Police Story, Part 4

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Here are some other examples of the police over-reacting and/or abusing their authority during my teen and Army years:

 

Punk Rockers, anywhere, USA!!! If there's one group that the police absolutely HATED, it was punk rockers. It seems that just about every punk show I went to in LA was violently stopped and broken up by the LAPD, and after seeing them in action numerous times, wondered what the problem was with Rodney King; from what I saw in the videotape, the LAPD actually went easy on him, compared to what I've seen them do countless times to punk rockers. Also, anyone who had a Mohawk or whose head looked like an anti-ship mine or an exotic bird was routinely verbally and physically abused by cops wherever they were. Punk-lic Intoxication. Driving While Punk. Whatever you want to call it, it was active oppression by the police. Show any outward sign that you are trying to beat on the State, even verbally, and the State will beat on YOU.

 

In the leadup to the 1984 Olympics, the LAPD worked triple-overtime to clean up the streets. I wasn't living there at the time, but visited frequently. It seemed that every single night, all elements of the LAPD were out in force, with the helicopters and their noise, searchlights and PA systems being regular visitors. One night, there was a commotion outside, and I opened the door to see a scrawny Mexican kid in a choke hold. Evidently, even someone selling dime bags of weed was a grave threat as far as the LAPD was concerned.

 

A buddy of mine was in a gasthaus in Germany with his girlfriend when some asshole picked a fight with him. My buddy, being the badass that he was, proceeded to beat the shit out of him. The asshole turned out to be an off-duty MP (Military Police) whose barracks were close by, and him and six other off-duty MPs returned to the place and beat my buddy within an inch of his life. The MPs suppressed the whole incident, of course.

 

Once in El Paso, Texas, while in a heavy metal bar that usually had decent bands playing (for El Paso), three drunk, crazy Mexicans were causing a scene at the front door because they weren't being allowed in, I guess because they were drunk, crazy Mexicans. We left the bar about half an hour later, only to see them randomly throwing rocks at windows in various buildings, breaking one each time. Suddenly, the El Paso police arrived from all directions, netting us with them. Then they separated us, as they thought we were going to fight them, which we were. While we were being more-or-less compliant, the Mexicans were not, and the cops proceeded to beat them. One of them yelled out, "Hey, you can't do that!!! That's police brutality!!!" A gigantic white cop grabbed him by his hair and said, "Oh, I'll show you some fucking POLICE BRUTALITY," and smashed his face on a cop car about ten times. The motherfuckers had it coming, but still.

 

While visiting Jaurez, Mexico, a buddy and I went to a certain bar, and he immediately spotted an old flame; him and her went off to fuck somewhere. I was sitting alone at the bar pondering my next move, when a particularly skanky-looking hooker cozied up to me and asked me to buy her a drink. I offered to buy her a flea collar instead. Not fully understanding what I said, she apparently got a translation from the bartender, and immediately threw a glass of water on me, which I actually appreciated, because it was kind of hot that night. Within a few minutes, two Juarez cops entered the bar from another entrance, wrestled me down, handcuffed me, and then robbed me of the $40 I had as well as a phone card. Maybe the $40 would have been better spent on the hooker, but at least I didn’t wind up with some funky STD.

 

While a civilian in Germany, a co-worker invited us all to a party at her house. She was married to a MP, who, as usual, was kind of a dick, but the party was actually pretty good. I was impressed by their furniture, decor, and other household items, and it dawned on me that it was a little outside their means, as he was a Private First Class and she made not much above minimum wage, but some people manage money very well, so I thought nothing further about it. Several weeks later, a pair of MPs were busted red-handed by their own supervisor while stealing booze from the local Enlisted man's club. They squealed like the pigs that they were, and revealed a theft ring that comprised approx. a dozen MPs, our party host being one of them. Not surprisingly, that whole incident was suppressed, too.

 

Comments

Pardero Added Jun 6, 2018 - 12:43am
Michael B.,
Amazing experiences!
I remember those days. It was as though the police thought they could make punk rock go away. 
Obviously, some punk rockers were gonna be trouble, but the police were out of proportion and irrational, as if the punks were a dire threat to civilization or threatened their prestige.
 
I hate corruption, and I doubly hate corrupt cops.  
Michael B. Added Jun 6, 2018 - 1:12am
Pard, and some wonder why I feel the way I do, LOL.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Jun 6, 2018 - 1:59am
Wasn't much different in the late 60's with bellbottom jeans and tie-dye t-shirts especially if one had long hair. 
 
Apologies to those who know the story already: When walking back to my grandma's house after using the better part of the $10 she had given me on an album and some ice cream I cut across one end of the college campus as it was the shortest distance. Part way across the campus I was jumped by three State Pigs and ended up with a cracked skull, broken ribs, and a ruptured spleen and bladder. 
 
Unbeknownst to me there was a riot at the other end of the campus and the pigs were looking for some payback. 
 
The same cops later visited my mother's place of business to threaten her about the lawsuit over my hospitalization. 
 
