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Yes, We’re Cops. And We’re Human Beings. But We Won’t Be Your Victims.

| December 12, 2014

The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office’s Calvin Grant at a ceremony for fallen law enforcement officers two years ago. (© FlaglerLive)

The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office’s Calvin Grant at a ceremony for fallen law enforcement officers two years ago.
(© FlaglerLive)

By Jonathan Dopp

The cops.  The ones you hate.  The ones that only exist to violate your rights or murder you needlessly.  We are everything you fear.  We are everything you hate and despise.  We act recklessly, with no regard for life or public safety.  This is the popular view in America right now.


The police officers of America have been on the constantly swinging pendulum of American culture.  We have been hailed as heroes and we have been demonized as monsters.  Unfortunately, America now views their police officers as monsters again.

No one cares about the good we do.  Very few ever even hear about it.  They don’t understand what we do, and they don’t want to understand.  Ours is a job that most people know needs to be done, but would rather not know how.

Statistics show that police work is not as dangerous or deadly as say, commercial fishing or a host of other professions.  The dangerous part of our job, the part that people never factor in, cannot be measured in fatalities in our ranks.  It comes from the psychological damage caused by living within the dark side of society, the side that most people only see—or think they see—in movies.

The stress caused by the things we see on a daily basis is immeasurable.  Added to that is the knowledge that the people we serve really only care that we exist when they need something from us.  They expect that we will run toward them in their time of need.  But they also expect that we make life-changing, split-second decisions with a surgeon’s precision in the middle of the night, while we are scared to death.  Then they will spend months dissecting the decision we had barely seconds to make.

Jonathan Dopp

Jonathan Dopp

In his Dec. 7 article, Pierre Tristam claimed that cops “get away with murder” and asked, “What white person has experienced the assumption of threat that every black man has to live with in moist whites’ eyes when they see him on the sidewalk, entering the elevator, waiting his turn at the ATM?”  Coincidentally, the police have experienced this very attitude.  We are judged, not by who we are as people, but by what we do for a living.

Everywhere we go we must question those around us and wonder whether or not they support what we do.  We must question whether or not the man next to us is about to murder us, because of what we represent.  Most police officers do not even openly admit to what they do for a living outside of their trusted circles for these very reasons.  We don’t want people to know what we do because we know that throngs within society despise our existence and what we represent.

What the police represent varies, depending on who you talk to.  To some we are saviors, to others we are oppressive militants.  But, in general, we represent “Big Brother.”  We are that arm of the government that occasionally infiltrates peoples’ private lives.  We are there to tell you what to do, so to speak, and people don’t like that.  It is important to remember, however, that there are rules we must play by.  We are not able to trample your rights unchecked, contrary to popular belief.  Furthermore, without the efforts of law enforcement, the weak, the innocent and  law-abiding citizens would be left to fend for themselves against the “wolves” of society.

If there were a national conversation regarding the moral competence of any other group of people, it would be considered racist or prejudiced.  We as a society are not allowed to discuss groups of people in generalities, because it is wrong.  It is presumptuous and it is unfounded without knowing each individual member of that class and examining their personal behavior.  Why is it then, that a whole nation can engage in this sort of behavior about “the cops?”  Why can we be judged based on the color of the uniform we wear to work while no other class of people can be judged unilaterally?

There are some things that society as a whole needs to recognize about the police.  First and foremost, we are human beings too. We have hopes and dreams, we love, we laugh, we cry and we get scared.  It is no easy task to walk into many of the situations that we must walk into every day at work.  We must swallow that fear and channel it into healthy focus.  Society needs to recognize that we are not mindless robots programmed to kill young black men.  But when threatened, we get scared and we react the same way that any other scared person would react.  We go into self-preservation mode and do whatever it takes to survive.

The other thing that I feel compelled to point out is that we are not required by law to be victims.  I strongly encourage the questioning of the police.  I believe it is fundamental to the American justice system and that it is a basic right of any American citizen.  But questioning the police is a far cry from assaulting the police.


“We have hopes and dreams, we love, we laugh, we cry and we get scared.”
 


Furthermore, the acceptable arena for these questions, especially in complex situations, is in a court of law.  As a young deputy, I learned many lessons sitting in a courtroom, lessons in law and in humility.  I have made mistakes in my career and have taken the stand to testify in “bad cases.”  These cases were not bad because I intentionally violated someone’s rights.  They were bad because I, as a human being learning a new career, made mistakes.  Regardless of whether the defendant was black or white, my mistakes were made evident in court.  This does not mean that the defendants in these cases were innocent, because I know they weren’t.  But due to an oversight in a rule of law, the case against them was dismissed.  Proof that the justice system does work, generally speaking, and allows guilty people to walk free when the police make mistakes.

Another thing that I feel that people need to understand is that we will defend ourselves and, generally speaking, we are good at it.  If you are told that you are under arrest, “don’t touch me” and “no I’m not” are not options for you.  Again, the proper forum for these challenges is in court.  If you decide to contest these matters with violence on the street, we will defend ourselves and use necessary force to affect an arrest.

It also needs to be understood that there are scenarios in which a police officer is fully justified in shooting an unarmed person.  Many factors come into play here.  Unless you understand the law and factors that weigh into these decisions, you should reserve judgment until the facts of the case are clear and you have a chance to actually read and understand the applicable laws.  This is real life.  We do not shoot guns out of people’s hands.  We do not shoot people in the leg.  We shoot to stop a threat to our safety or the safety of others.  If we are shooting at you, it is because we feel we are justified in the use of deadly force.  Deadly force, as the name implies, is deadly.

The rule of law is paramount in this country.  Without it, we would quickly slip into scenes mimicking “The Purge.”  We will not retreat from an arrest.  We will not accept that you think we are wrong and just walk away.  Of all the people I’ve arrested in my career, none of them thought they should be arrested.  Judges and juries make those decisions, not you.  That is the rule of law in this country.  If the police were to retreat from making an arrest simply because the offender thought he or she was wrong, there would be no rule of law.

The police in this nation are willing to be whatever society needs us to be.  We have been heroes and we have been villains.  We have enforced unpopular laws and have restored order to communities, even when we agree with the anger of the mob.  We will be your scapegoat and we will be questioned and ridiculed.  No matter what you need us to be, we will always be there for you.  We will put on our uniform and do our best to play the role society needs us to play.

There is one thing, however, that we will not be for you.  We will not be victims.  Our principles won’t allow us to be so. Our desire to go home to our families at shift’s end is too strong.  Cast stones and question tactics.  Poke us in the eye with your jokes. Mock us behind our backs.  That, we can take, as we have for a long time.  But don’t expect us to be victims.  We are the ones you call when you have been victimized by crime or wrongdoing.  When you ask us, your protectors, to be victims, what does that make you?

Jonathan Dopp, an eight-year veteran of the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office, wrote this as an individual and a career law enforcement officer. The opinions represented here are his own and not necessarily those of the Sheriff’s Office.

