Handcuffed and Helpless – Article by T.K. Coleman

Handcuffed and Helpless – Article by T.K. Coleman

The New Renaissance HatT.K. Coleman
July 28, 2015


There’s a naive idea floating around that an innocent person should never be afraid of cops.


Editors’ Note from the Foundation for Economic Education: FEE faculty T.K. Coleman is consistently one of our students’ favorite speakers and teachers. His insight and magnetism would be impossible to replace. We not only consider him a friend, but a member of the FEE family.

Recently T.K. related the story of his experience with police abuse. We cannot independently verify the account he gives here, but we offer his story based on our belief in T.K. Coleman as a human being and as a friend to our organization.

We believe it is important to cover the problem of police abuse from the perspective of one who has experienced it.

What you are about to read is not a philosophical argument. It’s a personal testimony. The aim of telling this story is neither to make a political statement, nor to score points for a particular ideology. For almost three years, I’ve mostly held it in. But it’s become clear to me that it’s time to give a more detailed account to a broader audience.

*             *             *

One Friday night, my wife and I were driving through a small town on the way to a comedy club in Manhattan Beach, California. We were going to hang out and share a few laughs. On the way, we were pulled over by the police.

Two officers approached our car. One of them came to my window. The other one came to her window.

Without asking to see my license or registration, the officer on my side told me to get out of the car. I immediately and respectfully complied without raising a single question or objection. And in case you’re wondering, I wasn’t dressed in gang colors, nor was I wearing a hoodie.

When I exited the car, he turned me around, handcuffed me, threw me against the side of my car, and did a complete body search on me. As he groped me, he said, “This is how we do it in LA.”

I remember seeing a woman walking across the street holding hands with her little girl. We made eye-contact. She picked her little girl up and jogged in the other direction. Who could blame her? If I saw one of society’s most trusted authority figures manhandling a guy, I’d also assume this was a potentially dangerous situation.

The officer then removed the wallet from my pocket and pulled out the cash.

“Why do you have so much cash on you?”

“Sir, I honestly didn’t feel like a $100 was a lot of cash to have on me. I’m going out with my wife tonight and just wanted to have a little cash on me.”

“We’ll see.”

Next, he asked me where I lived. I told him my address. He laughed and said, “This n****r knows his address.” Then he walked me to the police car and literally threw me in the back seat and shut the door. From the back seat of a police car, I watched the officer join his partner who was already busy questioning my wife. They also made her get out of the car. They both got in her face and started questioning her.

Imagine what goes on inside of a man’s head when he’s handcuffed and helpless as he watches two men with guns get in his wife’s face. Imagine the complex blend of confusion, fear, irrational optimism, and rage that festers inside one’s soul as he watches one cop take his wife’s purse and pour all the contents out, while the other officer literally crawls around inside our car for several minutes.

They spent about 10 more minutes aggressively questioning my wife.

One of the officers returned to the car with my wallet and proceeded to look up my info in the system.

“You got any baby momma drama?” he asked me.

“I don’t have any children, sir.”

“You sure you ain’t got no baby momma drama?”

“I am certain I have no children, sir. There are no women out there who are even under the impression that I am the father of their child.”

“Are you clean? Are you clean? You ain’t got no drugs? You ain’t got nothing on you? No baby momma drama?” he says.

“I am clean,” I said.

For the entire time we were talking, my eyes were deadlocked on that other officer and my wife. After what felt like an eternity, the officer let me out of the car and took off the handcuffs.

“You’re good,” he told me.

As I slowly walked back to our car, I said to one of the officers, “Sir, I’m not trying to be antagonistic or disrespectful, but is there a reason for why I was pulled over?”

“We just had to check you out.”

I wanted to say, “What does that even mean?” But more importantly, I wanted to get us out of that situation safely. Given the way he man-handled me earlier, it was obvious to me that I was dealing with guys who weren’t above breaking protocol. So I just walked back to the car, took a deep breath, asked my wife if she was alright, and did my best Denzel Washington from Glory impersonation as I tried to keep it together.

Our comedy show started at 8 P.M. We were pulled over at about 7:30. When they let us go, it was about 10 minutes after the hour. We decided we couldn’t go home, or it would feel as if we let them win. So we drove to a local cinema, watched a movie, came back home, had some coffee, and just stayed up talking with each other about it.

*             *             *

I’m grateful that we didn’t get killed. I’m grateful that my wife didn’t get assaulted. I’m grateful that they didn’t plant drugs on me or put me in the hospital.

But my gratitude doesn’t change the fact that these men abused their power, disrespected my wife, laid their hands on my body in an inappropriate way, scared the hell out of us both, made us miss our show, and treated us like criminals simply because they felt entitled to do so.

They will not ruin my life, nor will they determine my destiny, but I want to put this story on the record because this was neither the first nor the second time something like this happened to me, and I sincerely believe that things like this happen all over the country.

There’s this naive idea floating around that people should never be afraid of cops as long as they’re innocent and compliant. For a lot of people in this country, that’s simply not true. This isn’t about playing some mythical race-card, nor is it about me promoting the idea that all cops are evil. I’m sure there are lots of cops who are nice to their kids and fun to hang out with when they’re having beer with their buddies. (I’m also sure that’s true of a lot of so-called thugs.)

