The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

VIDEO: It’s Not Against the Law to Be Crazy in California, However . . .

Posted on | October 16, 2015 | 111 Comments

. . . a sheriff’s deputy in Imperial County, Calif., made a traffic stop and arrested the driver. The female passenger evidently was not a licensed driver, and so the car had to be towed. When the deputy asked the passenger to exit the vehicle, however, she began to rant crazily about her status as a “free inhabitant” under the Articles of Confederation (???) and shenanigans ensued:

Let me explain, for the benefit of any fool who doesn’t understand, what this squeaky-voiced crazy woman did wrong. The man with a badge is called “law enforcement” for a reason. There is a law, and his job is to enforce it. As a Roman centurion said to Jesus, the policeman is “a man under authority” — he is answerable to his superiors, who are responsible to officials elected by the people, whose authority he exercises by proxy. A good officer is sensible of his duty, and is therefore scrupulously fair in upholding the law. There are bad cops, and there are also bad situations where even a good cop may make a mistake. However, the law-abiding citizen has no reason to fear the police, and there is no reason why any honest person should exhibit the kind of hostility toward law enforcement that results in an angry confrontation like this. We may summarize the proper protocol very simply:

  1. Every citizen must obey the law.
  2. At the moment a citizen is confronted by a police officer, the officer is the law, for all practical purposes;
  3. Do what the officer says.

Comply with the officer’s orders. Keep your hands where the officer can see them, and do not make any sudden moves. He’s got a pistol on his hip, and he’s got a wife at home praying that he comes home alive, so if you do anything that a police officer perceives as a threat to his safety, guess what? You lose. And we may add this to proper protocol:

4. Never try to lecture a cop about your “rights.”

The cop has been trained in criminal law, and if there is one thing that every experienced cop knows, it is that anyone who starts yammering about his “rights” is an obnoxious dirtbag who deserves zero tolerance. Whatever the situation, anyone who takes the kind of chip-on-the-shoulder attitude where he starts in on a “rights” lecture is going to be charged with everything the cop can plausibly charge him with. He pulled you over for a busted tail light, and maybe it would have been just a warning or at most a $50 ticket, but you want to imply the cop is violating your “rights”? Well, buddy, you better not have a dime bag of dope or an empty beer can anywhere in your car.

“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.”
Romans 13:1-2 (KJV)

Watch the video again. Notice how the deputy is polite, but firm? Notice how he keeps his cool and talks reasonably to the crazy lady? This ain’t his first time at the rodeo, my friends. An experienced cop is a sort of expert in behavioral psychology. He knows that crazy people can’t handle the polite, reasonable approach, so he just gave the crazy lady enough rope to hang herself — impeding an investigation, resisting arrest, etc. All she had to do was to comply with the deputy’s instruction to get out of the car and she could have walked away, but she chose to escalate it into a confrontation she could not win.

The majesty of the law is a beautiful thing to behold, really.

(Hat tip: @ulisesjorge on Twitter.)



111 Responses to “VIDEO: It’s Not Against the Law to Be Crazy in California, However . . .”

  1. Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup » Pirate's Cove
    October 18th, 2015 @ 8:22 am

    […] The Other McCain notes that it’s not illegal to be crazy in California […]

  2. Maggie's Farm
    October 19th, 2015 @ 3:24 am

    Monday morning links

    How much sleep do adults need? The Spiritual and Spectacular Meet at an Ultramodern Community Center in Connecticut College Administrators Have This One Simple Trick for Telling If Your Halloween Costume Is Offensive Anti-GMO ‘Big Lie’: Is

  3. marc biff
    October 19th, 2015 @ 4:09 am

    All the rights no responsiblities.

  4. robertstacymccain
    October 19th, 2015 @ 9:50 am

    “There are some situations where the cops get it wrong.”

    Yes, but this business of Argument by Exception — “Some cops are bad, and therefore …” — leads us toward anarchy. It’s dangerous.

    Some of my libertarian friends are as anti-police as any Black Lives Matter radical, and this worries me because liberty requires law. You cannot have an economic system based on the right of private property without having police to defend that right. Even if the government and its policies are not what libertarians believe they should be, it is still important that there be respect for the law if we are to avoid a Detroit-style nightmare on a nationwide scale.

  5. robertstacymccain
    October 19th, 2015 @ 9:52 am

    This is SO true!

  6. robertstacymccain
    October 19th, 2015 @ 10:05 am

    You can stack issues from here to the moon where cops have been completely oblivious to the actual legalities of a situation.”

    Weird. Where I went to college — Jacksonville (Ala.) State University — law enforcement (criminal justice) majors were quite numerous. They had dozens of graduates every year, and all of them were trained in basic criminal law. Now, if state troopers and sheriff’s deputies in Alabama were getting that kind of training in the 1970s, why shouldn’t I assume the same is true elsewhere?

    True, having a college degree in criminal justice was and is probably more common for the leadership of law-enforcement agencies, as opposed to the officer on patrol, but I do not believe the average cop is ignorant and uneducated. In a nation of 300 million people, of course, you can produce many examples of bad cops or poorly trained cops, but these exceptions do not disprove the rule: Most police are honest and do their duty.

  7. ronwf
    October 19th, 2015 @ 10:46 am

    “I am a free inhabitant. I have all the rights of a U.S. citizen but I don’t have to follow U.S. laws.”

    Seriously. Not one thought of how that makes no sense whatsoever. Another member of the entitled generation who have been isolated from ever having someone tell them “No” or “You have to do this” and mean it – until reality sneaks up when Mommy and Daddy aren’t around to run interference.

    This guy’s great. I’d have whipped out the Taser about minute 3.

    We need to bring back Civics in high school, BTW.

  8. ronwf
    October 19th, 2015 @ 10:48 am

    If you’re going to go down, you might as well go down with all flags flying.

  9. Toastrider
    October 19th, 2015 @ 11:43 am

    With all due respect, sir, that was forty years ago. I’m not sold the rank and file are particularly well educated in the niceties nowadays. More to the point, I don’t think many of them keep up with important changes. Maryland’s had a number of issues where the law specifically states that recording a police officer in the course of their duties is not illegal, but cops have arrested people doing so anyways.

    Again, as I noted, you’re not going to win a confrontation with a cop. But I certainly would hesitate before taking legal advice from one.

  10. theoldsargesays
    October 20th, 2015 @ 4:32 pm

    I used to run this stretch of I-95 every day to and from work. Every afternoon a couple of State Troopers would be sitting in the trees in the median about a half mile before my exit. So every day I’d be cruising at about 90mph until I topped the overpass about three miles before the exit then lift off the gas for that final stretch.
    One day I come over the top and….State Trooper sitting right there at the bottom!
    Lights come on and I immediately cruise to a stop about a mile down the interstate. The trooper had been facing the other way and being at the bottom of the overpass had trouble turning around and getting to me but I waited.
    When all was said and done he let me go with a suggestion to slow it down in the future. He told me that he was letting me go because I pulled over and waited when I could’ve kept going and seen if he’d catch up before I could hit the exit, he appreciated that.
    I figured I drive this stretch every day and he’s out there every day. Why piss the guy off and give him a reason to get me another day?

    I reckon cops deal with enough assholes during a routine shift that when they do get a nice, cooperative one they just say to themselves “I’ll throw this one back in the pond and go catch another”.

  11. theoldsargesays
    October 20th, 2015 @ 5:52 pm

    THIS is what the internet has brought on, a bunch of crazy people convinced by other crazy people that they are ____________(insert insane claim of the week here).