Cop Gets Slap on the Wrist for Threatening to Kill 14 Year Old

Hey look, it’s yet another case of a police officer who should be fired and arrested getting nothing but a few days off work. Dallas police officer Terigi Ross told a 14 year old boy who was questioning why his stepmother was being arrested that he should “shut the fuck up, cause I’ll break your fucking neck.”

The altercation — which took place last October and was recorded by the teen without the officer’s knowledge — came after officer Terigi Ross and his partner responded to a 911 call that ended in a hangup.

According to authorities, the teen’s stepmother made the call over a towed car and then hung up thinking the conversation was over.

After speaking with the woman, Rossi decided to handcuff her and told her she was being arrested.

When confronted by the teen over why she was being arrested, Rossi grew angry and began threatening the teen, telling him he was going to end up in a foster home before launching into an expletive-filled rant.

After telling the teen, “So you want to lie to me, too? Look at me when you talk to me. OK, be a man,” the young man asked him take his sunglasses off.

That is when Rossi went off.

“If I were you, son, I’d shut the f*ck up, cause I’ll break your f*cking neck. You understand me?” Rossi said before telling the teen that he was under arrest.

After he pulled away from the aggressive cop, telling him not to touch him, Rossi menaced him again, saying, “I’m telling you right now, Get the f*ck over here! Listen to me! You’re just like your mother. You’re a piece of f*cking sh*t. You little [expletive],” at which point the boy began to cry.

That’s a guy who should never, ever be allowed to be a police officer. Hell, he shouldn’t be put in any position of authority. He shouldn’t even be an assistant manager at a Dairy Queen. He should have been fired immediately, arrested and charged with making death threats. Instead, he got three days off work. Boy, that’ll teach him.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • grumpyoldfart

    He knows where the skeletons are buried — always guarantees job security.

  • grumpyoldfart

    He knows where the skeletons are buried — always guarantees job security.

  • Jared James

    Bet they would have really nailed him for shooting the kid, with like six weeks off and a letter of reprimand.

  • Jared James

    Bet they would have really nailed him for shooting the kid, with like six weeks off and a letter of reprimand.

  • Juniper

    I lived in North Dallas– not too far from McKinney, actually– for a year.

    There, I got pulled over by an officer once. I was driving 36 mph in a 40 mph zone. So I had no idea what was going on. I watched the officer climb off of his motorcycle in my wing and rear view mirrors. Tall and muscular. My hands were shaking on top of my steering wheel. I was afraid.

    Instead, what I got was a young man who immediately introduced himself with his name and his badge number. He said that I had been driving 36 mph in a zone that was now a 20 mph one during certain periods of the morning and afternoon, because school was in session. He said he was sure that I hadn’t known, though, because it was the first day and therefore a lot of drivers were making the same mistake. His department wanted their officers to crack down hard on the speeding, but he was authorized to give me one warning. So he printed it out, asked me to take more care in the future, and let me go.

    The End.

    On one hand, I feel guilty for not writing him a letter thanking him for his professionalism. Not his friendliness, which I appreciated, but his professionalism, which I thought was crucial. On the other hand. . . isn’t being professional part of any job?

  • Juniper

    I lived in North Dallas– not too far from McKinney, actually– for a year.

    There, I got pulled over by an officer once. I was driving 36 mph in a 40 mph zone. So I had no idea what was going on. I watched the officer climb off of his motorcycle in my wing and rear view mirrors. Tall and muscular. My hands were shaking on top of my steering wheel. I was afraid.

    Instead, what I got was a young man who immediately introduced himself with his name and his badge number. He said that I had been driving 36 mph in a zone that was now a 20 mph one during certain periods of the morning and afternoon, because school was in session. He said he was sure that I hadn’t known, though, because it was the first day and therefore a lot of drivers were making the same mistake. His department wanted their officers to crack down hard on the speeding, but he was authorized to give me one warning. So he printed it out, asked me to take more care in the future, and let me go.

    The End.

    On one hand, I feel guilty for not writing him a letter thanking him for his professionalism. Not his friendliness, which I appreciated, but his professionalism, which I thought was crucial. On the other hand. . . isn’t being professional part of any job?

  • A Masked Avenger

    The problem will never be addressed as long as we continue accepting the “few bad apples” bullshit. Of course #NotAllCops behave like that–but the enabling of this behavior is systemic.

