Modern Scourge of Public Policing: Does It Have to Be This Way?
By Daily Bell Staff - November 13, 2015

State Investigates Why Cops Killed Idaho Rancher Who Was Trying to Put Down a Bull … Idaho State Police and the Idaho Attorney General's Office are investigating the puzzling shooting of 62-year-old rancher Jack Yantis by Adams County sheriff's deputies on November 1. The shooting followed a traffic accident in which one of Yantis' bulls was injured, but it remains unclear exactly how that incident escalated into Yantis' death. – Reason Magazine

Dominant Social Theme: The police have a difficult job and maybe sometimes they shoot us in order to protect us. But, hey, at least they care.

Free-Market Analysis: Reason magazine does a good job of tracking police brutality, especially when it comes to the drug war. In this case, they report on an Idaho police shooting of a locally well-known rancher.

It's certainly a ghastly tale and deserving of the attention it is getting. According to the Reason report and other write-ups, Jack Yantis's bull wandered off his ranch onto Highway 95 where it was hit by a car. The car's passengers were injured and taken to a hospital, and the bull's leg was shattered.

The sheriff's department notified Yantis, who came to the scene and asked his nephew, Rowdy Paradis, to hand him a rifle to put the bull down. But before he could humanely kill the suffering bull, the deputies fired, wounding but not killing it.

"When Yantis pointed his rifle at the bull's head to end its suffering, Paradis said, a deputy grabbed him from behind, spun him around, and grabbed the rifle. The rifle may have gone off during the scuffle, and both deputies opened fire, killing Yantis."

Yantis died there on the highway and the bull remained alive for another two hours or so, "suffocating in his own lung blood." This was because the two deputies on the scene refused to allow Yantis's wife, Donna, or her nephew to tend to either Yantis or the bull.

Instead, the two deputies searched Donna and Paradis, "throwing" them down onto the highway, and handcuffed them. In the process, Donna had a heart attack and ended up in the hospital herself.

Paradis was quoted as saying, "Law enforcement should be trained to de-escalate situations. In this case, I stood 10 feet away and watched two deputies escalate the situation and needlessly kill a man."

Since the shooting, Adams County locals have been in an understandable uproar. According to local news station KIVI, at a recent town hall meeting the Adams County sheriff addressed the incident but didn't do much to explain it. He apologized, and said that because he had received death threats against him and his family he would not release the names of the deputies involved, who remained on paid administrative leave. The FBI has launched an investigation into the case separately from the Idaho state police, the news station announced.

Yantis's supporters are raising funds for the family on GoFundMe and are protesting "peacefully." But the anger is rising. There is sentiment in the community that his shooters ought not to be on paid leave and that some sort of cover-up is already commencing, as images from the dash-cam and body cameras have not been made available. In fact, Zollman told the Idaho Statesman the dash cam was not even turned on.

The investigations are underway and perhaps there will be nothing more to report until the conclusion of those investigations. No matter how the situation is resolved, the incident presents us with yet another tragic police murder of an individual who does not fit the profile of a criminal by any means.

It is surely the advent of the Internet that has helped expose police brutality on a broad scale. But sadly, there are surely more such exposés to come because US officers are being trained in paramilitary tactics as part of the drug war and have been the recipients of a considerable quantity of cast-off military equipment via Homeland Security.

These increased paramilitary policing tactics and the ready availability of video recording capabilities such as by cell phones have collided to create graphic exposés of civilian maltreatment at the hands of police, which have been broadcast worldwide via various public video facilities such as YouTube.

Given the scope of the problem, various solutions are being presented on the Internet and social media, including several offered in an article just posted at entitled "Fixing the Cop Problem."

This article suggests that criminal penalties for police officers ought to be more severe than those for the general public because officers are responsible for public safety and literally wield the power of life and death. The article also proposes that police ought to be held personally liable if it is proved they acted in error or used unreasonable force.

Taken together, increased criminal penalties for rogue police and civil penalties to be shouldered by the officers themselves would go a long ways toward reducing incidents of police brutality, the article suggests.

But there are other considerations. One can also make the argument that it is the very "professionalization" of policing that has given rise to the current polarization between police and civilians in the US and perhaps throughout the West.

As with Interpol and the modern passport system, professional policing has not been with us nearly as long as many may think. These were basically imposed after World War II. The modern police system was developed in the US sometime after the Civil War and has been evolving ever since.

PLSOnline explains, in fact, that modern policing emerged not in response to criminality so much as in response to a need to counteract urban "disorder" in regard to "the conduct of business."

What constitutes social and public order depends largely on who is defining those terms, and in the cities of 19th century America they were defined by the mercantile interests, who through taxes and political influence supported the development of bureaucratic policing institutions. These economic interests had a greater interest in social control than crime control. Private and for profit policing was too disorganized and too crime-specific in form to fulfill these needs.

The emerging commercial elites needed a mechanism to insure a stable and orderly work force, a stable and orderly environment for the conduct of business, and the maintenance of what they referred to as the "collective good" (Spitzer and Scull 1977). These mercantile interests also wanted to divest themselves of the cost of protecting their own enterprises, transferring those costs from the private sector to the state.