But if we want to have intelligent discussions about authority in this country, we have to stop using a logic that tells us that people in authority always have a fair reason for doing what they do. We do a lot of talking about what people can do to avoid being abused by cops. We don’t talk as much as we should about the abuse that happens to people who follow all those instructions. If we can’t question authority, we are doomed.

*             *             *

Here’s a habit I picked up early on: When I see police officers, I shift into my A-game.

If I feel an itch on my forehead, I’ll notify the cops first before scratching the itch because I want them to feel safe and secure about the movement of my hand. This is a technique I refer to as “not getting shot.”

I learned techniques like this from the first day I received my driver’s license. Growing up in the suburbs, I was always afraid to drive my dad’s Lincoln Town Car.

I was too afraid to tell him, but I would cringe when he’d ask me to drive his car because I knew I would be pulled over and harassed by cops whose worldview wasn’t big enough to imagine me in a nice car (even though it was normal to see young people driving nice cars in the neighborhood where I grew up).

I remember driving my dad’s car once, and he left his toolbox in the back seat. A cop pulled me over and asked why I had a toolbox. Fair enough. I told him my dad was in real estate and construction, and that I was working with him at one of his buildings. The cop had me step out of the car, handcuffed me, and searched the toolbox while I sat on the curb in handcuffs.

“Are there any other weapons in this car besides this hammer here?”

My overly diplomatic reply was this: “With all due respect, sir, the hammer is not a weapon, but rather one of many tools in that toolbox we use for work. However, I understand where you’re coming from and I can see how you might be inclined to see it as a weapon, but those tools are only used for work.”

He let me go. I can only imagine what my fate would have been if I hadn’t learned about the loaded question fallacy. Two points for philosophy. Hurray.

By the way, the officer gave me no warnings, citations, or explanations. Like the guys from my earlier story, he just wanted to “check me out.”

Unfortunately, my techniques don’t make me feel all that secure, nor does the fact that today I drive a car that’s a lot more modest than my dad’s. At every stage of my adulthood, I’ve been pulled over by cops, dragged out of my car, handcuffed, spoken to like I was a stupid little boy, humiliated in public, called racial slurs, and manhandled by multiple guys with badges multiples times (without being arrested or charged with anything), in spite of the fact that I’ve never been armed, and I’ve always complied with their every request.

When I spent two years without having a car, it was one of the most peaceful, cop-free times in my life. I would still get harassed at times, but it was so much harder for them to come up with excuses for stopping me. I have never been physically or psychologically abused by drug-dealing “thugs,” but I have definitely been abused by police who thought it was okay to push me around because I fit their stereotype of a thug.

Some people automatically feel safer when cops are around, but that’s not a universal experience. It’s certainly not mine. I’m not angry at every cop, but I am deeply concerned about the frighteningly popular belief that you must have done something wrong if you were abused by one.

*             *             *

When I first wrote about this on my Facebook page, I only had my family and friends in mind. Prior to that, I’d never shared the full details with anyone except for a small group of people.

But more and more, I’d been involved in conversations about police brutality. It seems to be on everyone’s mind. And while I acknowledge that these issues are more complex than many people make them out to be, there was one recurring element in many of these conversations that really irked me: The idea that a police officer would never mistreat someone if they conducted themselves in the right way. I know from personal experience that this assumption is false.

Indeed, I know many people who have been mistreated by authorities who abuse their power and they’re simply afraid to talk about it. Since I shared a version of this account on Facebook, over 1500 hundred people have shared my Facebook post. I’ve received tons of messages from people who have been victims of various kinds of abuse, not just from cops, but abuse in general. Many of them thanked me for inspiring them to tell their own story. I’ve even had police officers apologize to me on behalf of other police officers.

But why are people so often silent in the face of abuse? They don’t want to risk their careers; they don’t want to make enemies at their church; they don’t want to be associated with the wrong political party; they don’t want to be seen as liars; they don’t want anyone targeting them.

And I get it. Just since I shared this on social media, people have called me a liar, a bullshitter, a slanderer, a cop hater and an attention seeker. Honestly, I can relate with those people who would rather just stay silent than suffer the indignity of the aftermath — which so often just adds insult to injury.

But then there are the people who find inspiration, perhaps to tell their own story. I wrote this for them. Some have asked why I would write something like this if I have no chance of bringing the cops to justice. My answer is that I wrote this primarily in hopes that some people’s minds will be opened and others’ hearts will be healed due to what I went through. Most importantly, I wrote this so that people who stay silent — for whatever reason — will know they aren’t alone.

I wish I had footage of what happened. I wish I had had the opportunity to obtain badge numbers, names, or license plate numbers without fear. Instead all I could think was “Please God let me out of this situation alive.” “Please don’t let them hurt my wife.” “What in the world is happening to me?” When they finally let me go, I was mostly just relieved that we were going to get out safe.

Believe it or not, there was a point when it did occur to me to try to get some information on these police officers. When I asked the one cop why we had been stopped, I thought about getting a look at their license plate number right then. But it occurred to me that things could escalate again if they perceived me as antagonizing them. I was scared of what they might do next if they noticed me looking at their car as if I were trying to obtain their information.