    How could prosecutors function without cops to do their bidding? And what cop will cooperate with a prosecutor that is liable to up and have them arrested? #NotAllCops behave that way, but EVERY cop sees another cop being arrested and things, “That could be me.” It’s stressful enough thinking that you could be one screwup, one flared temper away from being fired; imagine thinking you’re one screwup away from prison? Of course you’ll expect lots of leniency. Of course you’ll refuse to cooperate with a prosecutor who just charged your buddy. And of course the net result is to evolve a culture that insulates cops from the consequences of their actions.

    I believe–or at least hope–that this can be changed. But bleating about the “bad apples” isn’t going to do shit. The problem is fundamental, cultural, and systemic.

    Disclaimer: I work in law enforcement. I’ve never assaulted, or even yelled at, anyone, but I haven’t received a traffic ticket in years. And not because of my stellar driving.

  • A Masked Avenger

    The problem will never be addressed as long as we continue accepting the “few bad apples” bullshit. Of course #NotAllCops behave like that–but the enabling of this behavior is systemic.

    How could prosecutors function without cops to do their bidding? And what cop will cooperate with a prosecutor that is liable to up and have them arrested? #NotAllCops behave that way, but EVERY cop sees another cop being arrested and things, “That could be me.” It’s stressful enough thinking that you could be one screwup, one flared temper away from being fired; imagine thinking you’re one screwup away from prison? Of course you’ll expect lots of leniency. Of course you’ll refuse to cooperate with a prosecutor who just charged your buddy. And of course the net result is to evolve a culture that insulates cops from the consequences of their actions.

    I believe–or at least hope–that this can be changed. But bleating about the “bad apples” isn’t going to do shit. The problem is fundamental, cultural, and systemic.

    Disclaimer: I work in law enforcement. I’ve never assaulted, or even yelled at, anyone, but I haven’t received a traffic ticket in years. And not because of my stellar driving.

  • Juniper

    @4 A Masked Avenger

    Oh, I hope I didn’t give the impression that I buy the Few Bad Apples Hypothesis. I don’t. My partner sent me the DOJ report on their investigation of the Ferguson PD, for example. It was crystal clear that this was a systemic problem.

    Obviously, we shouldn’t live in a society where the cops that do behave this way can threaten, beat, shoot or kill people with impunity and get off with a wrist slap. I just don’t know what we can do about it.

  • Juniper

    @4 A Masked Avenger

    Oh, I hope I didn’t give the impression that I buy the Few Bad Apples Hypothesis. I don’t. My partner sent me the DOJ report on their investigation of the Ferguson PD, for example. It was crystal clear that this was a systemic problem.

    Obviously, we shouldn’t live in a society where the cops that do behave this way can threaten, beat, shoot or kill people with impunity and get off with a wrist slap. I just don’t know what we can do about it.

  • Michael Heath

    Juniper asks a rhetorical question:

    . . . isn’t being professional part of any job?

    Here’s what really bothers me about the law enforcement sector. Not only is professionalism a primary component of the duties of officers, but professionalism in geneal demands a higher standard vs. the conduct of the public. Except in certain sectors such as this one where the expected standards are far lower than they are with general public. That’s really messed-up.

  • Michael Heath

    Juniper asks a rhetorical question:

    . . . isn’t being professional part of any job?

    Here’s what really bothers me about the law enforcement sector. Not only is professionalism a primary component of the duties of officers, but professionalism in geneal demands a higher standard vs. the conduct of the public. Except in certain sectors such as this one where the expected standards are far lower than they are with general public. That’s really messed-up.

  • EnlightenmentLiberal

    Obviously, we shouldn’t live in a society where the cops that do behave this way can threaten, beat, shoot or kill people with impunity and get off with a wrist slap. I just don’t know what we can do about it.

    I have a few ideas.

    Pass a constitutional amendment to strip police officers of all of their qualified immunity, and forbid any police department or police union from having a collective malfeasance insurance. The net result will be that every police officer will have to get individual malfeasance insurance, and the bad officers will get sued, and they will lose, and the insurance company will pay out, and eventually the “few bad apples” will have insurance costs that are too high and will be forced out of the policing job. I don’t have links offhand, but there are a few cities in the US that are experimenting with this approach right now.

