By on December 30, 2013

smokey3

It’s been suggested more than a few times on TTAC, most recently in conjunction with an incident where police shot a mentally ill man to death, that stories regarding police interaction with motorists are, or should be, outside the purview of this blog.

Point Two of the TTAC Reboot promises “Accountability and Civility”. In service of that goal, I want to take a moment to ask the B&B how all of you feel regarding cop-and-motorist stories. This won’t be a poll; I’d rather hear the reasons behind the choices. Should we have:

* No stories about police/motorist interactions at all?
* Only stories that are directly related to enforcement of traffic laws (i.e. speed cameras, distracted-driving law)
* Only stories where the police are presented in a positive, community-focused manner?
* Everything under the sun, including that kind of skanky-sexy girl in the Murano who rammed the cops?
* A different set of criteria entirely?

When Car and Driver basically declared war against the 55MPH speed limit lo these many years ago, they unwittingly set the universal template for automotive-enthusiast publications, both print and online. It’s long been assumed that the police are the natural enemy of people who want to drive quickly on public roads. Perhaps that’s no longer true, at least here at TTAC. Perhaps the B&B, as a majority, are comfortable with the speed limits and the manner in which police interact with motorists. If that’s the case, the content should reflect it.

Think about it and let us know.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

187 Comments on “Ask The Best&Brightest: Decrease The Police?...”


  • avatar
    LALoser

    Keep the stories. They are about people driving…cars…maybe in a crazy, illegal way, and police my be spastic, but the operation of a car is part of the story.
    To me it is close to the text/call/left lane bandits we carp at.

    • 0 avatar

      Injustice for one is injustice for all.

    • 0 avatar
      Z71_Silvy

      Keep the stories? The ones that are incredibly slanted and use cherry picked facts to portray the police in the worst possible light?

      Ok, if that’s what you want to read.

      If you’re going to portray the police in such way, maybe balance it out with the hundreds of stories everyday of police being true heroes. Like the officers that deliver babies on the side of the road or pull people from burning vehicles (Tesla?) or stories of that nature?

      God forbid we praise people for doing the job some couldn’t do for an hour rather than ridicule them…without all the facts.

      • 0 avatar
        Ron

        Z71-Silvy +1

      • 0 avatar
        SIGCDR

        God forbid that American soldiers who are operating under much more arduous rules of engagement than US cops get paid less than big city cops drawing overtime for blocking off traffic for hours while Obama’s motorcade ties up traffic throughout a major metropolis.

        God forbid that a cop pack up and leave his family for 3 one year combat deployments, see his buddies blown to bits, come back with TBI and PTSD, and be told his military retirement was going to be cut.

        I haven’t read yet where police officers are committing suicide every 18 hours in the US. So if all of the high speed low drag SWAT guys want us to feel sorry for them maybe they should deploy with the grunts. I still won’t feel sorry for the rest of them who are all volunteers and took an oath to defend the Constitution not trample it.

        Cops just like the NSA have crossed the line in many cases and are working for Big Brother. Americans don’t need to surrender our liberty so that we can be protected by rancid political elites, corrupt big city mayors, fascist police chiefs, and on the make DAs. Cops are just the foot soldiers for a cabal of fascist who facilitated the destruction of the American family which resulted in the rise of a seething underclass and drug culture which is used to justify a standing army being heavied up by DHS, DOD, and DOJ.

        Weed out the bad cops, dirtbag DAs like Duke University Lacrosse team prosecutor Michael NiFong, and Massachusetts crime lab criminal Annie Dookhan and then come back and cry how people aren’t treating the criminal justice system including cops fairly.

        • 0 avatar
          jz78817

          “God forbid that American soldiers who are operating under much more arduous rules of engagement than US cops get paid less than big city cops drawing overtime for blocking off traffic for hours while Obama’s motorcade ties up traffic throughout a major metropolis.”

          stick it. any presidential motorcade has done that for the last 30 years at the very least.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            Heh… apparently they didn’t have much clout in Johannesburg.

            Nothing else has so convinced me that global, coordinated terrorism is dead as there being no consequences to Obie getting stuck on an 8-lane highway during a hugely announced visit to a city in Ah-freeka.

          • 0 avatar
            SIGCDR

            “any presidential motorcade has done that for the last 30 years at the very least.”

            I totally agree. We started on the path to having an imperial presidency and a cult of personality ever since John Kennedy was elevated to the Presidency by a crooked political machine in Chicago. The more things change the more they remain the same.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I wouldn’t say it was dead, why waste resources on a mission you cannot really succeed in? The best case scenario is you would disrupt things and give your “enemy” more propaganda with its public to come after you… again. Much better to focus your attention on targets you can actually hit.

            @SIGCDR

            FDR’s administration was more of imperial presidency under a benevolent dictator than JFK’s, had Kennedy lived it may have been another story. Your true modern cult of personality started up in 2004 when a seemingly invented previously unknown man (on the national stage) was given a seat in the Senate and the keynote address in the DNC. Couple this seemingly miraculous rise with the inclusion of iconic Soviet grade propaganda posters and you start to see the makings of a cult of personality.

          • 0 avatar
            mr.cranky

            @28 Cars Later-

            Were you living under a rock from 2001-2008?

            Then again, it’s easy to cherry pick history if you’re a partisan twit.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I do recall the period and I do not recall a Stalin-esque cult of personality surrounding the former president. As for an “imperial presidency” you could make the argument on 2001-2008 being as such although the counter argument would be something to the effect of “they had to react to an attack”, just as much as someone today could excuse the current situation using a similar argument and replace attack with economic fallout. The main difference between the two is a scary cult of personality in the current administration and one might also argue a complacent if not spineless media as opposed to the same mainstream media in 2001-2008 who did nothing but oppose the former administration (rightly or wrongly). Really the actions of both administrations are linked in they both significantly weakened the position of the United States (and the West at large) on the international stage. They have both directly attacked neutral countries for political or economic gain (don’t forget the illegal Libyan operation in 2011). Both administrations have also allowed draconian legislative acts to pass which drastically affect the lives of most Americans and in some cases curtailed their rights. In the imperial argument, I suppose both might be guilty.

          • 0 avatar
            Japanese Buick

            The reason Obama was safe stuck in traffic was explained to me by a South African native when I was there in 2006 thusly: ” We dint have a terrorist problem because our government is friends with the terrorists.”

          • 0 avatar
            Japanese Buick

            28-cars-later: VP shoots a man in the face and his victim feels compelled to apologize. Doesn’t get more imperial than that.

        • 0 avatar
          Z71_Silvy

          SIGCDR:

          Who forced any of them to do enlist?

      • 0 avatar
        Drewlssix

        Silvy, why don’t you write up a story or two of these incidents involving heroic policemen and women when they happen and provide us the fair and balanced counter point to the negative incidents that do get posted. With literally hundreds of such incidents a day that should be damn easy for you.

        • 0 avatar
          Z71_Silvy

          It’s not my blog. But since you can’t operate Google:

          ROOKIE COP DELIVERS BABY ON SIDE OF ROAD:

          http://www.nbcnews.com/video/nbc-news/52498589#52498589

          -Screw the police right…those power tripping, gun slinging, power hungry reprobates!

          —————————

          New Jersey trooper saves choking boy’s life with roadside Heimlich:

          http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/new-jersey-trooper-saves-choking-boy-life-roadside-heimlich-article-1.1495068

          -OH THE HUMANITY!!!!! THAT STUPID COP! WHY WOULD HE ASSAULT THAT POOR CHILD WITH SPECIAL NEEDS??? HE SHOULD BE FIRED

          —————————-

          COP SAVES BABY AS CART GOES INTO TRAFFIC:

          http://www.mediaite.com/tv/caught-on-camera-wisconsin-police-officer-saves-babys-life-in-runaway-shopping-cart-incident/

          -WHO DOES THAT COP THINK HE IS? TALK ABOUT BEING ON A POWER TRIP!

          ———————————————————————

          See, it’s not that hard. 8 second Google search.

          The people who don’t like the police are the ones who are always trouble with the police.

          Again, if you’re going to sit there and cherry pick facts, get out there and try doing the job. You wouldn’t survive a minute because the job requires character and a strong person.

          • 0 avatar
            Drewlssix

            And all those stories happened the day you wrote about them and represent only a few of the literally hundreds of such daily cases?

            If this isn’t your blog then who’s is it? I see articles written by many different people here, do all those people enjoy equal ownership in the blog or are you just being petulant and childish because you cant back up your bullshit?