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97 Responses for “Yes, We’re Cops. And We’re Human Beings. But We Won’t Be Your Victims.”

  1. John Smallberries says:

    “If we are shooting at you, it is because we feel we are justified in the use of deadly force.”

    Yes, tell that to Tamir Rice.

    • Jon Dopp says:

      Tamir Rice was holding an air soft gun that looked frightenly real. To discern the fake from the real in a matter of seconds is nearly impossible. No one should be asked to bet their life that the gun being held is fake. My reasoning stands, the officers in that case BELIEVED they were justified in using deadly force. While tragic, this one is not on the cops. They too have to live with a decision they were forced to make.

    • Anonymous says:

      He just did tell that to everyone…

    • EThorn says:

      So you think the police should take a bullet because the person pulling a gun on them is young? Sorry, no. You appear to have missed the whole point of “not being a victim.” In my view a cop’s life- and his children having a dad- is just as important as the life of a boy about to shoot him.

      Naturally if the officer was able to know it was a bb gun and not the real gun it appeared to be, the tragedy never would have happened. If the young man had a parent that didn’t leave him out in a high-crime area to play with a gun it wouldnt’ have happened either. I wonder why no blame rests on the ‘parent(s?)’

      • John Smallberries says:

        No, I think the police should use nonlethal options when dealing with a 12 year old child that has a bb gun and not lie about the number of times he was told to put the gun down or how much time was spent, and then release information about the kid’s father being arrested for domestic violence in an effort to defend the shoot as good.

        The state requires more than just “a feeling” when it comes to sentencing someone to death, and even then they get it wrong.

    • w.ryan says:

      I’m a retired LEO. I respect Flagler Co. Deputies and the job you do! In 10 yrs most of my experiences have been great. The level of dissatisfaction because of complaints about shootings of unarmed black men is where the problem exists. No one is condemning Cops and it’s sad that cops believe this. The majority of what I hear in the media and by others is that they APPRECIATE police and celebrate their service but there are questions concerning the TAKING OF HUMAN LIFE! If there is a problem with use of force acknowledge and fix the problem instead of internalizing and personalizing the complaints of this detrimental problem. Encircling the wagons will not bring understanding to the citizens you serve. LEO’s stand tight but then what? You’ll know a good shooting from a bad one and split seconds can send a cop to jail but it can lose an innocent life! Split seconds can save a life too! You and I know that going home unharmed is what we strive to do. I think the people you serve want you to get home safe as well. We serve with honor and believe that enforcing the rule of law is our job. But we fail to understand that the rule of law is not absolute. ( If you think it is then people should go to jail for Torture.etc.)
      My experiences have been deep and being a black man and a black cop I’ve experienced much in terms of the visual , the interactions, behavioral and the actual application of the law. The straight answer to the Tamir Rice killing is he should not have been shot and killed! You weren’t there is what I know I will hear from supporters of the cops but honestly, HONESTLY…these two cops didn’t use tactics which would have been applied by most LEO’s. (1)The Driver of the RMP(Radio Motor patrol vehicle) put the rookie in a bad situation by driving right up to the subject forcing his decision to use deadly force. Negligence! (2) Proper Tactics saves lives. Split second thinking is essential and to think cover upon approach was where the driver went wrong. Would the cops be shot at with the BB gun and would Tamir have been alive if these two cops had taken a tactical approach? Most likely!

    • barbie says:

      I’d be okay with all of this if the ones that did things like shoot a child didn’t lie about it afterward. The cops reported in the Rice case that this child was warned several times to put down his “weapon” and that’s simply not true, the timing in video evidence belies that completely. There was no time. No way. The cop pulled up, jumped out, and started shooting. Who you going to believe, the cops afterward or your lying eyes?

      So please, listen up, Officer: if you or one of yours shoots and kills an unarmed civilian and you find out it was wrong to have done so, you need to damned well own up to it and quit getting grand juries stacked and quit getting reports whitewashed. And quit protecting the bad cops in your ranks. This “we do so much good” stuff is worthless in the face of lie after lie after demonstrable LIE.

    • EMT says:

      Rice’s shooting was justifiable as the airsoft gun looks real. Ask any cop…you have an airsoft gun that looks real, and point it at them, they’ll shoot you….it’s a real threat to them. they look just like a real gun

  2. Sergio Pina says:

    Amen! Well written Jon.

  3. Charles "Bub" Robson says:

    Yes, you are correct, we as police officers do what others will not do for a small amount of pay. Unless you have been a Police Officer for a long time you do not, and cannot imagine what a Police Officer goes through. Think before you speak or act against an Law Enforcement Officer and try to understand, he or she is enforcing the Laws Society handed down.

  4. Freddy says:

    A very well written article and an opposite view of Pierre’s usual extremely liberal thinking and bias. Any cop haters out there should not call 911 the next time they need help but call Pierre’s number for help.

    • Gramdma Tilly says:

      I have NEVER called the cops. If I can’t handle the situation myself with intelligence and patience, then I just BLOW the SOB away !!!

  5. sunandsand says:

    Excellent, true, well said!!

  6. Concerned says:

    Sorta like that undercover cop in Oakland with his face masked? You know the one who two nites ago attempted to incite the protesters to break storefront windows and loot and when they wouldn’t he did it himself then bashed the head of and pulled his gun on the first protester who took advantage of the situation the cop created. Or maybe you’re talking about that Chicago cop in the unmarked car who played ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ over his loud speaker at max volume at the quietly marching protesters there?

    I’d rather see you hold a protest sign, and show that you really understand the issues from our perspective than write an inane article that treats us like fools.

  7. Outsider says:

    This is very well stated, Jonathan. While I am not in law enforcement, there is nothing new here to me, but maybe it will wake up some of the loons who think you sit in Dunkin Donuts and drink coffee all day while planning your next assault on young black men. They are so out of touch with reality such as suggesting to shoot a charging suspect in the knee. They can’t fathom what a difficult shot that would be, and the likely miss could ricochet down the street and kill a totally innocent person. Think of the headlines that would elicit. Suffice it to say there are many who understand that split second decisions may not always be perfect, but you all step up and take on that burden. The simple solution to not getting killed by police is to not commit felonies such as assaulting law enforcement. Criminals and their sympathizers are constantly looking for a scapegoat that will relieve them of any responsibility for their abhorrent behavior, and the cops fit the bill. Thanks for all you do in good faith every day, and pay no attention to the loons.

  8. confidential says:

    I am just a law abiding Flagler county, Palm Coast resident and I feel safe, smile and wave at our deputies driving on patrol.
    Thru the over 23 years in Flagler County I recall calling 911 to send help to a deputy alone that I saw about to be overpowered by two bullies. I always pay attention when I see a patrolman on foot approaching a driver, wondering if the deputy is safe as I am very aware they risk their lives doing that. In spite of it all I know that as with everything out there are mostly good law enforcement officers and some very bad ones as well. The latest news specially shows the tragic consequences caused by those bad cops. Unfortunately would be some tendency for the citizenry to become concern with all cops now and can they be blamed?
    This is why I ask our residents and law enforcement to be conciliatory in as much as possible with each other as long as safety prevails and remember that most cops are good men and women protecting our lives while risking theirs doing so.

