London cop's Facebook: "Can't wait to bash" G20 protestors

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115 Responses to “London cop's Facebook: "Can't wait to bash" G20 protestors”

  1. Narmitaj says:

    Antinous @ 79 “Does he carry a weapon for his job? Is it within his normal job description to subdue beauty pageant runners-up?”

    No, I wouldn’t have thought so, but I must admit I haven’t read his job description.

    “Has anyone in his office beaten a contestant to death in the last month?”

    I doubt it, but more relevant is whether someone in his office beats a contestant to death in the coming weeks or even years.

    If he does become Home Secretary next year, as he wants, he will be head of the Home Office and thusresponsible for the police and so any police death-causing, whether of beauty contestants or not, would be indeed be “in his office”.

  2. Anonymous says:

    #10 Mokey

    Is that -really- funny? It’s a good pun but it’s a bad thing, if it said “we get up early, to GAS the Jews” it wouldn’t be considered good taste and for very good reason.

    Public servants hurting citizens and thinking it funny is not “pretty fucking funny”

  3. teb says:

    It’s not just the police who like to beat hippies. This is from a few years ago:

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article515384.ece

    Rindan, it wasn’t just London cops. Officers get brought in from across the country.

  4. soupisgoodfood says:

    I agree with others that it’s probably just dark humor, but he really should have considered what it would look like for him to say such a thing on the internet, rather than as something to say to between colleagues.

  5. Rindan says:

    Great, and if Ian Tomlinson was beaten by this guy, go ahead and merrily use it as evidence. That isn’t the point though. If all that you need to declare an organization horrible is one asshole, any organization with more than two people is probably horrible. I can say with pretty good confidence that there isn’t a police force, company, organization, or associations of humans in the world with of more than a 20 people that doesn’t have an asshole in it. Again, do you REALLY want the protesters to be judged based upon dumb shit that the worst members said and did?

    This is sensationalist crap. This is the worthless junk that the media loves to pump out these days because it is cheap and easy. Reporting the surly sardonic Facebook status of a random London grunt is easy. Doing real investigative journalism is hard. This junk rates right up there with Paris Hilton updates… stupid, dumb, easy, and cheap shit the media can pump out that doesn’t take an ounce of talent, effort, or (probably most importantly) money to do.

    I’m not saying that bad things didn’t happen during the protests. I am saying that this kind of “reporting” is worthless. Post a worthwhile investigation in the abuses that happened. Link to a video of a bad incident so that people can see for themselves what happened, but reporting on someones Facebook status update!? Wow. You have achieved the level of journalism excellence of a Fox morning show. Congrats.

    Try this more honest headline on for size, “London cop about to suit up in riot gear posts smirky comment about his day job.” Holy shit. Wow. That is totally news.

  6. Inkstain says:

    It’s not being a private security guard to investigate individuals who commit a real crime.

    It’s as if a small group of people want all the publicity benefits of civil disobedience and none of the real consequences.

  7. Inkstain says:

    And it’s completely dishonest to characterize it as the police looking for wrong beliefs, whether you were putting it quotes or not.

    They were looking for beliefs that may help show motivation for committing the crime. That’s not the same as deeming the beliefs wrong.

  8. teb says:

    Where is the evidence that this police officer ‘participated in the assaults’ anyway?

  9. Kyle Armbruster says:

    Dammit, Rindan, I was scrolling down to jump on the dog pile accumulating on top of you, and then you write a really nice argument for your position.

    Well played, sir. Well played.

    Granted, I think that at least 50% of most police organizations are made up of this kind of asshole, but your point is taken nonetheless.

  10. Takuan says:

    crimes against the poor go uninvestigated and unpunished. Ask any poor.

    They were looking for beliefs? If you can’t see the evil there…..

  11. ghostofcain says:

    Sure it appears to be parody, unless you subsequently go out and assault protesters when it appears to be intent!

  12. Inkstain says:

    “They were looking for beliefs? If you can’t see the evil there…..”

    It’s not evil to investigate the motive for a crime.

    “crimes against the poor go uninvestigated and unpunished. Ask any poor.”

    now that I agree with. This is clearly your pet cause, because if anyone disagrees with you about the gravity of one issue, you start bringing in completely unrelated issues.

  13. Dave Rattigan says:

    Is there any evidence that the policeman who posted the comment “participated in the assaults”? Or is “being a Met cop” now synonymous with “participated in the assaults”?