            Again you say the cops are heroes hundreds of times a day… pick a damn day find say a dozen examples of this write an article and submit it to the blog. It seems pretty damn simple and if you don’t think they will accept your story cause you know, they are all out to get you or whatever then send it to me and I will personally sing your praises and kiss your ass all day long.

    • 0 avatar
      JalopNick

      Just created an account and was getting ready to write this long diatribe on why I think such stories are immensely helpful and necessary for a healthy society. Instead, here’s the short answer:

      Yes, keep them. When such stories disappear, all that’s left is the propaganda and the useful idiots’ justifications.

  • avatar
    Flybrian

    “Only stories that are directly related to enforcement of traffic laws (i.e. speed cameras, distracted-driving law).”

    Otherwise, this place is running the risk of being Jalopniky where there are articles about a subway bombing and a fire on board a cruise ship because its transportation-related and cars are transportation, etc blah blargh.

    • 0 avatar
      dougjp

      +1 to that.

      Sure I can choose to (and do) avoid reading the sensationalist garbage, but its annoying to see here anyway.

      • 0 avatar
        slance66

        Make it +2. Cars are meant to be driven on the public roads (mostly). Few people, even enthusiasts, venture onto a track. So stories and information about the interaction of motorists and the police are fair game, if interesting and informative. Stories about which cars are stolen, when and why would also inform.

        I also like the ride-along suggestion below. It’s fine to show the police in a bad light, when that’s what is revealed. But try to be fair, and show the challenges they face and good work they do as well. I don’t think you’ll need to manufacture anything.

        • 0 avatar

          Agree with almost everything slance66 has said.

          With some emphasis on being fair. Absolutely don’t be PR for the police, and don’t be negative PR for them, either. I want to know the truth, without filters.

          I do want stories having to do with the track, though. While most of us don’t go on teh track (but see my

          http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/david-holzman-goes-to-the-skip-barber-shop/

          LeMons, or NASCAR, or other track related stuff is car culture, which is definitely worthy of TTAC’s attention.

    • 0 avatar
      jaybird124

      “Only stories that are directly related to enforcement of traffic laws (i.e. speed cameras, distracted-driving law).”

      I consider TTAC as much about industry trends as the cars themselves. Laws and regulations are certainly apart of that. The stories TTAC did on Red light cameras were very enlightening without taking a gloom and doom approach.
      Stories about flawed people in power (handful of cops, politicians, or government agencies) gets long in the tooth. I can pull up the cable news if I want to be reminded of that.

    • 0 avatar

      We are The Truth About CARS. We will not whore for clicks with airplane, space or even London Riot related stories. Not now, not ever.

      A corollary to that is we will continue to do “transportation” related stores in the context of urban planning/urban driving issues, the role of the car in the cities of the future etc, as we have previously done.

      • 0 avatar
        jpolicke

        So far I’d say you’re doing it just right.

        • 0 avatar
          MBella

          “So far I’d say you’re doing it just right.”

          I agree. Keep the stories the way you have been. They all have been automotive related and that makes them fair game.

      • 0 avatar
        nrd515

        I see no need for change. My best friend is a retired city cop, and another one is a deputy sheriff, and both of them will admit, there are some very rotten apples in the bushel and have no problems with reading stories about them. Funny thing is though, neither of them have any interest in watching shows about bad cops (The Shield) or ones where the star is a bad guy, or turns into one (Breaking Bad). Their attitude amuses the crap out of me. They both called me on the phone when BB was about to end, and said the exact same thing, “WTF is so damn great about it?”. Yet, they refuse to even watch one episode of it.

    • 0 avatar
      galanwilliams

      What they said. I think we have plenty of other venues for debating “cops and robbers” – I come to TTAC every day to read about cars. My .02.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    Cover everything, even the skanky-sexy girl who rammed the police in a Murano – we want to know how the Murano holds up in a crash, don’t we? As Thomas Jefferson once wrote, “Where the press is free and all men able to read, all is safe.”

    I’m sure some would like to see all sweetness and light regarding police and traffic laws, but a defining, and necessary feature of a republic is that the people must be fully informed and able to react to all events, especially regarding those who would rule over us (instead of govern us) in any way.

    Yes this is an online “car site” but it’s part of “the press”, no matter how much established print and broadcast outlets complain about the guys in pajamas in their moms’ basements. TTAC needs to participate fully in the press’ traditional work of “comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable.”

    TTAC stands for “The Truth About Cars” and we readers (should) want the Truth, the whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    Keep things the same because your obsession defines you and is fun to watch develop.

  • avatar
    Jeff Waingrow

    I’d generally skip the sensational crap such as the L,A. chase. It brings out the worst posters and the worst in posters. It leads to just more coarsening and ugliness, and adds nothing positive to compensate.

    • 0 avatar
      morbo

      Agreed. “Skanky Murano” was interesting because it brought out righteous indignation, combining good cop with haughty pretentiousness, plus surprising crash durability of the Murano. “LAPD shoots unarmed civilian” is a Page 23 story, doesn’t need to be here.

      Now, an article that looks at root causes of why the LAPD became Amerika’s biggest gang would be interesting, but not really TTACy.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        “LAPD shoots unarmed civilian”

        Hey, I live in So.Cal. and sometimes drive in L.A. I want to know what kind of danger I’m in, and it applies to the rest of the country too, since Cali still, unfortunately, begins a lot of trends. That’s one trend every driver wants to know about: what situation could get you killed while driving.

      • 0 avatar
        Chopsui

        ““LAPD shoots unarmed civilian” is a Page 23 story…”

        And this attitude is why they will go on shooting unarmed civilians.

        • 0 avatar
          morbo

          Hey man, Cali is a weird place to this Jersey guy. The fact that camera helicopters and dozens of cops are chasing high speed ‘perps’ is doubly weird. I would assume backing off, letting the ‘perp’ think he’s getting away, and tracking the car further down the road by camera/helicopter so he can be arrested once he stops would be safer.

          Unless AlQada’s got a bomb in the car and your Jack Ryan racing to the scene, I’m not sure what the need is for all that police force in action.

    • 0 avatar
      SIGCDR

      Could there be anymore “ugliness” than living in a police state? Just two examples from today’s news provide prima facie evidence that American’s rights are being stripped before our eyes by a blue gestapo and an elitist judiciary who aids and abets government overreach like they did the NSA.

      “Unbelievably lenient sentence for Milwaukee city cop who fingered multiple suspects’ anuses for traffic stops. Dec 29, 2013″

      Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2013/12/29/judge-hands-down-unbelievably-lenient-sentence-for-cop-who-fingered-suspects-anuses/#ixzz2oz4OqgEI

      Or how about this paragon of sanity who was reinstated to the Pennsylvania State Police and who Mr Farago posted about today on The Truth About Guns blog. I wonder how ugly a traffic stop could be for you on a day he hasn’t taken his meds?

      “A Pennsylvania State Trooper, who carries a gun on a daily basis while enforcing the laws of the Commonwealth is federally prohibited from carrying – or even possessing – a firearm while off-duty with no way to restore his firearms rights.”

      http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2013/12/chris-dumm/pa-state-trooper-prohibited-possessing-firearms-hes-enforcing-law/#more-283235

      Too many on here seem to want to bury their head in the sand of automotive escapism and believe that the cops are pure as driven snow. I am reminded of other hedonistic members of our society who as Benjamin Franklin noted –

      “They who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

      Keep the bad cop stories coming, Jack. They are a reminder of just how close we are to living in a police state and what it will be like when only the police have guns.

      • 0 avatar
        Xeranar

        The term police state is seriously misused in the United States. I agree we should be exposed to these stories but the United States is no more a police state today than it was in the 1950s. But I’m generally optimistic simply because police try and do right more often than not.

        • 0 avatar
          AlternateReality

          Amen.

          Personally, I think stories like this only serve to further nurture a victim mentality (although I doubt that was Jack’s intent) and incite weaker-willed members of our population to defy law enforcement. More “entitlement” thinking…

          And given that kind of environment, it’s no wonder that cops sometimes decide to plug some perps.

          • 0 avatar
            Chopsui

            “incite weaker-willed members of our population to defy law enforcement.”

            I beg to differ on who the “weak-willed” are.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            As a known leftist I disagree with your worldview because I seriously doubt that police stories support a victimhood identity. I more so believe they create an anti-state ideal where the government is not an independent agent in a neutral state but a very determined belligerent. But I digress, I’m in agreement that too many police have failed to ‘serve and protect’ as they get to far away from the society they’re supposed to protect by living in their cruisers.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            ” incite weaker-willed members of our population to defy law enforcement”

            I take it by this statement that you are looking out for the well-being of these weaker-willed simpletons that so desperately need your guidance and censorship because they’re too stupid to think for themselves

          • 0 avatar
            AlternateReality

            “I take it by this statement that you are looking out for the well-being of these weaker-willed simpletons that so desperately need your guidance and censorship because they’re too stupid to think for themselves.”

