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HEY ZEUS!

CA Ranger Bravely Tazes Harmless Trans Woman In The Crotch

This weekend, 43-year-old Brooke Fantelli went with a group of friends to take desert pictures in El Centro, California. While they were there, Fantelli got approached by a ranger with the Bureau of Land Management who accused her of drinking and taking naked photos out in the wild. According to Fantelli, things were going okay until the ranger asked to see her ID (which still listed her as a male). That’s when the crotch tazing started.

Fantelli says that she has an incorrectly gendered ID because her doctor told her she “needed to live two full years as a female before she could change” it. When the ranger saw “male” on her ID, he said “You used to be a guy.” When Fantelli answered in the affirmative, he stopped referring to her as “ma’am” and “miss” and started calling her “sir” and “dude.”

He then told her to lie on the ground so he could arrest her. She refused, as she contended that she wasn’t drunk or taking nude pics, but she kept her hands up where the ranger could see them. That’s when he tazed her. She fell to the ground and moments later, he tazed her genitals… y’know, just to be sure she and her junk wouldn’t do anymore dangerous drinking and nude photography.

Even though trans people have long been targets of police brutality and inappropriate use of tazers have killed 519 people in the U.S., the BLM says that their ranger acted appropriately adding that it is customary to taze people in the lower regions. They also promised to investigate should Fantelli file a complaint. Truth is, she’s filing a civil lawsuit. Investigate that, yo.

By:           Daniel Villarreal
On:           Dec 6, 2011
Tagged: , , ,
  • 44 Comments
    • chink change
      chink change

      Jesus Christ, that’s terrible.

      Dec 6, 2011 at 5:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • slanty
      slanty

      @chink change: THAT’S one of just many transphobic cops for you.

      Dec 6, 2011 at 5:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Retrosexual
      Retrosexual

      Does anyone else think four trucks is overkill,especially since they’re just in the desert?

      Dec 6, 2011 at 5:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Evan Mulvihill
      Evan Mulvihill

      I would give head to this headline.

      Dec 6, 2011 at 5:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • nix
      nix

      so if a cop tried to arrest you for being with your partner would you just let them haul you off?

      Dec 6, 2011 at 7:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Riker
      Riker

      @nix: How do you know she’s innocent? She was allegedly drunk and taking naked pictures in a public place, which is illegal. She then resisted arrest, which is even more illegal.

      Dec 6, 2011 at 8:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kev
      Kev

      A tazer? Really? I’m not taking gender into this argument. I’m taking the force that was used. This person male or female gay or straight was of no threat to the cops. She/he was just standing tere hands up. The cops had NO right to use the tazer in that situation. So with that being said. Yes they used it because they wanted to due to the fact the individual was transgendered. The cops a nights and should be tazed themselves then fired. All the cops had to do was grab her arms and force her down. Not that hard. To those who say the cops were right in what they did, get a life.

      Dec 6, 2011 at 9:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DenverBarbie
      DenverBarbie

      @Sweetbrandigirl2004: A trans woman was tazed in the crotch. The CROTCH, the region of the body this ranger was preoccupied with. As I’m fairly certain this is not standard procedure, and as the ranger started to use male-pronouns after seeing the ID, I’m going to have to say that this is obviously (obviously!) anti-trans bias.

      Dec 6, 2011 at 9:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DenverBarbie
      DenverBarbie

      @DenverBarbie: Or the bias is at least present. I won’t argue whether she is innocent or guilty, or if resisting arrest was the way to go.

      Dec 6, 2011 at 9:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dave
      Dave

      @Riker: How do you know the cops weren’t bored and looking for something to do when the stumbled across a “she-male” to provide a little entertainment for them?

      With widespread and frequent evidence of police brutality, unwarranted search and seizure, misbehavior, law breaking, and framing of innocents, the idea that cops should be given the benefit of the doubt strikes me as naive at absolute best. If, on the whole, cops were adamant about outing and busting fellow cops who are guilty of such offenses, it would be a different story. But time and again, cops protect their fellow officers who are guilty of malfeasance, and internal affairs divisions and supervisors work hard to insure that even in cases where punishing a law-breaking cop is absolutely unavoidable, the cop’s punishment amounts to a slap on the wrist compared to what one of their “civilian” enemies would receive.