*             *             *

After my wife and I left, we calmed down. I started to reflect on things. I wished I could have gotten something — a badge number, a license tag, anything. Still, I decided to report it. The next day, I called the police department in the town where we were pulled over. I spoke with an officer who was appalled by my story, but who said it couldn’t be his department. He asked me if I was sure it wasn’t the state police. I honestly didn’t know. He believed my story, though, and he told me that if those were his guys, he would deal with them harshly. He apologized on behalf of police officers. We talked for almost an hour and he promised to have a meeting with his department about my story.

I also called state police as well as the departments for a couple surrounding towns but with the same results. My lack of evidence made things difficult. I tried hard to channel my anger in the direction of holding those officers accountable, but ultimately fell short. So, all I have is my story and the hope that some good can come from telling it.

All I ask of you, dear reader, is that you consider it an invitation to rethink the way some of these police encounters are framed and construed by all parties. If you’re skeptical of my version of events, that’s fine. I encourage you to keep on doubting.

But please don’t be selective in your skepticism. Question me. Question others. Question the police. Question authority. Most importantly, question your own assumptions. The truth will come will eventually come from people willing to search for it.

T.K. Coleman is a philosopher, writer, lecturer, entrepreneur, and life coach living in Los Angeles, California. He is the co-founder and Education Director for Praxis, a 10-month apprenticeship program that combines a traditional liberal arts education with practical skills training, professional development, and real-world business experience.

This article was published by The Foundation for Economic Education and may be freely distributed, subject to a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which requires that credit be given to the author.

16 thoughts on “Handcuffed and Helpless – Article by T.K. Coleman

  1. Such bullshit. Even if everything he wrote is generally true — which it obviously isn’t — then Coleman is a massive lowlife for first saying and doing nothing, and he’s a massive lowlife now for not morally condemning and hating the cops. The police are fundamentally vermin. No-one hates them more than me. But this article is a major lie and smear.

  2. If Mr. Coleman had resisted the cops’ demands at the time of the incident, he might not have lived to tell the story, even if he had been entirely in the right to resist and insist that the cops adhere to moral principles right then and there. That is the sad reality regarding which this article is trying to raise awareness, so that some meaningful curtailment of police brutality could actually occur.

  3. Almost everyone in America has a major story about the police. Most have several. They learn bitter lessons — then they generally seem to forget them. They almost always fall silent about the inexplicable and outrageous police misconduct they personally suffered from. I haven’t the slightest idea why Americans conduct themselves thus. It causes me to lose tremendous respect for mankind. But…the gratuitous silence part of Coleman’s story rings somewhat true.

    But do the police flat out murder people out of the clear blue sky and for no reason whatever? That’s not the way evil functions. That’s not the evil the cops do.

    Coleman’s many stories — conveniently wholly unsubstantiated — seem to me like a long, calculated smear in which he quietly portrays himself as possessing superhuman restraint and virtue. He acts like a great martyr to the cause. But no-one is that humble and self-effacing in real life. I’d love to interview him — find out the real truth about all those “driving while black, while in a fancy car” police pull-overs.

    I’ve heard these bullshit stories from blacks a thousand times. But for a non-criminal I bet I’ve had more run-ins with the police than anyone — especially when young. This includes scary ones. I know their good and bad.

    And, to be sure, they’re real bad — about 100% solidly corrupt after a mere 3-6 months on the job. Nazified in an instant, shall we say. But not evil in the way reported by Coleman. He may have an important story to tell. But I bet anything his current article is a tissue of lies.

  4. Mr. Zantonavitch, given that you have also experienced abusive behavior on the part of police, I struggle to understand why you consider Mr. Coleman’s story so implausible. It would seem to me that you ought to be natural allies in seeking to recognize and expose such abusive, rights-violating behavior. What is so different about your views on police abuse from his?

    Furthermore, I am not surprised at the level of restraint described in Mr. Coleman’s account. If one knows that one’s very survival is at stake, one is willing to go to great lengths – including the toleration of extremely unjust behaviors – just to make it to the next day, or the next minute. Generations of people in totalitarian societies throughout history have had to behave that way just to avoid both the literal and the metaphorical boot in their faces.

  5. I appreciate all your expressed views on this subject, Gennady, and I thank you for taking the time and effort to post!

    Beyond a doubt I need to write about all this. I have a ton of ideas about the police, and a ton of personal experiences with them. None of them have been expressed by other Objectivist or libertarian writers that I’m aware of.

    My quick take on racist blacks and fascist cops is this: these two loathsome groups deserve each other.

  6. Mr. Zantonavitch,

    You wrote: “I’d love to interview him — find out the real truth about all those “driving while black, while in a fancy car” police pull-overs.”

    Well, I’ve never been known to run from tough questions about the things I say nor have I ever exhibited discomfort in the face of scrutiny. So feel free to email me at tkcoleman@gmail (please add “.com” at the end of the address) and I’ll be more than happy to do an interview that addresses any question raised by you or anyone else. I stand by my story and I’m not the slightest bit nervous or uneasy about having conversations with skeptics, rationalist, or anyone else. In fact, I already have some questions of my own that I’d love to ask you.