            You’re not far off, except I don’t feel any compulsion or obligation to protect them. Let nature work as intended.

            Incidentally, I just managed to drive 27 miles without once inciting police to follow me in a high-speed chase, or putting myself in a situation for them to shoot me afterwards. Funny how some don’t have that same level of “sense,” isn’t it?

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            “Incidentally, I just managed to drive 27 miles without once inciting police to follow me in a high-speed chase, or putting myself in a situation for them to shoot me afterwards. Funny how some don’t have that same level of “sense,” isn’t it?”

            I hope you stopped and bought a lottery ticket, because it sounds like today was your lucky day

          • 0 avatar
            AlternateReality

            I guess I’ve been on a lucky streak for over 30 years, then. Or do we make our own “luck?”

          • 0 avatar
            jz78817

            “Incidentally, I just managed to drive 27 miles without once inciting police to follow me in a high-speed chase, or putting myself in a situation for them to shoot me afterwards. Funny how some don’t have that same level of “sense,” isn’t it?”

            did you recently have invasive surgery on your brain? ‘cos the subject of the offending post did, and you seem to be conveniently ignoring that.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            ” I guess I’ve been on a lucky streak for over 30 years, then. Or do we make our own “luck?”

            You either live in a very small world or you’re just full of it

            Either way, even without a hangover you’re irritating

          • 0 avatar
            AlternateReality

            “did you recently have invasive surgery on your brain? ‘cos the subject of the offending post did, and you seem to be conveniently ignoring that.”

            I’m ignoring it because it’s immaterial to the outcome. This jackass threatened the lives of innocents, and now he’s dead. I don’t care if he wasn’t in control of his faculties, or for that matter if he was trying to impress Jodie Foster. It’s the end result – and only the end result – that matters to me.

          • 0 avatar
            jz78817

            “I’m ignoring it because it’s immaterial to the outcome. This jackass threatened the lives of innocents, and now he’s dead. I don’t care if he wasn’t in control of his faculties, or for that matter if he was trying to impress Jodie Foster. It’s the end result – and only the end result – that matters to me.”

            “the end justifies the means” has led to countless atrocities throughout history. You might want to think a little deeper about what you’re advocating.

          • 0 avatar
            AlternateReality

            I’m absolutely fine with what I’m advocating.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            I have a feeling that a “final solution” to a lot of problems would set fine with you….

            So, you like the new Mercedes I take it, how about those BMWs?

        • 0 avatar
          SIGCDR

          Not all but far too many police in America no longer live by the motto “to serve and protect” and have substituted “make sure I go home tonight.” The rules of engagement for our forces in Afghanistan are higher than for cops on the street in the US It doesn’t help when useful idiots give a pass to a uniformed murderer like recently happened in a small town in Virginia.
          http://reason.com/blog/2013/05/03/culpeper-cop-who-shot-and-killed-patrici

          Blacks and Latinos may also have reason to disagree with your contention that there was no police state in the 1950s. Just like they now have a beef against Nanny Bloomberg and his stop and frisk tactics or the racial profiling of various state patrols who are under DOJ supervision.

          If your standards for civil liberties is the 50s you may be a fascist.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            “If your standards for civil liberties is the 50s you may be a fascist.”

            All that tells me is that you have never studied fascism.

          • 0 avatar
            SIGCDR

            @freedmike

            Can we agree to use something as simple as Wikipedia for a common definition of fascism?

            “What constitutes a definition of fascism and fascist governments is a highly disputed subject that has proved complicated and contentious. Historians, political scientists, and other scholars have engaged in long and furious debates concerning the exact nature of fascism and its core tenets.

            Most scholars agree that a “fascist regime” is foremost an authoritarian form of government. Authoritarianism is thus a defining characteristic…

            Fascism as an ideology is also hard to define. Originally, “fascism” referred to a political movement that was linked with corporatism and existed in (Italy) from 1922 to 1943 under the leadership of Benito Mussolini…Fascism promotes the establishment of a totalitarian state.

            The Doctrine of Fascism states, “The Fascist conception of the State is all-embracing; outside of it no human or spiritual values can exist, much less have value. Thus understood, Fascism is totalitarian, and the Fascist State—a synthesis and a unit inclusive of all values—interprets, develops, and potentiates the whole life of a people. – Benito Mussolini”

            It doesn’t take much studying to identify that law enforcement in the 50s in many places was a corrupt, racially biased system, designed to deny men their natural rights run by the Democratic Party primarily for the benefit of corporations and local white owned businesses.

            I grew up in the deep south of the 50s I know a lot more that I could share but it probably wouldn’t convince yout.

            As for understanding Totalitarianism, I think I mastered that subject while spending 21 years in the service of our country during at least the last half of the Cold War.

            One final note on the etymology of fascism. “The term fascismo is derived from the Latin word fasces.[15] The fasces, which consisted of a bundle of rods that were tied around an axe, was an ancient Roman symbol of the authority of the civic magistrate. They were carried by his lictors and could be used for corporal and capital punishment at his command.”

            Sounds to me like the 50s in the US if you were of the wrong race, creed, or national origin.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            I see. So because peoples’ civil rights were violated in the 1950s, this was and is an authoritarian state?

            If so, then the offending laws would not have been changed legislatively. In a true authoritarian state, the only way to change things is to depose leader. Italians did so by executing Mussolini. Last I checked, no one killed Eisenhower, Kennedy or Johnson to enact civil rights legislation.

            You just disproved your own thesis.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            I can fight my own battles and when I used the 1950s it was a simple generalization. If you’re talking about the Jim Crow South certainly civil rights were unenforced and frankly in some of those states it wasn’t a matter of police procedure but instead a systemic cultural belief. I would agree that by and large the south and most any conservative area of the US in the 1950s till today would qualify as fascists for the most basic description would mean they put preference and authority to a select identity (white male christians in this case).

            But the distinct difference between a fascist state and a police state is the latter has an enforcement mechanism that is extreme and dominating. In an extremely simplistic example Nazis didn’t become a police state until kristallnacht when the fascist views became enforced in a legal policing way.

            Do I agree that stop and frisk is bad? Completely and unconstitutional to boot. But were discussing traffic stops and an over-the-top perception surrounding it. The deeper discussion of police power in the US was up for discussion but your simplistic comment lacked real basis except for exceptional situations in some larger cities and isolated incidents. We have a problem but were not quite fascists (in most cases).

        • 0 avatar
          jpolicke

          I’m happy to agree that MOST of the time, police do not engage in misconduct. The problem is that “misconduct” is being continuously defined downward. What would have been considered outrageous abuse of citizens a few years ago is now ignored, excused, or justified.

        • 0 avatar
          Kenmore

          @Xerenar

          “The term police state is seriously misused in the United States.”

          Your comment is as sane as it is unexpected. What a happy surprise from your generation and political camp. Happy New Year. You’re not all Baruths.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            @Kemmore

            Thanks? You would be surprised, I work in an ultra-liberal department and certainly am the farthest left economically but I don’t like getting alarmist if I can help it. The US is a different beast from most of Western society and I accept that. Still we should learn to separate ‘law and order’ from racial suppression. But were far from a police state. We have a respecting minorities problem in policing.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Well, I knew it was a matter of time before guns came into this discussion…but I digress.

        Yes, cops misbehave. Yes, there are violations of peoples’ civil rights. Yes, the NSA is spying on people. But the wrongdoing cops can be fired, citizens can seek redress for civil rights violations, and politicians can rein in the NSA.

        No one says our system is perfect, but to suggest this is a police state is ludicrous. If this were one, then the poster above would have already been dragged off to a gulag. Ironically, his continued presence is the strongest argument possible against his “thesis”.

        And the best way to guard against real civil rights breaches is reasoned discourse, not hysterical “we’re on the slippery slope to Nazism” rants.

        • 0 avatar
          SIGCDR

          @FreedMike

          “In a true authoritarian state, the only way to change things is to depose leader. Italians did so by executing Mussolini. Last I checked, no one killed Eisenhower, Kennedy or Johnson to enact civil rights legislation. You just disproved your own thesis.”

          The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution undergirds the Constitution’s principle of federalism It provides that powers not granted to the federal government by the Constitution, nor prohibited to the States, are reserved to the States or the people.

          The police states dismantled in the 50s were governed by the state and local officials like George Wallace – Governor of Alabama, Bull Connor – Commissioner of Public Safety Birmingham AL, Orval Faubus – Governor of Arkansas.

