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Author Topic: Brian's Rant  (Read 5372 times)
Brian D. Bray
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« on: March 14, 2011, 11:19:27 PM »

If you feel like answering anything in this post with a joke or smart remark; don't.  I will be highly offended with sarcasm or disrespect of any kind and I will file a complaint with the moderators.  This is a very serious matter.

When I returned from SE Asia the Army was putting us into Oakland in the middle of the night so we didn't have to face the mass of anti-war demonstrators.  It was not a good feeling to be reduced to sneaking into your own country.  Being called a baby killer is an insult and worse when it's from your own countrymen.

It wasn't until 9/11 that People began to treat their Military and First Responders (Police and Fire) with respect.

Prior to my military service I had spent a year as a campus cop at the local college and then nearly 4 years as a military policeman in Army Intelligence so it was natural to seek a career in Law Enforcement after my discharge.

As a police officer I had to make the decision on the use of deadly force a number of times.  Each time I decided deadly force wasn't necessary. Not the night a burglar ran out of a warehouse with an object in his hand, and found I had drawn my weapon and nearly squeezed off a shot before I realized the object was an electric drill, not a pistol (That's the closest I ever came to discharging my pistol while on duty).  Not the night I stood eyeball to barrel of a 45 automatic the night a resident ordered me off his property, refusing to accept a death in the family message, while his little girl clung to his leg.  Not the night I had to take the weapons away from the irate father who had locked himself and his daughter in her bedroom after a domestic dispute.  Not even the night I heard a bang and watched a man carrying a Rugar Red Hawk with 8 inch barrel come running out of a tavern jump behind a telephone pole, point the gun back towards the crowded tavern, then climb into his try and speed away.  I stopped his car a few blocks away and convinced him to surrender his fire arm (I found another and a large Bowie knife under the seat).  That is the 2nd closest I ever came to discharging my weapon while on duty.  Then funny thing is: I was called a coward in two of those incidents by citizens of the community I served.

A police officer often receives injuries in the performance of his duties, sometimes those injuries prove to be disabling or even fatal. My father, who was the Chief of Police in a small town, was so badly injured after being broadsided by a rookie cop running lights and siren that he was forced to retire.  A year later I had a similar fate when the rookie I was training did not follow the instructions I gave him (while running lights and siren) and drove us unto the side of a Cadillac at 60 mph.  I removed the rearview mirror from its mounting when it collided with my left temple (thanks to my thick Irish skull, I survived the incident).  I started having back problems and painful migraine head aches that affected my memory and recall.  While on disability leave re couperating from the injuries received in the patrol car accident citizens of the community would phone me at home and berate me for being a slacker.  On some of the occasions my wife answered the phone she was reduced to tears.  

A few years went by, I continued having the headaches and back problems and survived a few more close encounters with death, and then I got a call about a disturbance at a Hispanic wedding.  I responded to find windows smashed out of a car, a 4 ft length of 2X4 laid on the ground beside the car (deduction: Mariachi music and teenagers having a booze and pot party don't mix).  It took me about 10 minutes to quell the Rancourous behavior and have members of the group responsible for the broken windows of the car agree to pay restitution.

It was at this point that the actual perpetrator slunk back into the crowd and physically assaulted the car owner at which point all 7734 broke out.  I grabbed the assailant and advised him he was under arrest. His friends took exception to this and one grabbed the 2X4 and hit me across the back of the head with it.  I was in the fight of my life, as the 2X4  continued to rain down on my head and back, joined by slugs and kicks, I was in fear for my life. I had the legal right, at this point to utilize deadly force to save my own life.  As I lay upon the assailant, choking beneath me, and one of his friends was attempt to wrestle my revolver from its holster, (Thank you, Hoyt Holster Company) others continuing to beat and kick me, I looked at all the women and children from the neighborhood and among the wedding guests and made the decision that even if I were killed I could not use my fire arm in self-defence because doing so would jeopardize too many innocent lives (it was the hardest decision I've ever had to make in my life).