      Cops all over the country participate in law breaking and cover-ups every single day. And given this fact, I don’t feel that I can trust a cop I don’t know any more than I can trust any other common criminal. It’s a real shame, because like the vast majority of people I WANT to like and trust cops. I understand that they are human, but until and unless police organizations wake up and start policing themselves effectively, there’s simply no sense in giving them the benefit of the doubt–they are, in essence, nothing more than an officially recognized street gang of hired thugs with broad legal immunity from prosecution that citizens who value freedom and safety should fear.

      Dec 6, 2011 at 9:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • roygbiv5582
      roygbiv5582

      The people recording are annoying as hell. And they are making the situation a lot worse by running their mouths. “I’m going to send it to my mom, she’s secret service.” Then shes worried about her son sittig in the desert but yet she took him out there while they were all drinking? Really?

      The officers told her she was under arrest and to get on the ground and she wouldn’t. Too much force? Probably. Harrasment? Not too sure.

      Dec 6, 2011 at 9:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Allen
      Allen

      @Sweetbrandigirl2004: Tazing someone in the CROTCH is NOT procedure. Tazing ANYONE while they are already incapacitated ON THE GROUND is not procedure.

      All that aside, why did they reason she was drunk? Did they even bother to give a breathalyzer or anything like that? She seems completely sober to me. Also, why only her? He also had no right addressing her with male pronouns when she was clearly presenting as female and her ID has a female name. All it took was that gender marker for him to start clearly disrespecting her.

      Wake up and smell the common sense, “sweety”. You’re the one that is in denial of transphobia. You’re only making it worse.

      Dec 6, 2011 at 9:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • W.P.
      W.P.

      @Sweetbrandigirl2004:

      And those damn occupiers, bitchin’ about being pepper sprayed and arrested, thinking they’re entitled to special treatment and what-not.

      Yea, no. Get off your high horse and think about it from another perspective.

      Dec 6, 2011 at 9:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • sam
      sam

      @Sweetbrandigirl2004: Yes, even if innocent of anything you should always follow police instructions regardless… For your own safety if anything. It’s not “right” but it’s practical.

      In saying that, you seem to be making excuses for the cop in question. From the sounds of it he was a bit of a psycho, as so many are, so don’t you dare give him a pass for that.

      Dec 6, 2011 at 9:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dave
      Dave

      @roygbiv5582: Agree that they are annoying as hell, and that their comments certainly don’t help the situation. That said, the woman who says she was worried about her son also said that she was NOT drinking, and there’s certainly no evidence in the video that any or “all” of them were drinking or drunk. Even if they were drinking though, I’m not sure I see the contradiction; my own parents drank a beer or two occasionally on outings when I was young, and they remained appropriately concerned for my safety and never, ever got even CLOSE to being drunk.

      As for your final statement, I have a problem with the idea that a citizen deserves what he or she gets if they refuse to stand on their head because a police officer tells them to. Transphobia by cops is pervasive and well-documented for one thing, so the only sane and rational thing to do is to assume that these particular cops are no different, especially if the description of events in the article is accurate. And any smart, good criminologist or cop will say that good police work requires knowing the difference between CAN and SHOULD. If the subject does not present a threat, it is pointless and dumb to order her onto the ground and then taze her for refusing–regardless of (bad) departmental policy.

      In the end, I don’t know for sure that it was harassment either, but given the fact that FAR more force than was necessary was almost certainly applied, I can’t think of a good reason to assume that these particular cops are likely to be Boy Scouts when it comes to other areas of their jobs.