  14. Takuan says:

    in time (and with sufficient beatings) you will see the grand inter-connectedness of all things.

    Beliefs and motives for crimes, can’t you feel the earth under your feet cracking? Think it through. While you are still permitted to have your own thoughts.

  15. Telecustard says:

    If all that you need to declare an organization horrible is one asshole, any organization with more than two people is probably horrible. I can say with pretty good confidence that there isn’t a police force, company, organization, or associations of humans in the world with of more than a 20 people that doesn’t have an asshole in it. Again, do you REALLY want the protesters to be judged based upon dumb shit that the worst members said and did?

    Did anyone on the BBC or this blog declare this organization horrible for this officers comment?

    No.

    Is using “Every police force has assholes in it, so don’t judge them badly because OMG WON”T SOMEONE THINK OF THE PROTESTERS!” as a defense rather bizarre?

    Yes.

    Why expend so much energy trying to tell us “nothing to see here”? Why go into automatic full-on-apologist mode unless it’s your job?

    Say, Rindan. This wouldn’t be your job now would it?

  16. Inkstain says:

    As a law-abiding citizen, I don’t worry about the police as currently constituted in my country. in 27 years, never had a problem with them. They did give me two speeding tickets I completely deserved.

    As an active participant in my democracy, I’m not worried about them becoming anything more onerous than they already are, because I believe that effective channels for change are in place when needed (and it’s not a bunch of silly protests).

  17. Anonymous says:

    This arsehole needs to be struck off. The police really don’t need idiots like this in their ranks.

  18. Takuan says:

    cite those “effective” channels then.

  19. iamanangelchaser says:

    This is just black humor, which is a classic coping mechanism amongst soldiers, cops, emergency personnel, and others who have to deal with horrible things as routine job duties. Cops do not look forward to riot control duty, as it is utterly terrifying. Humor helps them get by.

  20. Padraig says:

    113 posted by soupisgoodfood, April 27, 2009 12:31 AM

    I’d agree. The comment by the police officer is contextual to his position and the responsibilities of police officers in general.

    It is not the same as a politician appearing in a TV comedy show of some form.

    The person is expressing a personal opinion which, though likely meant as humourous, displays poor judgement. These are not subjects about which people in his position should satirise or make light of in such a manner. Again, it displays poor judgement and allowing such things to pass uncommented is a bad move.

    None of us really know if the person was serious – as in “I really think this is okay because they deserve it” – but either way they need to be careful about expressing such comments.

    Even if in humour it damages the reputation of police in general and leaves open the questions as to whether the author really is as stupid and violent as their commment presents them.

    Added to this is the fact that they occupy a position which gives them certain authority which others don’t have and about which they need to excercise good judgement, care and attention and ensure they are not exposed to claims of stupidity and thoughtlessness and about which they should not be facetious.

  21. Cowicide says:

    Twenty minutes later another Facebook user (via 420chan) posted a reply that said: “Dats bad but good in da same way lol [laugh out loud].”

  22. Cowicide says:

    This is just black humor, which is a classic coping mechanism amongst soldiers, cops, emergency personnel, and others who have to deal with horrible things as routine job duties. Cops do not look forward to riot control duty, as it is utterly terrifying. Humor helps them get by.

    What do you mean by “black” humor?

  23. cosanostradamus says:

    .
    Brings to mind the droogies who became millicents in “A Clockwork Orange.”
    .

  24. highlyverbal says:

    @ # 21…

    “What do you mean by “black” humor?”

    Go to Google, type in ‘black humor’ and click on the first link that comes up. Y’know, the ol’ bare minimum.

  25. Cowicide says:

    Go to Google, type in ‘black humor’ and click on the first link that comes up. Y’know, the ol’ bare minimum.

    What do you mean by “bare”?

  26. Alex_M says:

    Okay, at least one cop at G20 was a royal asshole. Well we knew that.

    To be honest, I’m sure at least one protester was there looking forward to hurling rocks at cops, too.

    Assholes come in all colors.

  27. strider_mt2k says:

    #12 has it.

    It’s a “click generator”.

  28. Cowicide says:

    I’m sure at least one protester was there looking forward to hurling rocks at cops, too.

    I’m not so sure.

  29. Anonymous says:

    No, I don’t think the comment demonstrates intent … it sure does show bad judgment though, and I think it’s reasonable to be concerned about a cop with bad judgment.

  30. buddy66 says:

    Post his home address on his Facebook page. No comment, just a posting. His family’s names too.

