Blue Byline

A cop's perspective of the news and South Sound matters

Archives: Oct. 2011


Fighting for ideals in the real world

The answer: 415 million

The question: What are the number of hits when you google “Occupy Wall Street”?

The national frenzy, which physically occupies both Main Street’s city halls and Wall Street itself, has our collective attention. This amorphous phenomenon has resonated in the consciousness of millions of people in our country and throughout the world.

Not a bad effort for six weeks.

Now that the honeymoon is over there are many wondering where Occupy Wall Street is heading. I wondered that myself in my last column (“OWS: Throwing Rocks and Losing Relevance”), a piece in which I was sharply

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OWS: Throwing rocks and losing relevance

On September 17, 2011, Americans first occupied Wall St. and nobody cared.

But in the days and weeks since then the protest has fanned out through the U.S., capturing headline news as well as the innately rebellious imagination of this country. Despite the knee jerk “outrage” against this movement by some right-leaning media (okay, I”m talking about Fox), Occupy Wall Street has distilled the sentiments of those leaning left, right and, most importantly, those of us in the middle.

The Occupy movement is a powerful representation of the collective frustration many people now harbor for the political process which

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The Country of Gotham

This is the second in a 2-part series on vigilantes.

In the shadow of buildings or under dark roadways, bodies are tossed in heaps like so much garbage. This is the gruesome landscape of a violence-plagued Mexico, a country enduring a years-old civil war waged on many fronts: Drug cartels vs. the government; drug cartel vs. drug cartel; the government vs. corrupt government officials.

But this latest discovery of stacked corpses was apparently the work of a new player on the scene. Vigilantes have entered the war.

According to a disturbing Wall Street Journal story those responsible for

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It’s a bird, it’s a plane…never mind

This is the first in a 2-part series on vigilantes.

I love superheroes.

As a boy my closet was piled high with comic books. The Defenders and the Avengers were my favorite groups, and my brother and I would spend hours reading and re-reading each one. When we were finished we would pretend to rake some leaves and then run down to the drug store with our unearned quarters to get the latest edition.

Even as an adult I have watched, though not without a guilty sense of pleasure, the newest round of cartoons, movies and features involving classic superheroes,

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Dawgs making it easy to wear the W

Collegiate sports may be fought in the turf or on the floorboards, but the competition also rages in one unexpected place: the office.

In just about any business setting, whether in the cozy corner offices of corporate officials or the fuzzy-walled world of government cubicles, you will find the logo of many proud alma maters.

And right now the UW banners are hanging high.

If you’ll pardon the smug and self-serving props to the Dawg’s, it can not be denied that their stellar record (5-1 in Pac 12 play) has far exceeded expectations in this first season of the post-Jake

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Sin City still sizzles

I ask you, in all the wide world is there anyplace quite like Las Vegas?

I just returned from a 3-day trip to Sin City where the sun is shining, the dice are rolling and that sucking sound is the noise of money escaping one’s wallet. Nothing is cheap in Vegas, not even the free stuff.

But while I did return with less green in my pocket and more red on my face (and shoulders and back), I still had a great vacation.

Las Vegas is a town with something for everybody whether you’re a gambler (I’m not), a hiker

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California says no to Open Carry

On Monday California’s governor demonstrated that the federal decree known as the 2nd Amendment is open to interpretation by states.  With Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature, California has outlawed the open carrying of firearms in public.

Proponents of the right to bear arms–specifically to do so openly and in public–must now add California as the sixth state to outlaw open carry (not including Washington, D.C.).

The legislation signed by Brown was propelled by concerned citizens as well as anti-gun lobbyists and activists and then serenaded to the governor’s desk by a statewide chorus of police chiefs. But

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Fighting fair vs. fighting to win

Since I began writing this column a few months ago I have received an inordinate number of comments on the topic of force.

The discussion on the use of force by police, or as it is called in cop circles, “Response to Resistance”, should be an ongoing dialogue. Police agencies and the public should be able to openly discuss the issue from a common level of understanding. However, since most of the comments could be summed up by asking, “Why do police officers always need to use so much force?” it could be assumed that law enforcement should be trying harder to find common ground on this topic.

A San Francisco officer wounded during a riot (Michelle Malkin archives)

The picture at left depicts a San Francisco police officer moments after being assaulted during a riot. While this may be a shocking picture to some, it is included here as an example of why police approach every contact with their guard up.

Statistics on assaults against officers have long suggested that there is a much greater risk of injury in failing to meet and overcome the threat from an unknown subject(s). This is especially true with explosive incidents, such as suicidal subjects, domestic disputes and large protests because these can switch from peaceful to violent in the blink of an eye.

As I was told more than twenty years ago, there is no such thing as a routine call.

In practice this means that if a subject commits an arrestable offense then the outcome is a foregone conclusion. It only awaits the decision by the arrestee whether or not to comply. If a subject follows verbal commands then the expected outcome is a simple and nonviolent arrest. Resistance is the game-changer.

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