      Dec 6, 2011 at 9:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Eric
      Eric

      are you kidding me, these officers were way out of line here. there was no breathalizer to prove she was drunk, it would not have been that hard to just bring her arms down and cuff her instead of tazing her, and the disrespect showed when they found out she was trans. This wouldn’t be right if it happened to a normal person its not right when it happens to one of us

      Dec 6, 2011 at 10:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RVH
      RVH

      @Sweetbrandigirl2004: You’re right, we should just all lie down so brutal cops can get their jollies. You’re a moron, and when a cop brutalizes you maybe you’ll think back to how you were cheering this instance of brutality on. What goes around comes around.

      Dec 6, 2011 at 10:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dawnya
      dawnya

      @Sweetbrandigirl2004: let’s completely forget the fact that no ACTUAL procedure was practiced, no test was given to determine if she was drunk, and the cop’s blatant transphobic behavior.
      yeah, it’s all HER fault. the cop totally wasn’t a faulty asshole or anything.

      Dec 6, 2011 at 11:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dave
      Dave

      @Sir James: “Don’t be an ass and you don’t get tased.” With an attitude like that, you’d have been great working at Guantanamo. Regardless of legal definitions, she didn’t tazed for resisting arrest; she got tazed because the cop knew that he would not be punished for behaving like a thug. Police work is the only line of work where people make excuses for you if you ignore common sense and reason and instead do your job with as little finesse and intelligence as possible.

      Dec 7, 2011 at 12:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RVH
      RVH

      @Sir James: Dave is 100% correct. She wasn’t resisting arrest, she was resiting a sadistic cop. As someone who comes from a military and law enforcement family, cops like these are a disgrace to the force, and there’s a lot more of them than most people realize. I’m tired of cowardly apologists for brutality and sadism like you.

      Dec 7, 2011 at 12:57 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John Doe
      John Doe

      “She was allegedly drunk and taking naked pictures in a public place” I take it they did not even bother to prove any of this before trying to arrest her. I like to call that kidnapping but hey, i only strive to be treated equal.

      Dec 7, 2011 at 2:19 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • missanthrope
      missanthrope

      “Fantelli says that she has an incorrectly gendered ID because her doctor told her she “needed to live two full years as a female before she could change” it”

      The really sad part is that if she’s a CA resident with a CA license then her doctor was misinformed. It doesn’t take two years of fulltime to get a ID change in California.

      Dec 7, 2011 at 3:00 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dave
      Dave

      @Pedro: As far as I can tell, no one is trying to “force” you into “pretending” anything. Now, if you feel _pressured_ in that direction, I suppose I can see that, but that’s probably primarily because the majority of visitors to this site are just not going to be hung up on the idea that what pronoun you use to refer to someone matters all that much, whereas it’s obviously a big enough deal to you that you feel the need to defend your stance.

      Dec 7, 2011 at 1:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RoXas Saix
      RoXas Saix

      @Sweetbrandigirl2004:

      You are 100% right. If she wouldn’t have resisted arrest she wouldn’t have been tazed. However, tazing her while she was on the ground was un-neccisary.

      Also, I don’t know if the police was so much ‘lying’ about them being drunk and taking nude images. All the women in the video sound completely wasted.

      The fact that they only started taping when the ‘brutality’ began has me questioning things. How do we know what happened beforehand? They all sound like drunk, unintelligent girls to me.

      I’m not going to blindly support a case that has so many holes in it. It ISN’T brutality just because they are transgendered.

      Dec 7, 2011 at 5:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Henry
      Henry

      @RoXas Saix: “Un-neccisary”? You sound pretty drunk yourself, Roxas.

      Dec 7, 2011 at 5:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      Re No. 27 where RoXas Saix wrote, “It ISN’T brutality just because they are transgendered.”

      It’s definitely brutality if they used the tazer twice, once while she was already incapacitated. The first time is questionable as well – when they pepper sprayed some students sitting on the ground at U.C. Davis, news articles cited court decisions(?) to the effect that it is not acceptable to use pepper spray as a cattle prod, which is basically what these guys were doing with a taser.

      As to the BLM claim that, “their rangers acted appropriately,” why should anyone believe them? The U.C. Davis police department’s police chief made similar claims, stating that their officers were defending themselves because they were surrounded. Unfortunately for the department, the videos clearly showed that the police chief was either lying or repeating lies passed up the chain of command in order to cover various asses.

