With Special Badges Comes Special Privileges

Becoming a police officer is a pretty sweet gig. You don’t need to be intelligent. In fact, being intelligent can prohibit you from becoming a police officer. It’s not an especially dangerous. And you get to enjoy special privileges:

This week, a Tarrant County judge sentenced cop watcher Kenny Lovett to 90 days in jail after a jury determined he interfered with a high-risk traffic stop in Arlington in 2015.

“It’s a safety issue first and foremost,” said Melinda Westmoreland, the assistant district attorney who prosecuted Lovett’s case.

On that day, Lovett and several other cop watchers pulled over to film Arlington police making a traffic stop.
Not long after they began filming, two officers approached them, concerned about the holsters some the cop watchers were also carrying. The exchange was caught on video.

“I need you to go back [to your vehicle] and put your weapons up if you’re armed,” the officer says in the recording. “Feel free to record after that.”

Two of cop watchers did what the officers told them to do. Lovett, who was carrying a black powder pistol, refused. He was then led away in handcuffs and charged with interfering with public duties and disorderly conduct.

When you interact with a police officer it’s OK for them to demand you to disarm but it’s not OK for you to demand they disarm. Considering the number of officers being killed is going down while the number of people being killed by cops is going up I think it would be fair to demand officers disarm when interacting with members of the public.

Power is easily abused by those who have it. By operating on a higher level than the general public law enforcement officers are in a position to abuse power. If we want to reduce power abuse by law enforcers they need to operate on the same level as the rest of us. That means they should fall under the same scrutiny when using force, being surveilled, and interacting with other individuals as every other person in society. If an officer can be armed while interacting with the general public then people keeping officers accountable by filming police interactions should be allowed to be armed as well.

2 thoughts on “With Special Badges Comes Special Privileges”

  1. In California, amongst the plethora of asinine gun laws is the exemption to LEO (and in most cases extending to retired LEO) with regard to which firearms or ammo can be owned by the public. It absolutely smacks of elitism and backroom deals. To date, of the 21 current and two retired LEO I have personally contacted to inquire of their position on the exemptions, none have declined the favor offered by the exemptions. In fact, one soon to retire Sheriff deputy relished the idea of trading ‘off roster’ handguns with regular citizens who could not otherwise purchase such pistols. It was a helluva statement for him to make as)it is illegal in most cases. He also stated, as several others have, that he has more training than most firearm owners. Their opinion ignores that ‘more’ does not equal ‘better’. Also, the department requirement for recurrent training (typically no more than 2 days at the range per year) does not constitute ‘more’. It is the elitist mentality in action.

    1. California is run by people who manage to be more authoritarian than most state governments. It’s kind of impressive in a twisted sort of way.

      I do love it when officers claim they have more training than the average person. I’ve shot with numerous cops in USPSA and most of them fail to impress me in the slightest. This doesn’t surprise me since for many officers the only training they receive are their simple annual qualifiers. Truth be told, unless an officer has a passion for firearms they likely have little or no meaningful training.

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