Someone in the crowd noticed that the assailant, who I was laying upon, was choking to death, the dark shade of purple the telltale sign.  The beating stopped and I struggled to my feet.  I grasped the assailant by his collar and threw him into the back seat of the patrol car (Adrenalin can cause a person to due super human things).  I grabbed the microphone of the police radio and called for assistance.  I turned to face my assailants surrounded by over 50 people, many women and children, it was a "Mexican Standoff."  
As a result of that incident six people went to prison, every one who either started the confrontation or assaulted me.

Six weeks later, I returned home, free of being pulled in half by traction.  The Doctor instructed me to walk around the block a couple of times a day.  Stooped, unsteady on my feet, with cane in hand I tried to follow the doctor's orders.  I would no sooner leave my house than the phones in my house and at the police department would start to ring.  The kindest comments was that the slacker should be fired, or, if he's well enough to walk, he's well enough to work..

The report of the disturbance was placed by my superior, the detective sergeant, who lived across the street from the incident scene, who watched me get beat half to death with the 2X4, who failed to come to my aid until Sherriff's deputies, State Troopers, and officers from nearby communities arrived in answer to my distress call, and who quickly spread the word of how he save my life.  Yet again, I was the one called a coward for not using my fire arm in self-defence (it's hard to defend yourself from a hospital bed).  And as far as the decision to accept the possibility of being beaten to death rather than endanger Innocent bystanders, I would make the same decision, given the same type of circumstances, in a heart beat.

I've carried a weapon most of my life, either professionally, for protection when transporting large amounts of money, or personal protection (Once bitten twice shy).  I don't carry very deep because if I ever have to use it I don't want to die trying to reach it.  I've had to make the critical decision more than once, I'm made the right decision in every case.  I known I can make the right call again if and when it occurs.  Like a good boy scout I believe in being prepared.  Since I don't carry very deep I get "made" every so often.  I open carry on my own property and one visitor asked me if the neighborhood I lived in was really that rough.  I told him "Not as long as I live here."

Sometimes I find that some people are so irrational about guns that even the thought of being near one drives them into a frenzy.  These people will call me a coward for having one, let alone carry one.  They also refuse to accept an explanation that they can rest safer at night because of people like me or even entertain the idea.

As a result of the assault that night I have been left unable to experience feelings, I have emotions, but I don't have feelings.  And no, they are not the same thing.  Feelings require empathy, of which I have none anymore.  But there is one thing that will make me cry like a baby.  It is when I see people receive the one thing I've never had, recognition for a job well done.

Don't let your guardians go unnoticed or unthanked.

edited to correct spelling errors spell check missed.
 






« Last Edit: March 15, 2011, 03:33:33 PM by Brian D. Bray » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2011, 01:12:39 AM »

Brian, you've been through quite a lot friend and I respect what you stand for and how you stood while doing your very best to protect the innocent and make this world a safer place to be.

I would dare any of the nay sayers to put themselves in your shoes for any length of time then think of you as cowardly.

They likely would be running home to their mommas in a New York second.

I have always and will always have the upmost respect for those that serve and protect.

Thank you!


...JP
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« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2011, 01:38:04 AM »

Brian-

Thank you for your service.

We're having a bit of civil unrest in Wisconsin right now.  I was moved by the number of people who approached the officers at a protest in our little town to thank them for how they chose to conduct themselves.  As you know, each party chooses whether to escalate or deescalate an interaction.

I worked LE for 15 years and I understand you are wearing the uniform all day every day.  People judge what you say and do in the context of what is proper for an officer to say and do, whether you are on duty or off.  I resigned my credentials for health reasons and peace in the family.