  31. z7q2 says:

    @54, I wouldn’t give into fear, I’d go to the show, behave, mind my own business, have fun, and if some security guy beat me, I’d have him arrested and sue the venue. I’d probably make out very well too and get the guy thrown in jail because his beat-down was premeditated.

    Back in the good old days my friend was at a Dead Kennedy’s show at Trenton’s City Gardens. A fight broke out and while standing on the sidelines watching it, some security guy grabbed him and punched him in the face, splitting his lip, giving him a scar he has to this day. He sued the venue and walked away with a nice pile of money.

  32. Xopher says:

    Cosanostradamus 22: Brings to mind the droogies

    ‘Droog’ is Russian for ‘friend’. Most of the ACW slang is derived from Russian. It has nothing to do (in terms of word origin) with drugs.

    Extremely cool posting name, btw.

  33. Narmitaj says:

    Hanglyman @ 70 “This is like a politician jokingly blogging about taking a bribe”

    Alan Duncan, Tory shadow Leader of the House [of Commons] made a joke on BBC TV (in a comedy/satire programme about the news, “Have I Got News For You?”) this week about Miss California, who he called a silly bitch and said “If you read that Miss California is murdered you will know it was me” (he is gay and she’s against same sex marriage). This probably was a tad unprofessional, especially as he’d like to be Home Secretary in the next Conservative government. But it probably doesn’t count as incitement to murder.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Does he carry a weapon for his job? Is it within his normal job description to subdue beauty pageant runners-up? Has anyone in his office beaten a contestant to death in the last month?

  34. Anonymous says:

    Rather ashamed that I was convinced by the “one of the policemen who participated in the assaults” line, until a commenter pointed out there’s no actual evidence cited for that… I blame the fact I’ve been mostly reading academic papers recently, where you can count on every statement of fact being backed up with a directly referenced source. God, I wish the media did that.

    So, if this guy subsequently assaulted someone, this is news. If he didn’t, he still shouldn’t have posted the message in public – but whether it reflects a cavalier attitude to brutality, or is just gallows humour about a no doubt unpleasant situation, is pretty ambiguous.

  35. Tom Hale says:

    No matter how careful you are, if you beat enough protesters at least one of them will probably die. But I suppose this is the kind of risk a police officer must be willing to take when he signs up for the job.

    Seriously, whether he meant it or not, it was moronic for the officer to make this kind of post on a public FB account. He should be suspended or transfered to their PR office for a while.

  36. Inkstain says:

    BB’s desperate gotcha game with police is getting embarrassing and tired.

    It’s gone from legitimate watchdog to fringe complaintant to tin-foiled loon.

    Next up: London policeman feels brief rush of adrenaline when clashing with violent man. How dare he enjoy it?

  37. Takuan says:

    meanwhile, Mr. Ian Tomlinson is still dead.

  38. Moriarty says:

    It’s a good thing none of those protesters ever say anything hateful or violent about cops, eh gang?

  39. hassan-i-sabbah says:

    And this is news.Miners strike,Beanfields…this shit has been going on for fucking years..”same fucking lies with depressing frequency”

  40. shiva7663 says:

    Is “hippy” really a good description of the current crop of anti-globalist protesters? I was under the impression that real first-generation hippies were mostly apolitical; but then again, I don’t have first-hand experience of that, since I’m at that awkward age where I’m too young to be a first-generation hippy, yet too old to be a goth….

  41. Anonymous says:

    shiva @ 82 – pre-punk, punk or post-punk?

  42. redrichie says:

    I’m not one to say “yah boo sucks , police” without provocation. But it strikes me that the police can do better than this.

    A disparate bunch of hippies turn up in London: “Oh noes! A drum circle may break out!”

    I don’t doubt that there will be provocative elements within the protest groups, but they will be in a minority and it would seem to me that a better response to protest, even provocation, would be one of calm and restraint. If you start to corral large numbers of people into small areas and hold them there for hours on end (“kettling” I believe it’s called) then once a wee scrap starts it will quickly get out of control and any goodwill the police may have will be lost.

    The police are public servants not the governments own paramilitary force used to crush dissent.

    Of course part of the problem is that, on both sides of the story, the media coverage is fairly idiotic.

  43. hassan-i-sabbah says:

    I’ve been to a quite a few demos/strikes/actions/protests over the years and can safely say that the “MET” are the most aggressive, conflict decided bunch of cnts in the UK police forces.I’ve also known some really good people who were and still are police and they agree and have reinforced this belief.Brendan Behan said something like “I’ve never seen situation that bad that it could not be made worse by the intervention of the police”
    The London Met make most other UK forces look like paragons of virtue.comparatively.