    Regarding your comments, here are a few responses to some of your criticisms:

    1: “he quietly portrays himself as possessing superhuman restraint and virtue. He acts like a great martyr to the cause. But no-one is that humble and self-effacing in real life.”

    My response: You’d be amazed at how “humble” and restrained you can be when you fear that you’ll be hurt or killed if you give someone the slightest excuse for justifying the use of violence against you. Here’s an example: The average person isn’t very humble and self-effacing in everyday life, but put a gun to their head and watch how quickly that changes. The average person in such a situation would behave in a radically different manner than how they do in everyday life. You don’t need to be a virtuous superhuman angel in order to be aware enough to know that you might get killed or badly hurt if you’re not careful and respectful to the extreme. My behavior was about rational self-interest, not superhuman restraint. In contrast to your description of me as someone who acts “like a great martyr to the cause,” I was doing the exact opposite: I was doing everything in my power to avoid becoming a martyr. I wasn’t being a hero. I was simply doing all the things I felt I needed to do in order to avoid further trouble from a couple of people who had already exhibited some very alarming behavior.

    2. “And, to be sure, they’re real bad — about 100% solidly corrupt after a mere 3-6 months on the job. Nazified in an instant, shall we say. But not evil in the way reported by Coleman.”

    I find it interesting that you acknowledge cops as being really bad people who’ve done really bad things, but you find the kind of behavior I attributed to them in my story to be extreme. My story is actually very light compared to the things we read about in the news. No one shot me. No one put me in a jail cell. No one put a chokehold on me. While my experience was a nightmare, it was a very lucky and light encounter compared to most police abuse reports.

    3. “Coleman is a massive lowlife for first saying and doing nothing”

    I actually did say and do something, so your statement here is false. I spoke with multiple officers and lawyers for the first two days after the incident. I just didn’t have enough information to incriminate anyone. The fact that I wasn’t successful doesn’t mean I failed to act.

    4. “he’s a massive lowlife now for not morally condemning and hating the cops.”

    This is another false statement. I *did* morally condemn the cops who did this to us. I simply made it clear that I don’t condemn *all* cops just because of the actions of bad ones.

    You have my email address. So if you’re sincere and serious about interviewing me to get to the real truth, let’s make that conversation happen. I’ll be waiting on that email, sir. And I’ll be looking forward to whatever questions you have for me.

  7. Thanks for your reply, Mr. Zantonavitch.

    I’m not shocked that you’re shocked by my reply. This world is filled with people who say things without being willing to address the questions and/or concerns people have about what they say. I am proud to say, however, that I am not one of those people. I never make claims without being willing to address questions and/or concerns people have about them. Anyone who has met me can testify to the fact that I am never more at home than when addressing a philosophical or penetrating question about the things I believe.

    And I consider myself already braced for any possible question any person could ask me about my experience. I’ve had three years to process this experience, so I’ve already thought about it and have been challenged by others to think about it from every angle. Someone told me many years ago to “Tell the truth. It’s easier to remember.” I’ve found that to be good advice. When you tell the truth, you don’t have to spend a lot of time prepping for questions and objections. All you have to do is be honest and say what you know. Since my story is a true story, I’ve never felt any nervousness about the kinds of questions people might ask me about it. I don’t even spend time preparing for questions or practicing my answers. Just speaking the truth to the degree that I know it has been a neat little way for me to keep everything simple and stress-free.

    I look forward to that interview. Please use the email address I gave you in my initial comment and let’s set up a time to talk. We can speak privately on the phone or we can do a live or recorded interview for an audience. I prefer to talk live and in real time as opposed to a long back and forth over the internet. In all honesty, I don’t have as much time when it comes to keeping track of comments on various pages while making sure I write out replies. That takes so much time and I don’t think I can realistically keep up given my desire to be thorough in my responses. If we speak to each other in real time, we can question, challenge, and reply to each other more efficiently. So if you’re truly interested in that interview, let’s definitely make it happen.

    Also, in case this helps provide a little context for any questions you wish to ask me, I wrote a personal statement on my blog addressing some commonly asked questions. In case you’re interested, here’s the link:


    Either way, I look forward to hearing from you soon.



  8. Dear Mr. T.K. Coleman,

    Firstly, I never remotely expected you to read my remarks, let alone reply to them. Otherwise I would have discussed the issues and personalities involved with considerably more circumspection and exactitude. Without exactly being lazy or self-indulgent, I wasn’t all that careful or judicious in my brief, lighting-fast analysis of your essay. I didn’t want to drain most of the energy and life out of the room, nor lose the vividness and pleasure of the discussion, thru unexpected and gratuitous reserve. So I painted fairly broad strokes as I gave a rather loose, casual, emphatic, passionate response. The fact that you dared to publicly reply to me adds considerably to the credibility of your various claims. As far as I can tell, I’m the most formidable intellectual warrior on the planet, and that you even try to substantively respond is to your credit.

