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Posted at 12:52 PM ET, 08/11/2009

Hate Speech Against the Police

By washingtonpost.com editors

By Annyce Andresen
Alexandria

In his Aug. 9 Local Opinions commentary, “My ‘Crime’ on U Street? Offending the Police,” Pepin Andrew Tuma took pains to paint the police officers who arrested him as dangerous. Certainly, if true, their lying about the circumstances of his arrest is troubling. We hold up officers of the law as role models for good behavior. That being said, let me offer Mr. Tuma another way of looking at things.

On many days, police officers have a thankless job. They go out and do what needs to be done at great risk to themselves. There is always the chance that they will not make it home to their families. At times they receive gratitude from the public for this service, but often they do not.

Mr. Tuma is an adult and a lawyer. You would think this qualifies him for responsible behavior. Though he admitted that his behavior toward the police was neither respectful nor smart, I don’t see him taking responsibility for his hateful words. And they were hateful. Not illegal, as he stated, but baiting. Mr. Tuma used the word “juvenile.” Are you kidding me? He chanted “I hate the police.”

Yes, the police should not have risen to the bait, but here is where the days on end of bearing ingratitude come in. Maybe the officer had already had his fill of disrespect, slurs and bad attitudes for the week. Make no mistake, I am not condoning an abuse of power on the part of the police. If what Mr. Tuma said is true, the officers involved need to be held accountable.

But guess what? I bet Mr. Tuma will watch what comes out of his mouth from now on.

By washingtonpost.com editors  | August 11, 2009; 12:52 PM ET
 
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Comments

Awwwww. If the police find their work "thankless", they can go find another job.

Cops who lie or abuse their power IN ANY WAY WHATSOEVER should be shot in the back while on duty. Doing so would not be murder, but JUSTIFIABLE HOMICIDE.

Posted by: theoshul | August 12, 2009 12:08 AM | Report abuse

Teachers get treated with disrespect every day. It is verbal disrespect. It is physical disrespect. By students, by parents, by administrators. I do not know of too many teachers who use physical or verbal violence against the people who abuse them. If the police officers feel their job is a thankless one, they should resign. That is what a teacher would do...

Posted by: teachertun1 | August 12, 2009 3:46 AM | Report abuse

All who carry deadly force should be held to higher standards and not be free from critics. Thus the President should say when actions are "stupid." and not be confused with calling the police "stupid."

Give their critics voice - we have freedom of speech. Except when we give it up for no good reason.

Honor the good police and criticize the bad work when they do that.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | August 12, 2009 5:50 AM | Report abuse

So "Protect and Serve" is it? How many Cops have ever "protected" anyone? Ever stopped a mugging? Ever stopped a home invasion? (or how about, in the case of SWAT, PERPETRATED a home invasion). Ever catch anyone who broke into a home and get the possessions back? Detectives come to your home after a break in, and what's the first thing they say? "There's a 100% chance we WON'T get your things back" then they go on to ask you why you didn't put bars on your windows, why you didn't put a deadbolt on your door, why you didn't list everything you own and their serial numbers (( know this sequence from first hand experience). "Protect and Serve" right. The simple truth is Cops feel they are above the law, that's because they are. A cop can shoot you and it's likely they will get away with it, all they have to say are their mantra's: "I thought he had a gun", "It looked like he was going for a gun", "I was in fear of my life", "He became agitated, so I tasered him 20 times/beat him with my baton/took him to the ground in a choke hold/, whatever the cop will get off and you will be dead or in the hospital, or in the case of any of this happening during a SWAT raid on the wrong address, wrong street, wrong person the SWAT Cops names will never be given out, they'll never even face trial as they were carrying out their "Lawful" duties no matter how "unlawful" they did it.....Wonder why we have extreme distrust for Cops? Just look at the stories that come out of Prince George's County time and again. Look up the number of botched SWAT raids, old ladies being shot to death, an unarmed Dentist shot to death at close range. Heaven forbid you should register your firearms as this appears to give Cops a reason to shoot first and ask questions later "He was known to keep guns in his home".....Cops have a million excuses as to why they shot you, just wondering why, if they are in fear of their lives so often, that they are allowed to carry a gun. Their jobs create in them a mindset that "everyone is a criminal" that they are "never" wrong and their judgment can NEVER be found wanting in a court of law otherwise "they wouldn't be able to do their jobs", "we don't want them to have to think about shooting someone because that may put an innocent party at risk", duh, how about the probability that the guy you just shot might have been innocent? There's a lawyer at some university who gave an excellent seminar on why you should never talk to a cop, with an introduction by . . a retired Police Officer....never forget NEVER TALK TO A COP without a lawyer and if forced to lower your eyes, speak like you are talking to someone who will not hesitate to shoot you dead if you show the slightest disrespect..because you are. Oh, and I know the old "well next time you need a cop, call a hippy", well calling a cop only gets someone who can take notes on what happened and likely blame you for it.

Posted by: Watcher1 | August 12, 2009 7:20 AM | Report abuse

What did the police do to provoke this self-described gay, juvenile, lawyer's contempt and baiting?

This self-victimizing maroon assumes he saw a case of "Excessive law enforcement" in progress-whatever that is. He actually had NO clue what was going on, yet he felt the need to interject himself by repeatedly yelling that he hated the police.

We only have a he-said she-said account here but he admits he instigated the confrontation. What possesses these petty little sh!t-stirrers to shout their hatred of people they don't even know?

I'm sure his law firm is proud of his civilized behavior.

Perhaps this knucklehead would benefit from some "sensitivity training". You know, the training that demands tolerance and acceptance of everyone.

Posted by: spamsux1 | August 12, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

I agree with you, Annyce. Mr. Tuma is a smug self important idiot who should know better than to deliberately antagonize the police while they are in the line of duty. Mr. Tuma is an officer of the Court for God sake! He should be reprimanded by the DC Bar Association. And what happens next week when he is walking home from the same bar and some thug comes out of the bushes and robs him? He will be crying for the police then, I'm sure. What sweet justice would it be to have that same cop respond to the call and say, "Who hates the cops now...idot??!"

Posted by: chaddsford1971 | August 13, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Yes, the cop can have a bad day. The cop also has the power to cause another to have a ruined day, week, or life, great financial expense, with little recourse against him. To say, well, he will think twice about what comes out of his mouth in future is a despicable attitude. Disgusting. Please, I really hope you're on the receiving end of this. You'll change your tune in a hurry.

Posted by: ggreenbaum | August 13, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

While free speech was created as a means to allow people with differing views the right to communicate them, it is often (mis)used as a means
of communicating contemptuous ideas and actions.

The lawyer in question erred in this case as he tried to pirate away the ability of the police to perform their jobs. He was intentionally interfering and hence undermined the ability of the police to perform their function, Police functions when performed lawfully should not be disturbed by spectators. If the police were acting in an unprofessional, unethical, or illegal manner, he could have simply stayed on the scene and witness everything. He has the right to do that.

But he certainly

Posted by: poz123 | August 16, 2009 8:09 AM | Report abuse

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