It's not just a job.
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« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2011, 06:28:34 AM »

Brian,  I would like to echo the thanks already offered up on the thread.  I believe that there are way too many Monday morning quaterbacks in this country. What I mean is that when people who have never even been anywhere close to any of the situations that you have experienced, try to pass judgement on you and your decisions in the heat of the moment.  Its like all the people who are so against waterboarding in order to gain valuable intel.  Let's say that the person had intel about a family member or friend that was being held hostage......would they still be against waterboarding? I bet not.  It reminds me of this
Famous Speeches: A Few Good Men
  Anyway, from one grateful American to another, thanks.
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« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2011, 09:49:59 AM »

Wow!  That is not a rant, but an incredible story!

It is so easy to judge peoples actions based on our own normal situations.  Just shoot the guy, just get back to work..... I'm sorry and appalled at how you were treated, and hope that I wouldn't have judged the same, although I know I sometimes do make judgements I shouldn't (although I'd never call or call a cop cowardly, I know better than that!!).

Thanks for your service, and thanks for the story which helps open my eyes to other situations.

Rick
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« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2011, 10:56:13 AM »

  Just my feeling

   When I returned from  Army in 1969 being called a baby killer is not a good feeling at ALL an insult and worse when it's from my own countrymen.


 
Brian.....
  Thank you for your service.



    BEE HAPPY Jim 134  Smiley
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« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2011, 12:30:26 PM »

Ive been the Fuzz,Po-Po,Five-0, The Law, Po-Leese,Cop,Pig for 15 years now. Oh the war stories....some good, some not so good...It's funny how after 'Serving and Protecting' for any length of time, one begins to look at people and society in a completely different way. You basically begin to lose any respect for the human race as a whole. Think about it before anyone starts to flame me. Generally speaking,the only time the cops are called is when the proverbial poop hits the fan- i.e something bad has happened. Ive yet to receive a call from an unknown citizen informing me that their first child was born, or someone just nailed a grand slam at Little League or any type of good news. It's generally all bad that teeters on the edge of getting worse at any given moment. How about going into a restaurant to get something to eat? Next time you guys are eating out, watch the reactions of other people when a uniform walks in..its..as..if..time..stands..still..Everyone stares and 9 of 10 times someone will walk up to our table and say 'I'm sorry to bother you while you are eating....' but they do anyways  grin Sorry Brian..didn't mean to add on to your rant, but I do know where you are coming from. Thats why I enjoy the forum so much and cant stand it when a small cell or SBB war breaks out. I hear all I want to at work  Wink

Hmm..as for injuries sustained in the Line of Duty

Too many to list but currently I'm still nursing a recently repaired rotator cuff and labrum.

I just work here for the huge paycheck every two weeks  rolleyes
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« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2011, 12:58:09 PM »

Brian, Thank you.  I'm not sure I could have been a cop, after a couple seasons of "cops" on TV I'm pretty sure there are a number of things that I would have to get used to quickly somehow or the end of my patience would not be far from being reached. So cops who handle being lied to (with the same/similar incredibly dumb/weak lies over and over from different people), being harassed by people during an arrest etc. have my utmost respect and gratitude.
- To your last 3 paragraphs -I'm no longer apalled by people who despise firearms - logical dialogue doesn't work with them; but I believe that the private ownership of firearms in the US has always been a factor of consideration when some ambitious tyranny would gain power and become jealous of our land and freedom. (also why I think so much time has been spent creating anti-gun fanatics)
I'll stop here before I ramble too much.
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« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2011, 03:31:28 PM »

Thanks to those who have expressed theirs.  To those who have also put their lives on the line, I salute you. 

I spent almost years as an MP in military intelligence, then came home and was hired by the mayor of the town my father was the chief of police for.  One of his officers had been injured and I worked for for my father for 6 months as a temporary, the time spent with my father, working side by side, was an experience I will always treasure.  I then spent another 4 1/2 years on another department before injuries took their toll.
After I was forced to retire from law enforcement (see above rant) I went into restaurant management since a disability pension was not sufficient to support 5 kids on. Over the course of time, before additional injuries, and aggravation of old ones, forced a complete retirement, I had the opportunity to have each one of my own children work for/with me, another series of experiences I treasure.

