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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

If You Can Read This...Please Don't

A few readers of the earlier blog post, "Taking Down One of Our Own," may have missed my meaning.

February 14, 2012  |  by - Also by this author

Really. Because it's not intended for you. No, this little love letter is meant for someone else. OK, for a couple of people, actually.

If that's the case, then why the hell put it in here? Because, this is where it all begins. How so?

Well, a couple of weeks ago I blogged about the attempted arrest of a Santa Maria (Calif.) Police officer that resulted in his shooting death. I'd like to think that a vast majority of the few thousand—we keep a running tally—who read the piece at least understood where I was coming from even if they didn't always agree with me about the merits of its discussion. Some tactfully communicated as much.

However, if I were to extrapolate anything from the ratio of replies reflecting a sober and lucid understanding of the blog to those whose reflecting a categorical and willful misreading of same, it would be that some background investigators have been a little overzealous in screening out potential Mensans.

But that would be just as imaginative and just as wrong for me as it was for those whose comprehension skills led them to similarly ill-founded conclusions.

Still, I was a little...miffed.

Realizing that I shouldn't personalize the matter, I took a deep breath and a step back. Put yourself in their shoes, I told myself, then proceed accordingly. To further hedge my bet, I decided to wait a couple of weeks so as to tender a calm, measured and reasonable response to those few reading-impaired individuals. So here it goes:

"LOOK, YOU DUMBASSES, THE COLUMN WAS ADDRESSING OFFICER SAFETY ISSUES AS THEY RELATE TO DEALING WITH ARMED MEN AND WOMEN IN OUR RANKS!!!"

Sorry. Was channeling a nimrod in question—one who is seemingly addicted to the font equivalent of shouting.

Theoretically, that should be enough. But then my obvious concerns should not have required any embellishment or elaboration in the first place, and since the imaginations of these few numb skulls know no limits—"I WAS NOT SAYING DON'T ARREST COPS"—I will retreat to an example of a similar situation.

Recently, LAPD detectives were in the process of wrapping up an investigation of one of their own, Det. Stephanie Lazurus, in connection to the decades old murder of Sherri Rasmussen. When it came time to speak with Det. Lazurus, the investigators asked her to come to an interview room to assist in an interrogation. There was no one in the room save for another detective and the only person to be interviewed was Lazurus herself. They had created the pretext knowing that she would be obligated to secure her firearm prior to entering the room.

Re-read that last sentence. The one in the immediately preceding paragraph. The one that is italicized (i.e, it runs in a right-ward slant; "i.e." = "that is"...*sigh*; *sigh* = exhalation of breath borne of frustration, etc.).

Now, if you can't understand the motivation for their charade, then you're a damn Darwin Award candidate, I can't help you, and I sure as hell wouldn't want to be riding in the same car with you (God help the poor bastard that does). Still, and this is very much in the spirit of wanting to illuminate the unilluminatable, I will humor you by spelling out the otherwise obvious reason for their subterfuge:

Because, boys and girls, she just might have tried to shoot their asses, otherwise!

I know that I'm wasting my breath herein on more than sighs as this is the same demographic that actually reads aloud those "gullible" signs and are disappointed in the results. The one's that look around the poker table and can't find the sucker.

Still, I feel somewhat better now.

Happy Valentine's Day.

Tags: Santa Maria (Calif.) PD, Thin Blue Line, LAPD, Officer Misconduct


Comments (16)

Displaying 1 - 16 of 16

G @ 2/14/2012 8:37 PM

I think this is the second post I have ever responded to. I have no idea what all you got in response but it sounds like a lot of people did not get the point. It's clear to me, I'm highly uneducated.
I think you made a comment about the supervisor error, from the top down. That administration put everyone with in range of a bullet at risk
Thanks for letting us know what happened and your view point. Hopefully it did stir conversation and deep thought about tactics.

AusFost1 @ 2/14/2012 9:20 PM

Never dull, Dean! Of course some people didn't get the point of your first article. Some cops just see red at any perceived "criticism". Don't write for the lowest common denominator, the rest of us enjoy your stuff and are capable of logical discussion.

David @ 2/14/2012 9:58 PM

SPOT ON DEAN!!!!! My Wife (Also A Cop) & I Drew The Identical Conclusion You So Clearly Articulated. Drives Me Crazy That Some People Bother To Read An Article Regarding A Topic That They've Already So Closed Minded To The Point That Reading It Was A Waste of Their Time, Only To Have Them Waste My Time Posting A Lengthy, Senseless Argument Just Because They've Always Gotta Have Something To Bitch About. The Scary Part? These Fools Are Using The Same Eyes Wide Shut Approach To Solving Crimes Because They're Already Too Biased From The Get Go!!! KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK DEAN!!!