          For an example of the complicity of the police state with paramilitary organizations in the 50s we need look no further than Birmingham. There during the tenure of Bull Connor as police commissioner, Klan groups were closely allied with the police and operated with impunity. When the Freedom Riders arrived in Birmingham, Connor gave Klan members fifteen minutes to attack the riders before sending in the police to quell the attack.

          I would submit that the likes of Wallace, Faubus, and Conner were deposed just as surely as Mussoline was by the application of force by US national guardsmen and federal marshalls.

          Cops have the same sin nature as any other member of society. The difference is they have been armed and given tremendous amounts of authority with no accountability.

          “It is easier to find people fit to govern themselves than people fit to govern others.” – Lord Acton.

          Something to think about when we have nearly one million police and over twenty million government employees dictating to Americans there every waking hour how they should behave. The likelihood that many if not most police are unfit to run the lives of their subjects is pretty high.

  • avatar
    Toad

    Police stories are worthwhile if they are interesting or unusual, otherwise the media is full of crime news. In a nation of 300+ million people, you will have motorists and police that behave badly. A very small portion of either is actually interesting.

    Having Jack do a couple ride alongs with highway patrol cops might be an interesting counterpoint to his story of driving his own car 120+ on the highway. What is it like to pull over belligerent drunks at 2am, or walk up to a car in a bad neighborhood full of surly looking 20 year olds with the smell of weed drifting out of the car? His perspective would make for good reading.

    Comments related to any TTAC story relating the police seems to bring out more tin foil hat rants (usually by a few very committed commenters) vs. intelligent insight. Might be good for generating clicks, but not very interesting unless you want insight into paranoia.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      That’s a story we can probably get — while I’d be unwilling to ride along with police at 120mph given the “training” they get, one of our Ur-Turn contributors is a federal attorney with close relatives in a major State Highway Patrol and I know she does ride-alongs with them.

      • 0 avatar
        Toad

        Good, I hope you do it, all in: riding on a pursuit and the effect it has on the cop, the pursued, and you would be relevant to the pursuit postings we have seen on TTAC.

        BTW, I was going to send the suggestion as a comment to you through the TTAC “Contact” function but your phrase verification does not work.

        • 0 avatar
          beefmalone

          Honestly, I don’t give a damn about the effect it has on the cop. They’re TRAINED to keep their emotions in check. If they are incapable of doing so, even after a high speed pursuit, then they shouldn’t have a badge.

      • 0 avatar
        ravenchris

        Do it, Editor In Chief.

    • 0 avatar
      Jeff Waingrow

      Outstanding idea for a story, Toad. I’m glad that Jack seems interested. Also, strongly agree about the paranoid ramblings of a few. Best not to stir them up. They’re a real blight.

    • 0 avatar
      James2

      Back in college I did a police ride-along. The ‘lucky’ ones got the ‘interesting’ beat: the Waikiki patrol. I got to ride-along with the cop who patrolled the valleys and the edge of downtown. Still, plenty happened.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Bring the stories .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    BigOlds

    I say keep them, regardless of the nature. They should probably be labeled as editorials, and care should be taken to ensure that any editorial bias does not edge into news stories. Remember, editorial bias is perfectly acceptable on the editorial page. This is probably colored by the fact that I am more inclined towards Jack’s perspective on these things. I neither hate nor worship cops (construction workers have dangerous jobs too, but we don’t elevate them to special citizen status, and the homes they provide are as critical as the law and order from the police), but due to their authority I expect them to operate to a standard HIGHER than I do for average citizens. That means trying to take a guy alive if at all possible. If you can’t handle the inherent danger and keep your cool, you don’t belong on the force.

    Perhaps a compromise approach would be to find a designated counterpoint writer who sees the world in a different way?

  • avatar
    MK

    I’d say keep it like it is, I’m old enough to recognize click bait for what it is but the rather lengthy comment threads that develop (and which are for the most part INCREDIBLY civil given that its occurring pseudo-anonymously on the Internet) indicate that it’s something folks like contributing to.

    It also helps to flesh out people’s online identities and gives the reader a sense of the variety present in the readership.

  • avatar
    Sammy B

    Keep them. If it’s something I choose not to read, I’ll skip it. I’d rather have the choice than not.

    I like that you’re reaching out for feedback. Assuming the stories stay, check back in 12-18 months and see what people think about keeping/increasing/decreasing/etc.

  • avatar
    jz78817

    As-is is fine.

  • avatar
    xflowgolf

    Keep them. There’s a lot of truth to be uncovered in the investigation of policing as it relates to cars such as:

    Historical change in government revenue derived from traffic enforcement.

    Actual safety impact of laws vs. revenue (drunk driving/superdrunk/seatbelt laws, etc. etc. etc.)

    so many things get done under the guise of safety and easy publicity/political rambling, and a website that digs a little deeper like this one can help stir the pot, not just for the sake of clicks, but for answering questions others aren’t willing to dig into.

    A little editorial discretion obviously, we don’t need to know every news story simply because something happened related to something effecting transportation.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    If a story looks, smells and quacks like clickbait, then it probably is. You can decide for yourself how much of that sort of thing is acceptable.

    Traffic laws and law enforcement are generally reasonable topics for a website about driving. There is more to that subject that pursuit videos, and you could cover more of it.

    (Whoever writes “The Newspaper” has the right idea, although he spends too much time editorializing to be an entirely credible source.)

  • avatar
    pbxtech

    Poison is the dose. I found that story compelling, but that’s not why I come here. Hey, thanks for asking. I would say it’s OK to color outside lines sometime, but try not to become Captain Queeg.

  • avatar
    69firebird

    You write them and I’ll read them.I think we have enough options for sanitized fake news.

  • avatar
    AMC_CJ

    * Only stories that are directly related to enforcement of traffic laws (i.e. speed cameras, distracted-driving law)

    That, probably. I’d like to think this site is a bit better then some of what’s been published recently. Not that I disagree with general tone or agenda of said articles, but it just doesn’t fit.

    I really think there needs to be two sets of styles to this site, one for the week, one for the weekend. The week should be the daily junk yard finds, industrial news, and (more) car reviews, maybe even some comparisions. The weekend should be more casual, DIY stuff, project cars, and articles like this. Really would like to see more stuff on project/classic cars on the weekends.

    This place is becoming too much of a armchair enthusiasts site. You know, people who “like” cars but have never worked on one, or really know anything about them, besides what’s new and what’s perceived as cool. Those places are a dime a dozen, much like the demographic.

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      I like this idea. Too many sites only cover what’s new and hip. As an enthusiast, I’m concerned and like to read about (in no particular order):

      1. cars-both new and old
      2. the science and engineering of the automobile
      3. repair techniques
      4. driving techniques
      5. stories involving cars (manufacturers, police, etc.)

      • 0 avatar

        I would add to this car culture.

      • 0 avatar
        NorCalSmog

        I’ve been lurking and reading this site for years now, back when Farago was the head of the publication, and I’ve thought about making an account and commenting every so often, but this article finally convinced me to take the plunge.

        Hubcap, you’ve just about outlined what I believe TTAC should be presenting. I would add to that the culture and industry surrounding cars, and the people who make/fix them in interesting cases.

        I think that the police stories should stay. They shouldn’t be needlessly inflammatory, but sometimes that’s not the fault of the writer, it’s the fault of whatever officer is in question. They’re relevant to the automotive culture, and they’re a daily part of life on the road. I would wager that most of us aren’t stopped all that incredibly frequently, but still I would like to be updated as to what the police are doing to motorists so I know where to try and avoid.

  • avatar
    Halftruth

    I suppose the general consensus is to keep them.. I’ll just pass on them.
    I’ll stick to my guns though and say it is reminiscent of Bertel baiting with various props to get a click. I thought ttac wanted to get away from that, but what the hell do I know. Let’s just not make it the truth about cops.. These articles are certainly not it as they seem to omit very important facts.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      Yea it looks like we are going to lose this battle.

    • 0 avatar
      jz78817

      there’s a difference between this- a story which is at least tangentially relevant to the site- and using a rather bigoted term in a headline and then posting a string of pictures of sex toys when called on it.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      I’ll pass too. I know link bait when I see it. And if I want crazy car chases there is always “Cops” on TV. I prefer articles about cars, not cops. However I do see merit on articles about driving, which of course means some police enforcement related articles. Just don’t go all tin foil hat on us.

  • avatar
    jdhall

    As-is, although the comment above (more straight-laced weekdays, looser on the weekends)may have some merit.