Don't be critical if you haven't walked in someones shoes.That's a mantra I advocate regularly. 
When I enlisted in the Army at the height of the Vietnam war my mother made me promise to avoid that country if legally possible.  I spent a year in Turkey, listening to the Soviet Space Program (during which a Cosmonaut died when he couldn't reseal his hatch after a space walk), then a year an a half in Japan (where we frantically assisted with the drama of Apollo 13) and finally a year in Thailand (where our main mission was electronic intercept of Vietcong communications).
The base in Japan an was closed because our mission was outed to orbit (Satellites could do it better, and with pictures).  My new assignment was originally for Vietnam (509th) but I traded with another MP who wanted to go there worse than I did and I had the promise to my mother to keep. One of the MPs who stated in Japan until the final closure of the base follwed me to Udorn Thani, Thailand about 4 months later.  I was the senior NCO, the Provost Sgt, and suddenly after his arrival, the respect I had from the MPs vanished. 
My attempts to treat the body of a soldier who had hung himself after monitoring Vietcong communications during a live fire fight that ended with a decided USA loss with respect, resulted in my being called chicken livered to my face.
It was soon evident that the MP, whom I had thought my friend, was telling every one that I had traded duty stations because I was a coward.
When I left Udorn, I requested that he be my transportation to the Air Force Base.  During the delay before boarding I sat down with that soldier, who had replaced me as provost sgt, and asked him a few questions?  Such as: "Have you ever been called a coward?", "Would you submit to peer pressure even if you knew doing what they wanted as stupid and could result in serious injury?", "What takes more courage, doing what is popular or doing what is right?". 
I then then explained why I had traded duty assignments and asked him if he would have done the same thing under those circumstances.  Upon his affirmative, I boarded my plane home, discharge and freedom.  I never got an apology, but I think I left him with a lot to think about.

When I was in Turkey I had the sad duty of arresting an E-6 for his own safety after he had drank himself into a stupor for the 3rd straight day.  He, like that soldier who hung himself in Thailand, was trained to listen to opposition forces (in their language) and type their communications out in English.  He had spent a week listening to the communications between the Russian Ground Control and the Cosmonaut as they frantically tried to reseal a defective hatch latch.  He had listened while the Cosmonaut had suffocated to death.

I've learned that while everyone has the ability to be a coward, we also have the ability to be heroic, and sometimes the distintion between the two is only in the details.  I would venture to say that examination of the details would reveal more heros than cowards.

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« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2011, 08:49:56 AM »

Try being an EMT/Paramedic on the streets, that will certainly open your eyes as well. Did that for 15 years before I got smart.

...DOUG
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« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2011, 09:01:15 AM »

Try being an EMT/Paramedic on the streets, that will certainly open your eyes as well. Did that for 15 years before I got smart.

...DOUG
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No thank you. For the service they provide, they are usually the worst paid in the Public/Emergency Service Field. I'll just stick with 'piggin'. Many,many lives are saved by what the Medics/EMT's do on the side of the road before a Doc ever sees them .
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« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2011, 11:44:59 AM »

Try being an EMT/Paramedic on the streets, that will certainly open your eyes as well. Did that for 15 years before I got smart.

...DOUG
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No thank you. For the service they provide, they are usually the worst paid in the Public/Emergency Service Field. I'll just stick with 'piggin'. Many,many lives are saved by what the Medics/EMT's do on the side of the road before a Doc ever sees them .


Did this job in the Army.




    BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley



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« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2011, 03:34:20 PM »

Try being an EMT/Paramedic on the streets, that will certainly open your eyes as well. Did that for 15 years before I got smart.

...DOUG
KD4MOJ


No thank you. For the service they provide, they are usually the worst paid in the Public/Emergency Service Field. I'll just stick with 'piggin'. Many,many lives are saved by what the Medics/EMT's do on the side of the road before a Doc ever sees them .


Did this job in the Army.




    BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley


The man most endeared by the soldiers was not the platoon sgt nor the green 2nd looey, but the Medic.
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« Reply #13 on: March 17, 2011, 02:50:17 PM »


The man most endeared by the soldiers was not the platoon sgt nor the green 2nd looey, but the Medic.

Yup, and its the same reason why most cops let and E.R Docs slide traffic infractions. Never know who might be diggin a bullet out of your tail.
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« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2011, 08:46:04 PM »

   Everyone who carries a gun for a living must make a decision, and chose at what point they will use that weapon. They must come to that understanding long before the situation arrives or they will probably die trying to make it.
   In northern I Corp I saw a man in a pith helmet holding a rifle. I know he saw me, I was completely exposed, but I don't think he knew that I could see him. Over the next two years he was joined by several others all of whom were just a little slower or less accurate.  I made my decision before my boots got muddy that first time. I gave it a lot of thought because my father told me I had to. He said that every man has to draw that line in the sand and decide just how far he is willing to go before he kills. All through my military career I taught the soldiers I trained that idea . Think it over now, while you have time, and be sure. Because if you have to stop and think later you may get someone else killed. If you can't decide get out of the combat arms part of the service, you are going to hurt someone. 
   Throughout the 1960s, 1970s, and most of the 1980s, being a Vietnam vet was NOT a badge of honor. Thanks to the TV and movies they were all doped up psychos one flash back away from killing everyone near them.
  Only those who belonged to the anti war groups could claim vet status and not be vilified.
   A generation later after the 100 hours of the first Gulf War there was some effort to welcome home the Vietnam vet. Most real vets had grown used to being quiet so a cottage industry of Vet Wannabes came forward. They wear the hats and tell the war stories and the people know no better. Rambo became a folk hero.
   The Stolen Valor Law that was to protect the vet's status was tossed out, it seems that to pretend to be a vet is free speech.
   There were no yellow ribbons for the Vietnam vet. Demonised by the media, and labeled as dangerous, they had no choice but to hide if they wanted to be accepted.
   Most still do not feel welcome. And probably never will.
   A few months ago I saw a Gulf War vet portrayed on TV as a mental case that was killing at random. I guess they are next. The Guardsman next door will have to be watched and avoided because he may have a flash back at anytime.
   It's their turn now. Welcome to our world.
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« Reply #15 on: March 18, 2011, 09:26:08 PM »

Rambo became a folk hero.
 

You'll most likely disagree with me, But I think "Rambo" - in spite of being basically a modern Hercules type - made people willing to listen. Yup, he was also a bit of a stereotype, complete with piles of PTSD wreckage. (I was a teen when 'first blood' came out.) It changed my attitude and made me willing to hear the truth out of people who had been there (and the truth about people who hadn't).
I think Stallone makes his respect for vets as clear as he can (without having hollywood banish him) but he still has to sell "blow stuff up" movies.
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« Reply #16 on: March 19, 2011, 11:54:29 AM »

   On the surface John Rambo is your standard Hollywood style Vietnam vet. Unemployed/unemployable, dark, angry, uncommunicative, and quick to become violent. Somehow he is still healthy and in almost peak physical condition after all those years on the road.
   Rambo isn't just a vet, he is a super vet. A highly trained and skilled deep black ops operator he has a skills list that would make GI Joe OD green with envy. Again he has somehow kept these skills and his knowledge base completely up to date no matter where he is.
   Charactors like Rambo, and Riggs from Lethal weapon, show a Vietnam veteran who is right on the edge of madness. Rambo withdrew from society and looked for solitude while Riggs went into undercover police work where he could escape his real identity.
   Most often the vet is less attractively packaged. In movie after movie and TV episode after episode when they cops look to profile the mass killer or sniper they always mention the exmilitary as suspects. Ever wonder why?
   Both Gibson and Stylone have shown sympathy for vets in their charactors, but the charactor is the writers creation and not just the actor's.
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« Reply #17 on: March 20, 2011, 12:45:10 AM »

Over time I've come to the conclusion that today's coward might be tomorrow's hero.  As a police officer I've observed people who were just that, one set of circumstances causes them to cringe in shame while a different set sends them going where angels fear to tread.

