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“Every government is a parliament of whores. The trouble is, in a democracy, the whores are us.”     P. J O'Rourke

April 23, 2009

Milwaukee Police Chief Says To Hell With The Constitution

by Doug Mataconis

The Wisconsin Attorney General recently said in a legal memorandum that state law permits residents to openly carry a weapon in public, but the Police Chief in Milwaukee doesn’t care what the law says:

[S]ome law enforcement officials are preparing to face more open-carry situations, and some are clear the memo won’t change their approach.

Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn said he’ll continue to tell officers they can’t assume people are carrying guns legally in a city that has seen nearly 200 homicides in the past two years.

“My message to my troops is if you see anybody carrying a gun on the streets of Milwaukee, we’ll put them on the ground, take the gun away and then decide whether you have a right to carry it,” Flynn said. “Maybe I’ll end up with a protest of cowboys. In the meantime, I’ve got serious offenders with access to handguns. It’s irresponsible to send a message to them that if they just carry it openly no one can bother them.”

So, in Flynn’s world, the mere fact that you’re doing something that you’re authorized to do under the law is reason enough for the police to forcibly detain you on suspicion that you might be a criminal.

Can anyone say police state ?

Glenn Reynolds wonders if Flynn would appreciate his own logic being applied to him:

[I]f you see Police Chief Ed Flynn, put him on the ground, take his wallet away, and then decide whether he’s accepted any bribes that day. If, after doing that, you think the money’s his, give his wallet back. Who cares what the law says? It’s the Milwaukee Way!

Apparently.

H/T: Radley Balko

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13 Comments

  1. The police work for a corporation. Corporations have to answer to shareholders. Shareholders want to see a return on their investments (go to Dunne & Bradstreet and type in your local police dept., or for that matter anything that pops into your head…city hall, school system, child protective services, the courts etc.)

    “I thought the police worked to ‘serve’ us.” Oh, they’re serving us alright.

    For the whole scam to work, the people have to be dumbed-down to the point where they don’t know their asses from their elbows, let alone their Unalienable (whether or not God gave them to you is up to each man or woman, the fact of the matter is that they are yours the second your tiny little body leaves your mom’s Birth Canal)Rights…and whether or not they really apply to you and me (here’s another hint…if your parents bothered to get a Marriage Certificate, you are property of the State).

    I could go on forever (and long comments generally don’t get read as often as short ones).
    The Bottom Line is UNTIL THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WAKE THEIR ASSES UP, THE POLICE WILL CONTINUE TO BE TRAINED TO BELIEVE THAT THEY CAN DO WHATEVER THEY WANT TO US.

    If you don’t believe me, check out Terry Bressi’s channel on youtube (Checkpoint USA) and educate yourself…then tell everyone you know that we’re all in pretty deep. You should also take the time to watch Constitution Class (that one WILL piss you off).

    C ya!

    Comment by nilesmc — April 23, 2009 @ 6:05 am
  2. “Open carry” doesn’t mean the gun is drawn – it just means it is in a holster of some sort and visible. As opposed to concealed carry – which I don’t think Wisconsin has, but I’m not sure.

    What’s ironic is that a guy walking down the street with his handgun in a holster on his belt in full view is less likely rather than more likely, to be a criminal. Thugs who are about to hold up the 711 are more likely to keep their handgun in their pocket and hidden until they enter the store and draw it.

    If a state does not allow concealed carry (like my state Florida, does) then the only way to exercise your Second Amendment right is via open carry. So I suppose this police chief is saying: “Sorry, the Second Amendment as it applies in Milwaukee, is that you can only exercise that right at an officially sanctioned and licensed shooting range; and you can only open carry in the privacy of your own home or property.”

    Interesting new regulatory statute he just drafted off the top if his head, eh.

    But hey – if any sort of subjective ‘profiling’ is okay, at least according to this guy, then I guess there will no public outcry if next week he says:

    “I tell my troops that if you see a young black man or young man who looks like he might be a Muslim, on the streets of Milwaukee, we’ll put them on the ground and then decide later whether they were innocent pedestrians instead of being a gang member or an Islamic terrorist. I mean, you can’t be too careful these days, now can you.”

    Comment by southernjames — April 23, 2009 @ 6:18 am
  3. “Can anyone say police state?”

    All states are police states of one form or another, and all devolve and get worse. So any libertarian who endorses the state — who is not an anarchist, who shuns “extremism — is supporting this and has no grounds to complain about police states.

    As Mises wrote in Human Action, “”No socialist author ever gave a thought to the possibility that the abstract entity which he wants to vest with unlimited power–whether it is called humanity, society, nation, state, or government–could act in a way of which he himself disapproves.”

    Comment by Stephan Kinsella — April 23, 2009 @ 7:47 am
  4. any libertarian who endorses the state — who is not an anarchist, who shuns “extremism — is supporting this and has no grounds to complain about police states.