      While it may be “customary” to aim a taser at some area away from the heart, that doesn’t
      mean they should aim it at someone’s crotch – doing that reduces them to the level of banana-republic goons who torture prisoners with electric shocks to the genitals.

      Dec 7, 2011 at 7:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Allen D.
      Allen D.

      @Sweetbrandigirl2004: 100% agreed. I love how everyone acts like they know what happened, even though you can’t hear the conversation between the suspect and the officers.

      “POLICE BRUTALITY!” Fucking, please. Shut the fuck up. Having gone through the cop education, I don’t see anything wrong with this.

      Dec 8, 2011 at 2:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dave
      Dave

      @Allen D.: You don’t see anything wrong with it because you share the simplistic black-or-white worldview and thuggish tendencies of bad cops. And just like any simpleton thug with a badge, it obviously pisses you off that you really can’t threaten people into thinking the way you do.

      There’s a reason so many cops hate video cameras and have stolen them from people who have filmed cops violating reason, their oath, and/or the law; and there is a reason why so many law enforcement agencies have maximum IQ policies for applicants. Your comment and your attitude explain those reasons perfectly. Shut the fuck up, indeed. I have no doubt you’ll make a dandy member of the Street Gang In Blue.

      Dec 8, 2011 at 3:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RVH
      RVH

      @Allen D.: It’s a shame there are so many sadistic cops in the force like you. Your type’s bullying of the rest of us will end one day, for your sake hopefully you never get to enjoy a taste of your own medicine.

      Dec 8, 2011 at 5:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Allen D.
      Allen D.

      Welcome to equality, bitches.

      Dec 8, 2011 at 5:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dave
      Dave

      @Allen D.: Just the sort of intelligent, insightful response I’d expect. Here’s hoping you get exactly what’s coming to you, and soon–including the necessity of a closed coffin and a bagpipe rendition of “Amazing Grace”.

      Dec 8, 2011 at 10:10 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 30 · Allen D. ““POLICE BRUTALITY!” Fucking, please. Shut the fuck up. Having gone through the cop education, I don’t see anything wrong with this.”

      Well, many of us – I hope a vast majority of the public – do see something wrong with this, so the question is whether there is a problem specifically with you or with “cop education” as you call it.

      I suspect the vast majority of the public is comfortable with having the police spend 5 more minutes handing a situation like this than having some distraught person tortured.

      BTW, here’s a different incident, one in which the police used a taser on a 7 year old child who was misbehaving (and in a special class due to learning disabilities):

      http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/12/08/MNH91M90CN.DTL

      Predictably, according the article, a “top department official defended [the taser's] use on a [7-year-old] boy who was ‘out of control’.” Meanwhile the city settled for $55,000 to avoid being hauled into federal court. A $50,000 settlement might tell you something about public opinion, as it reflects the city’s lawyer’s opinion about the chances of winning the case. And the city promised as part of the settlement to set up guidelines for the police so it wouldn’t happen again.

      I should also point out that triggering a $55,000 bill because you are too impatient to spend a few minutes dealing with the situation in a non-violent way is not going to endear you to your boss.

      Dec 8, 2011 at 11:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dave
      Dave

      @B: “Predictably, according the article, a ‘top department official defended [the taser's] use on a [7-year-old] boy who was “out of control”.'”

      This is exactly the reason that bad cops have become just another part of nearly every law enforcement agency in the country, and it’s also a great example of why growing numbers of law-abiding citizens want nothing to do with cops. If I was a good cop I’d be utterly outraged by incidents like this one, since every cop caught behaving badly and every supervisor who invents a flimsy excuse for that cop, makes people respect ME less and makes my job that much harder and more dangerous. But good cops-even as part of police unions–hardly ever even make a peep about such events. And that. In turn, makes an already bad situation even worse. And even worse still because the whole thing is just so stupid: it’s dead-simple common sense to see that if your department policy really does authorize cops to taze 7-year-olds, you don’t try to make the laughable claim that that makes tazing 7-year-olds okay. If you want to maintain a shred of departmental credibility, you admit that the incident happened because a criminally-stupid departmental policy was enacted by a criminally-stupid officer who could not or did not use common sense.