    Thanks

  • avatar
    71charger_fan

    Keep stories about police and their traffic enforcement, including their interactions with motorists. I’ve been up close and personal with State Police in Maine, New Jersey, and Maryland and local enforcement in those same three states. My experiences, while never exactly pleasant, ran from very professional to sociopaths with badges. If you listen, say yes sir or yes officer, sign where they tell you to sign, even the whack jobs will let you go on your way.

  • avatar
    chuckrs

    You should try to get your Ur-turn attorney or another to comment on police/driver interactions described here:

    http://reason.com/archives/2013/12/28/americas-internal-checkpoints

    We are Americans – we don’t need no stinkin’ propiskas.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I’d like to see all police/motorist interaction stories completely gone.

    Or, at least do your best to give it a well-defined separate category (like you do with the fiction) so I know there will be zero vehicle discussion going on and I can more easily skip that stuff in the future.

  • avatar
    kuvakas

    I’d say keep the stories but get a bit more polished on being objective. Most of the ones I’ve seen posted really do seem to condemn any police interaction right up front and draw out those comments that go too far down the path of assuming the “perpetrators” are innocent victims of the police state. The recent story about some guys washing their car in a driveway was a prime example. Most comments fell on the side of the “boys who were simply washing their car” while vilifying the “gestapo” and the elitist neighbors. No one seemed to acknowledge that the detailers may have been operating an unlicensed, illegal business out of their front yard. Once the bandwagon started, the objectivity train left the station.

    Personally, I don’t enjoy biased, empty, unthinking rants and caustic language. I’d rather engage in some reasonable dialogue. The negativity turns me off and I just quit reading.

    • 0 avatar
      LeMansteve

      +1

    • 0 avatar

      As the person who wrote the article in question, let me address this. I will admit that there was a certain element of “click bait” to the entire story. I went at it knowing that it was a “newsy” subject that might bring out different points of view and, to that end, the article was really intended to begin a discussion.

      The headline is arguably the most provacative statement in that it uses the word “threatened” but my own thoughts are that headlines are supposed to make people look and so my intent was to get your attention. The first paragraph sets up the encounter between the officer and the homeowners and reports, I think quite factually, what is the gist of the encounter. I’d like to think I walked a fine line there.

      The second paragraph begins with the statement: “The Truth About Cars enjoys a good legal discussion and I think there are several elements here that can be seen from different perspectives.” which should have told people that I hoped they would discuss it. I then talk about at least a couple of possible perspectives, complement the officer on how he handled the situation so people will know that this isn’t just another FTP post, and conclude by urging readers to check the video themselves so they can make their own call.

      Almost every comment in the ensuing discussion came about because people watched the video and had a different opinion of the interaction. It was, I think, a good conversation. Once it started, I got out of the way. Looking back at the thread I’d say the discussion was spirited but not mean or out of control.

      Personally, I enjoy discussion threads. If TTAC was only an automotive news website where we only re-reported press releases and things that appear in the local newspaper I think I would take a hike. I’d like to think we are more than that and that means, sometimes, we are going to have to discuss issues. Legal issues are something everyone has an opinion about, the debate is often fun, so why not simply enjoy it?

      • 0 avatar
        NMGOM

        Hi Thomas – -

        I read that story (“some guys washing their car in a driveway”), and immediately wondered if there were not a story beneath the story? For example, were there water-use restrictions in effect in that area of New Jersey at that time? Did the two guys in question have some other “history” with the law? Did a neighbor complain about the washing because of other related issues (noise from loud mouthy behavior or radio/CD player; water going on his/her property; soap getting where it shouldn’t be, etc).

        By the way, I did a ride-along on the overnight shift with cops as part of a Civilian Police Academy course. Guess what? It’s boring. Yes, he had to clear a bar, but I was required to stay in the cruiser.

        —————-

        • 0 avatar

          My own guess is that, as this appears to take place in a wealthy suburb, they have a law against people working on cars in their yards. It was probably originally intended to stop people from dragging in old hulks and putting them up on blocks etc while doing lengthy repairs. It makes sense to me, where I’m from in the woods who cares? In town, people don’t want to look at that.

          Clearly there is some kind of dispute with the neighbor because the officer mentions it right away. Add to that the fact these guys seem to be wating for him with a camera in hand. It feels like the officer was caught in the middle serving a complaint and then set up. One of the reasons I like the video is because the camera guys actually try to start some BS but the officer is a real pro. He stays right in the middle, enforcing the law as he sees it while not giving into the temptation to go after the kids on other issues.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The wonderful thing about the electronic age is that we don’t have to guess.

            The cop on the video made reference to a specific ordinance in the village code.

            That code is posted online. And it should be quite obvious from the code that our errant car washer wasn’t violating it.

        • 0 avatar
          NMGOM

          Hi again, Thomas – –

          One of the problems where I live now (upstate WI), is that police departments, once staffed for the good ethics of the residents, are now finding themselves understaffed. So, they mostly respond only to called-in complaints for minor perceived infractions, —- and even some non-infractions that may be just annoyances, trying to teach modern folks what common sense and sensitivity to the values of others are all about.

          —————-

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      “No one seemed to acknowledge that the detailers may have been operating an unlicensed, illegal business out of their front yard.”

      No evidence was provided to support that assertion.

      Exactly when did groundless speculation become “objective”? In that case, the only thing that was objective was that the cop was grossly misinterpreting the city ordinance, which did not do what he claimed that it did.

      • 0 avatar
        kuvakas

        Hardly groundless speculation. The officer mentions “detailing cars” as he approaches the men, not “washing a car”. There’s also the presence of the pressure washer, carefully avoided after the first glimpse. What other equipment do we not see?

        Personally, given the politeness of the officer and the belligerence of, at least one of the men, I’m having a hard time believing they are as innocent as they claim to be. Why are the men so defensive and disrespectful?

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          It’s not illegal to wash your car in your own driveway in Garden City, New York. This should not be difficult to understand.

          If some other ordinance was being violated, then it would have been nice if the police officer had made a reference to it. But he didn’t.

        • 0 avatar
          beefmalone

          If the problem was these guys detailing cars as a business then there’s a whole different set of laws that could have been brought into play. Unfortunately, the cop doesn’t understand the distinction between public view and public place.

      • 0 avatar
        Japanese Buick

        “No one seemed to acknowledge that the detailers may have been operating an unlicensed, illegal business out of their front yard.”

        Talk about hyperbole. There were dozens of comments along those very lines on that article. In fact when I read it, that seemed to be the consensus.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    The LA shooting story had nothing to do with cars.

    In reality, it was just a sad tale of a berserk/ill guy shot dead by trigger-happy cops. The same movie could have played out in a domestic dispute at a house or in a convenience store robbery. There was no car angle except that he chose to evade the police in a car – which happens every day – and he died spectacularly next to it.

    For me, such a story only has merit on TTAC if there is a questionable car-related issue, such as red-light cameras or car searches. There is nothing interesting about the cops chasing a speeder.

  • avatar
    CriticalMass

    One of the most disturbing trends of post 9/11 America has been the continuing militarization of civilian police. Because most TTAC’ers are law abiding we tend to overlook this. However worrying it may be, the trend that includes ex-military equipment being propagated to police around the country, the quick resort to SWAT for even mundane tasks, to bring shock and awe tactics in the community is made worse by the change in mentality of the police. I believe there is a “canary in the coal mine” function TTAC and others can serve by watching for a decrease in civility by the police at minimum and extra constitutional behavior, often accompanied by violence as well as rights disregard, at worst. Cover it all, at least all that is not silly. There is a valuable service to be provided.

  • avatar

    Posting stories about the police definitely should be more of a balancing act. I understand the video, but with no real text accompanying it (aside from when the wreck/shots happened) made it feel a little whorish to me.

    I saw a tweet the other day (probably it had a link attached) about how when police officers are forced to wear cameras, civilian complaints drop about 80%, whereas the use of force drops a whopping 60%. I wonder if the LAPD officers are required to wear cameras, because if they were, you would have an accounting of which exact officers did fire rounds in this case, and those officers should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. But the sad fact is, most police officers involved in shootings get a paid vacation through the court date, and even if they do lose their jobs, they’re free to mosey on down to the next jurisdiction over and take out another innocent citizen in a bad shooting.

    A little more potatoes to go with the meat of the sensational video would have been appreciated, if you will. If you’re posting it just to post it and get pageviews, that’s blatant whoring, but if you have good statistical data to link to and insightful editorial commentary to add, then I see it as more of a worthwhile educational/thought-provoking piece.