We can see from the above quite clearly that it was not "crime" that created modern police forces but (mostly) elite municipal interests that wanted to ensure "social control" and the maintenance of the "collective good."

This is one reason why the public mission of policing often seems to diverge from its innate reality, which is often more about revenue production via ticketing than it is about "public safety." And in the modern era of pinched budgets and local austerity, this municipal public relations provided by "cops on the beat" may not seem cost effective.

In the UK, for instance, we learn from a recent Telegraph article, an entire element of policing is under threat. Here, from the article:

Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) could be replaced with an army of unpaid recruits after the Government said it was considering giving Chief Constables the power to employ more volunteers. Introduced in 2002, PCSOs, who earn up to £20,000 a year, help support front line officers by dealing with minor offences and anti-social behaviour.

… News of the consultation came on the same day that the Metropolitan Police announced it was considering axing all 1,000 of its PCSOs. The Met said it was looking at all options but with Government spending cuts expected to reduce its budget by £800 million over the next four years, getting rid of police staff is regarded as one solution.

The passport system, the graduated income tax, Interpol and professional policing are all around a century old or even less. We would argue that this evolution is not merely coincidental but a systemic implementation of command-and-control facilities necessary to build an increasingly globalist technocracy.

After Thoughts

Finding freedom in an unfree world, as we often discuss here at The Daily Bell, is increasingly challenging in the 21st century, even as the need to do so has never been more pressing. No doubt this accounts for some of the rise in popularity of alternative media promoting products and services aimed at perpetuating consumer choice and what we call lifestyle insurance. It is the Internet Reformation that has both enlightened many to the need for these options and made access to this alternative media possible.

You don’t have to play by the rules of the corrupt politicians, manipulative media, and brainwashed peers.

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  • Gil G

    Gee, isn’t the same as currency? For most of history there was no official currency rather private currencies flowed freely. It was in the relatively modern era the governments sought to impose a national currency. For most of history there was no police force rather there were volunteer militia/posses who would round up those who committed actual crimes with a discernible victim. It was in the relatively modern era that governments sought impose a police force to overseer the people.

    • KFG

      Disarm the police!


    • Praetor

      The heck you say, makes since!!!

  • Godwin’s modified duck test

    In my experience if anyone will give you a square deal it is the sheriff. This sad incident illustrates that there are exceptions to every rule.

    While there a more than a few honest and helpful policemen out there, it seems like they are in the minority. Last time I asked for directions the officer ran me for warrants. At least in my case, the current climate of policing in the US is intolerable. Why would anyone want to stay in the US, the ‘land of the free’ under those circumstances?

    Patriotism reeks of yesterday’s brainwash. It is an insufficient rationale for enduring constant suspicion. The whole security state, the airports, the roadblocks, policemen on the train, all of it is too much to tolerate. Frankly I am happier as an expat. Living with all of the frequently announced ‘freedoms’ never amounted to much. If these ‘freedoms’ were as wonderful as they are presented as, it would not be necessary to remind us so frequently.

    “They hate us because we are great”, Bush said.

    The same tired theme was trotted out in the recent GOP debate, “…hate us for our freedoms and way of life…”

    One wonders if the goal is to take away those freedoms as to minimize the imagined motives for ‘hatred’.

    “Freedom isn’t free”

    I’ll work through an incompetent and thoroughly corrupt 3rd world state before I bow beneath the bigger western behemoth or worship at the accompanying false idol of ‘freedom’.

    I’d rather not have dash cams or be recorded at all. Honest policemen who have better things to do will never need body cameras. As we see in the above article, ‘transparency’ will only play one way. Where there are abuses, the cameras will malfunction and the recordings will be lost. When it bolsters the prosecutor’s case, selected excerpts will be made available.

  • L.C. in Texas

    Human life is precious. Anyone taking a human life without just cause is not competent to serve the people. To humanly put down animals is also important, where is the competence and training.

    • Samarami

      I fully agree, L.C. Anyone taking a human life (without ‘just’ cause would need to be closely examined) is not competent to serve people.

      Now let me ask you this: has anyone accused monopoly (non-private) police of “serving” people???


  • Praetor

    Thugs. Like any mob (gang) organization, to enforce your authority, you hire thugs. They are not required to think, their only requirement is to be thugs. We don’t have a police (peace) force, we have the muscle, enforcers of the mob, the thing we so lovingly call government has become a criminal organization that hires thugs to enforce its authority. One more family destroyed by the mob, and this destruction was over a cow, not over drugs, not because of a crime, because of a dumb animal. This country is done, chaos to ensue. The mob bosses had better get Cuba up and running again, because there will be no where to hide. Pathetic!!!