  9. ignorance says:

    The arrogance and entitlement draped all over this article makes me sick, it’s not surprising in any way though. You guys aren’t soldiers, so lose that mindset, or you’ll be treated like enemies right back. You get what you give and I cannot recall a single time I was ever shown respect outright by a police officer. Get real.

  10. Enlightened says:

    Well said, Jon. I for one respect what you do. It is a thankless job. The rewards are few. When you can help an individual who is in a bad situation, it is worth it. God bless you and all the other deputies at FCSO. May you all have a safe holiday.

  11. Jack Howell says:

    Well stated position as you put the “steel on the target”. It interesting to read the comments of those who have never worn the badge and think police work is accurately portrayed in the TV cops shows and movies. Let them go on a ride along in a bad area and watch them piss their pants when the bad guy starts becoming violent and refuses to respond to lawful commands. And, let us not forget that you are over paid in the eyes of some in this community!

    Jonathan, I have know you for several years and I am impressed with your professionalism. Continue to carry on and make those ignorant about what it takes to be a true professional law enforcement officer eat their words when, God forbid, the call 911 for help.

  12. rick says:

    Tamir Rice? Seriously? Though tragic, it was absolutely the correct course of action to what was perceived as a legitimate threat. Keep in mind, had that gun been real it would likely have been an even more tragic situation. The only question that should be raised is why was this child not under the supervision of his parents? Had he been, the tragedy would not have occurred.

    • w.ryan says:

      So you would have done exactly what these Cops who shot the kid? The threat was perceived so the intent was to shoot first? These statements show a frame of mind which is very disturbing. Life is an entitlement giving by God and taking so lightly the taking of a human life is shameful. And passing judgement on the parenting? I see kids age twelve riding bikes everywhere in Flagler. Do we ask the whereabouts of the kids parent? He was in a park across from his home!

    • NortonSmitty says:

      Keep in mind the gun was NOT real. You ever have a cap pistol when you were a kid? You might be dead today for it.

  13. Dave says:

    There are many of us out here that feel the way you do Jonathan. We believe in you and we support you. Keep doing what the academy and experience has trained you to do. And always come home safe.

  14. Jake says:

    Very well said brother.

  15. COPOUT says:

    You Deputy must look at the history of how a “Peace Officer” became a “Law Enforcement Agent” and how “Trustees” in prison evolved into Corrections Officers. A very convenient progression after slavery supposedly ended and why there are laws still on the books that are used to police certain demographics even today. A black person not getting off the sidewalk or looking a white a person in the face or eye was an instant arrest or worse. Vagrancy or loitering, instant arrest and confinement, these things were enforced and set up to legally ensnare freed men to work them from jail back to the plantation without having so-called slaves. The architects of those schemes are the same individuals who wrote and write these laws you have “discretion” at times to enforce today. If you were black and didn’t have a job that was considered vagrancy or loitering and you were jailed. Guess what nobody white was going hire ex-slaves as free workers when the jailers could rent them back much cheaper. Give a man or a teenager a felony (even today) now in the mind of the oppressor he’s made that ex-slave or whoever even less of a man. Now you can’t own a gun or vote, the two things that most Americans think makes them great. It was and still is all systematic. The fabric of this country is woven from racism (superiority over others) and bias (tending to yield one outcome more frequently than others).

    “Slavery by Another Name is a 90-minute documentary that challenges one of Americans’ most cherished assumptions: the belief that slavery in this country ended with the Emancipation Proclamation. The film tells how even as chattel slavery came to an end in the South in 1865, thousands of African Americans were pulled back into forced labor with shocking force and brutality. It was a system in which men, often guilty of no crime at all, were arrested, compelled to work without pay, repeatedly bought and sold, and coerced to do the bidding of masters. Tolerated by both the North and South, forced labor lasted well into the 20th century.
    For most Americans this is entirely new history. Slavery by Another Name gives voice to the largely forgotten victims and perpetrators of forced labor and features their descendants living today.
    http://www.pbs.org/tpt/slavery-by-another-name/home/

    You can’t have it both ways not wanting to be stereotyped because of a uniform and then embrace codes or put walls up like (“Thin Blue Line”) or look at every citizen as a potential criminal or suspect when you don’t want to be viewed as a rogue cop yourself. You supposedly have the training and the know how to deal with the worst of the worst but it seems it’s applied only when convenient. Police officers have unimaginable resources and discretion at their disposal so to act like you’re the one who’s troubled and shackled is pitiful. Just like every profession on this planet there are also more than a handful of losers, bigots, psychopath’s rapist, and wife beaters and so on hiding behind the badge so to act like every cop because they made it through orientation is out to do good at all time is ridiculous. The Judicial system backs police and punishes the poor no two ways about it. Police isolate themselves from the community when they believe or act like it’s “us against them.” I wish you would have posted some of the descriptions or names local cops use to describe supposed suspects you encounter between other cops. Its funny most cops say, “Treat us with respect, and you get respect back.” Really when you’re trained to already have an opinion formed about me before I open my mouth how is that going to work?
    A mother and father out of love can lawfully spank or discipline their own child and still be arrested and go to jail for it. But a gang of men or man with badges and the full weight of the law behind them plus a gun, a Taser, pepper spray, handcuffs a radio a baton and a small army of backup: has the right to beat the snot out of you because you nonviolently don’t comply to an order he may or may not have the right to give you and nothing happens to him. So now I’m confused are you trained or aren’t you trained or your scared and trained or your introverted and trained, but your brave and trained or overly trained, what is it? Because this quote of yours says all Mr. Don’t Stereotype Me,

    “ Society needs to recognize that we are not mindless robots programmed to kill young black men. But when threatened, we get scared and we react the same way that any other scared person would react. We go into self-preservation mode and do whatever it takes to survive.” If you have to act like everyone else then you shouldn’t be a cop.

    • w.ryan says:

      Obviously the mindset of Police Officers are set by training and if this training is with this sense of entitlement it will show up in police work. Maybe this information, if taken in can have a positive impact on the cops that open up and not feel so embattled with the plea proper police action. But most police training is done by white instructors.

    • The Real Bunnell Resident says:

      You make about one or two good points but the rest if your posting wreaks of ignorance. If I were stopped by a police officer I would be fully compliant and respectful. If I were wrongfully stopped by a police officer Inwould still be fully compliant and respectful and then report the situation immediately. Believe it or not, reporting wrongdoing by a police officer if it happens is far more effective than any on the spot act of civil disobedience or or shithouse civil rights lesson you think you need to give that police officer. I bet you might even find treating a police officer with respect would elicit the same reaction towards you from the officer. You don’t have to respect the person but you do have to respect the uniform and the badge.