    But the “blacks vs. police” debate, and current controversy in America, can also be treated by me with far more precision and detail. I could practically write a book about just my own bitter personal experiences with the hated police. I engage with them philosophically – to the extent that these monkeys can even reply – and I challenge them personally – to the extent that I think I can get away with it. Curiously, their response to me in both instances is the same: dead silence.

    Sometimes, in a non-confrontational situation, where I approach them, I ask what they think about enforcing “victimless crime” laws. Sometimes, in a hostile situation, where I’m being detained or arrested for some malicious absurdity, I inform them what utter criminals and vermin they truly are. In both cases these fascist fiends and vacuous pieces of wood bite their tongues and keep their simian “thoughts” to themselves.

    Easily reading the minds of these badly-compromised simpletons, they think I wouldn’t and couldn’t understand them, either personally or their professional situation. But these are corrupted, retarded, demented baboons from hell, and I’m an actual noble human being, so I understand them personally, and their professional situation, completely. But as I dress them down, no actual discussion takes place, and no real views are exchanged. No progress is made and all hope is immediately killed off by their reptilian, cowardly, dishonest, sleazy, resolute, unbreakable silence.

    Just as I seemingly know everything there is to know about the police, so too I understand black racists. I’ve had an infinite number of encounters with them as well, both intellectual and personal. And, yes, I’ve had quite a number of close scrapes in my life. Many were remarkably unpleasant and ugly. Many were quite scary as well. I push it right to the very edge.

    Ultimately, I tell both fascist cops and racist blacks exactly what I think about them. I don’t exaggerate, but I show them no pity. I inform them of the objective facts right to their subhuman faces. And I make it my business to try to tell the straight direct unvarnished truth. To say the least, they don’t enjoy this. The greatest crime on earth is that of deliberately telling the truth. And I do this all of the time. My fascist and racist friends tend to neither forget nor forgive. Me too.

    Among the many reasons I disbelieve the main story, and others, in Mr. Coleman’s FEE article is I routinely challenge the police. I put them under pressure. I don’t let them get away with their ultra-familiar crap. In essence, I quickly and completely shut them up. This isn’t necessarily a conscious strategy. I can’t really help myself. My fury at being caught up again in yet another loathsome encounter is well beyond anything any of you would believe or care to learn about.

    So I see the police at their worst. And I’ve never been beaten or shot. Nor even threatened. Let alone had this experience while doing nothing provocative, violating no law, driving a nice car, acting well-behaved, and being with my polite wife. Coleman’s account is simply surreal.

    And yet I unfailingly call the cops communists, fascists, Nazis, criminals, anti-Americans, destroyers of mankind, lowlives, monsters, mafiosos, corrupt villains, traitors to humanity, and anything else I can think of, directly to their face. All of it true, of course. I never let up, and I never give them a moment’s peace. But I always give them a few seconds to reply – which they never do. Their twisted insectoid brains can’t process information that fast, even tho’ I give them a brief but goodly opportunity. I watch their ugly fatuous astonished faces try desperately to form even the most primitive of thoughts and fail miserably. Then I start in again.

    Evidently all this throws them off their stride. I could care less. Their suffering means nothing to me in those moments. No nano-seconds of Christian charity, mercy, or forgiveness from me whatsoever. They never see a moment’s peace or mercy. Nor do they deserve any, obviously. But…probably needless to say, this doesn’t work. They’ve never yet let me go. And I’ve never yet forgiven them. This is war to the very end.

    I know infinitely more about government, law, and police work than they do. I’m far more authoritative than their highest bosses. And I inform them of this from the get-go. But they never fail to disobey my orders, or decide to do what’s right, even tho’ I’m invariably innocent. I don’t react well to this.

    In essence I demand that they use their brains and/or act like human beings for three seconds in a row, even if it kills them. I demand that they conform to standards of liberty and justice for all. I tell them that Natural Law is far more authoritative than even the US constitution, and that they must obey. I ask them why they became police officers in the first place — just to commit crime and be the bad guys? I tell them that they belong in jail, if not shot. But this never works, and they have no comments to give.

    But think what a glorious world it would be if everyone good did as I did! It would only take a tiny number of people treating cops as they richly deserve to have a major impact. It would force the wretched rancid repellent reptilian police to, for once in their professional lives, actually think. They’d change their attitude and behavior quickly and radically.

    But no-one does so. I have no clue why. I figure mankind deserves to perish miserably.

    Certainly Mr. Coleman doesn’t do it. He lets them get away with murder. Then he wonders why all the cops are murderers.

    Anyone who really talks to the police knows that they’re all corrupt. They’re all fascists, tyrants, and crooks. It isn’t just “a few bad apples.”

    But despite what virtually everybody today says, and Mr. Coleman’s article heavily implies, the police aren’t bigoted or racist. Society says “No!” to this evil. And the monkey-brained, black-souled police comply, just as they mindlessly amorally comply with all the dictates of the semi-tyrannical welfare state. If American police officers today were transported to Germany in 1944, and told to murder six million innocent Jews, they’d do so unhesitatingly. So would the transplanted American citizenry. People like “good German” T.K. Coleman.

