A Good (i.e. Former) Cop Speaks Out

Not long ago a former police employee – Guy, who now speaks out against police statism – came to my attention. I asked Guy if he’d be willing to answer some questions sent via email and he was receptive.

As I told him, I suspect we’ll see more who choose to follow his lead – going from current police employees to former police employees.

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____________________________

Pete Eyre: On your blog you self-describe as a:

Marine, Iraq War veteran, retired law enforcement, reformed statist. Here to bring some insight into the twisted web that is policing in the United States and to chronicle what happens when a decorated officer begins seeing the truth.

Can you expand on that journey?

Guy: This was a 15-year process to get where I am today. I grew up on Chuck Norris and Lynyrd Skynyrd in the Deep South. This was pre-9/11 America, it was an entirely different world. Football and keg parties… I was the all American statist.  I joined the Marine Corps out of high school still thinking I was going to kill some commies.

My first couple prewar years in were a decent experience. I saw quite a few countries and did some interesting training. Had a lot of fun, got in a little trouble. Underage drinking, nothing I couldn’t bounce back from rather quickly.

9-11-security-theater-copblock9/11 interrupted a platoon barracks inspection my company Gunny was conducting. We watched  the planes hit, live, in my room… complete silence. Gunny finally spoke up. “Get to work, gents”.

I remember sitting at a stop light on base, watching the California sun rise over the mountains. The man on the radio started screaming about the first tower coming down. Shit just got incredibly real.

I was involved in the invasion of Iraq in 2003. At the time, I truly believed we were doing the right thing. It didn’t take long for that illusion to fade a bit. There seemed to be very little planning involved during the build up for the invasion. While sat in the middle of the desert, near the Iraqi border in Kuwait. We got our daily intelligence reports from the BBC. No one knew what was going on.

We were told on March 18th that we would be starting the ground offensive in two days. Our marching orders… Go north, don’t get killed.

We invaded a country with door less, canvas topped Humvees. We had no ballistic plates for our  body armor. We had to tie down the crew served weapons with paracord because we didn’t have mounts for the tops of the vehicles. We didn’t even have a full load out of ammo. Thank God for the generous Army supply specialist that felt sorry for us. Met him Day 2, sitting in a traffic jam in the middle of the Iraqi desert. ‘Merica.

It was a complete cluster fuck. If you haven’t already, I’d recommend reading Generation Kill by Evan Wright; the HBO miniseries was nicely done as well. It is the most accurate portrayal of the ground invasion, at least in my experience.

I wanted to reenlist, but got tired of jumping through the hoops. It’s a bureaucrat nightmare. The time frame between returning from Iraq and standing on my parents’ doorstep with discharge papers was 30 days. I got a job at a reputable company you all would know, making some decent money. I remember sitting in orientation at the corporate office. Everyone was sitting at this big, round, mahogany table introducing themselves. It was mostly college graduates going on about their degrees, fraternities, and wild, epic parties, etc. They had obviously not been hired for the same semi-skilled labor position as me.

It came time for me to speak. I had no idea what to say. I had nothing to say to these people. It’s hard to describe that feeling. It’s like you’re an alien observing some strange species. You can’t relate to anything being said. It felt like I was standing outside, looking in. I don’t remember the exact words I spoke, but it was something along the lines of “Six weeks ago I was in Iraq. Now I’m here.”

Blank stares and silence. That job lasted all of three months. I came to the conclusion, like a lot of veterans, I needed some form of structure like I had in the military. I needed to be around people like me. People that had similar experiences. People that “got it.” People that knew the rush of combat. I missed that rush. It’s the best drug out there. So I joined the family business, law enforcement. This is where the blog comes in.

____________________________

Pete Eyre: Do you anticipate that we’ll soon see an uptick in the numbers of current-turned-former police employees who espouse a similar message? If a current police employee is reading this, what information or idea do you hope to impart?

Guy: I hope so. One of the many reasons I started the blog was to be a voice for the good ones tired of the bullshit. It’s career suicide to buck the system, but I’ve already pulled that trigger. I’ll do it for them.