  44. mannakiosk says:

    “It’s a good thing none of those protesters ever say anything hateful or violent about cops, eh gang?”

    Well, the cops are the ones with the sticks and shields and the law and the prisons and the government and the money (behind them, I’m sure their wages aren’t that great) and so forth.

    The little person is morally allowed to call the fascist lackeys names. The fascist lackeys aren’t allowed to … well anything, really.

  45. buddy66 says:

    #82, You’re just the right age to learn how to spell *hippie*. A “hippy” is a hippie with a fat ass.

    #83, You’re international now, so know the “c” word is not welcome here.

  46. Anonymous says:

    buddy – a hippy is a “hippie” in the uk…

  47. regularfry says:

    @101, that wouldn’t do you much good if you died from internal bleeding as a result of the assault.

    I’ll come out and say it: we in the UK actually have a pretty damn good police service, compared to some in the world. For instance, people don’t, in general, get bumped off by police officers with impunity; deaths in police custody are rare. Corruption is taken very seriously. They’ve turned down a general deployment of Tasers, and stymied the Home Office’s attempts to force them out. The governance and management of the police has improved immeasurably over the last 30 or so years.

    It’s *usually* something we can be proud of. I think that it’s because this is unusual, and so worrying if it indicates a trend, that everybody is getting so worked up about it. If it does indicate a trend, then getting worked up is exactly the right response, because we, as a society, should be better than that.

  48. Takuan says:

    as free citizens, you should demand your freedom. Yes, the UK is a far cry from say life under the Stasi. That doesn’t mean you should see that as some kind of special privilege.

  49. noen says:

    @ Rindan #12
    “I can say with pretty good confidence that there isn’t a police force, company, organization, or associations of humans in the world with of more than a 20 people that doesn’t have an asshole in it. Again, do you REALLY want the protesters to be judged based upon dumb shit that the worst members said and did?”

    Yes, when a member of an organization commits murder, or any crime, and the official representatives of the organization justify or otherwise rationalize that behavior then yes, I think we have a right to form a collective judgment about that organization.

    And yes, that goes for protesters too. If a protest organization conspires to commit murder, or any crime, then those guilty of that crime should be brought to justice. If the protest organization then seeks to justify or otherwise rationalize that behavior then yes, I think we have a right to form a collective judgment about that organization.

    See? That wasn’t so hard was it?

    Gotta love symmetry.

  50. The Life Of Bryan says:

    As offensive as I find that particular status update, I have to side with those who think it’s just poor judgement and juvenile humor. Shortly before seeing this thread I saw a status update from an acquaintance who happens to be a local cop: “just wants to fall asleep so he can go shoot people in the morning, but he’s not tired”

  51. BBNinja says:

    After senselessly beating a man to death, London PC’s demonstrate the wrong way to use Facebook. Bong!

  52. Tumble says:

    I do wonder though what we would feel if we had facebook in those dark preinternet days. Say before weighing into the Brixton riots:

    “Rob Ward can’t wait to bash some up @ Brixton.”

    Or perhaps during the troubles in N. Ireland

    “Rob Ward can’t wait to bash some paddys up @ belfast.”

    Or to take it out of the UK and put it in the US; how about if this facebook status appeared during the LA riots,

    “Rob Ward can’t wait to bash some up @ South Central.”

    Any prejudice in any industry is news worthy and worthy of our debate.

  53. BBNinja says:

    Why don’t the police in the UK just be real and roll out the SS armbands like they want to?

  54. Rindan says:

    Did anyone on the BBC or this blog declare this organization horrible for this officers comment?

    I am pretty sure that is implication. If it isn’t, that make this post even more stupid then, doesn’t it? We are just reporting on random Facebook status updates with no point? Hey, I just updated my status to, “It’s a nice day, I’m going to the Cambridge Science Fair!” quick… call the BBC.

    Is using “Every police force has assholes in it, so don’t judge them badly because OMG WON”T SOMEONE THINK OF THE PROTESTERS!” as a defense rather bizarre?

    No, it is called having intellectual honesty. The position that some cop’s sarcastic Facebook update is news worthy is absurd and the inverse would never be posted. You wouldn’t have a protester’s asinine Facebook status update posted as news because you would recognize it as the non-news worthy junk that it is, but because some random cop grunt is feeling snarky and we don’t like London cops, that suddenly becomes news. Just because you agree or disagree with something doesn’t mean you need to toss your brain out the window when it comes to dealing with evidence.

