Friday, September 12, 2014

Dangerous encounters

An attorney writes (apropos "this Washington Post editorial by Sunil Dutta, 'I’m a cop. If you don’t want to get hurt, don’t challenge me,'" to which he links, adding "I'm not sure you actually need to read Dutta's piece, for which the Post's editors deserve full credit for producing the most complete and accurate headline I've ever seen in the history of anything.") something well worth reading all of:
In any event, it's sort of unfathomable that Professor Dutta evidently wants to embrace a model of the world suggested by weary defense lawyers who think citizens' encounters with police ought to proceed in much the same way as a hiker's encounter with a mountain lion: with distance and deference due to a hostile and powerful predator. Dutta writes, "For you, this might be a 'simple' traffic stop, for me each traffic stop is a potentially dangerous encounter"; well, indeed, I view a 'simple' traffic stop as a potentially dangerous encounter, too. But the respect I show a grizzly bear--or a traffic cop--isn't the kind of respect any mentally healthy adult human being ought to be seeking. It's the respect you give to things that can kill you on a whim, and however heady an empowerment it might seem to a shallow and narcissistic personality type, it's mostly dehumanizing.

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