As I’ve talked about on the blog, a lot of these guys want to leave. They hate it and are disgusted by what they see. But they have families, credit card payments, car notes and a mortgage. It’s economically impossible to walk away. They aren’t going to have their families living on the street. They have to survive. I’m not making excuses for them, it’s just the reality of the situation.

Plus, “knows how to research, plan and conduct a variety of tactical operations” doesn’t go far on a resume. I have around 2,000 hours of specialized law enforcement training. Not a one of those hours means jack shit to anyone outside law enforcement or private contracting.

The blog is fairly new, but I’ve already had a few emails from anonymous officers thanking me for what I’m doing. That motivates the shit out of me. The good ones HAVE to start speaking out, and they can’t do it one at a time. If enough of them stood up, at the same time, things could change. The problem is they have to be willing to lose everything and I don’t think the intestinal fortitude is there yet.

My plan is to set up a way for officers to submit stories of corruption and abuse from inside their departments. The stories they can’t get out without reprisal. I want to spread these stories. If their departments won’t do anything about it, let’s try them in the court of public opinion. I want to be that avenue. Law enforcement is an incredibly closed society. They are leery of any outsiders. They are far more prone to open up to a fellow officer than anyone else.

____________________________

Pete Eyre: On a recent post you made to your blog you noted:

As we departed for the target location that morning, I had this recurring thought that I couldn’t get out of my head. Like a recorded loop playing over and over. This isn’t right. What are we doing? This isn’t right.

Was that subject ever broached with colleagues?

Guy: I strongly objected. I raised absolute hell with my boss, who concurred. Unfortunately the head honcho ordered us to do it.

My team knew, by my operations plan and my briefing, how I felt. My boss signed off my plan without a second thought. We did our best to minimize the damage inflicted.

Afterwards, I spoke with a few guys I was close with. Everyone agreed it was ridiculous, but I don’t think “that was wrong” ever entered their minds like it had mine. It was a shrug your shoulders, “what are you gonna do?” kind of response. I wasn’t awake yet, but this incident set the alarm clock.

____________________________

Pete Eyre: How insidious has the decreed prohibition of certain substances (i.e. “the war on drugs”) been to individual liberty?

police-raid-violate-property-rights-drug-prohibition-copblockGuy: The “war on drugs” has been the single biggest catalyst for the growing police state and trampling of civil liberties, with the “war on terror” coming in at a close second. It’s all about the money, Jerry.

Law enforcement agencies have relied on drug money to run their operations for years. Taking that honey pot away would cripple a majority of departments. They are junkies and will do whatever it takes to keep the revenue flowing. That’s why, despite all the research out there, the majority will fight tooth and nail against decriminalization.

The new reefer madness propaganda is in full swing in the policing world. Now the focus is on THC potency, and how dangerous the new strains are… They are actually teaching this shit.

Narcotics officers are some of the most easily corrupted officers I’ve ever encountered. That assignment attracts a certain personality that can turn abusive very quickly. These guys will kick in your door for a plant, go out drinking afterwards to celebrate, and drive home drunk as fuck without thinking twice. Most are nothing more than frat boys with machine guns.

____________________________

Pete Eyre: How have cameras and other information-liberating technology been to this conversation?

Guy: Information is our greatest weapon. You aren’t going to win a head on fight with these guys. The police behavior we have been seeing more of over the past years is nothing new. It’s definitely more prevalent, but nothing new.

There were very few cameras around when I started policing. I can tell you that we acted a lot differently on a daily basis toward the end of my career. The possibility of a camera being on you at any time was always in the back of your mind.

Before the rise of the smart phone, a police officer could do pretty much anything he wanted. It was his word against yours, and you would lose. Now we can hold them accountable with irrefutable evidence.

Obviously the Internet has made educating yourself much easier. Now you can sit in your favorite recliner at home and read up to date case law that affects how police must govern themselves. If you know case law, you can shut most officers down pretty quickly.

____________________________

Pete Eyre: What scenarios do you think could unfold over the next few years, related to the supply of policing?