  • ron17571

    The cops like many things,Are not perfect. Like how many people are really bad drivers. Guns? How many people really shouldn’t have them(or any sharp object) My local police appear to have common sense,I guess they like walking out their front door each day knowing that few people want them dead. The cops in certain places are bad. I have noticed a theme where bad cops go somewhere else(like Catholic Priest) and get hired.California cops seem to end up in other states where they cause problems. I also think that being a cop in a big city would give you some kind of attitude from what is dealt with daily. Waving any kind of gun around cops is a bad idea. This case seems like a case of stupidity on the cops part.

  • Samarami

    “…It is surely the advent of the Internet that has helped
    expose police brutality on a broad scale. But sadly, there
    are surely more such exposés to come because US officers
    are being trained in paramilitary tactics as part of the drug
    war and have been the recipients of a considerable quantity
    of cast-off military equipment via Homeland Security…”

    Why be “sadly” (that more such exposés are to come)??? Be grateful to have lived during the time of internet reformation:

    The die was cast for the manifestations of “brutality” we are today witnessing as far back as the time of Attila the Hun (and probably even before). Monopoly empire cannot materialize in any other fashion or form. To think that “citizens” (aka “serfs”) have a voice in changing the egregious monopoly is to engage in dangerous superstition:

    And that, my friends, is what anarchy is about.

    Skip down to the “conclusion”, where the author(s) mention “…finding freedom in an unfree world…” and “…the rise in popularity of alternative media…” Here is a free pdf copy of the late Harry Browne’s “How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World”:

    Because it is, indeed, an unfree world. Admittedly, Harry let himself become sidetracked into “running” for grand wizard of the klan. I think he felt bad about that toward the end and would never have repeated the error. He realized, I suspect, that it was a bad move in keeping with his message of liberty. That’s beside the point.

    Harry taught me that I can be free. Here. Today. Where I’m “at”. I’m nearly 81. I don’t have time to wait until somebody(s), somewhere(s), finds a way(s) to maintain monopoly government, but at the same time “…fix the cop problem…”

    It ain’t in the cards.


    • “Sadly” that there will inevitably be more brutal murders to be exposed … And thanks for posting the book link.

      • Samarami

        That there will be more brutal murders (by monopoly, or “public” police) is indeed inevitable. And yes, that is sad — of that I have no argument.

        Will support of state (however one wishes to define the group of psychopaths who hide behind that mindless abstraction and claim “jurisdiction”) help to alleviate the problem? No. No — and I’m certainly NOT accusing Daily Bell authors of arguing in favor of support of state.

        Just the opposite is true. In returning to the original Daily Bell analytic format — exposing the dominant social themes and memes of mainstream media — confirms my observation in that regard. And I’ll repeat that it’s good to have Anthony Wile back at the helm. I was not making that clear in my comment.

        I’m sad for the brutality of monopoly police around the world. I’m sad for the endless state wars and the millions — yea billions — who have lost limbs and lives. I’m sad for those cheering for “our-troops”. I’m sad for the part I played nearly 70 years ago, and am glad to be alive and healthy and perhaps able to see much of that rectified. Sam

  • Adam

    Complete and utter scum- the lot of them. We pay their wages and in exchange, they prey on us, intimidate us, shake us down, extort money from us etc. all in the name of “keeping us safe.”

    I can honestly say that in 40 years, I am yet to meet a serving police officer who I think is a decent human being. They have this mentality that it’s “us against them.” Before anyone suggests it, no, I am not a criminal or ex felon. In fact people would be very surprised what my job is.

  • Jim Johnson

    I meet with my neighbors monthly for the love of it. (and our local cop is usually there). Our Neighbors On Watch program is strong and growing. Those screaming “Down with fascist mercantilists and all their cronies!” would get a collective “Huh?” I come to the DB looking for solutions and ideas. Idaho is not far away from us, and I see it as an incredible confluence of tragic events that will be resolved by those good folks living thereabouts. Shit happens. If you ignore your community, your neighborhood, your Constitution, and each other, things will only get worse.

  • Charlie L.

    What’s up with the oddly named Quentin Tarantino? Can’t he conjure some unique ideas with that offbeat name? Since he makes movies and expresses a view that police are a corrupted occupation, where are his films “The Fury of the Enraged Policeman” and “Caligula Cops?”

  • Demonocracy

    Cameras = incriminating evidence
    No cameras = Cops word against yours

    Now which method do thugs prefer? The table is tilted folks, the game is rigged. We don’t have cops. We have a standing army. Now what did the founding fathers tell us to do with them?

  • Ed

    The whole good cop/bad cop question can be disposed of much more decisively. We need not enumerate what proportion of cops appears to be good or listen to someone’s anecdote about his Uncle Charlie, an allegedly good cop. We need only consider the following: (1) a cop’s job is to enforce the laws, all of them; (2) many of the laws are manifestly unjust, and some are even cruel and wicked; (3) therefore every cop has agreed to act as an enforcer for laws that are manifestly unjust or even cruel and wicked. There are no good cops. ~Robert Higgs

  • Pilgrim

    What part of “Protect and serve” don’t they understand? We need a new slogan. How’s this one: “Kill a Citizen, lose your job”.