Massachusetts bill s2800 is troubling in so many ways. In essence, it will make an already difficult job even more dangerous for the men and women in law enforcement who serve our communities every day with honor and courage.
The following are the most dangerous sections of the bill:
In Section 55, this bill authorizes "any person" to "intervene" if they believe an officer's use of force is excessive. C’mon, how many times have we seen a YouTube video that looks bad, but was totally within compliance with state law and department policy? Now you’ll have a group of anti-police renegades attacking cops because they “believe” their force was excessive. This language will be exploited to attack cops and later used as a defense by anyone charged with resisting arrest or assaulting a police officer. This language will result in more cops being hurt and killed.
In Section 6, this bill the POSAC Committee is granted broad powers, including the power of subpoena during active criminal investigations. The language sets the groundwork for unconstitutional violations of a police officer's 5th amendment rights against self-incrimination (see Carney vs Springfield). It also violates several constitutional protections against "double-jeopardy".
In Section 10, qualified immunity protections are removed and replaced with a "no reasonable defendant" qualifier. This removes important liability protections essential for the police officers who patrol communities and often deal with some of the most dangerous of circumstances with little or no back-up. By removing qualified immunity protections, officers become vulnerable to personal liabilities just by preforming their duties. A kidnapping suspect doesn't like the way he was arrested? He doesn't like the way he was subdued by an officer after he fled? The fact that the officer behaved within policy, and by following Massachusetts law will not protect her if this bill passes. As I’ve written previously, qualified police recruits are already in limited supply. Adding this section will discourage good applicants from becoming interested in becoming cops.
Final note: this bill is being forced through the process without the normal and appropriate legislative process. Holding public hearings to accept testimony from citizens, and having a thoughtful debate is the right way to make legislation. The mob justification for speed tracking this bill is because of the "exigency of the matter". However, this debate was only sparked after a rogue criminal cop violated his oath 2000 miles away from the closest Massachusetts border.
It is inconceivable that Massachusetts congress would attempt this "sleight of hand" trick to rush a major change and done behind a smoke-screen of hurried "exigency".
Cops Looking for New Jobs
As I speak to my police colleagues across the country I notice a common theme of frustration and contempt for a job they once loved. To them, it seems both citizens and politicians are out to get them. Take for example, a legislative bill in Virginia that changes assaulting a cop from a felony to a marginal misdemeanor. If that's not a green light to assault cops I don’t know what is. Or how about a proposed New York law forcing cops to carry their own liability insurance? This law protects cities and towns from expensive litigation. How irresponsible is that? Local communities are no longer responsible for defending cops after their politicians implemented laws and forced cops to enforce them. The irony is palpable. Many proponents make the mistake of comparing this insurance requirement to doctors and malpractice suits. Nothing could be more different. If that becomes the standard, however cops should be able to decide what calls they respond to or what subjects to engage. Sorry, we don’t have that luxury.
Needless to say, cops are reassessing their occupational situation. So, I thought I’d assist my brothers and sisters in blue in beginning their job search. Let's start with the obvious: private security and investigations. I became licensed as a private investigator in 2012 as a long-term side hustle. With the advent of online data companies available to the public, the PI profession has changed dramatically. However, there will always be a market for private citizens who need information. The need for private security, on the other hand, will explode in the upcoming years. As police departments become decimated by defunding policies, as well as the lack of recruits interested in law enforcement, private security demands will sky rocket. The only problem with making the change to the private sector is the pay. The maximum salary for either job is between $21-25 dollars an hour. The other obvious issue would be paying into social security and crossing your fingers they’ll be any left when you retire. On the plus side, private companies have good health and time off benefits.
I strongly believe, however, most cops who are getting out want to steer clear from anything resembling law enforcement. This is completely understandable. So, let's look at some other options. FranchiseGator.com is loaded with successful businesses that have been perfected to where the only variable is the franchise owner. Decide what your interests are. What could you see yourself doing professionally? A friend of mine bought a franchise two years ago that now employs two dozen people and grosses seven figures in revenue. Cleaning businesses like Men in Kilts or Pool Scouts market their business to specific clientele with a minimal investment of $100k.