    Why expend so much energy trying to tell us “nothing to see here”? Why go into automatic full-on-apologist mode unless it’s your job?

    Say, Rindan. This wouldn’t be your job now would it?

    OMG. You caught me. You saw through my evil plan, which was apparently to be a paid shill who would build a profile a year or two in advance of the protests and then crap out a thousand or so posts on unrelated topics, all waiting for this moment on this day when I get to call posting a cops sarcastic Facebook update as the asinine non-news item that it is… That, or the most basic effort of just Googling “site:boingboing.net rindan” would show that is a very stupid claim or institutionalization worthy paranoid delusion.

    Nope. I am pretty sure I really just strongly dislike people going from vaguely rational humans to complete slavering morons just because we hit on a topic they care about and they start treating their beliefs like religion. I am sure that on any other day we would all recognize sarcastic Facebook updates about people’s jobs as the stupid non-news items and a sign of a sad and pathetic media coping out from doing real journalism. Unfortunately, because we are talking about the protests and cops, this goes from the obvious absurdity that it is into the territory of religion. Everyone’s brain falls onto the floor, and we start OMGing with outrage. OMG! Cop posts sarcastic update! Quick! Call the media!

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Rindan,

      Please refraining from characterizing people who disagree with you as slavering morons. That sort of thing rebounds.

  55. hassan-i-sabbah says:

    Xophfer-Cheers for the correction,It was late I was tired.Antinous,Buddy 66 ‘pologies for the “language”
    Auld Nora died last week.Quite a wake at The leith dockers club.

  56. Takuan says:

    what did you think of #36 and #37, Rindan?

  57. Xopher says:

    Leader of the Hashishin, according to this site, the quote is

    I have never seen a situation so dismal that a policeman couldn’t make it worse.
                       -Brendan Behan

  58. Tom Hale says:

    Off topic: I’ve read a LOT of bad words on BB – and I wouldn’t place the C word in the top 5 most offensive words allowed here. It seems pretty mild to me in comparison to some of the other words allowed. Why is it such an offensive word to you?

  59. hassan-i-sabbah says:

    Where I come from the “C” word is regarded as punctuation…

  60. presto says:

    I would pay good money to see cops tase some of their unquestioning supporters. Tasers are all the rage, and completely safe, right? I can think of a few people I’d volunteer…

  61. Takuan says:

    read the moderation thread, it’s a long and tedious history.

  62. Inkstain says:

    I think #36 and #37 prove that the original post that sparked this discussion is completely asinine.

    Those are examples of real police abusive behavior, a facebook status update is not.

  63. Xopher says:

    Tom Hale, it’s one of the few words that have the power to turn a conversation stupid instantly. But Takuan is right, it’s all explained in the Moderation thread (and the other two words banned utterly from BB are given there as well).

  64. Inkstain says:

    Actually, I take that back. 36 was way out of line.

    I’m having problem seeing the outrageousness of 37. A person committed a crime, the police searched his house for evidence, took anything that might be useful and later returned it. Does that about sum it up?

  65. Anonymous says:

    How lovely that our entire political dialog is now conducted in aimspeak. The future is now. Idiots.

  66. Tom Hale says:

    Thank you Xopher, Takuan – Months ago when I searched for the elusive mythical forbidden words it seemed I had to solve some sort of riddle (or worse) to find them out. I’ll Check again. -I hope that I’ll find out what and why some words are allowed when some are not.

    I think the F-word, in it’s many variants and combinations, along with G*ddamn shouldn’t be allowed. Please tell me why the words I take offence to are less offensive than the C word and it’s like forbidden by moderation that I will search and hopefully find after this post.

  67. buddy66 says:

    #87 Anonymous:

    “…a hippy is a “hippie” in the uk…”

    It’s OUR word. Make up your own. If you’re going to steal, take the spelling too. We don’t steal your stuff. Y’all can keep “whilst” and shit like that. :o)

  68. J France says:

    To the folks saying “it’s just one cop”, “throwaway line”, “don’t judge the forcce…”, “this is not a valid example” etc etc.

    It’s one of many small indicators that suggest the police are bully bashers, and little more, when it comes to many public demonstrations. It’s a worldwide attitude that has been the norm for a long time.

