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Mark Clark

Mark Clark

Mark Clark is the public information officer for a law enforcement agency in the southwest. He is also a photographer and contributor to POLICE Magazine.
Patrol

When This Guy Says He Wants Someone Decisive, Believe Him

Ruminations on a deputy who's glad his partner shot at him, and other odds and ends.

December 08, 2009  |  by - Also by this author

I recall a conversation I had about a decade ago with a Los Angeles Sheriff's Department Century Station deputy who'd been shot by his partner earlier that week.

They'd chased a robbery suspect to the front porch of a house where the deputy had attempted to detain the perp at gunpoint. But the suspect pushed himself off the door and spun, grabbing onto the barrel of the deputy's gun as he did. A round discharged, creating a non-injurious through-and-through of the suspect's shirt.

Nonetheless, the perp yelled, "You shot me!" while the deputy protested that he had not. Throughout their "you-shot-me"/"no-I-didn't" debate, they wrestled for control of the deputy's sidearm.

The deputy's partner, hearing the gunshot and not knowing who the hell had been shot, angled for a shot of his own. He thought he had one and took it.

He ended up blowing a hole through the first deputy's arm.

Somehow, they were able to get the asshole suspect in custody.

While the prognosis looked good for the injured deputy's arm, the incident was apparently tearing at his partner. But while he wasn't happy at having been shot - he would have preferred that his partner had gone for a contact shot, but feels he did the best he could given the confines of the situation - the deputy said something that stuck with me.

"I thank God my partner had the balls to do what he had to do," he said. "I'd rather he take it than hesitate and get me or both of us killed. I still want to work with him. He's my partner, and any guys that are out there talking shit or Monday morning quarterbacking the guy can kiss my ass."

Just some food for thought.

We now venture from men of action to...

...men of no action...

When San Francisco's district attorney's office proved lax in prosecuting some gang members for firing upon a funeral procession, one SFPD cop - who happened to be on a federal task force - went to the U.S. Attorney's office and got the feds to pick up the case.

Now, two of the three defendants - who thought they'd successfully weaseled out a deal - are S.O.L. thanks in part to the third who refused to go along with the program and pissed the cop off enough that he did the fed thing. I like stories with happy endings.

Fatal Fashion

Elsewhere on the policing front, some fellow LASD types feel that the ambush shooting of Dep. Abel Escalante here in Los Angeles was not due to his profession; rather, it was because he fit a profile: young male Hispanic with a shaved head in largely Hispanic area - an assumed gang member.

They believe that the shooter, upon finding that his victim was actually a deputy sheriff, then created a back story to further aggrandize himself to his homies, bragging that he'd killed a cop.

Accurate or not, the scenario serves as a reminder that how we dress may inadvertently put us in harm's way. When Madison Avenue and Hollywood co-opted the shaved head gang banger look and made it fashionable, they sure as hell weren't doing us any favors...

Checking Plates

Kudos to the Anaheim (Calif.) PD cop who checked on a car with paper plates that was parked to the rear of a hotel. He found that the vehicle had been taken incident to a double homicide some months before and someone had obviously been taking care of the vehicle since. Within a day, the outstanding murder suspect was in custody.

The Anaheim arrest comes less than two months after an alleged serial killer was captured after an alert Milwaukee officer spotted his car at a motel. Walter E. Ellis was charged in the deaths of two of nine believed victims. Ellis' DNA had been found on the bodies of nine women killed between 1986 and 2007. Investigators believe eight of the women were prostitutes and one was a runaway.

Such cases serve as reminders for hotel vigilance and how doing little things such as checking the VINs on automobiles can pay huge dividends.

Videos

Across the pond, hundreds of our U.K. brethren are being sent to a course "to mind their P's and Q's" after a surge in complaints about incivility. I wonder if this wasn't a case of the officers being taken to task for being culturally sensitive in dealing with idiots and responding in kind.

Hey, it's as though they're all right-assed and stiff upper lipped in the U.K. They get a bang out of stupid criminals, too (here, we just elect them to office),

Kudos to the Eustis, Fla., cop who shot the asshole that grabbed her TASER.

I only wish she'd gotten off the round before he used the weapon on her. It's not the first time a cop's shot a TASER-grabbing moron, and it won't be the last. Use of TASERs against law enforcement personnel should always be deemed tantamount to assault with a deadly weapon because of its capacity to render the officer vulnerable to a gun takeaway.

Since I'm throwing up links, here's one of my favorites that I never get tired of watching. It's one of my heroes, Gary Delanges, giving the S.F. locals the what's what.

Be cautious when handling your evidence. NEVER allow a suspect to get his or her hands on anything that might send their ass to prison. Given the chance, they'll toss it, break it, or eat it as shown in this video of an arrest of a robbery suspect in Streetsboro, Ohio.

News Bits:

The 73-year old who got arrested for tagging must have seen that Pepsi commercial ("What else haven't I done?"). Glad to see he hadn't worked his way up to drive-by's before getting arrested.

Every time I think the feds are a little overly vigilant in going after our own I end up reading something like this.

The big news that makes my day:

Thanks to legislation approved by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, broadcasters will now be required to turn down the volume on television commercials. In short, the volume of TV ads will not be allowed to exceed the volume of the programs during which they air. About friggin' time.

Recommended Reading

I want to recommend that cops sign up for a great newsletter available through Wynn Sullivan. A sample of a recent newsletter's contents:

  • Handbags conceal weapons
  • 12 Supreme Court Cases affecting police
  • Ninja Whipbelt
  • GPS device contains razor
  • GPS use by drug traffickers
  • Random shooting incidents

To be added to this law enforcement/military list contact:

Wynn Sullivan, Director (Georgia LEO), Wynn.Sullivan@armstrong.edu

Tell him I sent you.

Shorthand

Got to thinking about our profession's unique parlance; more specifically, its shorthand.

Some deputies characterize our living brain dead contestants as a case of NHI - No Humans Involved. Some are more regional in nature, but out here in Pravda West, we have:

SOL = Shit Outta Luck

GBI = Great Bodily Injury

HUA = Head Up Ass

Adam Henry = Nancy Pelosi

Pissing backwards = Pulling a Kerik

Shit-canned = Trashed, as in a trainee's report, or the last Republican Party donation request I got (when they start acting smarter, I'll start donating again)

Any others I missed?

Tags: L.A. County Sheriff, Pursuing Suspects, Stupid Criminals, Police Humor


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