If running a business is not your thing how about working for an ever growing company like Home Depot. According to their website (careers.homedepot.com) they have 144 positions available within 15 miles of my hometown. For example, they’re looking for an assistant manager at their Boston store, an asset protection specialist in Avon and a repair and tool technician in Norwood. All these jobs come with medical benefits, disability insurance, 401k retirement and even profit sharing plans. What’s more, the customers and company management don’t hate you! (I know that’s hard for cops to comprehend).
As cops we tend to get stuck in one-way thinking: right vs. wrong, legal vs. illegal, without looking at the big picture. We need to look beyond the flashing blue lights and the snazzy uniforms for a second and ponder life outside the blue line. How would it feel to not be viewed as the enemy? How would it feel to not pay for the sins of a cop in another city or state? How would it feel to not be marginalized and dehumanized by people who wouldn’t even be qualified to be cops? Sounds better every day.
So put your resume together and create a login to indeed.com...you’ll thank me later.
The New American Pacifier
If you think all you're hearing in the media is “Wah!” you’re not alone. It appears, when life gets tough, and fails to go thier way, 2020's human adult is content on throwing a fit. We’ve slowly descended to the proverbial cry-baby hell on earth. Let's examine a few examples: Many forgot about 2011 when the one-percent, corporate villains controlled our lives. This narrative caused the 99%-ers to occupy public spaces in order to visually vent their inane frustrations. We were right to ignore them.
Following that nonsense was the desperate plea to discontinue the use of plastic straws. We were told this .42 grams of fish-killing menace was damaging our climate! Failure to discontinue their usage would cause the planet’s demise in nine years. Oh the humanity.
The mob panic has become so bad recently, the justice warrior citizen now complains to the police when others a fail to social distance. “They don’t appear to be from the same family-and they’re playing soccer!” one woman told me. My sarcastic eye-roll seemed to ignite her inner child because she stomped off muttering something about my indifference. (I'm going to spare you the current, anti-police elephant in the room that seems to poke his head up every four years or-so).
Silence is Violence
In this war for humanity there is no neutrality. If the movement makers are to be believed, you are either on one side or the other. You are either with us or against us. But is that right? Are there Americans who support racial and societal justice but don’t subscribe to demonizing and defunding the police? Well, if you’re reading this then you are one. You obtain a quality that is quickly vanishing in our country: an open mind. You’re someone who is willing to take information, evaluate it and make informed decisions based on facts, experiences and your apperceptive base. But according to the leader of the newest movement, if you’re not willing to stand in the center of town holding a black and white sign declaring your unwavering support, you are a racist.
In order to be accepted in today's millennium world you’re not allowed to shut your mouth and cheer from the sidelines. You need to publicly support the winning team. Just sitting back and listening is the racial equivalent of being the Grand Cyclops of the defunct Ku Klux Klan. Your silence is equal to damaging property or another's person’s face. You are the problem.
But do you know what isn’t violence? An outward attack on a person or property in the name of social justice is now an approved response in today's adult tantrum. So do it...your T.V. told you to.
Nobody Wants to be a Cop
Hey, Police agencies: you thought you had recruitment problems before? How about adding nonstop police riots, independent review boards announced by the New York Attorney General even BEFORE they made any looting arrests and nonstop abuse from average everyday citizens? That seems like an unpleasant environment for a human. What’s worse, are those who currently are police officers packing up their lockers and heading for the exit after this is over. Good luck with all that recruitment stuff.
