“Don’t Rape” training

Marc MacYoung has an interesting post on his blog from back in 2012:

http://macyoungsmusings.blogspot.com/2012_10_01_archive.html

…as usual, its blunt and controversial but contains a core of truth. The current climate surrounding “rape education” does seem to focus on trying to “train men” not to rape vs teaching women risk reduction behaviors. Attempts to do so commonly seem to result in accusations of “blaming victims” who have already been raped. Personally I find that reaction odd when compared to self defense training of any other sort. If one were to teach “robbery prevention” I don’t think there would be a huge uproar that you were blaming robbery victims for being victims.

Now. I’m not saying that both approaches at the same time would be necessarily bad. Or that reminding boys/men (this is usually in a college setting) about what consent is is wrong and I don’t think it’s necessarily wrong to train women how to avoid risky situations.

Like this case.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local…256a1e-10d3-11e3-bdf6-e4fc677d94a1_story.html

In a nutshell…the victim states she went to a party and got intoxicated. She had consensual sex with one guy that evening and a different guy when she awoke the following morning. She found out later that she had sex/was raped (depending on unknown facts) by three midshipmen in between those contacts.

At issue is her condition at the time and if it was consensual. The common understanding (what most people assume) is that if she didn’t remember it than she must have been unconscious and these guys took advantage of an unconscious victim. However….its also possible that she was “conscious”…speaking…and giving these guys the impression this contact was indeed consensual. Alcoholic “blackouts” don’t equate to unconsciousness.

What would the legal issues be if both male and female parties were intoxicated enough to not recall the previous nights happenings? Is the male party still guilty of rape?

The males in this situation may have benefited from some sort of training about intoxication and sexual consent and the female may have benefited from training about the risks of intoxication and sexual victimization.

This is not to condone (by ANY means) those situations where men do indeed know the female is too intoxicated to consent…charge em and convict em. But if a guy is the type of person to do that I highly doubt that a class telling him that was wrong would be much more than a PC waste of time. Women need to protect themselves from people and situations like that. I don’t want any of my daughters to be at the mercy of assuming a guy has been “properly trained” not to rape. If he needs that type of explanation in the first place I wouldn’t want them associating with him. We cant “train” being a good person into a man through anything other than a good lifelong upbringing, and we don’t get it in an hour long class given by a dorm RA that’s for damn sure….the idea that a public service announcement level of “don’t rape guys” is going to accomplish anything is pie in the sky reasoning. If it’s not common sense that a passed out girl is not a target for sex then that person has more issues going on than “poor training”.

I want women to be safe. I don’t think that shutting down discussion of personal safety issues by screaming “YOU ARE BLAMING THE VICTIM” advances the issue at all. We ALL make mistakes..that’s why in the LE/MIL world we have after action reviews (AAR’s) we point out where we made mistakes and hope to learn from it so that we don’t repeat them. It’s not a matter of assigning blame.

 

To Protect and Serve

“Protect and Serve” was a motto devised by the LAPD in the 50’s, it was never really intended to be used as THE definition for the role of police in society.

While I would like to protect everyone and everything from harm that’s simply not possible and while I do provide a public “service” I’m no individual persons “servant” I am a Public Servant.

When it comes down to definitions, criminology texts state that the Police are around for (1) preventing crime, (2) investigating crimes and apprehending criminals, (3) maintaining order, and (4) providing other miscellaneous services. Which cover things like making your kids go to school because you don’t know how to, getting Raccoon’s out of attics and taking vehicle collision reports.

My “no individuals servant” thing is directed at the “I pay your salary so do what I want” types. I serve the entirety of my jurisdiction. I’m not YOUR servant…so to speak.

The job is more complex than what a slogan can encompass.

I would even add that I’m not solely a “public servant” for the taxpayers of my jurisdiction…

I owe a visitor from another State passing through my Town the same level of service as I do the people who “pay my salary”.

martial art or art form?

I find Kyudo an interesting art and an interesting subject for discussion of the term “martial art”. While Kyudo has its roots in combat archery and does use a weapon, it is obviously a spiritual and meditative pursuit rather than a combative skill. While Kyudo is called a “martial art”, I doubt that any Kyudo practitioner has delusions of being “combat effective” or believe that they are training in an art that will provide them with “street survival” skills. However I do believe that there are practitioners of various stylistic, meditative and “traditional” arts that DO believe such things. These are the people who believe that working on their “Chi” rather than their punching skills or physical conditioning will help them survive a confrontation. They are the people who think that a fight will somehow adhere to the protocols they follow at the dojo. These are the people who equate “martial art” with “combatives”.  A Kyudo practitioner is not the same as a historic Japanese combat archer. A sport fencing master is not automatically someone who could survive a real sword fight and a master in a “martial art” who has never faced a resisting opponent should not be presumed to be more likely to prevail against someone who has.

than to remove all doubt: entrapment

I hear this all the time. That’s entrapment! You cant to that..that’s entrapment. I’ll have your job, that’s entrapment. I’ll be on the street tomorrow, that’s entrapment. While the last one may be true, it probably wont be because you were entrapped by the Police.

Every State has different definitions and Laws, but in general entrapment is a practice whereby a law enforcement agent induces a person to commit a criminal offense that the person would have otherwise been unlikely or unwilling to commit.