    • Frustrated Conservative says:

      Copout, You evidently know nothing about law enforcement work. I can tell you as a cop with over thirty years of experience, I have been placed in MANY DOZENS of situations where I COULD have used deadly force but opted not to. That goes for every law enforcement officer in the country. Every day they make decisions NOT to use deadly force when they would have been completely justified in doing so. I have never shot anyone. Hope to never have to. But the authors position, and goal, is to emphasize that we will NOT be victims. We are not paid to be victimized. You don’t pay your taxes to bury us. You pay for professional police response which in the majority of cases you get and don’t even know it.
      Yet we are victimized every time we answer a call for service and are exposed to the tragedies that others feel they need our help for, be it a fatal car crash with child victims not unlike our own kids, or domestic violence. The stress and sadness we see, that you as a society require us to endure, wears on us. We die earlier, we suffer statistically more cardiac and other health problems (no not from sitting in Dunkin Donuts), and mental health issues later in life. We are human beings. We bleed, we cry, we suffer with our community. The community we chose to serve. You don’t do what we do without a certain amount of compassion for the public, for the desire to help your fellow man. I know of NO law enforcement officer who got into this business to hurt people. Yes, we are trained to protect ourselves from those in society who want to harm us or others. And sometimes, in fact in a statistically miniscule amount of instances, we have to use deadly force. We never want to. Hope we don’t have to. We have to endure the proper and appropriate scrutiny of the agency we work for, the community at large and the criminal and civil judicial system. And now, heaven forbid, the entire world. We know how significant it is to take a life. We don’t do it readily or with joy. We don’t do it because we want to. But in that split second of choice, when the life of the officer or another innocent hangs in the balance, training, instinct, fear and the intangibles of the moment come together to determine if we become victims, don’t go home that night, get buried and leave grieving family members.

      Now I ask you. Have you ever faced a 12 year old with a handgun? Pointing it at you? Making you determine his mindset? Is it a real gun? It looks like one. Is it loaded? No way to tell. Is he going to use it on you? Got no clue. He is pointing it at you. Is he going to use it on someone else? Is he crazy? Insane? Normal? is it a toy? What are your options? how much time do you have before he decides to either shoot you or someone else, drop the gun or run away? Are you willing to make that decision? What are you gonna do Copout? Die? Do your family, your community, your friends, expect you to die for this child? Would you die for him? Be honest. You have about 2 seconds. On a good day.

  16. Rick Stevens says:

    In every profession, in every walk of life, there are clear thinking, well intended, honest,and intelligent people, and there are also foolish, malicious, dishonest, knuckleheads. Most of us fall somewhere in between. Here’s a man who, if he walks the walk as well as he writes about it, falls in the first category. Hats off to this writing. I always think most of the problems in the world would disappear if each of us had the opportunity to walk in the other guy’s shoes for just a day.

  17. john doe says:

    while I agree with some of this in the most of general senses, being a Flagler county cop mostly entails y traffic citations, not horrific scenes. just saying.

    • Jon Dopp says:

      That’s an interesting view. Over the last 8 or nine years I have done a lot of traffic enforcement. But I’ve also been in many fights with drunks, dealt with many volatile domestic violence situations, been on a handful of gruesome murder scenes, interviewed child rape victims, performed CPR on small children just to watch them die, pulled people from burning vehicles, executed search warrants on meth labs and grow houses and contributed to two different organized criminal enterprise cases (Brandon Washington and Grant Morse). All of that, occurred right here in Flagler county, and the list I just offered is a small preview of what I, and many others here, have done in their careers.

    • Umm says:

      and you know that how?!? The community doesnt know half the bs that goes on around here…

  18. Seminole Pride says:

    A lot of folks don’t realize that the law enforcement officier is their to protect the suspect from himself and defuse the scene. Also to get the victim out of harms way.He is not the judge, lawyer, or jury. He is the PEACE MAKER

  19. Anonymous says:

    Police are the law, when given a direct order by the police whether you have committed a crime/infraction or not, obey the command, let them do their job, they will give you a chance to speak. No one gets shot or killed, the cop finishes his/her shift, goes home. You may go home, depends on what you did. At the end of the day you both continue to breath and see your family, period.

    • barbie says:

      They do NOT have to give you a chance to speak and they often don’t. The idea that you should obey whether or not you’re given a lawful order is wrong. Sorry some don’t want to hear that. Asking politely why you’re being detained is not an invitation to threaten people with tasers and scream at them, an inch from their face. You’re dreaming if you believe you’ll get your due.

  20. attila says:

    Bud Robson you are right. You people keep us safe. What pisses me off is when you put your life on the line and apprehend criminals the judges turn them loose for little or no bond. They’re back on the street before you finish your shift..

  21. JtFlagler says:

    Thank you for your article. I’m truly surprised that FlaglerLive let it through.

    • Johnny Taxpayer says:

      I think your comment is unfair. FL obviously has a point of view, and I criticize them on occasion for masking that point of view as “news”. But in the few years I’ve been reading this site, I’ve never known them to be afraid of opposing views!

  22. Ben says:

    I come away even more concerned about out-of-control cops after reading this article!

    “It also needs to be understood that there are scenarios in which a police officer is fully justified in shooting an unarmed person.” – Did I read this correctly? –

    “the part that people never factor in, cannot be measured in fatalities in our ranks. It comes from the psychological damage caused by living within the dark side of society” – “Psychologically damaged”
    people have no business carrying guns and arresting people. –

    I don’t hate cops. I realize that without LEOS there’d be chaos. People don’t like to obey laws and ordinances.
    But cops are people too subject to our many imperfections. Cops by and large have
    forgotten to be courteous. During my time in Flagler County, I met some excellent LEO’s who we’re
    quite courteous and seemed to like their job. But there were the “others.”

    There was the one who works (or worked) at the courthouse, who blew a gasket because my wife
    and I climbed the courthouse steps after the courthouse had just closed. I apologized to the hotheaded cop
    (an obvious NYPD retiree now employed by Flagler County) and this seemed to infuriate him more.
    I was concerned for my wife, and I wasn’t going to appreciate coarse language or physicality directed at her.
    That’s what my apology got me.

    All that that guy had to do was address us politely, but he chose to speak to us like a drill sergeant.
    You know what: “FUCK YOU.” An ass like this can and will ruin your life. And officers like this ruin it
    for the good, professional cops. So cops are “scared” ok, but civilians are MORE scared of cops.

    How about the cops who shot the mentally ill man in a Palm Coast garage because he was wielding a machete?
    Mind you, all the other occupants of the house, including his mother, were were safely outside.
    Why wasn’t the guy tear-gassed out? Why was it attractive to point Glocks at a mentally-ill
    man, when the police on scene had plenty of time to find a non-lethal solution? Was it “for his safety?”
    They shot him dead – with Mom outside, who made the error of summoning the police.
    Imagine her sense of guilt.