Guy: It’s hard to say. With the firestorm that Ferguson has created, I’m not sure where it heads now. Nothing will change in the immediate future, but Main Street America finally saw the militarization of law enforcement in full force. It was streamed live into their living rooms. Maybe the revolution will be televised.

____________________________

Pete Eyre: Incentives are key. What has been the impact caused by the influx of FRNs and tools of war (facilitated by employees of the Defense Logistics Agency) to local police outfits and those they “serve”?

Guy: Not to quote hypocritical slave owners, but this is the standing army the founding fathers warned us about. Our streets are now warzones, and we are the enemy.

Take a child, give him a bag of candy. Now tell him that all the candy is his, but he can only eat it when he thinks he really, really needs it. What is the kid going to do? He’s going to make himself sick eating all of the candy.

ferguson-missori-police-state-copblockNow replace the child with a state worshiping, overgrown man-boy who suffers from an inferiority complex. The candy with automatic weapons, gas guns, explosives, sniper rifles and tanks.

The indoctrination of these officers is intense.

There’s danger lurking around every corner. Anybody can kill you. Take no chances. Go home at the end of the night. Officer survival. I’d rather be judged by 12 than carried by six. Brotherhood. Fraternity. We are the sheepdogs protecting the herd from the wolf.

They teach that. You are either a sheep or a wolf unless you are one of the chosen.

They beat this nonsense in your head. You can’t get away from it. You take this group of paranoid, raging personality disorders and mix it with more firepower than I had invading a sovereign country and you get what we saw in Missouri. A military operation carried out against people in our own backyard.

There are powder kegs just like Ferguson in every US city. I’m not saying that policing doesn’t have its risks. Lord knows I’ve had more brushes with death than I care to think about. I’m saying law enforcement as a whole has proven over and over again, their “judicial application of force” tends to be extremely heavy handed.

____________________________

Pete Eyre: What resources, tactics, ideas or concepts do you encourage readers to ponder, pursue or implement?

Guy: That’s a book in and of itself. I’ll hit a couple of highlights.

Educate yourself. Learn your state and local laws; County and city ordinances. Read some case law. A quick search for “case law for cops” will bring up a treasure trove of information. Learn everything that the cops are supposed to know and use it against them. Trust me, a large majority of them are clueless on well-established legal precedent and even basic law.

Record, Record, Record. Any interaction. Record.

I recommend staying respectful but firm in any police encounter. Even if the cop tries to instigate, stay respectful but firm. Why? Because you’re recording. That recording might be played for a jury one day. It might be broadcast across the world. Don’t give them ammunition against you.

If confrontation is your style, more power to you. To each his own. I do thoroughly enjoy the videos. My videos would be pretty boring. Which brings me to…. Am I being detained? Am I free to go? Wash, rinse, repeat. That’s all they get from me. I have yet needed to say anything more.

Another overlooked tool that I don’t see used much is the Freedom of Information Act. You’d be surprised how much information you can get, and how much heartache you can cause, with this. You can pick these guys apart if you know how they operate. But I caution you, there is a fine line between asserting your rights and being an ignorant street lawyer.

____________________________

lysander-spooner-quote-copblockPete Eyre: On a recent post you made to your blog you included a picture of Lysander Spooner – can you that framed a divisive situation, that he likened to a “contest between two bodies of men” – masters and slaves. What does that mean to you?

Guy: To me, Spooner is talking about the futility of this insane concept of government we are raised to believe is normal. That because a larger group of people say so, that’s the way it’s going to be.

But what if the majority is wrong? We are all slaves to the collective. Politics is nothing more than fighting for the bull whip.

____________________________

Pete Eyre: What are some of your favorite quotes?