    With all due respect sir, nonsense.

    Update: I am, quite honestly, sick of libertarians — whether they come from the anarchist side of the aisle, the gold-bugs, or the hard-core Objectivists — who tell me that unless I agree with them I’m not a “real libertarian.”

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — April 23, 2009 @ 9:21 am
  5. Always nice when he refers to his guys as “troops”…

    Not to say that’s uncommon — after all I’ve heard sales managers refer to their salesmen as “troops” — but it carries a different connotation when your guys are carrying guns, wearing bulletproof vests, and going out to “capture the enemy”.

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — April 23, 2009 @ 9:24 am
  6. Brad,

    Yea, I picked up on that too.

    Balko made a comment about that in his post that rings true — there’s something very wrong when a police chief refers to his officers as troops

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — April 23, 2009 @ 9:40 am
  7. Doug, I agree to an extent with Stephen; I think a state which stays withing a Jeffersonian sandbox is impossible – that any state will grow to the point where it behaves like a totalitarian monster. Thus, I think you, my fellow contributors, who support a small state are against your interests and against your will supporting eventual totalitarianism. It’s not murder, more like involuntary manslaughter… or something.

    Comment by tarran — April 23, 2009 @ 9:46 am
  8. tarran,

    You do have a point, which is why the price of liberty is eternal vigilance against the encroachment of the state.

    Will we ever have the perfect limited state ? Considering that human beings are themselves not perfect, I think the answer is quite obviously not.

    However, I think it’s more likely we’ll get close to that goal than that we will find ourselves living inside some anarcho-capitalist paradise anytime in my lifetime, or the lifetime of any of my descendants.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — April 23, 2009 @ 9:52 am
  9. Mataconis:

    “I am, quite honestly, sick of libertarians — whether they come from the anarchist side of the aisle, the gold-bugs, or the hard-core Objectivists — who tell me that unless I agree with them I’m not a “real libertarian.””

    Yeah? Well I’m sick of paying the g-dd-mned taxes foisted on me by the state you endorse, and to pay for the wars you think are justified. So I think we’re far more than even. In fact, I’ll trade you: you pay my taxes for me, and you can call me “not a real libertarian” to your heart’s content. Deal?

    Maybe you ought to stop objecting to “extremism” (read: principle) and endorsing war (and its concomitant taxation and collateral damage) by our criminal state, if you don’t like libertarians (who differ on these things) noting this fact.

    “the price of liberty is eternal vigilance against the encroachment of the state.”

    Well, no, the price is about 40% of my income, it turns out.

    “Will we ever have the perfect limited state ?”

    Will we ever have a limited state at all? Or anything even approaching it? No. Has there ever even been one in all of human history? No. (No offense, Randian revolutionary-America-worshippers.) The state is criminal, per se. Of course it will never be just, limited, or minimal.

    “Considering that human beings are themselves not perfect, I think the answer is quite obviously not.”

    Human imperfection–whatever this liberal arts, vague, useless conservative concept means–has nothing to do with it. We can never have a “perfect limited state” for the same reason we can never have a perfect mafia–they are both criminal by their nature.

    “However, I think it’s more likely we’ll get close to that goal than that we will find ourselves living inside some anarcho-capitalist paradise anytime in my lifetime, or the lifetime of any of my descendants.”

    So what? Your estimate of likelihoods does not justify institutionalized theft and murder.

    Comment by Stephan Kinsella — April 23, 2009 @ 12:57 pm
  10. Stephen,

    I don’t mind differences of opinion, I welcome them.

    I just refuse to submit myself to someone else’s ideological litmus test.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — April 23, 2009 @ 1:01 pm
  11. I have to disagree with Reynolds here. Why should we take the Flynn’s wallet? Just knock him down and take his gun. He’s carrying an unconcealed weapon right? How do we know that a criminal didn’t dress up in a cop uniform in order to better rob people?

    Comment by trumpetbob15 — April 23, 2009 @ 2:01 pm
  12. Doug, I’d rather you not respect my different opinion, and instead not tax me. I mean, it’s cheap to let me complain, while you go ahead and get your way and take my taxes. This is the problem with the state: it steals from and dominates people. How can you support it, as a libertarian?

    As for litmus tests: when did litmus test become a bad word? Second, I’m sure even you think definitions and concepts are useful. It means something to be a libertarian. I’m sure there are people you think hold unlibertarian views. Are you imposing a — horrors — litmus test on them?

    Comment by Stephan Kinsella — April 23, 2009 @ 8:03 pm
  13. I’m betting that Joe Arpaio is having internet seminars on how to be a class A fucktard to fellow law enforcement.

    Comment by Aimee — April 24, 2009 @ 8:46 am

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