    How about the child pornography collector at Bunnell PD?
    How about the FCSO officer who tried to choke his wife in Flagler Beach some years back?
    How about Officer Juratovac who shot the fireman in a road rage incident?

    Flagler County cops need better training for situations involving mentally ill citizens.

    “The stress caused by the things we see on a daily basis is immeasurable. ”
    Cops need to be rotated to different duties, cops need periodic psychological evaluations, cops need
    periodic retraining, and anger-management classes because of the psychological stresses of the job.

    I’m all for helping police help us. But for now cops are like a box of chocolates – you never know what
    you’re gonna get.” There’s some loose cannons in our chocolate boxes.

    • Jon Dopp says:

      Yes, you read that correctly. But the law does not only apply to police officers. Any citizen in this country has the right to defend them selves with deadly force, even against an unarmed assailant, if their life is in jeopardy. These scenarios could include an attacker that is much larger and stronger than the victim, or a victim being attacked by multiple, unarmed assailants. I’m not claiming that there aren’t any bad cops, because I know some personally. I am claiming that bad cops are the exception, not the majority.

      The shooting several years ago in Palm coast was justified. The situation unraveled quickly and there was no time to explore or deploy other options. Sometimes, these decisions have to be made in seconds, a factor many choose to ignore.

      Psychological damage is a side effect of this career. While I agree with the logic of your statement, the reality is that this job cannot be done with out some degree of mental trauma. That is the nature of the profession and I’m not sure there’s a realistic solution to that problem. Agencies do their best to hire strong mental and emotional police officers so that they can cope with these tragedies in a healthy manner. That doesn’t always work.

      I find it unfortunate that you feel the way you do after reading my article. I hoped to express the feelings of the many officers in this nation that often go ignored. But, I didn’t expect to sway everyone to see our side of things. I will chalk you up as one that I wasn’t able to get through to.

      • Ben says:

        No, Jon that shooting was NOT justified. That scene was mishandled.
        There were many different ways to handle that situation which wouldn’t have yielded
        a dead, mentally-challenged human being. Deadly force shouldn’t be the defacto response
        for a person who is not in control of his actions. There’s always time when you can exit
        and plan a different course of action. Who were they protecting that day?
        The protagonist in this situation was hiding behind junk and lawn furniture in the garage!
        Had the deputies waited Troy Gordon out, it would have yielded better results.
        They certainly could not have done WORSE.
        The guy was killed. Bible in one hand, machete in the other.

        I appreciate your civility with regard to my comments.

        If everyone treated each other with courtesy or plain old civility, we’d have a better world.

        • Jon Dopp says:

          We will have to agree to disagree about the most recent shooting in Palm coast. Just because the man had a bible in his hand doesn’t mean he wasn’t dangerous. These situations aren’t chronological timelines. They play out more like a spider web. At each intersection, the officers have several directions to choose. With each decision, comes another intersection with multiple choices. We must act quickly at each junction to try to bring a swift and peaceful resolution to the situation. While I agree the man’s death was not the most favorable option, I think that the officers did what they felt was right at the time. This much I can say without any doubt in my mind: the two officers on that scene are two of the good ones. They are both well trained , well disciplined, experienced deputies. The choices they made were made with the best intentions and sound legal, moral and tactical reasoning.

          • NortonSmitty says:

            “Just because the man had a bible in his hand doesn’t mean he wasn’t dangerous.”
            Of course! It could have been a Priest who mistakes the officer for an Altar Boy! C’mon people!
            This Shoot First attitude is trained into the officers brain, and if he does shoot first, he knows he will be rewarded for his actions. Don’t believe me? Look:
            http://tracesofreality.com/2013/02/21/no-more-hesitation-law-enforcement-being-desensitized-to-kill-pregnant-women-children-and-elderly/
            No more Hesitation targets, ordered and designed by Homeland Security. I’ll let the sales brochure explain: “non-traditional targets “ were created at the request of police officers and trainers, who are seeking to dis-inhibit the killing instincts of police “when deadly force is required on subjects with atypical age, frailty or condition…. This hesitation time may be only seconds but that is not acceptable when officers are losing their lives in these same situations…. If that hesitation time can be cut down due to range experience, the officer and the community are better served.”

            That is to say, it can condition them to overcome the natural and indispensable reluctance to kill the innocent and helpless. This is summarized in the company’s sales slogan: “No more hesitation.” And the officers are required to take the training if they are ordered. No word if they have their choice of the Pregnant Woman Target, The Grandma with a shotgun under her apron target or the six year old with a Glock in his red wagon target.

            So when the officers say they never intend to shoot non-threatening people, this is exactly the intention those who train them and send them out the door everyday have. And it is time we all wake up to that fact. You can start here: http://www.copblock.org/
            :

            • Jon Dopp says:

              These targets are meant to teach us to take an extra second to take in the whole picture and try to locate identifiable threats. They are intended to help ensure these decisions are made based on perceived threats rather than solely on the physical characteristics of the person. But, I guess anything can be distorted. When you really want to believe something, you’re willing to believe anything you’re told as long as it fits your opinion.

      • barbie says:

        Just because you couldn’t get through to him doesn’t make your POV any more right. I’ve been polite to police like I was always taught and one day, it resulted in a little wannabe dictator of a female cop getting behind me, slapping cuffs on me and hissing in my ear that she had 50,000 volts on her hip and she wasn’t afraid to use it. Your troops have a lotta bad apples, sir, and you need to do something about them before you continue lecturing the rest of us.

  23. Lin says:

    Thanks for this 1st person article
    So many judgmental pieces from the media guilty until proven innocent about law enforcement

  24. Flagler Resident says:

    I think most people respect and appreciate our police officers. I know I certainly do. It’s sad that people like Pierre, Sharpton, and Jackson seem to have such hate in them that they go out of their way to stir up tension between races. I hope that most can see past their racist views and come together with no racial barriers. I am surprised that this guy Pierre is still employed. He seems to always write things to cause hatered between blacks and whites. Thank you officer Dopp and every other police officer for all you do for us!!!

    • w.ryan says:

      Wow Pierre…you’re now grouped with Sharpton and Jackson. You’re moving up in the world! I’m thankful that not all Flagler Residence are as shallow. Officer Dopp wrote a good rebuttal but showed that among LEO’s they are embattled with the feeling they are hated. Again I state that this is not the case. Open up and understand that there are issues that need to be fixed nation wide regarding the policing of People of Color. LEO’s are not the law! They are agents of the state or geographical area of employment who are sworn to uphold the constitution. Asking questions and insisting on respectful and courteous treatment isn’t a criminal offense nor is it resisting arrest. It’s a dangerous job policing especially in tough neighborhoods.This may cause tough mental moments. So then you can see the same results from the people that live there. Be safe!

