Yesterday afternoon, I stood in the backyard at the home of friends, waiting. The day before, my friends were married in that backyard; yesterday the reception was held there. People were arriving; the reception was just getting underway.
The beginning noises of the reception were drowned out by the buzz of a small airborne black-and-white vehicle. I watched as the helicopter appeared to be repeatedly circling the yard in which I was standing. I could just read a few of the words on the tail. One stood out in capitals: “POLICE.”
In the old days, there used to be an interrogation technique called “Good Cop/Bad Cop.” These days, the technique has fallen somewhat out of favor. In its place, we have “Bad Cop/Not So Bad Cop.”
Or increasingly, just Bad Cop.
Eric Essman, a self-described left-wing radical, has recently posted several comments on my blog taking exception to my characterizations of Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer and claiming I’m being unfair to the police. I want to address the issues raised in his various comments in this blog entry instead of appending individual responses to each comment because, among other things, I hope it will clarify exactly the points I was making in the posts which were attacked — points which I feel may be lost by the distraction the discussion in those comments and my responses to them may create.
Besides, even as I write this, Mr. Essman is posting more comments on other articles I’ve written, making similar points to his prior comments. (I get it, Mr. Essman: you like the police and you don’t care much for what I’m saying. I got that after the second comment. By the sixth, it became overkill. Feel free to take a breather.)
Secondarily, I will be correcting attributions of thoughts, beliefs and attitudes to me which I do not hold and clarifying what I do actually think on those issues.
Lastly, I thought doing this would make a “regular comment” too long and since Mr. Essman’s comments follow two different posts and may come to span more at the rate he’s moving, I’ll hopefully just be able to shift everything here, to one place.
Besides, it saves me trying to write a long response and still being left looking for a topic about which to blog today.
First things first: I don’t write as much on this blog as I had hoped, or as I probably should. My original intent was that I’d write about “regional” (i.e., within the Fresno, California area) issues or happenings on this site; most of my writing happens at Probable Cause: The Legal Blog with the Really Low Standard of Review. (Judges, at least, should get the joke in that name; even a few attorneys might.) This isn’t an apology: I’m saying this because if you’re here wondering why the blog isn’t updated and you’re just really thirsting for something new, try the other blog.
Regardless of where I post my articles, I’m always an officer of the court. (People v. Superior Court (Rishwain, Hakeem & Ellis) (1989) 215 Cal.App.3d 1411, 1413 [264 Cal.Rptr. 28]; Tejeda v. Blas (1987) 196 Cal.App.3d 1335, 1341 [242 Cal.Rptr. 538]; Leversen v. Superior Court (1983) 34 Cal.3d 530, 537 [194 Cal.Rptr. 448].) I cite cases for that because some prosecutors and law enforcement officials disagree.
Even courts seem to disagree at times. I’m still learning the rules, but near as I can tell it works like this: When they want me to do something I’m resisting, I’m reminded that I’m an officer of the court. The rest of the time, I’m a criminal defense attorney, which means I’m not to be trusted.