I've looked down the barrel of a loaded gun more than once, I've had to decide whether to shot or not (see above rant), and I've taken the blade extended knife out of the hand of more than one person bent on slicing my gizzard.  But there are two things that make me cringe:  Fire and heights.  It's not that I won't go there, because I have, but I have a fear of both, I'm so afraid of heights that I get a nose bleed when I get 2 feet off the ground, and I'm talking about the 2 feet I stand on.

To me that is the true test of courage: overcoming one's fears in order to get the job done. 
The other mark of a person with courage is the one who says either: "I was just doing my job," or, "I'm no hero, anybody would have done the same thing!"  NOT.
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« Reply #18 on: March 23, 2011, 01:50:10 AM »

I was in a different situation. I'm a retired prison guard. We just stood back and watched them stick, slice and dice each other up. If they got too close, we ran! I'm still alive. They did smuggle in two 9mm's and wire cutters, in some repaired television sets one time though. They got shot up real good in between the fences. I got a copy of the pictures of the autopsies. I had a picture of a human brain with a bullet hole through it but I can't seem to find it now. That made a nice conversation piece.
I saw every kind of inhumane treatment that man can commit on another human being. That's why nothing surprises me. Other than having to sit with my back to the wall, everywhere I go,  I don't dwell on it.
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« Reply #19 on: April 03, 2011, 01:51:43 AM »

Working within the Justice system can turn a person sour on the human race in a hurry if they let the circumstances get to them. But you learn that some people are very good, and some people are very bad, with the majority somewhere in between.

There's good cops and, unfortunately, there's bad cops.  When I joined the Burlington, WA Police Department I was the 5th officer on the force.  The Chief worked weekdays, the Detective worked whatever, and the rest of us spent our time working swings, mids, and relief a month at a time.

One officer (#3) was very straight laced but anytime he had to enter a building that might of been burglarized, always drew his revolver and had it at the ready.  I hated going into a building with him, I could hear the shells rattle in the cyclinder.  Sometimes fear not only smells but is audible as well.
Officer #4 was in police work for the tips.  $200.00 would buy off a DUI ticket.  A simple speeding ticket was $25.00.
The officer they hired to replace me after I was injured and unable to work got fired for the same reason he was forced to resign from his previous police department, accepting/soliciting sexual favors from female suspects.

Some of you may have heard about the Seattle cop who shot an American Indian woodcarver.  The Indian, who was an alcoholic and heard of hearing, was walking down the street with a piece of wood and a folded knife in his hand.  The officer exited his vehicle with is gun drawn and called for the man to drop his weapon.  Within 10 seconds of calling for the kinfe to be dropped the officer shot the man 3 times.  Other officers who arrived at the scene after the shooting found the knife blade still folded.
The officer had been on the force for 6 months.  If that six months included his academy time, then that officer was placed solo in a police car way to soon.  His supervised training was lacking.
The King County Prosecuting Attorny had declined to file charges against the now ex-cop saying the fear of life was to high of a bar to enable a convivtion.  A corner's inquest found the shooting unjustified.
My take, and the take of every officer I've talked to on the matter have agreed that negligent homicide is the minimum that should have been charged.

As a result of that incident, along with some Rodney King type incidents against asian and hispanic individuals, the US Department of Justice has begun an inquiry into civil rights abuses by the Seattle Police Department.

I can't help but compare that to the one time I exited my police vehicle with my weapon drawn and didn't have to discharge it. I knew a man has a gun, because I'd seen it and I'd heard him fire the weapon inside an occuppied tavern.  I can't help but think that officer had gotten into Law Enforcement looking for the opportunity for glory, making him both badge and gun happy.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2011, 02:12:52 AM by Brian D. Bray » Logged

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