      • Jon Dopp says:

        Cops are being called racist murderers. Our ability to do our job is being questioned nationally by people who have never tried to do it. Protestors are threatening to murder police officers AND THEIR FAMILIES! People online are cheering the injury and death of police officers and many are calling for more violence directed at the police. I’m sorry if I am misunderstanding this national “conversation” but to me it sounds like hate. And more people are buying into it every day. All of this, I’m sure, is supposed to help us calm down while dealing with the public and make us feel like we are being standoffish for no reason.

        • John Smallberries says:

          You have people that allege to be former LEO in this very thread that are questioning how you do your job. The poster child of police, Frank Serpico himself, questions how you do your job. I also can’t seem to find any references to all of these protestors threatning to murder police and their families except on crank websites like INFOWARS and dailymail. I did, however, find an interesting video of an officer named Ray Albers waving around an assault rifle at journalists and protesters, stating “I will fucking kill you.”

          So really, put aside that persecution complex.

        • NortonSmitty says:

          “Protestors are threatening to murder police officers AND THEIR FAMILIES!”

          When you are given Carte Blanche to murder other peoples children, it should not be surprising that there will be a very few out there who vent their frustration by blabbing on about returning the favor.

    • Outsider says:

      It’s tough to get fired when you own the operation. I would not put Pierre in the same category as Sharpton and Jackson. I don’t agree with 95% of his opinion pieces, this one included, but he is intelligent and you can understand him when he speaks, quite eloquently. Good luck with that when it comes to the twin race baiters.

  25. Sherry Epley says:

    YES! Our police are human beings also, they have huge responsibilities and are occasionally required to deal with high risk situations. . . especially in our local “armed to the teeth” culture. The difference is that a police officer IS always armed with powerful weapons. . . which should be used judiciously. That’s why tasers are useful, non-fatal, tools. . . as are analysis of circumstance, always having 2 officers patrolling together, body cams, etc.

    What I don’t see in this well written article is any understanding that SOME police officers have stepped over way over the line from “protect and serve” to the dark place of “judge, jury and executioner”. I also don’t read any words that indicate a need for any kind of change in policing behavior nationally. I would have appreciated seeing comments or ideas about how we can all work together to create a balance and middle ground where well trained police assist citizens in living securely and peacefully. . . while respecting ALL citizens as people and not “wolves”. Flagler county is not Chicago or LA. . . or even Orlando or Miami. . . this is not a high crime area!

    This highly defensive article actually leaves me with a less comfortable feeling about the police. . . which is very sad and off putting.

    • Ray Thorne says:

      The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office has a computer based scenario training tool for deputies that those who have attended the Citizen’s Academy have been able to try out.The scenarios can range from simply conversing to having to use deadly force. Perhaps the Sheriff’s Office can go a little further than the Citizens Academy and offer interested citizens some of this shoot don’t shoot training. I think it would help tame misconceptions and would also be a real eye opener for some.

  26. Steve Robinson says:

    This is a well-presented article by an officer who has clearly given these issues some thought. In my view, one of the key points is something he touches on too quickly, and that is the fact that police officers toil daily in a world in which they usually see people at their worst, and off the job they tend to socialize only with their fellow officers, who naturally see the world the same way. No matter what you do for a living, if you spend all your time with people who believe the world is going to hell, you will quickly come around to sharing that view. Each person tends to reinforce the other’s view of the world, with no dissent. (If you consume your news from only one particular vantage point, the same thing applies–but that is a topic for another day.)
    Studies have shown that there are fewer Ferguson-type interactions between police and citizens when community policing is a department-wide policy. It means cops getting out of their cars, walking the streets of the neighborhoods they patrol, dropping in on shopkeepers and chatting with pedestrians. The hope is that through these casual interactions, both sides will see the humanity in each other. Citizens will see that cops are just like them, and the cops will see people going through lives with shared concerns–home, work, family, surviving. My guess is that a cop who truly knew the neighborhood he was policing would never have shot a 12-year-old boy with a toy gun. (That we live in a country that encourages young men to brandish guns, real or otherwise, as a symbol of masculinity is also part of the problem–again a topic for another day.)
    Police departments large and small need to institutionalize procedures that allow cops coming off a difficult shift, much less a physical encounter with a suspect, to decompress, vent and come to terms with what they have done, seen and heard. Ideally, that process would not take place with another officer over beers, but with someone more detached, who might provide some balance and perspective, and, if needed, some help. I’d be interested in hearing Deputy Dopp’s thoughts.

  27. James says:

    Thank God for cops! They have my respect and support.

  28. Brian says:

    Well written article… I don’t understand why there are so many people judging all officers based on the actions of some. And I don’t understand why there are so many officers assuming that anyone who speaks out against unjustified use of force must hate all officers. Let’s stop with the generalisations and see if we can’t address an actual problem, so we can actually fix something. Racism is stupid in every form

    • Ray Thorne says:

      The problem as I see it is not about those who speak out against police. A good law enforcement agency will always accept feedback whether good or bad. Bad feedback, that is not unfounded, is always helpful and is a tool utilized for improvement.   When there are people standing on corners waving signs not really knowing much about an incident other than word of mouth and media sensationalism, I can understand the frustration of the police and when things look bad, I can understand the frustration of thencitizens the police serve but this sudden war on the cops has to end. When we have a Brooklyn Council member giving shout outs to Bloods gang members we have a serious problem. When a Nassau NY jail rents property for a Rap artist to make his “Cop Killer” video, we have a problem. The constant race baiting is a problem. How is it that a man who incites riots and owes $4 million in back taxes is able to run his mouth at all? $4 million!!. If I were Wesley Snipes I’d be pissed! There was a saying I saw in a facebook post recently that read “A society which makes war with its police had better learn to make friends with its criminals.” We’ll see how that works out.

  29. TJ says:

    respect and love thinking and decent cops. hate overzealous trigger happy fools with badges.

    • barbie says:

      Same here. Thinking and decent cops are everywhere, but some only lecture the rest of us for complaining. It would be so easy for them to lecture–or more–the “bad apples” among them. Maybe there are so many, they feel like they cannot fight?

      I’m willing to put myself in their shoes, but not until they start speaking out directly to those who are ruining their reputations. And this general “yes, we have some bad apples” while lecturing me about my attitude isn’t doing that, btw. We all know that just like you do. When do you publicly confront THEM with lectures and more?

  30. blondee says:

    Best article EVER. I’ve been waiting for someone to address the trash that appeared in the Dec. 7th article. Oh and BTW, if anyone out there thinks they can do the job of a law enforcement officer any better, I challenge you to get out there and DO IT!!!

  31. JoJo says:

    Subject: Police Harassment

    Police Harassment – finally a clear prospective…compliments of Chula Vista, CA
    POLICE Harassment

    Recently, the Chula Vista, California Police Department ran an e-mail forum with the local community (a question and answer exchange) with the topic being, “Community Policing.”

    One of the civilian e-mail participants posed the following question:

    QUESTION: “I would like to know how it is possible for police officers to continually harass people and get away with it?”