    The police have been vested with authority and power that should not be handled flippantly in ANY public forum – that includes your personal facebook page. If this officer thinks it is OK to even make this joke where others’ in the force would surely see it (unless he’s the one police officer who doesn’t socialise with his squad, which is a rarity), then something is horribly wrong. This attitude is ingrained, and is more than just a joke.

    The police need to be reminded more often that they serve the community, not dictate to it.

  69. Razzle Bathbone says:

    Here’s a poser for you, Rindan.
    If you were planning to attend a concert, and saw a facebook post from one of the security goons about how much he was looking forward to shit-pounding the attendees, do you think maybe you’d reconsider attending that concert? Is it newsworthy enough to do that? I mean, the security staff is bound to contain at least a few assholes, right?

  70. noen says:

    “No, it is called having intellectual honesty. The position that some cop’s sarcastic Facebook update is news worthy is absurd and the inverse would never be posted.”

    Nice goalpost shifting. This post isn’t about some random cop’s sarcastic Facebook update. It’s about a cop who committed murder and how his Facebook comment reflects his state of mind. Much like Richard Poplawski’s comments on Stormfront and other forums reflects his state of mind.

    Both are newsworthy and for much the same reasons.

  71. Xopher says:

    Hassan-I-Sabbah, not so much a correction as that your “something like” made me think you might want the actual quote. Come to think of it, he may have said related things on multiple occasions.

  72. Takuan says:

    re-posted from Sarah Palin thread to Moderation Thread there for you Tom.

  73. Tom Hale says:

    Thanks, I got it – why c word was chosen to be one of three forbidden words is beyond me, so – whatever.

  74. Takuan says:

    Buddy: I’ve always liked “hair-farming soap-dodger”

  75. Inkstain says:

    “as free citizens, you should demand your freedom. Yes, the UK is a far cry from say life under the Stasi. That doesn’t mean you should see that as some kind of special privilege.”

    If your goal is to achieve those freedoms, part of that should be to be taken seriously as a movement. Videos of cops harassing innocent soccer fans are a positive step toward that end. Decrying the Facebook status of an officer who hasn’t (iirc) been accused of any wrongdoing is not.

  76. DWittSF says:

    Nothing new here. Rumsfeld, of course, blamed Abu Ghraib on a ‘few bad apples,’ when the full extent is now coming out. That’s what happens when you lie to the world about your true intents and purposes. Wog bashing is an old English sport, but that doesn’t make it good lighthearted fun.

  77. Inkstain says:

    “It’s about a cop who committed murder ”

    There was nothing in the article that said this cop was involved in any murder, including the one of Mr. Tomlinson.

  78. sylvanfae says:

    His job is to protect, not to bash. Calling his intended victims by name (“hippys” [sic]) makes it look like a hate crime is about to happen. Even calling protesters hippies is a large generalization – perhaps even a mischaracterization.

    Heaven forbid a citizen should take part in dissent against something that’s hurting their world. Now they’re “hippies” that deserve the billy club treatment.

    But mainly, you know the protesters aren’t going to get fair treatment or an effective protest when the cops are itching to bash them. How can that go peacefully? Someone is going to provoke a fight, and this turns the common expectations on their head – it’s the cops provoking.

    But most of us know by now that the cops aren’t really there to protect the people, they’re there to serve the interests of the powers that be (G20). Tell me which G20 members are going to be vulnerable to billy clubs as they go about their rapacious business?

  79. Inkstain says:

    “If you were planning to attend a concert, and saw a facebook post from one of the security goons about how much he was looking forward to shit-pounding the attendees, do you think maybe you’d reconsider attending that concert? Is it newsworthy enough to do that? I mean, the security staff is bound to contain at least a few assholes, right?”

    I can’t speak for him, but no, that would not bother me. I don’t take the off-hand comments of facebook people seriously, and I have the ounce of self-awareness required to know not to get hysterical about it. I’d attend the concert and not be worried in the slightest.

  80. buddy66 says:

    If you can’t puzzle it out, Tom, I’d suggest you ask your wife. Almost every woman I’ve known could spell it out for you.

  81. buddy66 says:

    What? Too busy gassing to listen? I repeat:

    Do like the old IRA. Publish his name and address, and the names and addresses of his family. He’ll get the message. When he starts looking over his shoulder and peeing his pants every time a car backfires, he’ll find a way to apologize and back off.

    I’d do it just because he misspelled *hippie*.