    There was an article in the Sunday paper just yesterday about the Canton, OH police department keeping a closer eye on the mental states of their officers, after the Harless case that hit national internet news in 2011 about him berating and threatening to shoot a concealed-carry weapon holder he had pulled over for being stopped in the street in the wrong neighborhood after dark. Harless eventually claimed PTSD after he was fired for making similar threats in two other traffic stops, and eventually settled for $40k from the city, a neutral job recommendation, and a retired officer I.D.

    • 0 avatar
      360joules

      As someone with ties to healthcare, mental health, and law enforcement, I can say the chances of that individual ever being given a police badge in the US are nil. There is about a 50-50 chance that he could end up in the employ of a private security company because he has police academy training but would have an insanely tight leash. 40K is a measly amount in rogue officer settlements (not saying that is stood thing).

  • avatar
    ant

    I say keep the stories.. But I’d like to see more accuracy attempted with regard to how the story is reported.

    Another suggestion: Is it at all possible to have stories of all types to go into a cue, and be released at a regular pace? So that we don’t have 3 days go by with one or two posts, then on Monday morning, 10 posts show up within twenty minutes?

  • avatar
    kkt

    I haven’t been happy with the sensationalist coverage I’ve been seeing. There’s usually two sides to stories of police misconduct, and the other side of the story doesn’t come out in the first days after an incident. If TTAC isn’t willing to wait a few months or a year for an investigation to be complete, maybe it would be better to skip the stories altogether. I want to read the story when the truth can be told, not just one side of it.

    • 0 avatar

      Lest we forget that the FBI hasn’t been found at fault in any of the shootings they’ve self-investigated in the past decade.

      • 0 avatar
        Brian P

        The Special Investigations Unit up here in Ontario, Canada appears pretty much equally toothless. It’s supposed to be an independent organization, but plenty of its members are ex-cops. You can’t get the other side of the story when it’s coming from the cops themselves. Too many cases are dropped because of “insufficient evidence”.

        The only times the real story comes out have been when someone has had a video camera – and the footage then became so public that the police (or SIU, as the case may be) was forced to react appropriately.

        I say TTAC should continue as is, mindful that they are not always getting the whole story from both sides.

        Disclaimer / counterpoint: despite all the stories that might suggest otherwise, every interaction that I’ve ever had with police in Ontario has been professional. I’ve never been falsely accused of something I didn’t do. Most of the time, I’m just glad the cop didn’t see what I was doing a minute or two before, but that’s another matter …

  • avatar
    Jellodyne

    I think we should be able to get a no questions asked refund for the full purchase price of any article we dislike.

  • avatar
    Baldpeak

    Keep ‘em. They’re perfectly relevant.

  • avatar
    rdeiriar

    I say keep them as well. They (more the comments than the story itself) provide a valuable insight for us readers outside the US on how to behave should one visit the US, that is, not to do anything that cops could even remotely interpret as a threatening behavior.

    Of course, these stories have to be put into perspective, there are good and not-so-good cops everywhere in the world, as they are just a subset of the population

    BTW, it would be great to compile a list of DONT’S for encounters with law enforcement officers around the world, especially when driving in foreign countries. I’ll start with the DONT’S for my country (Chile)

    1. Don’t ever try to bribe the Carabineros, this will not only not work, but most likely earn you a short visit to jail as well
    2. Don’t expect them to understand more than the most basic english
    3. Don’t drink and drive, we have a 0.0% policy, and it is enforced
    4. Guns are not welcome here, you won’t get past customs with one, and they will find it

  • avatar
    Dimwit

    Maybe not so US centric perhaps? It might give a more balanced view than the sensationalistic rants that are prevalent in the MSM.

    Having Dave Hester on board was a real plus because he brought the other side into view. Can you do that again?

  • avatar
    JK43123

    Has TTAC ever covered a cop story that wasn’t somehow car/driving related? The skank from Columbus ramming the cops would be car/driving related. Cops aren’t the enemy but they are part of driving. Bring it on, whether or not the cops are right.

    John

  • avatar
    carguy

    Jack – do what you do for all other car related story: Use your judgement. A law enforcement story is worthwhile if it illustrates a trend or sets a new precedent or if its just amusing. However, please don’t turn these pages into either crime story click-bait or an anti-police diatribe.

  • avatar
    Scott_314

    TV is on the decline so any news media associated with TV is becoming hysterical. That and the ads, it’s at the point that I physically hate TV and am cancelling cable as soon as my contract ends.

    I guess my point is, if it’s on TV or from a TV-based source, that’s a good sign it’s not TTAC worthy.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    You guys post what you want and think readers want. If I don’t have interest in the conversation, I just won’t join it. If you make it part of a series I find I don’t like, I can easily not read that series every time I see it.

    I really, really wonder about people who can’t live and let live.

  • avatar
    Dan

    If there’s a car in the story then you shouldn’t have to ask.

  • avatar
    mr.cranky

    I nearly vomited in my mouth after reading some of the comments from that last police brutality story.

    It’s a reminded that ignorance is everywhere, even on TTAC. The comments seem to get progressively worse if the brutality is racially-charged.

  • avatar
    Geekcarlover

    Keep ‘em. TTAC has been, as long as I’ve been reading it, about the automotive industry and occasional ephemeral topics. When you review the Chinese auto show, I’ve come to accept as normal 7-9 stories about China only Buicks and Toyotas, and one story about the size of the models outfits relative to the previous year. It’s just your style. So long as it’s not the obsession of the site, I see no problem with them.

  • avatar
    tresmonos

    For the best interest of the idiots who defend the militarization and loss of personal liberties: nix the police stories.

    …unless you like seeing me recommending these dolts to end their own lives to save me the sheer stupidity of their comments popping up every time I get curious or am too hung over to not click on your stories. Reading some of those garbage comments was a bad start to my day. Some of the B&B really need to think beyond their own little bubble and the talking heads they listen to on the AM radio every god f*cking damned morning.

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    If you feel it, write it.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Write what you want, I’ll choose what I want or don’t want to read. Often the comments are far more interesting and informative then the stories themselves. You never know what the results might be

  • avatar
    Scout_Number_4

    Jack, Thomas, et al–you’re doing fine, please continue as you are. If/when there’s a story or comment thread I’m not interested in, I’ll skip it.

  • avatar
    JohnAZ

    I would support “Only stories that are directly related to enforcement of traffic laws (i.e. speed cameras, distracted-driving law)” and add that anything that is informative to enthusiasts about the automobile(s) involved.
    For example, the story about the fellow shot after a chase in the Corvette should not have been shown. The automobile involved was not significant to the story, other than most of us like Vettes. If however the story included elements about how the Vette could outrun and out maneuver everything the police could through at it, or if it was about something like a Raptor going off-road at high speed to avoid capture, that would have been significant. A man driving in circles until he was shot was not.

  • avatar
    Sjalabais

    As a non-American, both the stories, the police action and the commentariat here at TTAC confirm lots of unpleasant prejudices against the US. But also from within I’d expect it to be considered unfair how a myriad of police interactions are put in the shadow of few extreme and misguiding actions. To me, this is mostly stuff for the sensation-hungry, the crowd that reads about Britney Spears.

    In short: No police.

    More of the “big tent”-approach, social effects and analysis of car use, production and marketing would be highly appreciated though.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    I’m feeling ambivalent overall – my answer is somewhere between, “meh,” and, “it depends.”

    The story about the girl gone wild in Ohio sure was entertaining, in a Gawker sort of way, but I was left scratching my head on why this had value on TTAC beyond the story coming from Jack’s ‘hood (or sort of ‘hood, or former ‘hood).

    There have been other stories, related to ridiculous levels on enforcement for distracted driving al a cell phone, and how the statistics don’t back up the enforcements efforts. I find value in that.

    Another example from a few year ago was the story Jalopnik ran (just using as an example) of the Maryland state police up the butt of a G8 GT owner saying his OEM DOT approved taillights are not DOT approved. I see value in that also (do a search, the dude won).

    Stories of heavy handed police response to ordinary traffic crimes – meh – I’m back to ambivalent and I vote with my clicks. After reading the brief narrative I never watched the Corvette chase video and threw up in my mouth a little bit when I saw the first post from the B&B was basically, “should have been driving a Viper.”

  • avatar
    Frank Galvin

    Keep them. Jack is not shoveling Bertel-like insults down our throats. Sure, parts of the commentariot get disjointed, but I enjoy seeing the contributions from libertarians, democrats, socialists, right wing nut jobs, lawyers, mechanics, cops etc. They’re interesting articles and involve motoring.