DaveSAM25G @ 2/14/2012 9:59 PM

One must listen to learn - Rule number#1 if known you want the advantage on your side this was not unknown type action and that would come with an advantage to your side (Risk Assessment), weapons involved etc. How about a contained location and officer disarmed first? I think I will wait on more once investigation moves along but I do disagree with this in the story link "routine in police-involved shootings." no such thing like routine patrol."
Rule #2 If the circumstances permit follow this rushing can be deadly
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVrwHQ9-6ls

(Some wisdom from the old school Ricky Nelson- Fools Rush In (lyrics)

Dean Scoville @ 2/14/2012 10:15 PM

Now, if I can only get you guys to follow directions (see title). (Seriously: A most sincere thanks, and be safe :)

John @ 2/15/2012 5:53 AM

What is the difference of serving a warrant to a police officer or a felon, that a police officer is suppose to be a law abiding citizen that made a mistake.

Trigger @ 2/15/2012 6:17 AM

This can be "what if'ed" to death. We are all human and unfortunately judgement can be errorred. What if, What if....bottom line is that a felon pulled his firearm and shot at an officer and suffered the penality for his lack of judgement. I have witnessed officers arrests, many do not go peacefully. I have had the unfortunate reality of drawing down on off duty officers who were to be arrested on felony warrants knowing full well that they would most likely test us to the fullest before complying. This is not an easy fix, the bottom line is officer safety and you going home. I am sure this will stir up the hornets nest but that is life.

Jack McCann @ 2/15/2012 7:17 AM

I could not believe any supervisor(s) would ask fellow officers to make an arrest as they did in this case. I belive they are responsible for the terrible outcome in this matter. The officers involved will have to deal with what happened for the rest of their lves. I agree with your comments. Some officers apparently have issues with the truth.

Jim @ 2/15/2012 7:45 AM

Right Dean. I need to go back and read some of those comments. You are correct that they should have found a way to get to him while he is unarmed instead of telling him he was under arrest for those charges while out in poublic and in uniform. That was just stupid on thier part and placed so many people in danger and ended up killing the person they wanted to take into custody. Not only that but his best friend was the one that had to drop the hammer on him! Very poor action.

Ryan @ 2/15/2012 11:51 AM

I am as little a fan of stupid comments as you and the majority of your readers are. So, I will not revisit those. I will compliment your restraint and concure that I am also thankful not to have officers that short-sighted around me either.

Scott @ 2/15/2012 3:34 PM

I have just read some very good comments about the aforementioned topic. I remember some advice many years ago and still applies today; "remember every call you go on a gun is involved" and in this arrest it was known that there were a minimum of two guns there. Common sense has always prevailed, it's that some forgot it at the station, when they attempted this arrest and paid the ultimate for the lack there of.

Good article Dan.

Mark Tarte @ 2/16/2012 4:28 PM

Dean, good column. Officer safety, as you pointed out again, was the subject of your original column and of course you weren't saying NOT to arrest a fellow officer. I knew what you meant and if you believe my old sergeant, I ain't the sharpest tool in the shed either. Good work as usual.

Dean Scoville @ 2/17/2012 4:16 PM

I want to thank those who have posted herein (hi, Mark :). Chapter closed.

piepr @ 2/17/2012 11:56 PM

I concur with Ryan above. Excellent articles. It does make one wonder who trained the folks you speak of in the second article ? Or maybe the lack of ? I would surmise they still won't get it. Sad.

gp cobb @ 2/22/2012 5:04 PM

Thanks Dean, conversely, you are throwing "Pearls to Pigs" if they didn't get it the first time, unlikely to succeed the second. No pun intended. ,,,,, Otherwise, you are spot on......

RRocco @ 2/23/2012 6:22 AM

The problem was that the internl affiars officers were with the juvenile female, who was now getting texts from the officer who was indicating that he would rather die then go to jail....so now you have an armed suspect who is making suicidal comments, there is no longer the luxury of making up a pretext situation. They brought some of his closest friends and did not want him to get into his patrol car and leave...they appraoched him and he acted as he did. Im thinking that this scenario developed very quickly leaving the investigators without many options. Of course the best scenario is getting him off duty, and un armed...as in any arrest. But some times the suspects are armed and you have to take them into custody, uniform or not....

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