      Dec 8, 2011 at 11:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Malwyn
      Malwyn

      @Retrosexual: The cops always come in a group, because they’re cowardly. The only difference between a cop and a KKK member is the cop doesn’t hide his face.

      Dec 9, 2011 at 4:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Allen D.
      Allen D.

      @Dave: Thank you for wishing my death. You’re a class act.

      Going back to a more civilized conversation (btw, I thought the sarcasm of my posts was obvious).

      I think the thing that’s truly fucked up is the policies behind this stuff. You will get in more trouble (or as the departments call it — open them to more liability) if you put your hands on a child rather than putting a taser to them. It’s fucked up, but those are the policies and procedures nowadays.

      I SERIOUSLY wish there was a way for all the anti-cop folks to opt out. You get a tax credit for the public taxes that go to pay for law enforcement — and in return, you don’t get shit. You don’t get to ask the police for ANYTHING. There are so many people (especially in cyberspace) who go on & on about “fuck the police”… but then, the second that they need you — you’re their best friend. That’s my $0.02 on that.

      The reason I went into law enforcement was because I didn’t like how the police handled some anti-gay violence incidents. Rather than just bitch and say “fuck the police”, etc — I decided to try to actually DO something about it.

      There is no more thankless career in the world.

      Dec 10, 2011 at 1:05 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CBRad
      CBRad

      @Allen D.: Yet, Dave wishing death on you is something that is perfectly okay with Queerty. No one is banned for that kind of stuff. Gay blogs are full of gays calling for the deaths of those who disagree with them (ever look over that awful Towleroad?) but the moderators don’t care about those gifts to our enemies looking over these sites for ammo. It’s all about the $$$.

      Dec 10, 2011 at 1:16 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dave
      Dave

      @Allen D.: I read your response; since you didn’t go the “shut the fuck up” route this time, I’ll respond in kind–respectfully, that is. What you wrote seemed to be from the heart; I’d ask you to keep in mind that the same is true here:

      Since I have several cops in my extended family, I’ve seen plenty of cops complain about their job being thankless and dangerous; I’ve never heard a cop complain about how dirty cops are a large part of the reason that good cops have a thankless and dangerous job. In my heart of hearts, I *want* to be able to respect and appreciate cops–I think that’s true for most folks. In fact, a big part of the reason why police brutality makes me so furious is that I once was actually foolish enough to look up to cops. Cops were human, I figured, but they put their lives on the line to try to make the world a better place. Then I saw things that destroyed those thoughts. Lots of things. Lots of cops doing lots of bad things. And I noticed that the only time I ever heard a cop speak out loud and clear against brutality, against arrest quotas, against harassment of minorities, against searches and seizures without a warrant, etc., it was an EX-cop talking about how trying to do the right thing inside the system had made his life a living hell.

      I could point to examples (tens of thousands of them), but that’s been done. And it’s beside the point, really. The issue, as I see it, is that A) there are undeniably lots of dirty, brutal cops who rarely if ever get punished; B) police forces have become increasingly militarized, both in terms of equipment and mindset; C) citizens have no way to tell a good cop from a bad one; D) promote-from-within policies, assumptions that abuse and brutality by officers is extremely rare, and the silence of good cops and supervisors make it easy for bad cops to stick around and maximize the damage done both to citizens’ freedom and to the reputation of law enforcement in general; and E) even when bad cops are caught and prosecuted, their punishment rarely reveals any understanding of the fact that a cop violating the trust of his office is, if anything, worse than an ordinary citizen committing an equal offense.