    This next idea seems like pure crazy even to me, but I find it fascinating. In the days of the founding, there was no police, and most criminal prosecutions were handled by private citizens. The purpose of a grand jury is for a private citizen to go before the grand jury to get an indictment. A private citizen needs an indictment by a grand jury before they can engage as the prosecutor in a criminal case. Why not open up grand juries to private citizens again so the private citizens can criminally prosecute bad cops?

    If we’re particularly crazy, even re-allow private citizens to go before judges and actually get search warrants and arrest warrants, and allow private citizens to serve warrants, again like it was done in the days of the founders.

    I’m not suggesting we do away with state prosecutors and police – I’m not a libertarian – but that is an IMO important check on government power which has been slowly lost over time.

    But we definitely need the first part where we strip all police of all of their qualified immunity.

  • EnlightenmentLiberal

    Obviously, we shouldn’t live in a society where the cops that do behave this way can threaten, beat, shoot or kill people with impunity and get off with a wrist slap. I just don’t know what we can do about it.

    I have a few ideas.

    Pass a constitutional amendment to strip police officers of all of their qualified immunity, and forbid any police department or police union from having a collective malfeasance insurance. The net result will be that every police officer will have to get individual malfeasance insurance, and the bad officers will get sued, and they will lose, and the insurance company will pay out, and eventually the “few bad apples” will have insurance costs that are too high and will be forced out of the policing job. I don’t have links offhand, but there are a few cities in the US that are experimenting with this approach right now.

    This next idea seems like pure crazy even to me, but I find it fascinating. In the days of the founding, there was no police, and most criminal prosecutions were handled by private citizens. The purpose of a grand jury is for a private citizen to go before the grand jury to get an indictment. A private citizen needs an indictment by a grand jury before they can engage as the prosecutor in a criminal case. Why not open up grand juries to private citizens again so the private citizens can criminally prosecute bad cops?

    If we’re particularly crazy, even re-allow private citizens to go before judges and actually get search warrants and arrest warrants, and allow private citizens to serve warrants, again like it was done in the days of the founders.

    I’m not suggesting we do away with state prosecutors and police – I’m not a libertarian – but that is an IMO important check on government power which has been slowly lost over time.

    But we definitely need the first part where we strip all police of all of their qualified immunity.

  • EnlightenmentLiberal

    Speaking of which. I’ve become convinced that we actually do live in a police state.

    We live in a country where the police can demand to see your papers with no cause in what – half of the states IIRC.

    In many states, the cops can take your shit on the flimsiest of excuses (civil forfeiture law), and you as the private citizen have little to no recourse.

    The police can do the all but the most flagrant abuse and suffer no consequences because of qualified immunity, and often they can do the most flagrant abuse and suffer no consequences too because of corrupt prosecutors and the “law and order” culture of the jurists. Further, when the cops misbehave, there is no recourse for the private citizen (short of voting in a new government) because of qualified immunity, and because of lack of access to grand jury indictments, and because of lack of access to search warrants to obtain evidence that would be necessary for conviction.

    The police are exempt from all sorts of firearm laws where private citizens are not.

    If that’s not a police state, then I don’t know what is.

  • EnlightenmentLiberal

    Speaking of which. I’ve become convinced that we actually do live in a police state.

    We live in a country where the police can demand to see your papers with no cause in what – half of the states IIRC.

    In many states, the cops can take your shit on the flimsiest of excuses (civil forfeiture law), and you as the private citizen have little to no recourse.

    The police can do the all but the most flagrant abuse and suffer no consequences because of qualified immunity, and often they can do the most flagrant abuse and suffer no consequences too because of corrupt prosecutors and the “law and order” culture of the jurists. Further, when the cops misbehave, there is no recourse for the private citizen (short of voting in a new government) because of qualified immunity, and because of lack of access to grand jury indictments, and because of lack of access to search warrants to obtain evidence that would be necessary for conviction.

    The police are exempt from all sorts of firearm laws where private citizens are not.

    If that’s not a police state, then I don’t know what is.

  • EnlightenmentLiberal

    Last multipost – sorry. We also need a constitutional amendment that strictly forbids “no knock, no announce” warrants. Just a complete ban with no exceptions. When you have a search warrant that applies to a building, you must announce your presence, wait a reasonable period for a person to come to the door (at least 5 minutes), and then give the person sufficient time to read the warrant before entering – again at least 5 minutes, maybe more(??). Maybe give the person time to call a lawyer – maybe. Similar standards should apply for any sort of search warrant that authorizes what would otherwise be criminal breaking and entering and criminal trespass.