Guy: “The difference between someone driven by principle and driven by bias is that a person driven by principle will stand up to his allies and side with his ‘opponents’ if truth and morality dictate. A person driven by bias will go to war with reality to defend the identity of the herd.” – Unknown

“Even if you believed that you could make men wise and good by depriving them of liberty of action, you have no right to do so. Who has given you a commission to decide what your brother-man shall or shall not do? Who has given you charge of his life and his faculties and his happiness as well as of your own? Perhaps you think yourself wiser and better-fitted to judge than he is; but so did all those of old days — Kings, Emperors, and Heads of dominant Churches — who possessed power, and never scrupled to compress and shape their fellow-men as they themselves thought best, by means of that power. You can see as you read the story of the past, and even as you look on the world at present, what a mess the holders of power have made of it, whenever they undertook to judge for others, whenever they undertook to guide and control the lives and faculties of others; and why should you think that you are going to succeed where they failed? On what reasonable ground should you think so?” – Auberon Herbert

“The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.” – Albert Camus

albert-camus-quote-copblock

EPN

Pete Eyre

Pete Eyre is co-founder of CopBlock.org. As an advocate of peaceful, consensual interactions, he seeks to inject a message of complete liberty and self-government into the conversation of police accountability.

Eyre went to undergrad and grad school for law enforcement, then spent time in DC as an intern at the Cato Institute, a Koch Fellow at the Drug Policy Alliance, Directer of Campus Outreach at the Institute for Humane Studies, Crasher-in-Chief at Bureaucrash, and as a contractor for the Future of Freedom Foundation.

In 2009 he left the belly of the beast and hit the road with Motorhome Diaries and later co-founded Liberty On Tour. He spent time in New Hampshire home, and was involved with Free Keene, the Free State Project and The Daily Decrypt.

  • keepitreal

    Unless you’re going to name names and sign affidavits regarding everything you ever saw done wrong while a cop, fuck off.

  • keepitreal

    And also write a detailed confession to anything you ever did or were accomplice to and go turn yourself in.

  • Fab

    Agreed!

  • JC

    Another work of fiction by Pete. How do you prove this guy was a police officer? Your questions and his answers are nothing but garbage as usual. Looking at many many past articles, it doesn’t surprise me that you streetsheep copblockers are grasping at anything to try and justify your “cause”.

  • t

    It took awhile for him to say it…..
    But in the end….as is the usual….it comes back to dope love.

  • RAD

    Like any addict, I’m afraid american society will have to hit rock bottom before it is able to free itself from its addiction to government.

  • RAD

    Really, where do you get that from the article?

  • RAD

    Ya easy to say, but remember this guy left a very dangerous cult/gang. Getting too specific naming names could have violent consequences, you think witness protection will protect him from the police? Not to mention, a lot of the violence he is speaking out against is still considered “legal”.

  • t

    RAD: That’s actually an enlightened view. It has nothing to do with the police of course….but people are always sticking theirs hands out wanting more and more from the government. Of course….they don’t want any string attacked to it like proper behavior.

  • Shawn

    “but people are always sticking theirs hands out wanting more and more
    from the government. Of course….they don’t want any string attacked
    to it like proper behavior.”

    Funny, you just described the average cop.

  • Shawn

    “Pete Eyre: How insidious has the decreed prohibition of certain substances (i.e. “the war on drugs”) been to individual liberty?

    Guy:
    The “war on drugs” has been the single biggest catalyst for the growing
    police state and trampling of civil liberties, with the “war on terror”
    coming in at a close second. It’s all about the money, Jerry.”

    Dumb ass, that is not a statement of drug love. It is a statement that the battle against drugs has lost all perspective. To cops, anything goes in the war against drugs. Raid innocent people, the NM ass rape of an innocent man over the amount a person could fit in their ass, killing people in raids where it is far from certain they even understood it was cops. Killing innocent people in these raids. Terrorizing innocent families.

    It is the old concept of “Sometimes the cure is worse than the disease.”

    You can’t grasp the difference between drug love, and the idea that maybe the effort to fight it has gone past sane. All you see is the mission, and not the innocent people you hurt. And in the end, how much has really be accomplished in the drug war? It is still profitable enough that people happily get involved. Even cops.

    I myself am as against drugs as anyone could hope. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to just accept anything cops want to do to fight the problem. Being against the current TACTICS and mentality of the drug war is NOT the same as being for drugs. It isn’t an either/or issue.

  • Shawn

    Correct. Look at how they treated that FHP woman for stopping the speeding cop. And all she did was her job.