    From the “other side” (the law enforcement side) Sgt. Bennett, obviously a cop with a sense of humor, replied:

    ANSWER:

    “First of all, let me tell you this…it’s not easy. In Chula Vista, we average one cop for every 600 people. Only about 60% of those cops are on general duty (or what you might refer to as “patrol”) where we do most of our harassing. The rest are in non-harassing departments that do not allow them contact with the day to day innocents. At any given moment, only one-fifth of the 60% patrollers are on duty and available for harassing people while the rest are off duty. So roughly, one cop is responsible for harassing about 5,000 residents.

    When you toss in the commercial business, and tourist locations that attract people from other areas, sometimes you have a situation where a single cop is responsible for harassing 10,000 or more people a day.

    Now, your average ten-hour shift runs 36,000 seconds long. This gives a cop one second to harass a person, and then only three-fourths of a second to eat a donut AND then find a new person to harass. This is not an easy task. To be honest, most cops are not up to this challenge day in and day out. It is just too tiring. What we do is utilize some tools to help us narrow down those people which we can realistically harass.”

    The tools available to us are as follow:

    PHONE: People will call us up and point out things that cause us to focus on a person for special harassment. “My neighbor is beating his wife” is a code phrase used often. This means we’ll come out and give somebody some special harassment.

    Another popular one: “There’s a guy breaking into a house.” The harassment team is then put into action.

    CARS: We have special cops assigned to harass people who drive. They like to harass the drivers of fast cars, cars with no insurance or no driver’s licenses and the like. It’s lots of fun when you pick them out of traffic for nothing more obvious than running a red light.
    Sometimes you get to really heap the harassment on when you find they have drugs in the car, they are drunk, or have an outstanding warrant on file.

    RUNNERS: Some people take off running just at the sight of a police officer. Nothing is quite as satisfying as running after them like a beagle on the scent of a bunny. When you catch them you can harass them for hours to determine why they didn’t want to talk to us.

    STATUTES: When we don’t have PHONES or CARS and have nothing better to do, there are actually books that give us ideas for reasons to harass folks. They are called “Statutes”; Criminal Codes, Motor Vehicle Codes, etc…They all spell out all sorts of things for which you can really mess with people. After you read the statute, you can just drive around for awhile until you find someone violating one of these listed offenses and harass them.

    “Just last week I saw a guy trying to steal a car. Well, there’s this book we have that says that’s not allowed. That meant I got permission to harass this guy. It’s a really cool system that we’ve set up, and it works pretty well.

    We seem to have a never-ending supply of folks to harass. And we get away with it. Why? Because for the good citizens who pay the tab, we try to keep the streets safe for them, and they pay us to “harass” some people.

    Next time you are in my town, give me the old “single finger wave.” That’s another one of those codes. It means, “You can’t harass me.” It’s one of our favorites.

    Hopefully sir, this has clarified to you a little bit better how we harass the good citizens of Chula Vista.”

  32. Anonymous says:

    Thank you all officers…….. I am one to say that when in need we all call you. You protect and serve us all. No matter what color or nationality. Please people show your respect and thanks to all the officers who help and serve us all daily. It is about time we all show some good. Please if you agree send a Thank you. It will be appreciated!!!

  33. Ronnie D says:

    Thank you all officers…….. I am one to say that when in need we all call you. You protect and serve us all. No matter what color or nationality. Please people show your respect and thanks to all the officers who help and serve us all daily. It is about time we all show some good. Please if you agree send a Thank you. It will be appreciated!!!

  34. Zeus says:

    Live by the GUN………..Die by the GUN

    Criminals and Cops

  35. Dan Jensen says:

    Love the article and only have a few comments. When you are approached or pulled over by an officer , whether colored or white , the proper response is yes,sir or no,sir. I have been pulled over by colored officers before for minor infraction and when they get proper respect there is no issue. You never hear of a colored officer shooting a white person on the news, just white officers shooting colored. I read an article posted by the FBI several months ago stating that during a national database search 98% of crime is committed by minorities. All of these issues could be avoided if all races would give officers the respect that they deserve, even if we do not agree with them at the time. The downside is that the court costs to fight the issue are getting so expensive that people want to avoid it, so they take it out on the officers. I got a ticket that I did not deserve due to someone texting while driving, which drove up my insurance rate ,but I did not insult the officer.

  36. Jason says:

    Sorry Mr. Dopp, I’m not buying your self serving rant. I’m sure you are a good cop, I’m sure the majority of cops are good. The problem is that the “good” cops say nothing when they see or hear of the things the bad cops are doing. You’ll earn my respect back when you start policing your own.

  37. Pat Barile says:

    Kudos to Deputy Dopp!!!! Excellent article. People should walk in a deputies shoes for a day… Better yet… A full week. Then let them see what law enforcement does and what they have to deal with. I agree with EThorn 100%. As for Pierre Tristan….he needs to make better choices for the garbage he digs up and prints. If everyone would stop reading Flagler Live, we can be rid of it. To ALL Flagler law enforcement…. KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK YOU DO!! Great article, Jon

  38. Buddy Negron says:

    Amen Jon Dopp! Very well stated. I couldn’t agree more. Thank you for your service! God bless and stay safe!

  39. Sheila Zinkerman says:

    Legal Scholar Patricia Williams quotes “… [many people believe] the police have to do whatever they can to protect themselves. But that is not their mission. That’s a complete misstatement of their duty. Public safety is their mission, not their own. It is almost an old fashioned sacrificial mission that is entirely lost in this sense of, We are at war and we are soldiers. We shoot first and ask questions later.”

    To read entire Patricia Williams interview with Salon’s Katie McDonough, please Google “a hallucination of your worst fears.”

    • Jon Dopp says:

      I will willingly lay down my life to protect the innocent. I will not willingly surrender my life to a criminal because he doesn’t think he should go to jail. That is the line in the sand many are missing.

  40. carol bennett says:

    Wow, this guys scares me.
    Hope Sheriff Manfre takes action here.
    Otherwise he’ll be voted out!!!

    • Jon Dopp says:

      I’m sorry I scared you. However, if an opposing point of view frightens you, then I must revert to challenging you to walk a day in the shoes of a police officer. If this is frightening, then you will really enjoy what you see on the job.

      I also love that, once again, the rights of the police are overlooked. I have the same rights to freedom of speech that you have. To call for my discipline after I exercised this right proves one of many points I’m trying to make. Some people in this nation treat cops like second class citizens and believe that their rights are somehow less important than anyone else’s.

  41. Jim R. says:

    There is no justification in shooting an unarmed person or smashing someone to the ground and then piling on him like a out of control biker gang would do. In fact there are a lot of similarities between a biker gang and cops, they always act with overwhelming brutal force, they will always lie for each other, and they are motivated by the us against the world attitude. Going to work everyday in fear of your fellow citizens should be enough to make you quit and get another job.