Have I mentioned yet today just how much I hate cops?
wsucram15 Added Jun 6, 2018 - 2:41am
Try being at an NWA or Body Count show.  Let alone the punk. OMG.  Im telling you they were bad then, horrible now. Much much worse.
I cannot tell you how many times I had a cop point a gun at me and i wasnt doing anything. Nothing. Once I was sitting on the floor and a cop put a gun in my face because they were breaking up a concert and I was waiting on my husband who had the car keys.  He felt I was being resistant.
I dont care what song a band is singing..you dont threaten to shoot people who are half lit in a concert hall.
Have I mentioned I dont care for cops? My father was a cop and I heard some crap from him that made me wary of them as a kid. Sneaky sneaky sneaky even then...now they are just outright bold.
 
Jeffry Gilbert Added Jun 6, 2018 - 3:12am
now they are just outright bold.
 
And even worse don't even try to act human. 
 
wsucram15 Added Jun 6, 2018 - 3:28am
no Jeffry they do not.  Not at all.  I mean they put out a book on how not to get shot when you are unarmed.
Seriously?  I thought it was a joke..but its not.
Stone-Eater Added Jun 6, 2018 - 7:31am
Good one. Life in action, so to say. 
 
At 18 I was a long-haired hippie-punk (what a contradiction, lol), and we regularly had fights with the Italian "Saturday Night Fever" Italian disco kids. But there were never any cops interfering.
 
But most of the time we won LOL 
Dino Manalis Added Jun 6, 2018 - 8:00am
 Law enforcement maintains law and order and must be obeyed.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Jun 6, 2018 - 8:18am
 Law enforcement maintains law and order and must be obeyed.
 
Fuck you and the two headed dildo you rode in on Dino!
Stone-Eater Added Jun 6, 2018 - 8:58am
LOL
Thomas Sutrina Added Jun 6, 2018 - 9:08am
Seem that you believe that people can do anything but police can not do anything.  So let me go through your examples to show your bias.
 
"Unfortunately, poor organization, too many rowdy fans, and casual attitudes towards drugs and alcohol have occasionally turned concerts into complete chaos:  Altamont Free Concert 1969, World Series of Rock 1979, The Who in Cincinnati 1979, Monsters of Rock 1988, Montreal Riot 1992, Woodstock '99 1999, Pearl Jam Roskilde 2000, Marilyn Manson 2003, San Bernardino Punk Riot 2006, and Family Value Tour 2006 http://www.socialsciencecareers.org/10-rock-concerts-which-resulted-in-bloodshed/
 
Speech for itself, "asshole picked a fight with him. My buddy, being the badass," that your buddy had no problem beating up a person.  Now even a idiot would expect this 'asshole' to respond.  
 
Again speech for itself, "Mexicans were causing a scene at the front door because they weren't being allowed in ...  the El Paso police arrived (at the request of the owner)
 
Your talking about American  so Mexico doesn't count.
 
MP being thieves has nothing to do with your topic also.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Jun 6, 2018 - 9:18am
Jesusfuckingchristonagoddamnfuckingcrutch! There are some serious copsuckers on this thread. 
Stone-Eater Added Jun 6, 2018 - 9:50am
Seem that you believe that people can do anything but police can not do anything.
 
Hey Thomas, you got SWAT teams, you know. DON'T TAKE YOUR HANDS OFF THE WHEEL OR I SHOOT YOU.
 
There is NO other country in the world where the cops have so much power. In Africa cops HAVE power. When they stop you for no matter which reason, you give them a 5$ bill and explain. No problem. But nowhere else than in the US you have like military surrounding your car.
 
Frightening people is a method to control and rule, you know ? Most famous in dictatorships. But even there you play the game and drop them a buck LOL
wsucram15 Added Jun 6, 2018 - 5:11pm
Id rather have the cops that are happy with money...the kind that are drunk with corrupt power is frankly intimidating.
I remember when the freddy gray hearings began in baltimore.  I was driving back the night before from near Aberdeen Proving Grounds, (where tanks and the like are kept) and yeah they were hauling 3 tanks down into the city. 3 tanks.
For what? to intimidate some protestors? It was the police pushing kids around that started the riot in Baltimore in the first place.  The parents objected, some kids threw rocks and they threw rocks back..it was on.  Thats what started the riots in baltimore, such an ordeal and line of horseshit.
Michael B. Added Jun 7, 2018 - 12:46am
@ Captain Gilbert - It would appear that very little has changed over the years. Actually, I do not remember you sharing that particular incident with us; thank you for that.
Michael B. Added Jun 7, 2018 - 12:46am
@ Jeanne - Yes dear Jeanne, I had you in mind when I wrote that. That's at least one thing we have in common, lol. I had a cop flip the strap from his holster because I blew (cigarette) smoke in his general direction.
Michael B. Added Jun 7, 2018 - 12:46am
@ Stone - It's good to know that, even in Europe, there were and are many others out there who whole-heartedly agree on one thing: DISCO SUCKS!!! DISCO SUCKS!!! DISCO SUCKS!!! As if the music wasn't bad enough, their fans were even worse, lol!
Michael B. Added Jun 7, 2018 - 12:47am
@ Dino - I cannot improve upon or augment Captain Gilbert's comments.
Michael B. Added Jun 7, 2018 - 12:48am
@ Thomas S. - I think your reading comprehension is slightly out of whack there, Thomas. You obviously have a "Support Your Local Police" bumper sticker on your Prius, lol. Yes, riots are a part of life. If someone picks a fight with you, what are you going to do, let them beat the shit out of YOU? For a conservative, that's a shockingly liberal attitude. Regarding the night club, much like many of us, they didn't need or want the police, as they were able to solve their own problems; however, a bunch of assholes running amok throwing rocks at buildings usually attracts police attention, but they still could have collared those guys, who were all scrawny little shits, without beating the shit out of them. Like several others, you seem to miss my point, which is: Unless they're dealing with something like the 1997 North Hollywood Shootout, they need to act with utmost restraint at all times. To be fair, many, many, do, but WAY TOO MANY DO NOT.
Michael B. Added Jun 7, 2018 - 12:48am
@ Jeanne - When tanks get introduced, Molotov cocktails should NEVER be too far behind.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Jun 7, 2018 - 2:35am
When tanks get introduced, Molotov cocktails should NEVER be too far behind.
 