    It isn’t so easy for a member to turn on Team Blue. They have very much a street gang view of snitching.

  • t

    Haha. Not quite guy. Not even a little true. You do know that we don’t make much money rights?
    No. You don’t know that.

  • t

    Shawn: at least you were smart enough to find it. RAD couldn’t even do that.
    Dude you have to understand the whole thing. He’s

  • t

    Oops…
    He’s not gonna just say….hey guys, I love to smoke it up too.

  • t

    So wait….if we stop another cop…it’s a good thing. But if we stop you…it’s bad. Now….exactly which of your two,faces did that come out of?

  • Shawn

    t, I never said it was always ‘bad’ to stop me. Not once. I did say that stopping people over bullshit and power tripping is bad.

    I have said I shouldn’t have to play 20 questions as to what I’m doing, why, where I’m going, where I’ve been, in order to get a cop to leave me alone. I have as much sense of personal dignity and privacy as you do. That means even when my activities are legal, I don’t and shouldn’t have to share it with you. I should not have to sacrifice dignity for the convenience of free travel.

    I have said mind your manners when stopping me, especially against my will. If I’m stopped, I shouldn’t have to put up with some power tripping prick. You’re public servants, not lords of the land. I’m not your damn peasant.

    I don’t know what whore house you guys learned to behave in, but you would never make it in a real profession with that kind of “eat my shit” attitude.

    You are a prime example of this. You’re every comment drips of your sense of godhood.

    You have a legitimate reason to stop me, fine. If you are just assuming shit, fishing, and taking up my time, attacking my dignity, not fine.

  • Shawn

    Maybe, maybe not. I’ve traded back and forth with drug love guys myself. Sometimes libertarians of a certain bent seem totally focused on drugs as their sole cause. Pot is the very definition of freedom.

    Don’t assume what isn’t said, just because you don’t like what he is saying.

  • Yankeefan

    Prove He is not!

  • Slappy did it

    Prove that you are a probation officer.

  • JC

    Wow, what a reply. Did you take a laxative to come up with that one?

  • keepitreal

    Really slaps? You’re going to say somebody has to prove their occupation? You two-faced pile of hypocritical shit. You were just exposed for your bullshit and illegal claims of being a probation officer in San Diego, slaps. How fucking classic is that?

  • keepitreal

    Yeah, just like most can’t be in a union. All the shit you spew, you should have a 8″ sewer main connected to your chin, asswipe.

  • t

    Realio: Hey….you got one right too. Wow…you and RAD are having a good day on this topic

    Oh wait….you meant that as sarcasm. You still think all
    Cops are on unions. What a schmuck.

  • t

    Shawn:
    I say that as I simply don’t see how anyone who has spent any time in law enforcement can’t see drug use….to absolutely include marijuana use as anything but a scourge. The increased social costs that are passed along are enormous. They started seeing it in Colorado and Washington. Now they may well be willing to accept those costs…..but most people won’t be willing too.

  • RAD

    What “costs”?

  • JC

    How’s the weather in Las Vegas? Do you still frequent the “Crown Nightclub”? It is so funny to read your BS. You make all these claims yet you have never proven anyone of them. Lets talk about you. In March 2014, you told me you live in Silicon Valley. In July 2014 you told me you live in Burbank. Your drivers license says you live in Las Vegas. You say I am this “slappy” and even made up nonexistent links to things I supposedly have said. I called you on it and so did others. It seems you are the one constantly being caught in lie after lie. You are Slappy. You try to fool everyone. By the way, why don’t you talk about your criminal record and what you really do for a living. I did some checking and I know what you do for a living. Are you going to continue to lie to all these people? I’m sure you will. If I wasn’t a probation officer, how could i have found all of this info on you. Keep up your lies. No one respects you in the real world so you are on this site hoping to make a friend. Too bad you are such a liar.

  • Yankeefan

    LOL, Now you know what this site thinks of your bullshit. When you are writing your shit, are you sitting on a crapper giving birth to one of your relatives?

  • ThirtyOneBravo

    Hey now…. I’m one that lays the Nimitz Crass Super Carriers around here.

