Shooting The Breeze

I’m starting the week off on a bit of a sour note, but something happened this weekend which I felt needed to be addressed.

A longtime commenter sent me an email Friday night. The commenter, which I am not going to identify, has needled me before about police misconduct, both in emails and here on the blog.

The title of the email was “Shooting citizens,” so I should have expected this was not going to be a social call. The text read as follows:

Wyatt, you already have pretty much a free pass to shoot citizens when you are “In fear for your life”, a courtesy that is denied to the rest of the population, but if you keep up this shit, you are going to lose that free pass.

The commenter then refers to a story from St. Louis, where a white police officer shot a black off-duty St. Louis police officer in the aftermath of a high-speed chase. The off-duty officer responded to help, and was shot in a case of mistaken identity.

Idiotic move on the white officer’s part? Yes. Should he be disciplined for it? Yes. Does this have any bearing on me or my performance as a police officer? Of course not.

For those of you new to the blog, I am a police detective with twenty-three years of service. In that time, I have never been involved in a shooting, have never been accused of using excessive force, and have been cleared of my three IAB complaints. Two were the result of personal grudges, and one was performance-related.

I also make a point of exposing and ridiculing cops who commit crimes, or are engaged in epic douchebaggery. I am not a police apologist, but I often give them the benefit of the doubt.

Anyway, as to the message. I’m not sure why the person is saying “I” have a free pass to shoot citizens, since I have never shot a citizen anything more lethal than a dirty look. I guess I should also ask this person what “shit” I am keeping up, because the linked story did not mention me nor my department.

Look, I get because people read stories about me, my family, and my profession, they think there is a realm of familiarity between us. In some cases that is true, but not in every case. This person doesn’t know me, my coworkers, or how I handle myself at work… and never will.

As for the readers out there, you don’t have to like me. You don’t have to like police officers. Personally, I couldn’t care less. My only question is if you are not fond of law enforcement, why would you waste your time reading a cop’s blog?

My response was sent in anger, but I believe it was measured, considering my mood at the time: “Twenty-three years and I’ve never fired a shot, or had a use of force complaint against me, but keep painting with that broad brush, brah.”

For all intents and purposes, this commenter is persona non grata. The person is not welcome here anymore.

30 thoughts on “Shooting The Breeze

  1. I know saying “Haters gonna hate” is trite however it is obvious this commenter has a chip on their shoulder. I would agree with the persona not grata. Do you have a way to block them? I, for one, am very thankful that I stumbled upon your blog those many years ago. Most days you provide some much needed entertainment.

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  2. Metoo – I cannot block the person from reading the blog, but the person’s comments from here on out go to spam. Best I can do.

    Cathy – Since SYLG’s heyday, I’ve hemorrhaged a lot of readers, but I will happily cut ties with this person.

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  3. There are good and bad people in every profession. I would say that there are a lot more good police officers than bad. Just my opinion, but I’m basing this on personal dealings with police over the many decades that I’ve been around. These include PA State Police, Pgh City Police, and quite a few small town officers and a few out of state and Provincial and RCMP. Only one that I can truly call bad (Pgh) and a couple plain, old assholes (again Pgh), but the rest were fine and dandy. I get tired of hearing all the negative press about you guys. Especially stories where an officer does the right thing to protect himself, other officers or the public and lies are told to turn him into the bad guy. I’d like to thank all the good officers out there that protect and serve. Don’t know what we’d do without you………….

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  4. Police are the civilian “tip of the spear”. They are the fellow citizens that “We the People” have entrusted with the grave responsibility of enforcing our laws and using force so that (hopefully) we will never have to. “Protect and Serve” … the power they are entrusted with to protect us should be compensated by the higher standard to which they must be held.

    Different field example: In a medical emergency, a Doctor should be held to a higher standard than a Paramedic who should be held to a higher standard than a Random Citizen trying to help.