    • Jon Dopp says:

      Many in law enforcement have considered quitting. We stay the course because we believe in what we do. If every officer that is currently frustrated decided to just leave, then society would be left to fend for itself. And there are scenarios in which shooting an unarmed person is justified. I have no obligation to get pulverized by a much larger man. If I cannot win the fight by less lethal means, then I won’t hesitate to shoot. I am in no hurry to invite my children to daddy’s funeral because of some misguided public view that says that my life is less important than those in the general public.

  42. Jay says:

    Great article Jon, and those that write some of these ridiculous replies should not be so critical and judgmental until they have walked in your shoes.

  43. Marvelous says:

    https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=673051288549

    This is how people seem to think police interaction should be.

  44. unacceptable says:

    Great article, so many of those with their negative opinions are due to them or a loved one that at some point having stepped outside the law and was punished for it and simply not taking responsibility or not owning up to it. Lets be honest, I know I’ve heard it countless times how someone claimed to have been mistreated or how it is unfair that a man (mentally ill or not) wielded a machete and was shot. Like Jon said, what do you expect, you come at me with a machete, knife, stick, etc… and by God if I have a gun that story will end the same damn way every time. The pendulum simply at this point has swung in the way where it is popular to hate cops whereas 9/11 time when there were countless stories and video of cops running to harms way sacrificing their lives the cops were heroes. The true test comes when the Michael Brown stories come out and the weak minded automatically go the way that is most popular and judge the cop before knowing anything.

  45. alp says:

    Jon, as I told your brother and fellow Flagler deputy in person, there are good and great cops and mediocre, terrible,stupid and dangerous cops. As the block captain for our Neighborhood Watch and the unfortunate neighbor of a gun-toting, belligerent, pathological lying, criminal family, I have met all the above examples working for the FCSO. Here are some examples of bad FCSO cops:

    A deputy who ordered me to ride my bicycle to the bike path via a very dangerous street, rather than take a much shorter, less dangerous route. Her orders were not for the moment, but any future rides I might take. Why? The deputy felt that I had no right riding past the aforementioned neighbor,s house. I can only describe this deputy as belligerent, nasty, and one who would provoke a a jail-house riot were she assigned to the jail where she was more temperamentally suited.

    A deputy accused me a violating a judge’s order by riding past the same niehbor’s house. I asked him if he would like to hear exactly what the judge told me, but not ordered, since nothing of the kind was said. The deputy huffed off and refused to hear the truth after making his erroneous accusation.

    Two deputies accused me of peering into another neighbor’s window. When I obtained a copy of a surveillance video showing that this was entirely untrue, I offered to show them, but my offer was refused, and no apology was received.

    There were many good and even great FCSO cops who tried to help in this deplorable situation. However, it took the Bunnell Police Department to finally nail the worst of the offenders for dsicharging a weapon in public.

    So Jon, let me commend you on a well written article. But please keep in mind that until the FCSo rids itself of the incompetent, dangerous, and down-right stupid, lazy cops, I think that it is your responsilibty and the responsibility of every good cop to expose the bad ones.

    • Transit says:

      People don’t hate all cops. The problem is getting rid of the bad ones. Police make mistakes and don’t want to admit that.

  46. w.ryan says:

    I’ve heard this statement over and over again from LEO’s. If we say ” You’re under arrest” comply. Surrender immediately and comply. For most white people there is trust that the system will work. Most people of color have experienced bad circumstances that have diminished trust so irreconcilable that there is a snowballs chance in hell to change the mindset. We submit and the fix is in. Once they get you they keep you of kill you. Here is a link that infuriates people of conscience. Because it’s all too common. http://www.nbcnews.com/news/investigations/exonerated-after-execution-judge-tosses-teens-murder-conviction-n270176

  47. barbie says:

    So sad that the writer chose not to address my comments as he did a number of others. Perhaps it’s because he really couldn’t spin them away? Perhaps it’s because he knows that myself and others speak the truth? He might have some points, but he is grossly unfair and highly judgmental. As I noted earlier, Officer, turn your judgment on those who make your ranks look bad. Stop protecting your own.

    Since the article was written, it’s come out that Bob McCullogh, the head prosecutor in the Michael Brown whitewash, has admitted aloud that “witness 40”–the one so many were quoting–LIED UNDER OATH.

    He KNEW she lied.

    Now, what does that tell you?

    Come on, Officer Dopp–why would they have to go to such lengths if the cop wasn’t a murderer? That was a complete farce. And you wonder why The People are giving you a hard time? There was NO JUSTICE served to that young man, and you damned well know it. He was murdered in cold blood by one of your new self-appointed Judge and Jury With a Badge and a Gun. Defend that.

  48. The Geode says:

    “Yes, We’re BLACK. And We’re Human Beings. But We Won’t Be Your Victims.”
    …and maybe you can see how WE feel. I am not speaking for those who placed themselves in precarious positions, but US BLACKS have been lumped together in the same group for decades or centuries and nobody decided to write drivel like this. What happens when he pulls ME over? Is he thinking should I shoot this ^!&&#)? I don’t see anyone else having these issues. I imagine the lessons I have to teach MY sons are a lot different than you have to teach yours. This dude doesn’t BEGIN to know how being perceived as something he is not is. He has the option to remove his uniform and badge and blend in – I am BLACK, forever. Besides, being a cop in Flagler County is as safe as being a cop in Mayberry. I just hate it when people glum onto the hot topic of the month and make it seem as if THEY are experiencing the same thing as those in cities 20X bigger. This is a farce!

  49. biker says:

    Thank You Jon. This argument boils down to a very simple premise..Dont Break the law… dont resist arrest and you will be just fine. You break the law.. you will be arrested.. it is not an option for the officer not to do so. If you physically resist arrest, then physical force will be used to overcome your resistance. Period.. Teaching the young that it is somehow ok to resist an arrest is just a recipe for disaster.

  50. Citizen says:

    There are reports and data being collected due to an upswing in the community this past month of law abiding black males of all ages being entangled into interactions they normally wouldn’t have with local police in this town. If you fall into that category contact the local NAACP. If colleagues of the Author responsible for this article share the same sediment as indicated above this attitude may be a contributing factor as to why this is becoming a pattern.

  51. barbie says:

    How many times must it be pointed out that simply adopting the mantra of “Don’t break the law and you’ll be fine” is lazy thinking at best? It’s WRONG and it misses the point of our Constitution. Please reacquaint yourself with your birthright, “biker”. What you state is not how it works at all anymore.

  52. Dmitrii says:

    As the son and nephew of police officers what you said is very well written. My concern is we are finding out every day the DA screwed up the Ferguson case with the grand jury and possibly on purpose. That is taking away the act of finding out if he was correct in a court of law as you suggested, I am all for innocent until proven guilty and the Ferguson case has more contradicting info than the JFK assasination conspiracy theories! If he did right then let him stand up for his actions in a court of law and the truth will come out, if he did do wrong then that will come out as well and can be dealt with by the court and a jury. This divide between law enforcement and the communities you are supposed to be serving is not gonna end well if we cant find a way for both sides to find justice, the truth and respect for each other.

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