A simple example. I put an unlocked bike on a street corner and watch it waiting for someone to steal it. That’s not entrapment. If I point it out to you and say “hey I’ll give you $200 if you swipe that bike over there.” then I arrest you when you take it…that’s entrapment.

Speed Traps are not entrapment. Unless I pull a Dukes of Hazzards (dating myself there) and put up a speed limit sign that flips from 70 MPH to 30 MPH at the push of a button.

Entrapment is associated with the common idea that an undercover cop has to identity him or herself as a LEO if asked, otherwise they are entrapping you. That’s simply not the case. Entrapment does NOT mean that you were duped into getting caught committing a crime you intended/wanted to commit . Entrapment means that the police persuaded or coerced you to commit a crime you had no intention of committing before they approached you.

If you intended to buy the drugs or exchange sex for money when you walked in you are not being entrapped. You just didn’t intend to get caught. And you have no Constitutional right to not get caught. What the police did was provide you with the “opportunity” to buy (or sell) sex or drugs, they did not to force you or convince you to do so.

than to speak and remove all doubt: would I lie to you?

Yup.

Specifically I am talking about the fairly common Myth that if you ask an undercover cop if he/she is a cop that he/she HAS to tell you.

I don’t know where this myth originated but I see it all the time, almost ALWAYS in prostitution investigations. I wonder if it’s just “talismanic thinking”?

In reality the Police can lie about all sorts of things. “We have your fingerprints.” “Your partner just gave you up.” etc. that’s all good police work. Where a good cop NEVER lies is in court, on his/her reports and paperwork or before a judge (ex. when getting a warrant).

I think this idea (that Cops cant lie about being cops) goes hand in hand with misunderstanding what Entrapment is. Ill talk about THAT another time.

than to speak and to remove all doubt: Miranda Warnings

You didn’t read me my rights!=I’m clueless about criminal procedure and really think that this means my arrest is invalid and you have to let me go.

If I had a dime for every time I heard it…..you need custody AND interrogation to require Miranda. That means Miranda only matters if I have arrested or detained you against your will AND I start asking you questions that I plan to use against you in court.

If you are free to go and/or I didn’t ask you a question, Miranda isn’t needed.

Anything you say to an officer before you’re taken into custody—and read your Miranda rights—can be used in a court of law, which includes interviews where a person is free to leave the premises, and things said at the scene of a crime.

Even if I interrogated you without Miranda, all that really means is that the stuff you said can’t be used as evidence. It doesn’t “make your arrest invalid”. If the words you said are essential to my case it can kill any chance of a conviction, but it’s not a “magic unarrester”. So..don’t embarrass yourself in Court by telling the Judge that he has to let you go and dismiss all charges because the Police Officer didn’t read your your rights.

The state of affairs

Well. After a little hiatus I’ve decided to start writing again. We will see how long it lasts. One of the last drafts I typed was over two years ago and you can read it below. Sadly, much of what I was trying to express in 2016 is still in play in early 2019.
 
Alright. This may be long and I don’t know if anyone is going to bother reading it but here it goes.
 
This week marks the 16th anniversary of the day I was sworn in as a police officer. I managed to work one year before the world changed in 2001 and almost 14 years before the shooting in Ferguson started the social/political/media narrative my profession currently finds itself in.
 
In that time I’ve seen many things, experienced many things, done many things, and have at least a small amount of insight into the LE side of the current “conversation”, if you can call it that. Unfortunately the media, the public (influenced by media) and the politicians seem to be the dominant voices.
 
First off, let me say unequivocally that there are “bad cops” out there and sometimes there are just inept cops…or what I call “delivering the mail” cops. There are poorly trained cops and there are cops that don’t take their training seriously. Anyone who has ever been in the military has seen the spectrum of “soldiers” that serve…anyone who has ever worked with any large group of people knows that no profession is immune from the “screw-ups”.
 
BUT. This whole “they”-thing and “THE Police” and all the other universal adjectives in play are a load of crap. A different conversation with words like “those people” or “your people” or “those types” associated with race or sexual preference would immediately be jumped on as racist, sexist, or some other “ist” and rightfully so. But everyone (seemingly) seems very willing to say “The Police” have some sort of universal responsibility for the actions of individuals, or even entire departments other than their own. It’s the bizarre “logic” that leads people to “understand” how a guy in Dallas winds up shooting PEOPLE for actions neither they nor their employer had any responsibility for.
 
It seems like folks believe “WE” are some sort of uniform, nationalized force…and that when one officer #$%&@’s up that somehow means we all do, or would do, the same thing. Police service is very local in terms of quality. Large Metro PD’s are nothing like my Mid-Size agency which is nothing like a small 8 man PD.
 
But. One thing people in LE do have in common is that we all have to deal with people in fairly similar situations. While how we may handle it may differ, taking an armed person into custody is what it is. Walking up to a car occupied by a guy you think may be an armed robbery suspect feels the same to a cop in Anchorage as it does to one in Miami.
 
Why do I say this? Hopefully to help people understand why most cops wont knee-jerk declare some of these recent shootings as “bad”. Many of us know that what we see on the television or the phone/computer screen (or in the Ferguson case simply a false narrative pumped out incessantly by the media)  is not the entire story. We (cops) can often times see how a shooting that appears unjustified to the uninitiated could POSSIBLY be justified.