  • t

    An investigation has been opened on you for impersonating an officer….you are in big trouble.

  • t

    Trust me guy….my guru status, it’s well deserved. I have earned the position of guru….by now you should know that.

  • t

    Shawn: Whatever guy. “Stopping people over bullshit”. Nuf said right there.

    Wow. “Godhood”. Do I get a pay raise along with that promotion?

    But that’s examine a continued falsehood/mosunderstanding/idiocy/stupidity about something: “Public Servant”
    You and the other CBers have zero idea what that means. I serve the “public”. Not “the Shawn”. B I G difference. I may well be serving the public by keeping you from hurting others. That’s why I always say that you and the CBers have it wrong as you don’t get it that YOUR rights aren’t anymore important than anyone else’s rights. The same Constituion that gives you the rigts you want to assert….gives the same rights to me and everyone else. That same Constitution say that I’m allowed to have a DUI checkpoint to help me serve the public that I’m sworn to.
    Look…if you don’t want to engage in polite conversation and act like an ass. Ok. But I don’t have to kiss you just because you’re an ass As I’ve explained multiple times and you’ve never understood…I have to protect everyone’s rights….not just yours. You need to figure that out. Once you do….you’ll start to understand

  • Guy Buddy

    I’m going to chime in on this since we’re putting words in my mouth. I am for drug decriminalization. Rehabilitation instead of incarceration. The ends do not justify the means. I spent 10 years kicking doors, son. Look into the kids eyes next time you flashbang their playroom over daddys less than an ounce of marijuana. Maybe you’ll remember what being a human feels like again.Take your holier than thou attitude somewhere else.

  • RaymondbyEllis

    Shawn, you were correct in your original point. The police eat their own. That gal was attacked to the point of real harassment by cops just for doing her job.

    You let t. twist it into something else where he just side stepped the whole issue of how cops treat cops that don’t kiss cop ass (I couldn’t think of a better phrase, but there is one less graphic I just can’t find it). You even allowed him to frame it in a false dichotomy because you fought using his framing. It isn’t and never has been “stop a cop good”and “stop non-cops bad”. It’s about the nature of the stop. It’s about how cops act. That’s really the point of what that FHP officer faced, cops acting badly.

    t. uses about every logical fallacy I can look up, and I can only look them up if I recognize them. He’s probably using ones I don’t recognize. He seemingly has a vast repertoire of logical fallacies that he uses when he thinks they are applicable, useful, or just workable.

  • t

    Buddy:
    “I spent 10 years kicking doors, son”. Well there whippersnapper….you didn’t learn much then did you? From the article is sounds like you were the mindless Marine follower…and that’s ok.

    Were you like many of those that got out of the military and got hired with a PD as an operator? That is a problem. That’s why I left my team. A new commander who was never a real cop and just a SWAT operator….with zero understanding of why SWAT was used…only how SWAT was used.

    I have a total of over 18 years just about every aspect of police work. I’ve seen the carnage caused by drugs first hand. Picked up the dead OD kids. The drugged drivers killing self or others. Seen the promising lives thrown away over the miracle of marijuana.

    Rehabilitation. Interesting. Rehabilitation from what or for what? Of it’s so harmless….and none of the users ever do anything harmful to anyone else….what would you be “rehabiliting” someone for?

    Let’s look at ferguson Missouri. The deceased had just committed a strong armed robbery….stealing what? A box of Swisher Sweets cigars. Any bet on what they were gonna do with those? Maybe help him ingest a little more marijunana to up the level that was already in his system? Yeah. A harmless drug.

  • Guy Buddy

    Thanks for proving my point. I’m done with you.

  • t

    Buddy:
    Wow. I’m glad you are out of my profession. Someone who is so willing to accept lawless and to allow those who injure and place others at risk to escape accountably.

    Dude…you went down like a dollar crack whore.

    “Rehabilitation” what a freaking joke.

  • Anarhija Je Sloboda

    When’s the last time you ate out of a dumpster? Not recently? Never? Then don’t talk about how little you alegedly make if you aren’t going to say exactly how little you get along with all the rights we’re supposed to have, and those nifty extra ones.