    The modern practice of “no knock, no announce” warrants where SWAT teams break down the door with no warning and guns drawn is completely and utterly ridiculous, and it should never be tolerated. Ever.

    The idea that we are ok with SWAT teams breaking down doors unannounced and throwing flash-bang grenades immediately after breaking the door is another level of ludicrous on top of the level of ludicrous that is “no knock, no announce” warrants. Example:

    http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/07/us/georgia-toddler-stun-grenade-no-indictment/

    I don’t care that they got the wrong house. What if they got the right house? It’s obscene that we allow the police to use flash-bang grenades during execution of a warrant as a “preventative” measure. That’s ridiculous.

    My new standard is: Would you be ok with professional bounty hunters using the same tactics when serving a search warrant? No? Then the cops cannot do it either. Because that’s what the cops are in this context – paid bounty hunters. Sure, they’re salaried instead of paid by commission, but I don’t see how that meaningfully changes things.

    I know the common counter-arguments.

    “What if it’s a gang of armed thugs?”. Then bring an overwhelming police presence and announce yourself with a loudspeaker behind a bull-resistant car or shield or something. I’m sorry. This should never be an excuse to violate the proper standards for serving a warrant.

    “What if that gives the person a chance to destroy evidence?”. Then get them on the charge of destroying evidence. That’s a very severe charge. And if you cannot get that to stick, like if they flush drugs down the toilet, then oh well. That’s the cost we pay to live in a free society where we can feel secure and safe, and where we don’t have to worry about the possibility that any moment, a gang of armed thugs (the police) might break down my door and throw a flash-bang grenade at me. PS: We ought to do away with all or almost all drug law anyway.

  • EnlightenmentLiberal

    Last multipost – sorry. We also need a constitutional amendment that strictly forbids “no knock, no announce” warrants. Just a complete ban with no exceptions. When you have a search warrant that applies to a building, you must announce your presence, wait a reasonable period for a person to come to the door (at least 5 minutes), and then give the person sufficient time to read the warrant before entering – again at least 5 minutes, maybe more(??). Maybe give the person time to call a lawyer – maybe. Similar standards should apply for any sort of search warrant that authorizes what would otherwise be criminal breaking and entering and criminal trespass.

    The modern practice of “no knock, no announce” warrants where SWAT teams break down the door with no warning and guns drawn is completely and utterly ridiculous, and it should never be tolerated. Ever.

    The idea that we are ok with SWAT teams breaking down doors unannounced and throwing flash-bang grenades immediately after breaking the door is another level of ludicrous on top of the level of ludicrous that is “no knock, no announce” warrants. Example:

    http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/07/us/georgia-toddler-stun-grenade-no-indictment/

    I don’t care that they got the wrong house. What if they got the right house? It’s obscene that we allow the police to use flash-bang grenades during execution of a warrant as a “preventative” measure. That’s ridiculous.

    My new standard is: Would you be ok with professional bounty hunters using the same tactics when serving a search warrant? No? Then the cops cannot do it either. Because that’s what the cops are in this context – paid bounty hunters. Sure, they’re salaried instead of paid by commission, but I don’t see how that meaningfully changes things.

    I know the common counter-arguments.

    “What if it’s a gang of armed thugs?”. Then bring an overwhelming police presence and announce yourself with a loudspeaker behind a bull-resistant car or shield or something. I’m sorry. This should never be an excuse to violate the proper standards for serving a warrant.

    “What if that gives the person a chance to destroy evidence?”. Then get them on the charge of destroying evidence. That’s a very severe charge. And if you cannot get that to stick, like if they flush drugs down the toilet, then oh well. That’s the cost we pay to live in a free society where we can feel secure and safe, and where we don’t have to worry about the possibility that any moment, a gang of armed thugs (the police) might break down my door and throw a flash-bang grenade at me. PS: We ought to do away with all or almost all drug law anyway.

  • Juniper

    @6 Michael Heath

    Exactly.

  • Juniper

    @6 Michael Heath

    Exactly.