    No, the police aren’t anti-black — they’re anti-human. They’re anti-liberty and anti-justice. They’re forced to be. This is the nature of their current job. This is what practically the totality of the wanton, depraved citizenry democratically demands of them. And the cops unfailingly comply — like the good Germans that they are.

    [I’m exhausted, and going to leave off here; I’m about 45% in, based on my notes; please don’t reply; that might not be fair; just think about it; I’ll try to finish up tomorrow]

  9. Mr. Zantonavitch,

    I think that you should accept Mr. Coleman’s generous offer to be interviewed by you, preferably in some venue where a conversation can be recorded and shared with viewers. I am impressed by Mr. Coleman’s response and think that a direct conversation between you would indeed be more conducive to progress than an exchange of text comments. Google Hangouts on Air – https://plus.google.com/hangouts/onair – offers a great way to do this for anyone with a YouTube channel. You could broadcast the conversation live and then have the recording be automatically saved on your YouTube channel.

  10. [This is a continuation of my remarks from above — from Aug. 3, 2015, 4:52 PM; thank you for everyone’s patience; sorry it’s so lengthy; I have a lot of ideas and strong feelings about these subjects]

    The police today essentially do three things: 1) enforce real and legitimate laws, like assault, robbery, trespassing, kidnapping, murder, torture, etc.; 2) enforce pseudo and tyrannical laws, like drugs, prostitution, gambling, obscenity, slander, etc.; 3) and enforce vehicle regulation laws on communist streets, such as parking and moving violations. Only the first is legit. The rest are totalitarian and enslaving. And they constitute the majority of what cops do. So society demands that the police spend most of their time breaking Natural Law (which even governs space aliens), violating rights, doing evil, and aggressively wrecking the planet.

    This personally corrupts the cops quickly and severely. I estimate it only takes a few months after they leave the Police Academy, where they are initially taught a bit of idealism and freedom. But the real law-enforcement job in the real world burns them badly and almost immediately. Thus the hated police actually deserve our sympathy. It’s our welfare state society and “the system” that most needs to be morally condemned and viscerally hated.

    Because of this, the police rapidly learn to talk to, and trust, no-one but their fellow police officers. They think no-one understands them, or even can. The Nazi Germans of the early 1940s — both military and civilian — thought exactly the same. And, for the most part, today’s police are right. They’re “victims of the system.” An institution they didn’t create and don’t like. They ask themselves and their fellow cops: “Why are all these malicious professional cop-bashers hating on us when we’re just doing our job, just following orders [like good Germans], and thus not really to blame for our depraved legal and political system?”

    The police also suffer enormously from blacks. So too from males and youth. And yet the police are militantly told not to “profile.” Not to observe reality, not to tell the truth about who the criminals really are. Blacks commit 800%(!) as many crimes per capita as whites. And maybe 1600% as many of the serious and violent ones. Males and the young are similarly guilty. And yet the police can profile them, since they’re not a protected and cosseted species. They’re not beloved of the planet, like blacks are. Thus the cops rapidly form their own opinions about blacks and how to deal with them. They militantly keep these private.

    American blacks are taught from Day One to mistrust, fear, hate, and fight back against the police. And they do. This massively important fact wasn’t mentioned in the Coleman piece. It also makes Mr. Coleman’s supposed ultra-polite, ultra-deferential response to outrageous police misconduct sound dubious. He’s not like any black person I’ve ever met. His interactions with the police aren’t like any I’ve ever witnessed between blacks and police. And, yes, I’ve seen a lot.

    With all due respect and modesty, I think I know blacks far better than they know themselves. I think I know the police far better than they know themselves. I’m a forced-anthropologist stuck here on Planet Hell. I’m a neutral and outside observer with no interest in anything other than the truth (and, obviously, escape). In the unending, at least century-old, battle royale between cops and blacks — between predator and prey — I don’t think the article captures the truth of this ongoing rivalry very well. They fight and compete much differently from what Coleman’s FEE essay explicitly and implicitly claims. Much more insight, information, and philosophical understanding is needed in order to be truly helpful, and to — at long last — solve this evidently intractable problem.

    Blacks and cops today love to antagonize each other. They can’t resist. Most blacks go out of their way to goad and provoke the police publicly, while the police frequently go out of their way to goad and provoke the blacks privately. Both sides hate each other and are always loaded for bear. They take every opportunity to rumble and score cheap-shots. Thus when Mr. Coleman — with his superhuman politeness, and utterly unwarranted respect for the police — claims that he was “shocked!…shocked!” by their abuse of him, it doesn’t ring true.

    Yes, the police are bullies and tinpot dictators which generally go out of their way to treat people like crap. But it’s all people. And especially rebels like me — their only true and formidable enemy.

    The reality of “the police vs. the blacks” is more subtle and complex than the article indicates. The police are tricky and sneaky about their abuse. They do it out of the public eye. Away from cameras. They know how to hide their badge numbers. They spot it quickly, and radically retaliate, if they catch you sneaking a peak. But they don’t carry on like B-movie villains, or laugh demonically, or twist their well-greased handlebar mustaches, as they assiduously plan still more outrages against innocent and unsuspecting blacks. Indeed, the cops are happy to find deferential and submissive blacks. And they reward them for their respectful and polite behavior. (Behavior they never get from me, by the way.)