In my book Abolish the Police I discussed recruitment issues facing law enforcement agencies long before a crooked Minneapolis cop murdered an innocent man:
When candidates apply to become police officers, the community hopes to get the best members of the community. Unfortunately, due to the anti-police rhetoric being spun by community and political leaders, it appears communities are just getting warm bodies to fill vacancies. I predict police departments will begin to shrink as the recruitment pool grows even more shallow. With smaller police departments comes a reallocation of resources. Specialized units, such as community outreach programs will be liquidated as officers will be specifically tasked with law enforcement duties. Hence, quality of life complaints will go unheeded. Gone are the days of police officers responding to parking complaints, dogs off leashes, fire alarms, medical emergencies and conducting building checks. The role of the police officer is reduced out of areas that are either unrelated or beyond the reasonable scope of their duties.
This is the future of policing in America. I, for one, welcome the change. Police departments have been overpriced conglomerates who seek only to violate the rights of others. Several local elected officials in Massachusetts have called for leaner police departments and to defund them altogether. This is the very essence of my book Abolish the Police.
So for every hard working citizen of the United States who is decent and follows the rules, you’re essentially on your own. Sorry.
Cops: "I'm Just Following Orders"
The passage of time has a cruel way of defining right and wrong. As the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown is in its final stages, we begin to evaluate the response of our government officials. This includes both elected government as well as state and local police officers. In the past few weeks several videos have surfaced showing cops enforcing so-called state-of-emergency laws. One such example was in Wisconsin where a mom was “harassed” by police for hosting a 7-year-old's play-date. In Kentucky, members of the state police were seen copying license plates of parishioners who attended Easter Sunday services. This is a disgrace to a profession I once loved. Where is the push-back from even keeled, intelligent, common-sense lawmen?
Or, are they just following orders?
Let’s analyze those orders: most are dictated by elected state governors who seem more interested in pushing their liberal agenda than protecting us from a virus. Take for example Maine Governor, Janet Mills who revoked a local restaurants' liquor license because the owner Rick Savage defied her orders. In an interview with Tucker Carlson Tonight on May 13th, Savage says the governor is attempting to have the Oxford County court shut him down. When asked what he’d do if the police came to his restaurant to arrest him, Rick Savage said “I guess I’ll sleep in a prison cell for a while.”
So, what if that happens? What if Oxford County Court commands the Maine State Police to respond to the Sunday River Brewing Company and arrest Rick Savage...will they?
God, I hope not.
Caregiver Abuse Cases
When a loved one becomes unable to care for themselves many families experience feeling of guilt when the decision is made to place them in assisted living. Imagine how they feel when they suspect their loved one is being abused or mistreated? According to the Office of the Inspector General nursing home abuse and elder abuse goes greatly underreported. Between 2017 and 2018, 1 in 6 adults aged 60 or older suffered some type of abuse while in a community setting, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Where can families of abused elders turn for help? I’ve seen this scenario play out time and again as a private investigator. I’ve sat at the dining room table of adult children who seem to have no place to turn. Many have contacted local police departments to file abuse reports, however never get the resolve they were hoping for. Unfortunately, without hard evidence or something more than mere suspicion, law enforcement is helpless.
The answer lies in finding a good personal injury attorney and a good private investigator. I’ve had the honor of working with some of the best personal injury attorneys in Massachusetts. Those that specialize in nursing home abuse cases have teams of medical professionals on staff to evaluate medical records and determine whether injuries are consistent with the nursing home’s explanation. Oftentimes, nursing home abuse consists of aides rough handling of mom or dad that leaves bruises, cuts or other wounds. Other times the abuse is merely a lack of attention to clean dressings that become infections. Limbs have been lost because nursing home aides fail to take proper care of injuries. Infectious bed sores are an everyday occurrence because the aids did not follow proper procedure in turning the patient or properly cleaning wounds.
If you have a loved one in assisted living or suspect the caregiver is not tending appropriately to their injuries, contact me for a free, no obligation consultation. If you need the name of an attorney in Massachusetts that specializes in nursing home abuse cases please contact me and I’ll offer a free referral to a trusted, professional personal injury attorney.
