This past March, I wrote about a bill in Indiana that would allow people to shoot and kill police officers if they think the officer is illegally entering their homes. The Indiana legislature considered the bill and passed it . It was then signed into law by Republican Governor Mitch Daniels. Law enforcement officials across the state and around the country opposed the bill because it would put the lives of both police officers and civilians at risk.
But one website didn’t appreciate my defense of our boys in blue at all. In fact, it is brazen and stupid enough to openly advocate for killing police officers in the line of duty.
Copblock.org posted a pair of articles condemning me and my articles on the subject, and they not only viciously attacked law enforcement, they called for killing them as one would kill a criminal.
In a post titled ‘When Should You Shoot A Cop,’ author Larken Rose makes a series of claims and statements that stink of paranoia and hate.
Rose claims that, “Basic logic dictates that you either have an obligation to LET “law enforcers” have their way with you, or you have the right to STOP them from doing so, which will almost always require killing them. (Politely asking fascists to not be fascists has a very poor track record.) Consider the recent Indiana Supreme Court ruling, which declared that if a cop tries to ILLEGALLY enter your home, it’s against the law for you to do anything to stop him. Aside from the patent absurdity of it, since it amounts to giving thugs with badges PERMISSION to “break the law,” and makes it a CRIME for you to defend yourself against a CRIMINAL (if he has a badge), consider the logical ramifications of that attitude.”
Did you catch all that? Good. Now let’s analyze it. Rose claims that ” basic logic” dictates that we kill police officers for doing their job. I assume when Rose says officers are “having their way with you” he means that officers are entering your home because they were called to the scene and have reasonable grounds to enter the home. Police of course, expect innocent civilians to let them do their job so that they can move on. Sometimes these entries occur without a warrant, but there are many circumstances, however, when waiting for a warrant to enter the home is not feasible. The Indiana Supreme Court case Rose cited was a domestic dispute in which Richard Barnes walked back into his house out of sight of the officers on the scene. An officer followed Barnes into the home as any officer would do in a similar case. It’s standard procedure. Why? To protect both the responding officers and the civilians involved in the dispute. Barnes could have easily been going back into his house for the purpose of getting a weapon, or to destroy evidence that could be used against him. If Barnes had been allowed to go into his home unsupervised during a domestic dispute, who knows what could have happened to the officers or his wife. It turns out that Barnes was the aggressor, and fought the officer. That’s why the court ruled that homeowners do not have the right to use force against law enforcement officials who they believe are illegally entering their homes.
According to the Evansville Courier Press, “The state Supreme Court found that officers sometimes enter homes without warrants for reasons protected by the law, such as pursuing suspects or preventing the destruction of evidence. In these situations, we find it unwise to allow a homeowner to adjudge the legality of police conduct in the heat of the moment,” the court said. “As we decline to recognize a right to resist unlawful police entry into a home, we decline to recognize a right to batter a police officer as a part of that resistance.”
In other words, in heated situations the officer is in charge. This is for the safety of civilians and police, and has been standard procedure for a very long time. Obtaining a warrant in this situation is simply not an option if a threatening individual is going back into their home while police are on the scene of an already tense and heated situation. What is the officer supposed to do? Wait for the guy to bring a gun and kill them all? That’s just horrible common sense.
Rose goes on to refer to police officers as “fascists” and claims the Department of Justice is conspiring with law enforcement to suspend the Bill of Rights, and even cites the Branch Davidians and the Ruby Ridge incident as a legitimate reason to shoot and kill police officers. The Ruby Ridge incident began when Randy Weaver failed to show up for court for not having a license to transfer a shotgun, and due to a mix up of the court date and a stubborn Attorney General, the US Marshals were ordered to bring Weaver in to face a grand jury. Weaver fled and isolated himself with his family on Ruby Ridge because he didn’t think a jury would judge him fairly. The Marshals surrounded the house and were engaged by Weaver’s son and his friend who were both armed. Which side shot first is disputed. At any rate, a US Marshal and the son were both killed. Weaver’s wife was then accidentally killed by a sniper’s bullet that was meant for Weaver. This shooting was ruled unconstitutional and I agree that it was a bad decision on the part of the sniper. A stand-off ensued for 10 days and Weaver finally surrendered. The incident was indeed tragic and was caused by a simple mix-up, the stubbornness of the Attorney General, the paranoia of Weaver, and the inexcusable decision made by a sniper, but is not a reason why people should be allowed to wantonly kill law enforcement officials. This whole incident could have easily been avoided if Weaver had surrendered to authorities in the first place and made his case in court instead of arming and isolating himself. Weaver was wanted in court and the Marshals had to bring him in. He was paranoid and clearly mistrusted the government. He falsely believed the government was out to get him, but the government had a legal right to bring him in to stand trial. This incident was used as a motive by right-wing terrorist Timothy McVeigh for the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.