    The police are vermin. But they don’t think of themselves that way. They tell themselves that they’re still good people. They don’t perpetrate wildly hateful and unlikely behavior against obvious innocents; this would hurt their vital self-image.

    The police mainly hate — not horrific mass-murders or criminal monsters, but — those who treat them with disrespect, and challenge their authority. People like me. But I’ve never once received the Coleman treatment. And I’m certainly not “innocent” and harmless like he is. I’m a scofflaw. Okay, I’ve never violated Natural Law, or harmed people or property. But I don’t adhere to the welfare state’s paperwork procedures or fascist regulations. Not when I can get away with it. And when caught I tell the police they have no right to enforce them.

    Mr. Coleman reminds me those NSA and CIA guys who torture Muslims. They pretty much all rationalize: “I lie about Islam being a religion of peace. I lie that most Muslims are good people. I lie about how it’s wrong to profile them. I lie about how they are our best friends in the war on terror. Therefore I have a right to torture them. I’m their friend (ha, ha!) — and much better than they deserve. The ends justify the means! It all balances out in the end.”

    Well, it doesn’t. It’s all just evil behavior. First the pro-Muslim lies, then the anti-Muslim torture. But never any virtue or justice or moral goodness. Mr. Coleman probably figures he’s lying thru his teeth about the goodness of most cops most of the time — so why not brazenly make up stories about his Herculean courtesy and self-effacement, as well as the policemen’s superhuman treachery and wanton gratuitous depravity. Hey, it all balances out in the end. Two wrongs make a right. Ultimately, truth and justice and morality win out!

    Well, they don’t. It just advances the cause of evil, over and over. No real truth, justice, or morality ever emerges.

    The police of today are evil, yes. But against people — not blacks. And in a general and subtle fashion — not an exaggerated and extravagant one. Everyone sees it. Everyone experiences it. There’s even great personal pain, humiliation, and anguish involved. And then no-one does a god-damned thing about it. No-one breaths a word that it ever even happens. At best they distort and hyperbolically lie about it, from time to distant time.

    Yes, the police today are corrupt, malicious, fascist, criminal, and tyrannical. So is society. So is government. So are cop-haters. So are blacks. I’m sick to death of all of you.

  11. Mr. Stolyarov,

    Good idea! Maybe you could moderate, and take care of the technology. Or I could learn. I’ll check with Mr. Coleman, and try to prepare. I only previously did that one video Google Hangout with you a few months ago, with you in charge of the controls.

  12. Mr. Zantonavitch,

    Fortunately, setting up a Google Hangout on Air is quite easy. Here is a set of instructions: https://support.google.com/plus/answer/4386744?hl=en .

    I would suggest that you try to do this yourself, if nothing else because it would teach you how to do so for subsequent occasions on which you might wish to conduct interviews. Certainly, someone who considers himself to be the most formidable neo-liberal philosopher on the planet would be well-served by such a capability!

    I would hesitate to offer myself as a moderator, if only because I would be too tempted to actively participate in the discussion instead of confining myself to a more administrative/facilitating role. But to be even more assertive, I would say that I would clearly take a side in that discussion. I find that, in spite of your lengthy comments here, I am perplexed that you would care more about the circumstantial attributes of a person who was abused by police, rather than the fact that a person was abused by police, in contravention of individual rights and natural law.

    Surely, if you believe yourself to be an adherent to true Western liberal ideas, you would be a methodological and ethical individualist – in which case a person’s skin color, ethnicity, place of origin, or any attribute over which that person has no influence – should have absolutely no bearing on how one evaluates that person’s chosen behaviors, stated ideas, narratives of events, and interactions with others. If Mr. Coleman had been your cousin or mine, for instance, I submit that he still could have been subjected to similar treatment, and the conclusion from an individualist standpoint regarding the complete unacceptability of such treatment would have been the same.

    I will offer a story of my own regarding abusive behavior by police – if only to give another experiential reference point that will hopefully enable you to understand why I consider Mr. Coleman’s story to be eminently plausible.