  • avatar

    I would vote for the second option, to only post news involving police action if related to an unusual or new traffic law, especially if it has national implications. More importantly, I would recommend not posting videos or links to stories where a police interaction ends with death or serious injury. These types of stories are rarely “news,” and they only invite the type of distasteful comments which add nothing to understanding how or why a death occurred, or how future death/injury could be avoided.

  • avatar
    TomHend

    Yes keep the stories coming, we live in a government controlled police state, you are helping spread the word.

    Are you going to stop talking about cars with black boxes? Driverless cars? Telsa (if Tesla was not looked on favorable by the US Government their cars would have been recalled by now), not to mention traffic cameras?

    Government is in to our cars, our health, our toilets, our bank accounts, our cell phones (NSA), etc. next up they want to restrict food.

    Pray for Shumi.

  • avatar
    crm114

    You don’t need to read every article, I don’t.

  • avatar
    cartunez

    Personally I enjoy the stories about the abuses of the police state. I think the readers here need to be reminded at just how close they are to death by the hand of the state possibly because the “officer” they encountered is having a bad day and or is not properly trained to handle situations.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I think you can keep stories with the police and cars, or the police and their cars, or the police and motoring offense stories.

    What I don’t like to see is Ronnie’s articles (once a month or more) where he spits out his anti-police views while doing a photo story about a show for police vehicles. That’s not the place for it.

    Or when he posts an article title “Dodge Dart concealed box is illegal in the US” which is then ACTUALLY a story about a modification to some drug runners’ Silverado. This is not acceptable.

    I see some okay reporting regarding police items, and then a blatant bias against police in articles which are not of an editorial nature – by one author. Look through his articles, it happens over and over again.

  • avatar
    rudiger

    Keep the articles, all of ‘em, just as they are.

    My only quibble is the lack of follow-up. That can be a real problem since the wheels of justice turn slowly. Still, I never saw anything more about the one-time ‘Utah State Trooper of the Year’ Lisa Steed, who had an unfortunate penchant for arresting everyone she stopped for DUI, whether they were or not. While she was fired and the termination upheld by a judge, there are still lots of lawsuits pending against her and the Utah state patrol.

    Nor have I seen anything more about the ACLU Freedom of Speech lawsuit of William Barboza, the guy from CT who was hauled into court and arrested for writing, “F*ck your sh!tty town b*tches!” on his speeding citation payment to Liberty, NY.

    I’d definitely want to know how David Eckert’s ACLU 4th Amendment lawsuit is progressing after the Deming, NM PD decided to stop him for a minor traffic violation but ended up performing eight (count ‘em) intrusive medical procedures into his rectum (including x-rays and a colonoscopy) in a 14-hour period on a very questionable search warrant signed off by a deputy DA and judge.

    Or the outcome of the Elmwood Place, OH court ruling which had outlawed the privately-owned speed cameras responsible for netting that tiny little suburb of Cincinnati a cool $1.2 ‘million’ in the span of two months (40% of which went to the speed camera company).

    Or even the guy in Chamblee, GA, who was arrested for theft of approximately $.05 worth of electricity to charge his Nissan Leaf.

    All too often, there’s a big story about what appears to be some major law enforcement malfeasance which typically began after a minor traffic stop, yet there’s never any follow-up as to the ultimate resolution.

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      Follow-up? Surely you jest. These guys usually match atrocious editing with atrociously lame excuses (the source called at 2 AM, my cell phone was dead, my dog ate my homework, etc)on why the editing was so bad. Follow-up? Nope, drop a big cop-hate bomb and ignore following-up like a phone call from a bar skank. Click-bait and get the loonies howling seem to be the reason for the anti-LEO scribblings.

    • 0 avatar
      Japanese Buick

      When you on these stories months or years later you will find that TTAC is far from unique in lacking follow up. It’s been a frustration of mine before and is a serious weakness in internet driven news culture.

      Hey, maybe that’s how TTAC can add value: do the follow up no one else does.

  • avatar
    jim brewer

    I think you handle these stories very well. Its part of the motoring scene, yet you bring a car enthusiast perspective to the story which is worthwhile. I vote for changing nothing.

    I echo what MK says, that the following comments of these stories seem to be preternaturally civil on this site for some reason. At the risk of sounding self-congratulatory, that’s another reason for keeping the stories.

  • avatar
    oldowl

    We might want to remember that “B&B” for “the best and brightest” was used originally and ironically by journalist David Hablerstam to describe the “whiz kids” policy-makers’ mentality that got the U.S. deeply involved in the Vietnam war.

    So using “B&B” to refer to TTAC readers isn’t much of a compliment–unless, of course, it is meant ironically. Haberstam was himself killed in an auto accident when the driver he was traveling with made a left-hand turn into oncoming traffic.

    So that’s a car connection.

  • avatar
    WhiskeyRiver

    As a reader, I ask myself the following:

    Is it relevant?
    Is it accurate?
    Is it entertaining?
    Is it thought provoking?
    Is it a fun read?

    Whatever I’m reading, it needs to be a good mix of some of those things. It doesn’t have to contain all the elements, just most of them. In the end, I need to feel entertained and ideally have fun reading it.

    I like the mix I’ve been reading.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    Definitely keep them. I find the wailing and gnashing of teeth over them endlessly amusing.

  • avatar
    Ron B.

    The Soviets and the chicoms (and todays Putin government) took the issue of censorship seriously and censor anything that makes state actions look bad . TTAC has put something out there and alowed comments on it. That is what initially made the USA different to the Former regimes . To say you dont want to see that on TTAC is simply joining the Soviet and chicom style of mindset. You do not have to read about this,simply read something else.After all, it’s there if you want it ,but you have the right not too.

    To ignore what happened to that man is to accept the fact that maybe you or one of yours could be gunned down in cold blood because the police know that they can and not suffer any retribution for unjustly taking a life.

  • avatar
    Atum

    Your opinions on police make me think Alex Jones is an editor here editing under your name.

    • 0 avatar
      SIGCDR

      Your use of an association fallacy whereby you made a hasty generalization and assert that qualities of one thing are inherently qualities of another leads me to question your ability to think.

      Would it have been better if the commenter had used the Wikipedia definition of an Orwellian state to describe the conditions under which we live in America today?

      The adjective Orwellian refers to these behaviours of The Party, especially when the Party is the State:

      - Invasion of personal privacy, either directly physically or indirectly by surveillance.
      -State control of its citizens’ daily life, as in a “Big Brother” society (police state).
      -Official encouragement of policies contributing to the socio-economic disintegration of the family.
      - The adoration of state leaders and their Party.
      - The encouragement of “doublethink”, whereby the population must learn to embrace inconsistent concepts without dissent, e.g. giving up liberty for freedom. Similar terms used are “doublespeak”, and “newspeak”.
      - The revision of history in the favour of the State’s interpretation of it.
      - A (generally) dystopian future.
      - The use of euphemism to describe an agency, program or other concept, especially when the name denotes the opposite of what is actually occurring. E.g. a “Department of Energy” that reduces the production of energy.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    Where the police story is automotive at its core, cover it. Try to do the site title justice and tell the truth about it. I’m not hoping for original investigative reporting here, just aggregate the stuff interesting to this community, summarize it, and feel free to express your own opinions about either the event or the questions about motoring, law, manufacturing etc. that it highlights. Make a clear distinction between the facts and opinions (“it’s been said” is usually just rehashed opinion.)

  • avatar
    Morea

    Only post stories where TTAC has done some honest to goodness reporting on the incident.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    I dont mind the police articles. As long as its auto related, I say post. Most of us can determine if the article intersts us from the title and move on if it doesnt. It is good to have some powderkeg type controversial subjects as well in stead of just straight news sometimes, especially on a slow day.

  • avatar
    96E36M3

    TTAC’s willingness to be critical of the state and its intrusions into the lives of individuals is one of my favorite of its characteristics. There is far too much intellectual laziness amongst Americans regarding issues of state expansion and over-reach. Many of the stories TTAC runs highlight the often fragile egos and tendencies toward arbitrary violence displayed by police officers. It is important for Americans to remember that these are people who need careful professional oversight, and I appreciate the airing of stories that highlight this. Moreover, it is in matters involving vehicles that we see very clearly the state’s financial predation of citizens.

    I appreciate the truth about cars and the operation of cars this site offers.

  • avatar
    Gravy

    I come to The Truth About *Cars* to read about cars and to read the various perspectives from the comments about those cars are car related activities.

    If the threshold for publication on The Truth About *Cars* is that there be some motorized conveyance involved even in the most minuscule of way in association with some far larger incendiary, yet important, issue then I expect we’ll see more of this.