Rose then rants about how police officers victimize the innocent and that people need to become cop-killers to put an end to it. He writes, “Most of the incomprehensible atrocities that have occurred throughout history were due in large part to the fact that most people answer “never” to the question of “When should you shoot a cop?” The correct answer is: When evil is “legal,” become a criminal. When oppression is enacted as “law,” become a “law-breaker.” When those violently victimizing the innocent have badges, become a cop-killer.”
Here’s the thing. Police in the United States are not evil. The police officers Rose is thinking of are in other nations such as China and Russia, as well as other oppressive nations. I will concede that there is such a thing as a dirty cop in America, but Rose talks as if all police officers are bad, and must be killed. He then says that we must think of police officers who are killed in the line of duty as bad guys who deserved to be killed, “The next time you hear of a police officer being killed “in the line of duty,” take a moment to consider the very real possibility that maybe in that case, the “law enforcer” was the bad guy and the “cop killer” was the good guy. As it happens, that has been the case more often than not throughout human history”
In the last few years the number of police officers killed by gunfire in the line of duty has been high.
Number of fatal police shootings by year:
Source: National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund
The above statistics aren’t merely numbers. They are fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, brothers and sisters to people across the nation, and they deserve our thanks, our prayers, and our respect. Larken Rose would have you believe that the killers of these officers were acting justly, but that would be an outrageous and disgusting lie. To make matters worse a second author on Copblock.org who referenced Rose made the following statement about the Indiana law, “Maybe with this law, cops will think twice about raiding a home for drugs? Maybe cops will stop working for the government and make their own agreements with their customers?”
Now maybe I’m misinterpreting this statement but it seems to me this guy is comparing police officers to drug dealers. But that’s sheer stupidity. I have a bigger problem with the first sentence of the statement. This guy is actually saying that police officers should be shot for going on drug raids. Apparently, warrants don’t matter. In my first article on this topic, I said that many people don’t recognize warrants as a legal right to enter a person’s home, despite what the Constitution says. I also said that this law would allow anti-government gun toting nut jobs to declare war on law enforcement. And Copblock.org is proving me right.
What Copblock.org is advocating for is the murder of police officers. Anybody with half a brain knows this is immoral. Are there officers who overstep the boundaries? Certainly. But that is what the judicial system is for. If you really think a police officer has crossed the line, make your case in court, not with a bullet. That being said, police officers have a tough job. They risk their lives for complete strangers every day for little pay and we should respect that and remember that these brave men and women have families.
Sometimes police officers must make tough calls in tight situations, but they do it because they are trying to do what is safe for them and the people around them. If a person is screaming in a house, we can’t expect police to wait until they have a warrant to go into the house and help the person. Just like we can’t expect an officer to wait for a warrant while a husband goes into the house during a domestic dispute. Officers must be able to protect themselves and others from potential threats. Allowing citizens to shoot police based on belief is crazy. It will only lead to disaster and needless killings. Let’s also keep in mind the many police officers are former military veterans. Are the folks over at Copblock.org really willing to shoot former American soldiers for doing their jobs? Police officers have a responsibility to protect society and citizens have a responsibility to let officers to their jobs and handle situations, while leaving complaints in the hands of a judge and jury. If Copblock.org has a problem with that, they have the right to remain silent.