  • Juniper

    @EnlightenmentLiberal

    Pass a constitutional amendment to strip police officers of all of their qualified immunity, and forbid any police department or police union from having a collective malfeasance insurance. The net result will be that every police officer will have to get individual malfeasance insurance

    It appears that some officers and their advocates don’t think that collective insurance goes far enough. I haven’t yet looked for statistics on how many officers already pay for individual malfeasance insurance on top of general liability, though. Also, I wonder if the cops who feel as if they need extra insurance because we (now) live in a litigious society that favors criminals are less likely or more likely to be dirty and to help foster a culture of corruption.

    (This idea that we now live in a society that favors criminals has multiple implications.)

    I agree that police do not need carte blanche to violently escalate situations out of all proportion, civil asset forfeiture– banned in NM and TN; it ought to be outlawed by the federal government– warrants that violate the spirit if not the letter of the Fourth Amendment and military equipment from veterans returning from Afghanistan in order to enforce the law. This is an understatement.

  • Juniper

    @EnlightenmentLiberal

    Pass a constitutional amendment to strip police officers of all of their qualified immunity, and forbid any police department or police union from having a collective malfeasance insurance. The net result will be that every police officer will have to get individual malfeasance insurance

    It appears that some officers and their advocates don’t think that collective insurance goes far enough. I haven’t yet looked for statistics on how many officers already pay for individual malfeasance insurance on top of general liability, though. Also, I wonder if the cops who feel as if they need extra insurance because we (now) live in a litigious society that favors criminals are less likely or more likely to be dirty and to help foster a culture of corruption.

    (This idea that we now live in a society that favors criminals has multiple implications.)

    I agree that police do not need carte blanche to violently escalate situations out of all proportion, civil asset forfeiture– banned in NM and TN; it ought to be outlawed by the federal government– warrants that violate the spirit if not the letter of the Fourth Amendment and military equipment from veterans returning from Afghanistan in order to enforce the law. This is an understatement.

  • EnlightenmentLiberal

    @Juniper

    IMHO, the solution to frivolous lawsuits is not to ban lawsuits altogether. It’s the proverbial throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

    As a separate matter, I am somewhat concerned about the state of legal affairs whereby lawsuits can be used as weapons to bankrupt someone even when they’re in the right. I don’t know if it was any different, and I don’t know if there’s anything we can do to fix that problem. I’m too ignorant to give anything but guesses.

    I still do not buy that as a valid reason why the police need any more immunity for violating the law than any other citizen. Another proverbial phrase is that ignorance of the law is no excuse. That’s true now, unless you’re a cop, which seems completely ass backwards to me.

    civil asset forfeiture– banned in NM and TN; it ought to be outlawed by the federal government–

    This is an IMHO separate issue. It’s related under the same umbrella of “problems with our current police”, but legally it has basically nothing to do with qualified immunity of police. The idea that this could ever happen short of a criminal conviction (or winning a civil suit) is IMHO completely absurd. It’s just another example of how we’re living in a police state.

    Regarding one of your links, it talks about the cop suffering multiple suits / legal actions / whatever. I’m probably going too far from my knowledge, but let me throw out my current suspicions on this matter. There is a legal principle called “double jeopardy”. I think it’s been very bastardized over time. Work with me.

    From the Federalist Papers and other sources, we can see the framers original intent and understanding of the powers of the federal government and the state government. I forget which Federalist Paper it was in, but in one of them it says explicitly that more or less all criminal law was the province of the states, not the federal government. It’s my strong belief that the framers did not foresee any significant fraction of cases where a single action could result in prosecution under federal law and state law. Again, IMHO. I strongly suspect that by the original understanding and intent of the framers, that would constitute double jeopardy. Yes, I know that later supreme court decisions disagree with me, but IMHO they were wrongly decided. By the framer’s original understanding and intent, it should be impossible (or close to it) for an action to be criminally prosecutable under federal law and state law. Again IMHO. That’s one aspect of the abuse of our double jeopardy protections.

    Another way our double jeopardy protections are regularly abused is civil action for what should be a criminal prosecution. I haven’t looked too closely into this yet, but it’s my understanding based on flimsy evidence and research that the idea of a “wrongful death civil suit” is a rather recent invention, and on such thing was known to the founders. Rather, if there was a death, it would be criminally prosecuted by family members after receiving an indictment by a grand jury, or perhaps prosecuted by a state prosecutor after receiving an indictment by a grand jury. Remember, at the time of the founding, most criminal prosecutions were done by private citizens. Thus, in that context, allowing a private citizen to bring a criminal prosecution and a civil suit for the same offense would IMO quite clearly violate the founder’s notion of double jeopardy.