    If the motivation to post is to share in the joy, nostalgia, technical prowess, mechanical cleverness, marketing genius (or idiocy), manufacturing, maintenance, management, and competition as it relates *Truth*fully *About* *Cars* then I guess this is the right place, at least the URL and masthead would lead you to believe.

  • avatar
    Stu L Tissimus

    I don’t feel strongly about the issue, but I just wanted to give props to you guys for asking, and sticking to the tenets of the TTAC Reboot. Keep it up!

  • avatar
    sideshowtom98

    I live in LA, and have for years. The local TV and Radio stations have been broadcasting high speed and low speed chase info, pictures, live feeds, for years. It got boring many years ago. I guess the same people that slow down to gawk at accidents, listen to Police scanners, and show up at accident sites must love them, and they must make up a goodly part of the local population, or common sense would say that they would not get the coverage they do. Most of these chases, which happen numerous times per day, end with the subject running out of gas, or getting into an accident. Rarely, but occasionally, the runner gets shot, and sometimes killed. Usually there are all kinds of extenuating circumstances leading to shots being fired. The bottom line, its boring, it has nothing to do about The Truth About Cars, and I see no purpose in publishing them.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      This was my point earlier.

      The fact that these perps are in cars has nothing to do with cars, any more than their clothing has anything to do with TV’s “What Not To Wear”.

    • 0 avatar
      AoLetsGo

      Your mix of stories is fine including keeping the police related ones.
      But I agree with sideshowtom that just a replay of yet another car chase is boring, even with a sad, tragic ending. The story where they chased the skank was okay because it brought in many different story elements besides just a police chase.

      I also found that clip on that other web site about live HD video from space interesting. It would really get the tin-foil hat folks in a lather.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    I say continue on as you wish deeming which stories appropriate to publish, keeping with the driving related theme of the website.

    Don’t stop giving your opinion pr analysis either, differing opinions only make the insecure uncomfortable. To them I say, read onto the next post.

  • avatar
    masrapida

    Keep the stories coming, if only for the frequently unhinged, but almost always enormously amusing, commentary that follows.

  • avatar
    Jimal

    I didn’t chime in on the original article because the comments were devolving into something I didn’t want to be involved in. My issue isn’t with the story so much, as it is with 1) the timing, more than two weeks after the incident, and 2) the lack of any in-depth analysis. Had what was written was posted on December 15th instead of December 29th it wouldn’t be perceived as red meat during a slow news cycle.

    We live in a large country with 319 Million of our fellow humans. If you look hard enough you’ll find just about every good or evil deed a human can exact on another. I don’t know that posting the item in the way it was did anything to further a conversation.

  • avatar
    z9

    Sure there’s a case to be made for police stories being relevant to cars. However, the comments on these stories, while generally civil, are bringing out Libertarian Absolutist tendencies that make me want to run screaming from this site and never return. I suppose I can just not read the comments for such articles. But here’s the truth about cars: they are regulated by the government. This is a fact of life. Cars are dangerous when they are defective, unsafe, driving on bad roads, or in the hands of impaired or incompetent drivers, some of whom may be in police uniforms. A significant number of people are killed in cars or when they are hit by cars. The government figures into almost every story that has to do with cars, even car reviews, even before we start talking about police behavior. Whether it is CAFE, safety regulations, recalls, driver training, insurance requirements, speed limits, franchise laws, gas taxes, or a million other things, the government and cars are inextricably tied together. If this is a site about the reality of living with cars, then I think a realistic attitude about the way cars fit into the world would be appropriate. If you want to tell me how much better my life as a driver would be if I were liberated from lead-free gasoline, guard rails, manufacturer liability, and who knows what else, go ahead. But I won’t be listening.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    I think with this sort of topic, less is more. LEO in New Mexico fires on van full of people speeding away and fortunately hurts no one, while a legit topic not terribly interesting in and of itself and few would have noticed if it had not been posted. Ditto on the drunken Columbus skank in the ritzy neighborhood, although I did chuckle at the ironic link to her father and his profession. However army/nat’l guard veteran has [botched?] *brain surgery*, drives a *Corvette* in a high speed chase and is effectively executed on live television by LAPD no less, this piques my interest a bit. Keep following it (and things like it) I’ll be interested to learn about the investigation.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Publish what you see fit, Mr. Baruth – people who frequent this site are smart enough to figure out whether it’s worthwhile for them to read or not.

    I think it’s pretty obvious that the previous regime’s clickbait tendencies have been reined in.

  • avatar
    3Deuce27

    The key to the answer to this question, is, ‘The Truth About Cars’. It’s about cars and the industry, not some political blog where the rants go on and on.

    I have plenty of issues with deadly police enforcement, but I let other sites deal with those issues. I don’t look too a car blog to get info on overbearing, over reaching, malignant cowboys licensed to murder legally. Their actions are not limited to incidents involving cars.

    At the same time, I don’t have to load those posts.

    I do think those posts on TTAC, diminish the product. But, there are plenty of followers of TTAC that will comment on anything, repeatedly, and the business model relies on those clicks, even, though, they are essentially valueless to your advertisers, but not to TTAC. So, it, is a tough call, Jack

  • avatar
    George B

    Jack, I vote for everything under the sun. The one caveat is that every story on TTAC should include some vehicle in the story and the story should be reasonably accurate and fair. Can’t throw in pictures of the skanky-sexy girl unless you get pictures or video of the car. You clear the bar on the required car to girl ratio by including video of a police chase including a well executed PIT maneuver by a panther.

    The Affluenza dude story should have included the detail that the vehicle he drove was a heavy duty work truck owned by his dad’s metal roof company and people ejected were riding in the bed of the truck. One story said it was a F-350, but not sure if the picture matches. http://assets.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.1550040.1387283183!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_635/affluenza18n-3-web.jpg

  • avatar
    tbone33

    The sexy girl thing was too TMZ-like for my tastes. The coverage of police techniques on the roadways involving the unexpected as well as gross misconduct has been great. Keep the focus on police getting away with murder rather than idiots behind the wheel getting caught.

  • avatar
    beefmalone

    I’m about has hardcore Conservative as it gets, but when it comes to 5-0 NWA had it right.

  • avatar
    Garak

    To me, these police stories and the following conversation are an interesting peek to a foreign country. TTAC has taught me most of what I know about the US police and justice systems, helped me understand many previously strange things in TV shows and movies, and even realize some things about my homeland and help me grow as a person. I’m serious.

    So, keep the articles coming about all subjects – the complainers can just skip them.

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    I am not especially interested in “us versus them” stories, they are to easy to insert agendas and to easy to display bias. Stories that affect road users and their vehicles are of interest though. As always, I like to know both sides of a story. Throw in some positive with the negative to, please.

  • avatar
    its me Dave

    “* Only stories that are directly related to enforcement of traffic laws.”

    This one, please. There aren’t many sites for well-informed auto commentary. There plenty of others to sate my need for outrage. I prefer to compartmentalize.

  • avatar
    matador

    I’d say keep them. If there’s something that I don’t want to see, I just won’t read it, and will proceed to the next Junkyard Find. If it interests me, I’ll stop and read it.

  • avatar
    jeffzekas

    I appreciate cop stories, *IF* they are vehicle related, i.e. speed traps, how radar is used, counties which do gratuitous stops (I am talking about YOU, Shasta County CHP!) and police actions which affect motorists. For instance, years ago, I was told, “Always keep you hands visible, on the steering wheel, when a cop pulls you over.” This advice came after numerous gang shootings of cops walking up on vehicles. Knowing what’s going on in the cop world helps the rest of us, in the non cop world.

  • avatar
    JohnAZ

    So what did TTAC editors decide as a result of this feedback?

  • avatar
    PaulieWalnut

    I’m probably too late for this but I’ll at my two bits anyway. I say dump the police stories. It’s not what I log in to read. The general vibe I get from those stories is bitterness, possibly because you’ve he’d a couple of run ins with the law and perhaps the author was in the right and the police were in the wrong. Whatever happened, any article about the police has a venom to it that strikes me as coming from someone with an axe to grind. Like minded people will lap it up but it’ll turn everyone else off.

  • avatar
    Buckshot

    “Only stories where the police are presented in a positive, community-focused manner?”

    Of course, but then you are the same as North Korean media.

  • avatar
    vaujot

    Kind of late but here goes:
    In think you can report on anything remotely involving cars and the police as long as you have the the time and ressorces to cover the issue in sufficient depth. I think the piece on the Corvette chase did not achieve this. I would have liked to know: What are the rules for LA’s police concerning the use of firearms? Did those rules get followed? I think when an unarmed person gets shot to death by police officers, that’s a big problem and I want to know whether the police officers are to blame or the policies that they are told to follow.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Authors

  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India