      As for opting out, a real example from my own life: I live on the edge of a “bad” neighborhood. Four years ago I was in bed reading Harry Potter when I heard what I can only describe as an ominous-sounding scuffle coming from the apartment that shares a wall with mine. I knew the guy who lived there, as I know all my neighbors, and what was happening there didn’t sound right. I turned my head to look at the atomic clock beside my bed; at 01:27:34 (I still remember the exact moment) I heard a short, loud exclamation of surprise followed by four gunshots and a thud. I stayed in my bed for the next minute, shocked by what I’d heard, then decided that even though my cell phone wasn’t working I had to do SOMETHING. So I very carefully exited my apartment, made it to my car, and drove to the sheriff’s substation 2 miles away. I told them that I couldn’t call 911 because my phone was out of order, but that I was pretty certain that I’d just heard my neighbor get shot.

      The cop at the window told me that no one there was equipped to take such a report, and could I please come back the next day? I did so…and was told the same thing. Scout’s honor. And though this story goes on and gets even more ridiculous (2 days and 4 visits to the substation worth of ridiculous), I’ll stop there since I’m approaching novel length already. And yes, my neighbor was dead–murdered in his apartment.

      Now, this isn’t the first time I’ve heard of such a thing happening in bad neighborhoods, and not just in my city. So when you say that you wish there was a way for anti-cop people to opt-out, I really can’t do much except laugh; as far as I can tell, I’ve already been opted-out, and it has nothing to do with being anti-cop. I’d invite you to think very, very hard about your implied assumption that cops always do their jobs, let alone do it well and without abusing their authority. Really, it’s assumptions like that one that have killed the respect people once had for cops. Because again, I am certain that most people WANT to like and respect and trust cops–I know I certainly do. The idea that people just naturally hate the police is kind of silly really, given that most people already respect other forms of authority without developing such forceful negative emotions. Such thinking on the part of law enforcement organizations ignores even the possibility that cop behavior might be responsible for at least part of the problem–and the fact that this possibility is ignored almost completely ironically demonstrates the problem in a nutshell.

      Dec 10, 2011 at 4:40 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dave
      Dave

      @CBRad: You think of it in terms of public relations; I think of it as an expression of genuine emotion without concern for those who might try to use it. Why am I so careless when expressing my feelings? Because I’m aware that “our enemies” are always going to find horrible stuff to say about gays. You can express yourself as you like and I’ll respect it, but from my point of view, I have better things to do than to censor myself or craft my thoughts into public statements in what I see as a pointless attempt to make gays seem civil and non-threatening to people who will hate us no matter what.

      As for your exasperation that I don’t get banned for saying such things: I can only say that I’m grateful to Queerty for allowing it to be said, because I can guarantee I’m not the only one who feels that way. When someone defends abusive anti-LGBT behavior and tells me to “shut the fuck up” about it, you bet your pacifist ass I’m gonna say something about it, and it’s not gonna be a sound bite fit for television.

      Dec 10, 2011 at 4:50 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dave
      Dave

      @Allen D.: One more thing, still respectfully. You said: “The reason I went into law enforcement was because I didn’t like how the police handled some anti-gay violence incidents. Rather than just bitch and say “fuck the police”, etc — I decided to try to actually DO something about it.”

      That’s nice (and I don’t mean that with even a hint of sarcasm; it’s genuinely cool). But looking at the way you handled the situation above, telling commenter who were horrified by what they saw in the video to “shut the fuck up”, making a point of saying that you saw nothing wrong without providing any explanation for the statement, and then posting “welcome to equality bitches” makes me sincerely sad for you in light of the reason you joined law enforcement. In most every case of alleged or reported police brutality or minority targeting, the response is essentially the one you gave here: “What the cops did was right, and fuck you little ignorant fucks if you don’t like it.” I see that defensive siege mentality in so many cops–and while it’s not completely unwarranted because growing numbers of people DO dislike cops, it really only makes the problem worse.

      You also said: “There is no more thankless career in the world.” I don’t know about THAT, but I can say that the cops where I live make it impossible to thank them. I’ve gone up to plenty of current and former military folks to thank them for their service, and they’ve never been less than gracious about it. Despite everything I’ve said and all that I think about cops–despite the fact that I don’t even bother to call the cops here if I see something wrong–I STILL smile or nod or say hello when I see one in a conveniences store or wherever. It is EXTREMELY rare that I get anything other than a stony stare in return. Frankly, for my own safety I’d never even TRY walking up to a cop to shake his or her hand and say thanks–I’d hate to wind up getting shot because my approach was seen as a “tactical threat”. If you ever talk to a cop from Baton Rouge however, maybe you could consider suggesting that it’d be a great starting point if they’d fucking SMILE BACK at folks who are tying to be friendly.