    In 2009 I had just moved into an upscale apartment complex in Northern Nevada (fortunately, one where I no longer reside), which, as one of the perks for residents, had an exercise room where I would go to run daily on the elliptical trainers. I obviously did not wear a suit and tie to run there, but otherwise I looked exactly the way you would imagine me. On a peaceful Sunday afternoon, nobody else was in the exercise room, but the assistant building manager (also a young male of European descent) was on duty. I was listening to classical music via headphones, and the noise of the elliptical trainer also blocked out my ability to perceive most outside sounds. So I failed to hear a burglar alarm ring somewhere on the other side of the building. Not too long thereafter, two armed local policemen – a young man and a middle-aged one – barged in with guns drawn, demanding, “Show me your hands!” The young officer seemed particularly trigger-happy, so my sole concern – my sole concern at the time – was to resolve the situation with my life and physical integrity intact. I raised my hands immediately and turned around very slowly. I asked in a calm, if subdued voice, what the problem was. The older officer mentioned that the apartment complex recently had problems with non-residents from nearby (less affluent) neighborhoods using the exercise and pool facilities. He inquired if I had heard the burglar alarm. I said that I did not, as I was exercising, but that I am a resident at the complex and was there with keycard access. I decided that I would ask permission for every single physical action I took, just to be sure I would not be shot. I asked if I could reach into my pocket and extract my keycard. I asked if I could go to the door where the keycard reader was located and show them that my keycard would open the door. They allowed me to do all this – all while the younger officer kept his gun pointed squarely at me. Finally, convinced that my keycard did indeed open the door, the older officer said to the younger one, “You can put the gun down now” – perhaps recognizing that his colleague was wielding the threat of wildly disproportionate force. Then they left, and I kept exercising. I thought it safest to remain where I was until I saw the police cars depart – but I was certainly shaken for the remainder of the day. The next time I saw the assistant building manager, I complained to him about what had transpired, and I found out that the exact same behavior was perpetrated against him. Even though he posed no physical threat to anybody, the police charged in, guns drawn, threatening to shoot first and ask questions later, unless they received absolute submission. So surely, to live another day, absolute deference as a tactic made sense for both of us. At no time during that situation was I remotely tempted to argue with the police, stand on moral principle, or inform them of how inappropriate their behavior was. I just wanted to defuse the threat of deadly force – and if I needed to make them comfortable with my every single physical movement, I would do so.

    So you see, Mr. Zantonavitch, this egregiously abusive behavior – of the type described by Mr. Coleman – is not limited to any segment of the US population, but is rather a set of practices that could come to endanger every single one of us. It arises out of the militarization of police during the past 2-3 decades and out of the increasing perception by many police officers that the citizenry are their enemies, rather than their employers whom they are charged with protecting and serving. This willingness to casually wield deadly force is part and parcel of the totalitarian escalation we are observing in the United States today – the same dynamic that has produced humiliation at airports by the TSA, torture by the CIA, and mass surveillance by the NSA. Any of us can be victims of this atrocious behavior – and this is why we cannot afford to dismiss the accounts of other friends of liberty who relate such abuses from their experience. If Mr. Coleman could not avoid this humiliation at the hands of police, how can you be so sure that, during your next encounter, the same will not happen to you?

    Also, if Mr. Coleman’s story seems implausible to you, is my story also implausible? If so, why do you consider it implausible?

  13. Mr. Stolyarov,

    Both of your stories strike me as highly implausible. I’ve never experienced anything like it. They also strike me as absolute outrages. You two need to stand up for yourselves. You need to fight back. Behavior like this should pretty much cost the police their badges. You also have a high moral obligation to yourself to get revenge. Track down the perpetrators, publicize their evil, make them pay, and gain satisfaction.

    I essentially believe your two stories because you both seem to be individuals of exceptionally high quality. But I can’t relate to them. I don’t really know what to make of them. But I’d be curious to hear how you initially responded to other societal monstrosities, like religion and altruism; and how you respond now.

    Whatever your experiences with the consistently abusive, fascist, criminal police may have been, I’ve had a few of my own. And I trust them.

    People are creatures of habit. Especially cops. People need to be carefully interviewed and clear patterns of behavior established. This is how you come to understand, and then neutralize and defeat, the bad actors and actions. How is it the police seem to suffer zero consequences for their abominable behavior?

  14. This is an irrational illiberal Dark Age. Current philosophy, culture, sociology, and politics need to be strongly resisted. Your life is sacred and priceless — well worth protecting and upholding. Those who consider themselves to be largely weak and defenseless, and who are tempted to bow down to the powers-that-be, and submit to the forces of evil, are reminded of that classic song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xmckWVPRaI

  15. Greetings, Mr. Zantonavitch. While I certainly agree that such police behavior as experienced by Mr. Coleman and myself is indicative of an irrational, illiberal Dark Age (and not an enlightened era where respect for individual rights is absolute), it would seem that the best way to combat such abuse is not to risk one’s life at the moment, but to survive to tell the story, and raise awareness of the abuse among people who might not have encountered it directly (or might not have encountered it in the same form). You might consider our accounts implausible from the onset, but perhaps they have exposed you to another facet of the reality of some police behavior. Is this not a better outcome (when magnified several-thousandfold for all the others who might read Mr. Coleman’s account especially) than becoming a martyr in the moment because one chose to “fight back” there and then?

    The only way abusive behavior by police can stop is if vast swaths of the citizenry express decisive, continual opposition to it. Those who are victimized will only get themselves killed in the immediate moment if they resist. But they can play a role in surviving and helping others understand, preparing the massive public outcry of opposition.

    As regards philosophical ideas with which one disagrees, or damaging societal norms that do not, however, result in the immediate infliction of violence, there one can definitely be more assertive in the moment, expressing one’s disagreement in whatever tone and manner might be effective for producing change. From a purely rationally self-interested standpoint, one should always consider the effectiveness of a given response and the purposes it would accomplish. If vociferous opposition can lead to gains for one’s own and others’ liberties, then one should pursue it – but, if it can only get one killed or injured, it is better to bide one’s time and attempt to influence public opinion after the potentially violent confrontation is defused.

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