    I strongly suspect that this is what happened: As our modern police state developed, the people lost access to grand juries and seeking indictments. That ability was reserved to government prosecutors alone. Later, some legislatures saw a problem where the families of people who were killed were not getting adequate justice from government prosecutors, and so passed law that allow the family to bring a civil suit for wrongful deaths. I think that statute should be declared illegal and should not be allowed. It’s an IMO clear violation of the spirit double jeopardy.

    Rather, I would much rather like to consider a crazy system where government prosecutors and private citizens have equal access to obtain grand jury indictments, and the grand jury is there to decide who is in the best position to do the best prosecution of the criminal case, like it was in the time of the founding.

    As a larger point, I think that if the offense is criminal, then one should not be allowed to also bring a civil suit for the same offense, according to the usual SCOTUS logic of what does and does not constitute “the same offense” for two criminal laws.

    See:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_Jeopardy_Clause

    /rant

    I’ve been ranting a lot here recently. Hopefully someone finds these rants useful.

  • EnlightenmentLiberal

    @Juniper

    IMHO, the solution to frivolous lawsuits is not to ban lawsuits altogether. It’s the proverbial throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

    As a separate matter, I am somewhat concerned about the state of legal affairs whereby lawsuits can be used as weapons to bankrupt someone even when they’re in the right. I don’t know if it was any different, and I don’t know if there’s anything we can do to fix that problem. I’m too ignorant to give anything but guesses.

    I still do not buy that as a valid reason why the police need any more immunity for violating the law than any other citizen. Another proverbial phrase is that ignorance of the law is no excuse. That’s true now, unless you’re a cop, which seems completely ass backwards to me.

    civil asset forfeiture– banned in NM and TN; it ought to be outlawed by the federal government–

    This is an IMHO separate issue. It’s related under the same umbrella of “problems with our current police”, but legally it has basically nothing to do with qualified immunity of police. The idea that this could ever happen short of a criminal conviction (or winning a civil suit) is IMHO completely absurd. It’s just another example of how we’re living in a police state.

    Regarding one of your links, it talks about the cop suffering multiple suits / legal actions / whatever. I’m probably going too far from my knowledge, but let me throw out my current suspicions on this matter. There is a legal principle called “double jeopardy”. I think it’s been very bastardized over time. Work with me.

    From the Federalist Papers and other sources, we can see the framers original intent and understanding of the powers of the federal government and the state government. I forget which Federalist Paper it was in, but in one of them it says explicitly that more or less all criminal law was the province of the states, not the federal government. It’s my strong belief that the framers did not foresee any significant fraction of cases where a single action could result in prosecution under federal law and state law. Again, IMHO. I strongly suspect that by the original understanding and intent of the framers, that would constitute double jeopardy. Yes, I know that later supreme court decisions disagree with me, but IMHO they were wrongly decided. By the framer’s original understanding and intent, it should be impossible (or close to it) for an action to be criminally prosecutable under federal law and state law. Again IMHO. That’s one aspect of the abuse of our double jeopardy protections.

    Another way our double jeopardy protections are regularly abused is civil action for what should be a criminal prosecution. I haven’t looked too closely into this yet, but it’s my understanding based on flimsy evidence and research that the idea of a “wrongful death civil suit” is a rather recent invention, and on such thing was known to the founders. Rather, if there was a death, it would be criminally prosecuted by family members after receiving an indictment by a grand jury, or perhaps prosecuted by a state prosecutor after receiving an indictment by a grand jury. Remember, at the time of the founding, most criminal prosecutions were done by private citizens. Thus, in that context, allowing a private citizen to bring a criminal prosecution and a civil suit for the same offense would IMO quite clearly violate the founder’s notion of double jeopardy.

    I strongly suspect that this is what happened: As our modern police state developed, the people lost access to grand juries and seeking indictments. That ability was reserved to government prosecutors alone. Later, some legislatures saw a problem where the families of people who were killed were not getting adequate justice from government prosecutors, and so passed law that allow the family to bring a civil suit for wrongful deaths. I think that statute should be declared illegal and should not be allowed. It’s an IMO clear violation of the spirit double jeopardy.

    Rather, I would much rather like to consider a crazy system where government prosecutors and private citizens have equal access to obtain grand jury indictments, and the grand jury is there to decide who is in the best position to do the best prosecution of the criminal case, like it was in the time of the founding.