  82. regularfry says:

    Takuan @103: You’re right. I don’t mean to imply that we should be grateful for jackbooted thugs begrudgingly bestowing freedom upon us as though through divine providence. However, we are members of a generation that is, I think, uniquely free, and we also have a unique responsibility not to let ourselves regress. Not slipping back means knowing where we are right now, in a historical context, and not letting hard-won freedoms be lost because members of our society don’t know they have them. That’s why I say that outrage is an absolutely correct response, if the actions that were caught on film, and the culture the facebook status in this article indicate are indicative of a further trend towards authoritarianism as opposed to incompetent management, bad training and bad taste.

  83. imipak says:

    7m 50s in, Phil Hammond (who’s a practicing NHS GP.)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pfzdTFWJb8

    “I’ve stopped telling patients that…”

  84. GregLondon says:

    in 2003, Elizabeth Ritter, a lawyer peacefully marching during a protest was shot, once in the back and once in the head, with rubber bullets by cops. She was not being violent in any way. She was walking and carrying a sign.

    Video was then caught of the police talking amongst themsevles after the protest, joking about shooting Ritter, getting congratulated by a sergeant and cheered by all the other cops. One cop refers to the marchers as “cockroaches”.

    http://cbs4.com/local/FTAA.elizabeth.ritter.2.398575.html?detectflash=false

    video story on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxRj4icrSww

    Now, I fully expect the Rindan’s of the world to rush in, take an example of a specific instance of police abuse, and make their standard hasty generalization/strawman “Don’t be hatin’ all cops!”

    But to those who can grasp the difference between “some” and “all”, I think it’s clear that some cops talk trash about civilians and treat those civilians like trash.

  85. Takuan says:

    yep. Take my word for it. There’s an old Japanese saying about family fortunes that has broad applicability: “One generation to make it, one generation to hold it, one generation to cast it away.”

  86. Rindan says:

    what did you think of #36 and #37, Rindan?

    For 36, I’m not up on UK law, but if it isn’t a crime, it should be. That is absolutely news worthy. I am violently against domestic spying against groups that have not committed a crime. If that had been the front page instead of sarcastic Facebook comments, awesome.

    37 is certainly more news worthy than Facebook status updates. I am not terribly sympathetic though. If you are suspected of hijacking a train, your houses is probably going to be searched. Investigation and gathering evidence is kind of what we have cops for. The fact that the investigator was boxing political paraphernalia as evidence is also unremarkable. The point of snagging political paraphernalia is to start working on proving intent. Generally, when trying to prove a case you not only show that someone did the crime, but then try and explain WHY they did the crime. It isn’t proof of a crime, but it might end up being a part of the evidence.

    Think of the Oklahoma City bombings in the US. They not only showed that those two guys did it, but they then went on to explain that their motivation was their anti-government views. Showing motivation is pretty common in court proceedings. A lack of motivation is generally damaging to a case. If they had just shown that two guys blew up a bomb killing a few hundred people, most sane juries would instantly ask why they would do that and be skeptical of any evidence if it can’t explain the why of it. This is no different. Show that a train got hijacked is great and all, but if you want to convince a jury you need to explain why the train was hijacked, and in this case it would be because of the political views of the hijackers.

  87. Xopher says:

    Tom, there’s a very thorough explanation of the effect of allowing those three words in the Moderation thread. The words are ROT-13′d, but there’s an explanation AND a link to a decoder right there in the bit that tells why the words are not allowed.

  88. Xohn le Doe says:

    Just for context that’s verbatim South Park dialogue, and probably falls into the category of parody rather than intent.

  89. Takuan says:

    but in cartoons, no one really dies.

  90. mightymouse1584 says:

    is this srsly newsworthy?

  91. Xohn le Doe says:

    you are dumb as rocks :)

  92. devophill says:

    Is it just me, or is the British press really into checking people’s Facebook accounts lately?

  93. Takuan says:

    the ancient, unyielding wisdom of stones, that which endured since the Flood and will silently witness the Apocalypse..you WILL respect my authoritay!

  94. Inkstain says:

    I have nothing but respect for the intellect of the people making these arguments. I suspect their emotions are getting the best of them, but they probably think the same of me.

  95. Rindan says:

    In other news, some people are assholes, the sky is blue, and one point doesn’t make a line.

    I am not saying that London cops are the picture of a perfect policing force, but pointing out that one of them is either an ass or sarcastic is hardly news worthy. I bet it is a pretty safe bet that some protester somewhere had a Facebook status of “Going to act like a jackass and burn someone property for shits and giggles… I mean, um the environment and stuff”. And someone else probably had a status of “w00t! Hippie chicks are easy! Back rubs anyone? G20 here I come!”