      Dec 10, 2011 at 5:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Allen D.
      Allen D.

      @Dave: I’ll try to write a more detailed reply later tonight, but I wanted to quickly clarify that my “shut the fuck up” was directed at the woman shooting the video, not the people commenting.

      People scream “police brutality” if you so much as put your hand on their shoulder. While being tased sucks, it’s not quite on par with being beaten like Rodney King.

      Dec 10, 2011 at 5:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Panserbjorne
      Panserbjorne

      @Allen D.: Dave here. I got tired of people confusing me with some other Dave who is apparently an anti-Semite or something, so I registered with a unique screen name. I realize that my response to you was lengthy, but if you have the time to respond I’d be very interested in your thoughts. I WISH that there was a place to have an on-going dialog on this issue, but as both of us have already demonstrated here, the internet is not particularly well suited to such tasks. However, as I said, I will read your reply with interest–and, to the best of my ability, with an open mind.

      And FWIW, I have no doubt that what you describe–people claiming police brutality when nothing of the sort occurred–does actually happen. IMHO only an idiot would try something like that since it’s unlikely they’d get better treatment after pulling such a stunt, and it’s practically certain they wouldn’t be taken seriously anyway. But then, idiots probably far outnumber trees in most of our cities. If I witnessed such a thing occur, my impulse would be the same as it would be were the situation reversed–I’d happily tell anyone who asked that the supposed victim’s claim was complete bullshit. I wouldn’t contact the police to say such a thing on my own though, for reasons I’ve already mentioned.

      Dec 11, 2011 at 1:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      Not that there is much justice in this country for LGBT people, but if this “ranger” is not jailed and stripped of his law enforcement credentials, there is none, and my trust in any gay friendly cop is firmly stripped. Man, I hate being gay in a police state.

      Dec 11, 2011 at 2:11 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Allen D.
      Allen D.

      @Shannon1981: And any cop that reads your last comment would automatically think “ok, fine then. Let any homophobic prick deal with that person. Why should I bother? They don’t think any more of me than them”.

      But luckily, some people are in the profession because of a sense of needing to do what’s right & wouldn’t turn their back on you. Some went into the job to stand up for the typically oppressed (which in my state, includes not only the GLBT community, but anyone who isn’t white).

      In the academy, they did a personality test one everybody. They separated the class into 4 groups. They flat-out told us that 3/4 of the groups were basically there because they craved authority & basically had “short man syndrome”. The remaining 1/4 was told “congratulations, you’re here for the right reasons”. It was a sobering day for many. I was glad to be in the “right reasons” group.

      And Panserbjorne, I still intend to write a more detailed reply to your posts. I’ve just been on a really weird schedule lately & want to write a well thought-out reply… but just had that burst of verbal diarrhea when I scanned & saw Shannon1981’s post.

      Soon!

      Dec 13, 2011 at 4:34 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Panserbjorne
      Panserbjorne

      @Allen D.: Take your time; I know well that that is what it can take to address complex issues. I also spent years as a mooring rigger at sea and then managing a truck terminal, so I’ve got first-hand knowledge of how brutal shift work or working without a set schedule can be.

      In the meantime, the local police chief in Baton Rouge has enraged the police union by stating publicly that he believes Baton Rouge police lack sensitivity and understanding when dealing with minorities, and by stating his desire to create new assistant chief positions to handle officer discipline and minority relations–positions that would be exempt from the promotion-by-seniority scheme they currently use. I can’t help but wonder about the wisdom of saying such things from a political or leadership viewpoint, but I also can’t help but notice that the union’s knee-jerk reaction was to defend the status quo and deny any role in the problem.

      Dec 13, 2011 at 4:58 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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