    As a larger point, I think that if the offense is criminal, then one should not be allowed to also bring a civil suit for the same offense, according to the usual SCOTUS logic of what does and does not constitute “the same offense” for two criminal laws.

    See:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_Jeopardy_Clause

    /rant

    I’ve been ranting a lot here recently. Hopefully someone finds these rants useful.

  • EnlightenmentLiberal

    I need to proofread. Correction:

    > but it’s my understanding based on flimsy evidence and research that the idea of a “wrongful death civil suit” is a rather recent invention, and no such thing was known to the founders.

  • EnlightenmentLiberal

    I need to proofread. Correction:

    > but it’s my understanding based on flimsy evidence and research that the idea of a “wrongful death civil suit” is a rather recent invention, and no such thing was known to the founders.

  • EnlightenmentLiberal

    @Juniper

    Just read your other link. I think you don’t understand me. I want to enforce personal liability for individual cops. One impediment to that personal liability might be the creation of a single slush fund or single collective insurance agreement by the cop union. I want to force bad cops out of the job, and if individual bad cops can hide behind a collective insurance agreement, then they will not feel the pressure personally to improve their shit, nor will their individual insurance costs rise appropriately to force the bad cop out of the job.

    Your links are talking about separate issues. I’m not here to defend frivolous lawsuits. I’m not here to give suggestions on how to curtail frivolous lawsuits.

    In particular, I’m not here to defend civil or criminal actions against a police officer for negligent entrustment (Did you properly supervise “off-duty” officers where they used a gun, car, night stick or other property belonging to the governmental agency?). I’m finding it hard to image a situation where I think that this particular thing should result in a successful civil or criminal action.

    For example, this is what I am getting at: if a cop brandishes a weapon needlessly against a civilian, that should be criminally prosecutable and should be prosecuted, and the cop should be held accountable. I cannot brandish a weapon – so why should cops be able to brandish weapons? I cannot draw a gun and point it at someone without good reason, so why should we allow a cop to do the same thing? Why do we allow cops to get away with this shit as a society?

    I know the answer: because we are welcoming the police state. I have no idea how to fix the underlying issue – the culture of “law and order”, which exists on both the left and the right. We need to stop giving police a free pass. We need to start to recognize the police for what they are: professional bounty hunters. We just happen to pay them via a salary via taxes, as opposed to private bounty hunters that are often paid by commission. I’m not against the police – I’m not a libertarian. I just don’t think that paying them by salary by taxes magically changes the quality of their actions, and nor should it grant these professional bounty hunters any additional legal privileges.

  • EnlightenmentLiberal

    @Juniper

    Just read your other link. I think you don’t understand me. I want to enforce personal liability for individual cops. One impediment to that personal liability might be the creation of a single slush fund or single collective insurance agreement by the cop union. I want to force bad cops out of the job, and if individual bad cops can hide behind a collective insurance agreement, then they will not feel the pressure personally to improve their shit, nor will their individual insurance costs rise appropriately to force the bad cop out of the job.

    Your links are talking about separate issues. I’m not here to defend frivolous lawsuits. I’m not here to give suggestions on how to curtail frivolous lawsuits.

    In particular, I’m not here to defend civil or criminal actions against a police officer for negligent entrustment (Did you properly supervise “off-duty” officers where they used a gun, car, night stick or other property belonging to the governmental agency?). I’m finding it hard to image a situation where I think that this particular thing should result in a successful civil or criminal action.

    For example, this is what I am getting at: if a cop brandishes a weapon needlessly against a civilian, that should be criminally prosecutable and should be prosecuted, and the cop should be held accountable. I cannot brandish a weapon – so why should cops be able to brandish weapons? I cannot draw a gun and point it at someone without good reason, so why should we allow a cop to do the same thing? Why do we allow cops to get away with this shit as a society?

    I know the answer: because we are welcoming the police state. I have no idea how to fix the underlying issue – the culture of “law and order”, which exists on both the left and the right. We need to stop giving police a free pass. We need to start to recognize the police for what they are: professional bounty hunters. We just happen to pay them via a salary via taxes, as opposed to private bounty hunters that are often paid by commission. I’m not against the police – I’m not a libertarian. I just don’t think that paying them by salary by taxes magically changes the quality of their actions, and nor should it grant these professional bounty hunters any additional legal privileges.