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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Heroic Incompetent Policemen

I found this story interesting, cited many other locations.

Undercover policemen were in a New York subway station, looking for fare evasion and other "quality of life" crimes. Someone was using a student Metrocard, yet didn't look like a student. (The turnstyle lights an indication that says someone used a student farecard.)

Even though the State transportation monopoly is immoral, fare evasion is a real crime. If you use the subway, you should pay for it. Cracking down on fare evasion is an example of legitimate behavior by police. (In most cities, public transportation is subsidized. In New York City, the subway is subsidized by high tolls on bridges and tunnels.)

Two policemen attempted to stop the criminal, and arrest/ticket him for fare evasion. The criminal resisted arrest. During the struggle, one of the policemen dropped their gun. The criminal picked up the policeman's gun, and he shot the two policemen who attempted to arrest him. While attempting to escape, he fired at another policeman, who shot him.

The media spin is "The policeman who caught the criminal was a hero! Hooray for the police!"

My interpretation of the story is different. I see gross incompetence by the police. The policeman who dropped his gun bears a huge amount of responsibility for the incident. A professional policeman should not drop his gun. Also, there is digital fingerprinting technology that prevents a gun from being fired by anyone besides its owner. If the police department were using this technology, then this would not have been a serious incident.

The criminal was resisting arrest because he had previously been arrested and jailed for possession of drugs, which is another "victimless crime". The criminal was an "illegal immigrant", which is another crime that does not exist in a true free market. The criminal had been previously deported for "illegal immigration" and he had successfully re-entered the USA.

This would not have been a big story if the policeman was not careless and dropped his gun. This would not have been a big story if "possession of drugs" and "illegal immigration" were not crimes. The criminal resisted arrest because he had a prior bad experience with the State and police.

The media spin is "Hooray for the policeman who caught the criminal!" I see gross incompetence by the policeman who dropped his gun. The issues of "Is possession of drugs a crime?" or "Is illegal immigration a crime?" are never discussed.

The mainstream media always present monopolistic State police in the most favorable possible light. The underlying serious issues are never discussed. The policemen who shot the criminal did his job properly, but the policeman who dropped his gun bears a large amount of responsibility for the incident. If "possession of drugs" and "illegal immigration" were not falsely labeled as crimes, then the fare evader would not have been so afraid of the police.


Anonymous said...

Not debating the rest of your post, but I don't see free-riding on the subway as immoral. In fact, it may be one of the only peaceful ways to reclaim part of what's being stolen from you in taxes elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

Your comment sadly shows you have very little concept of what police work is and how it these situations unfold in real life - its not like a film - its messy, unpredictable and imperfect. Only Jason Borne would never drop his gun (James Bond does it about 5 times a film).

Anonymous said...

Boy talk about an armchair quarterback. As little trust as you seem to have in government, you put all your faith in the accuracy of the media on this story? These cops nearly lost their lives and you put blame on them?
Take a step back into reality and stop sniping at people who are trying to do the right thing.

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