    If it was the chief of police, ok, that would be news worthy. One random underling in a massive organization? Eh, who cares?

    Put another way, would you want the protesters to be characterized by their most asinine member? If you want to characterize an entire organization or movement by who has the greatest single shit head, the protest movement is going to give the cops a good run for their money.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Eh, who cares?

      Probably Ian Tomlinson’s family. But then, empathy has never been your strong suit.

  96. Felix Mitchell says:

    Police shouldn’t say things that bring their work into disrepute. Saying it in writing, in public and on the internet make it worse.

    This is a discipline issue though. It doesn’t say anything reliable about anything that happened at the G20.

  97. redrichie says:

    I think what it’s worth remembering about this kind of thing is the position of power that the police have in these situations. That means that a policeman should probably find a better outlet for his gallows wit than Facebook. I would contend, and I make no apologies for this, that policemen are there to protect the safety of the protesters as well as the heads of state (who have bought their own guys anyway and are in nice, comfy big buildings) so should not make any such jokes whatsoever.

    It’s a bit like Ronald Reagans’s infamous “…bombing starts in 5 minutes” gaffe. Amusing enough in its own way until you consider that the man saying it gave a great impression of being an slavering ideological nincompoop who you suspect was actually itching to do such a thing.

    So, in the case of our honourable constabulary, which I suspect contains a fair few chaps that believe all protesters are idle unwashed scum who deserve to get roundly beaten. Not all of them, but, some (not because that’s a trait inherent in the police, just because there are people that think like that.) If the signals they get from above are that they’ll be protected from justice if things go wrong, any notions of restraint will go out of the window. If public servants in what is without question an important role (that is, I’m sure, hard) lose all public respect, especially from those that are essentially law-abiding, we as a society are doomed.

  98. Anonymous says:

    In other news, Rindan, a police officer killed a member of the public that happened to be walking through a protest area. Dozens of officers at these protests, in a flagrant violation of both police regulations and the law, covered up their identification numbers to allow them to assault members of the public with impunity.

    So I say simply this: people do care.

  99. Takuan says:

    re: #37: if you want your police to be private security guards and paid goons of big business and private money, I suppose there IS nothing wrong with having them sift through you personal papers to screen for politically “wrong” beliefs.

    I do believe police ARE in fact security guards for the rich and usually are fairly characterized as “the gang with control of the streets”. Hardly worthy of any respect.

  100. imipak says:

    @Mannakisok, #40:

    I’m sure their wages aren’t that great)

    http://www.police-information.co.uk/policepay.htm#constables

    Scroll on down…

  101. Hanglyman says:

    It’s probably not meant seriously, but cops have so much power to abuse that even a joke in bad taste like this should be cause for at least a stern talk from the boss, if not actual disciplinary action. This is, if nothing else, astoundingly unprofessional, and cops have a duty to be professional, courteous, and to serve the public (even if, judging from BB posts, 90% of them don’t care). This is like a politician jokingly blogging about taking a bribe later in the week. If you have any sense of professionalism or responsibility, you just don’t do it.

  102. Aleknevicus says:

    Rindan (#6),

    It’s annoying when a random person writes on their Facebook page about breaking the law, but we don’t give those people the right to carry lethal weapons or the ability to arrest/detain people.

    We do give these rights to the police and as such, they need to be held to a higher standard.

  103. Anonymous says:

    Almost exactly the same phrase a Yorkshire copper I know used when speaking to me a couple of years ago about an upcoming military base protest.
    This kind of attitude has been around for a while, Facebook has just made it more public and, dare I say it, topical?

  104. cosanostradamus says:

    .
    @#34 posted by Xopher, April 25, 2009 7:01 AM

    Real horrorshow, malchickiwik! By Bog, ye’ve got a gulliver on your shoulders!
    .

  105. Anonymous says:

    Never mind the bashing- the man can’t even spell hippies right and he’s in a position to decide whether I spend a night in the cells or not?

  106. mokey says:

    check this one out, from the DNC last year. the cops made shirts that said “we get up early, to BEAT the crowds.” some of my friends went out for that, but still, i gotta hand it to the DPD – pretty fuckin funny.

    http://coloradoindependent.com/9276/denver-police-beat-the-crowds-t-shirt-no-laughing-matter-protesters-charge

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