Damn skippy.
 
Michael B. Added Jun 7, 2018 - 2:57am
Damn Skippy Jeffry. Unlike many others here, we've experienced the true nature of the State in most, if not all of its violence and innate ugliest. They've tricked up their act over the years, but at the end of the day, it's the same shit sandwich being presented in ever-changing and ever-devolving wrappers.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Jun 7, 2018 - 6:54am
Its a given that a man like the Chinese guy in Beijing standing in front of a tank would be gleefully run over without a synapse given in the Land Of The Formerly Free. 
John Minehan Added Jun 9, 2018 - 8:43am
USAREUR in the 1980s and early 1990s was not quite like Buffalo Soldiers (2001) . . . but it wasn't completely unlike it either . . . .
Michael B. Added Jun 9, 2018 - 4:11pm
John M., I'll have to watch that. The worst thing I experienced there, besides the tanker who killed himself, was when a female cook that was assigned to the 2/3 FA DF was murdered. I didn't know her or recall dealing with her. Our whole battery was tasked with sweeping both sides of a long stretch of road looking for the murder weapon, a knife, which was never found.
John Minehan Added Jun 9, 2018 - 4:33pm
That had to be difficult at KG, since (as I recall) you were near nothing.  An unsolved murder had to be a bit disconcerting.
 
Was that in 1986?  That was not a good year in 3d AD. 
 
In addition to the tanker suicide you mentioned (which happened when the BCs from 2-27 FA arrived for a DivArty Commanders' Conference as we had talked about), we had the suicide of an MP at the Division Change of Command Ceremony and an accident with the salute from A/2-27 FA, which resulted in a  13B10 having his hand shot into the housing area at Edwards Kaserne.  In addition, my battery had a murder and A Battery discovered a young German girl had been living in a wall locker in an NCO's room for several weeks.
 
Now, do you see why (to quote Gilbert & Sullivan) "A policeman's lot is not a happy one?"  I remembered spending a lot of time picking up Soldiers at the MP Station at Ray Barracks when I was in C Battery and it seemed like the various desk sergeant had fewer stripes each time I went over there.
Michael B. Added Jun 9, 2018 - 4:39pm
Yes John, 1986 was an eventful year for sure! Still, it wasn't nearly as bad as during the 70's and early 80's. Taxi drivers in particular had a very high mortality rate giving GIs rides.
John Minehan Added Jun 9, 2018 - 5:08pm
SDOs being thrown out the window in wall lockers, Soldiers ODing in latrines, people throwing the brick of Hash on the MP Desk to get Chaptered sooner  . . . . interesting times in the '70s and early '80s.
 
Not sure if the stories got better with time, but 1986 make me think they didn't. 
Thomas Sutrina Added Jun 10, 2018 - 8:10am
Michael B., no bumper sticker.  Police job is to enforce the law.  So not a sole should be surprised if they show up when laws are being broken.  
 
The actions at the time of police is another matter.  I do not agree with beating up people that are following to the letter there commands.   I do not agree with some of the police shooting someone.  
 
This is there job and they have a right to go home every day and act in a way to protect themselves and others.  This is part of there job.  That said they sometimes put themselves in a position that shooting someone is the only option.  Is is not the case most times when a single officer faces a single person.  Police assassinations are real Michael. 
 
The public know they are occurring and should assume that in a one on one or even a few officers are present your responsible for your actions.  You can act in a way to present a potential threat.  Presenting a potential threat is not a reason to beat up a person. If the person is not acting to implement the threat.  Then the police have a right to act also.  Backing away or not placing themselves in a position to be threatened seems to be lacking in their training.  
 
This Michael is a problem today in police departments.
 
 
Jeffry Gilbert Added Jun 11, 2018 - 6:39am
People who think like Sutrina are the problem with the piggies. FOP and PBA have blown so much shit up his and most of the public's asses they spew shit like he just did.