    None of this should be interpreted as not having respect for police. Our society cannot function without police. But it also cannot function with “badge heavy” police who believe they have no limits. That is why I appreciate reading Wyatt’s take when big police-related news comes up. He will call it like he sees it.

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  5. “a free pass to shoot citizens” What a horse’s ass! Most officers go their entire career without ever discharging their weapon in the line of duty. Those who do, generally fill out a mountain of paperwork when they do, regardless of whether anyone was injured.

    This person’s ignorance seems impenetrable, but I imagine they would greatly benefit from a day’s ridealong with a police officer (preferably in Detroit or Chicago) to see just how much f a free pass the police really have

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Dear Wyatt, please send my your pass if you’re not going to use it. I would like to have it… just in case…. err, for a friend. Thanks in advance.

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  7. Additionally, you have my sympathies regarding the tools you must constantly deal with at work, and on your most excellent blog.

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  8. Tam – This was not meant to be a Praise Wyatt post. I just wanted to let people know what I deal with on the blog occasionally.

    Mike – The person is already out of my mind. Not worth the aggravation.

    Loki – There are bad cops everywhere, but honestly, it is a minuscule percentage of the total. And people who come here know I absolutely call out the bad cops.

    Proof – My partner walked into a robbery after work two years ago. He announced, drew his weapon and fired at both suspects. He hit both, and killed one. CNN found the owner of the pizza shop and asked the race of my partner and that of the suspects. The owner, to his credit, told them to go to hell.

    Toothy – I can send it to you via email, I think. Just use your pass wisely. 🙂

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    1. I didn’t take it as a Praise Wyatt post, but since police have been getting such a bad rap lately I wanted to let you know that some of us do appreciate the job that you do. Another plus on your side is that you are a Slovak. I had to say that since my wife is one, too………………….

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Damn, that’s some misdirected hatred. It sucks that you get the kind of attitude just because of the badge. As a paramedic I’ve met and worked with tons of cops and I’ll always have their backs. You guys have a thankless job.

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  10. Jenn – Thanks. I don’t get it; if a police officer does something despicable, hate that person. Don’t hate everyone who wears the uniform.

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    1. Oops, I meant to say gonna call. Well, since my comment didn’t go to spam, at least I know it wasn’t me in a menopausal/alcohol/meth induced e-mail rage.

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  11. I’m sure some cops shouldn’t have badges and are horrible people. I can’t remember ever dealing with a single one, professionally or personally. My wife’s grandfather was a retired NY State Police officer, who worked for other departments after he retired. I’m a West Virginian by birth with an innate distrust for authority, and I still don’t think all, or even most, police are bad.

    Are there problems in some departments, and with an over-militarization of police as a whole? Yes, in my opinion. But you don’t resolve that by painting the tens of thousands of police in the country with the same brush.

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  12. Doc – No worries. I thrive on stress. Thankfully, it’s behind me already, thanks to the spam button.

    MelP – I need to try meth. I could stand to lose a few pounds.

    Phillip – Everyone generalizes, I get that. This particular offender generalizes again and again and again. I grew weary of it.

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  13. I’m with ya bro…22 years on the road…..remember those “special people ” that say that crap are just job security for us…5 more years and I’m done..

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  14. INPiker – If I could retire, pack up, and move to Arizona now, I’d go in a heartbeat. As it stands, I’ll tough it out until it’s economically feasible.

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        1. Thanks! I’ve plotted the intersection of my life expectancy and when my money runs out. If I’m wrong, then I’ll know I should have paid more attention in class to those “If a train leaves Chicago at 45MPH…” problems!

          Liked by 1 person

  15. Holy cow, I go off on vacation and you have a post that has a gazillion comments. The only thing I can come up with to say is, “You can’t fix stupid.” Oh, and that “free pass” – we all have the same pass, whether we are cops or not. Somebody tries to do you grave bodily injury or inflict death upon you, you can shoot them just the same as any cop. But, like I said, “You can’t fix stupid.”

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