Farewell to the Handshake
Greetings are forever changed. Due to the invisible enemy called Coronavirus, humans will no longer be able to grasp each other's hands as a symbol of mutual respect and admiration. Just as September 11, 2001 changed the manner in which Americans continued their daily lives, so will the post COVID-19 society.
So what will take the place of a handshake? Over the years we’ve seen the adoption of the “fist-pump”, the 80’s “high-five” and the 90’s Oakland A’s “arm bashing”. Maybe nothing at all. Maybe the post corona people will bow to each other, or simply nod in recognition.
But what will we lose? Is touching another human being at all beneficial? As a private investigator I’ve developed the skill of reading people by their nonverbal cues. Oftentimes, I read their eyes, their body behavior or how they carry themselves. With various interactions I’ve been able to learn a lot from the way one shakes my hand. Whether its firm, soft, limp, turned to the right, or early release says much about the person's attitude and behavior. For example, someone who rotates their hand slightly after grasping mine so that their hand rests on top, is an indication they want to exert dominance. Conversely, if the grasp is limp, or not completely web to web, this may be an indication of lack of confidence or uneasiness in their current environment.
Thus, people like me that rely on nonverbal cues will sorely miss this tool. On the other hand, not having to touch another person's nasty hand may prevent possible death from the invisible enemy...so that’s a good thing. -RJD
Policing the COVID-19 Society
I used to really enjoy police work. I would look forward to coming to work, donning my uniform and patrolling the town in my cruiser. COVID-19 has changed that. In my 2020 book Abolish the Police I outline several police practices that could be replaced by the use of technology. I argued these practices would be implemented in the all-to-distant future in an effort to eliminate the need for police service. When I wrote it, I never thought they would be adopted so soon and under these circumstances.
For example, due to Coronavirus many police departments have discouraged placing suspects under arrest in favor of summonsing. According to The MetroWest Daily News in Massachusetts “Police departments across the region are issuing summonses for nonviolent crimes rather than arresting suspects.”
They went on to justify the new policy by blaming the courts. “With courts closed to all but emergency hearings and arraignments for the foreseeable future, the new practice will lead to fewer people spending time in police department holding cells.”
Notwithstanding, first responders including police are required to show up for work and respond to calls. Many of those calls are medical emergencies that require an immediate response. COVID-19 requires all of us to “gown up” before offering medical aid. What a pain. In effect, response is marginally delayed to everybody because of this invisible enemy.
In spite of the new staffing and gown protocols, I tried to think of why policing the Coronavirus society was so depressing. I realized the primary reason was because of the lack of personal interactions with the public. I never thought I’d admit this, but I really enjoy communicating and interacting with members of the general public. However, with the highly infectious monster, social distancing is the order of the day. Nobody wants to approach their fellow man to share a joke or a cordial greeting.
One welcome byproduct I’ve noticed are more waves I’ve received. More people have offered a friendly hand wave toward my marked cruiser as I drive by. The only other time I remember so many was the weeks after 9/11.
MetroWest Daily News Article:
In two short weeks, my newest book Abolish the Police ranked #2 on Amazon Best Sellers list. I couldn’t be more excited about a pro-police message being so well received. Obviously, the common question regarding the book's title from friends, family and colleagues was anticipated. But my response to each was always the same: read the book. And they did.
Surprisingly, pictures of the book’s cover found its way on many social media sites with comments questioning the books intentions or content. A colleague, who works in another police department, sent me a screenshot from a private Facebook group that sarcastically commented they (cops) were taking the next week off because the public didn’t need the police. I made sure he set the record straight!
Needless to say, I’ve been overwhelmed at the response and feedback I received at the positive law enforcement message Abolish the Police strives to make. Thanks again to all my loyal readers.
Blog posts are written by Rob Disario and include opinion editorials about policing and private investigations. Other topics include tips and tricks to protect yourself, thoughts for today, new products and product reviews. Rob's opinions are his own which are protected by the first amendment to the Constitution of the United States and do not reflect any other entity, affiliation or person.