty?

That's an inapt and unhelpful metaphor, ARM. Anyone attacking an armed individual (cop or not) putsthemselves at risk of being shot. It's not a "sentence," and I've read nothing to indicate the cop in this case was Judge Dredd. A likely consequence of attacking an armed individual is being shot. The implied argument here is that being stoned led this person to attack an individual they knew was armed (the cop) when otherwise they might not have. You seem to be implying that the cop himself did something to cause the attack, but you haven't said what. It's also possible you don't believe the reports that the cop was attacked, but you haven't said that explicitly, either.

If you're arguing the cop should have handled the situation in a way that didn't result in someone getting shot I'm open to hearing what specific actions you think he should have taken (or which he shouldn't have taken). I get your POV that cops are generally too trigger-happy, but this specific case seems like a bad example for you to use for that POV.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

It's true that if the cop had not been there Robinson would not have been shot. It does not follow from that fact that it's the cop's fault Robinson was shot.

JCCamp said...

@ ARM -
Although I have no sense you will consider anything which does not agree with your narrative, I'll try to respond to your posts;
About half of all (2014) line of duty police deaths resulted from felonious assaults, half from accidents or illness. No other occupation has anything remotely approaching the non-accidental death rate of law enforcement.
Many (most) police vehicle accidents result from police duty-related speed and/or non-regular driving. You can criticize this as you will, but when you are the person on the phone with 911, demanding instantaneous response, you're only going to get that when officers take chances in traffic. Your choice: get the cops 95% of the time as quickly as they can get there (and suffer some accidents in the process) or mandate cops obey all laws and traffic control devices regardless, emergencies be damned.
(What's that phrase being tossed around? When seconds count and the police are only minutes away...)
And dangerous doesn't just mean 'deadly'. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, the only occupation which has more injuries (than police officer) which require days off from work is (remarkably, at least to me) "transit or intercity bus driver".
And finally, for instance, while a higher ratio of, say, loggers or professional fisherman are killed in work-related accidents most years, the actual numbers who are killed is quite small, because the actual number of loggers is apparently quite small. So, any fatality in such industry is actually a statistical anomaly, and perhaps not really a representative value.
And, I must say, anyone who maintains that being a cop is not a dangerous proposition in today's society is being disingenuous, statistics notwithstanding.

EMD said...

I would like to read more about the specifics of this case.

Of course, The Isthmus is certainly not the place to do that.

They are really narrative-driven, aren't they?

JCCamp said...

At the end of the discussion, this remains: the dead man determined what the resolution was. He chose to use drugs, to assault others, and then to resist arrest and/or assault the officer. He decided to fight the cop for the cop's own weapon, putting the cop in fear for his own safety.
When you do these things, and the cop is tougher than you, reasonably you can expect that you're going to get your ass kicked. When you're tougher than the cop, you might just get shot. Actions have consequences. At any point in this chain of events, the dead man could have ended the event by simply giving up, by stopping. On the other hand, the cop was just along for the ride. He could do nothing really, but react, except in the degree of force that he was able to effectively offer. If the cop was physically overmatched, then the cop didn't have any alternative at all.

Archie Waugh said...

Just for the record, peyote and mushrooms are completely different things, with completely different effects. Peyote buttons are sometimes misidentified as shrooms because the peyote cactus is shaped like a small mushroom, but they are in no way related. The primary active drug in peyote is mescaline, which induces a trance-like state. Psilocybin mushrooms can cause paranoia and panic attacks.