Every Police Stop is a Death Threat

There appears to be some confusion in the world about the nature of police work. Almost nobody doubts the necessity of police officers roaming the cities in which they “work,” seeking out anyone who would dare defy the edicts of their political masters. Very few would say, that roads should be privatized and controlled as the property owner saw fit. Even fewer would say that government as an institution is wholly unnecessary, and should thus be abolished. Yet, when the obvious result of these things occurs, everyone panics. So I figure this needs to be rehashed from the beginning.

So collectively “we” create an institution called government. There are some problems with that concept, but let’s run with it for now. “We the people” create an institution. Federal, state, municipal, what have you – but I will forthwith refer to these institutions collectively as the State.

Every Police Stop is a Death Threat

Every Police Stop is a Death Threat

The State is not so different from you and I. It is made up of people doing things, making decisions, making mistakes. What makes the State different from you and I is a singular feature – a supposed right, a supposed duty in fact, to initiate force. Us mere mortals, we don’t tend to engage in such behavior. When we do, it is rightly looked upon as inherently evil and heinous. The State on the other hand, is obliged to do this on our behalf. The most obvious example of this is police and military.

Were you or I to travel overseas and begin shooting at strangers, people would rightly see us as violent lunatics. The military on the other hand does this, and are hailed as heroes. Police roam the streets looking for people who drive too fast, have some problem with their vehicle, or otherwise disobey the legislative branch. Their job, the thing that they were hired to do, their very purpose is to threaten this person with violence. When people run from them or fight them, the situation escalates from a threat of force, to a use of force, and this force is often lethal in nature. For this they are given the title of protector.

If this sounds completely ridiculous to you, then we agree. I would humbly suggest that this is probably not the most efficient way to create safe streets. In fact, it seems quite counterproductive. But if you are not calling for the abolition of the institution, then with all due respect I’m less than interested in your opinions when people get killed. Hiring people to use violence, then treating them like crap or imprisoning them when they do exactly what you asked of them, is cruel and abusive. If you are calling for the abolition of the institution, then I would kindly request that you say so when you make these complaints, because there seems to be a great deal of confusion out there about how to solve this very serious problem.

Take the recent shooting of Sam Dubose in Cincinnati. University of Cincinnati Police Officer, Ray Tensing initiates a traffic stop of Dubose for lacking a front license plate. Dubose attempts to flee, Tensing shoots him in the face, is charged with murder, and the liberal media lights up with hysteria about how some racist white cop murdered a black man in cold blood.

What is almost universally overlooked, is that Tensing was hired to make death threats against people like Dubose. When a police officer initiates a traffic stop, it is not some polite request for a chat. In every traffic stop, the police officer is notifying the driver through the use of his strobe lights and siren, that the vehicle is about to be stopped, one way or another. Be it by the driver complying and pulling over, or by the police officer running the vehicle off the road and shooting the driver, that vehicle will be stopped in relatively short order.

If you do not oppose that practice, then you have no right to complain about what follows. You don’t get to blame it on race, you don’t get to blame it on guns, you don’t get to blame it on anything other than your endorsement of exactly this type of situation. You cannot simply demand that a violent organization come into existence, run around threatening people with violence for your peace of mind, and then call for a public execution when they do exactly what you asked of them.

Here is a little thing everybody should know about violent conflicts. They escalate in a rapid and unpredictable manner. So when one endorses violence, they would be well served to know that all violence has the potential to turn lethal. To say that you endorse the threatening of motorists, but not their arrests, or their arrests, but not their killing, is thus patently absurd. A police officer cannot make a traffic stop without a threat of escalating force up to the point of lethality. To say otherwise would be to make the institution completely pointless, as anybody who wanted to break the law could simply tell them to fuck off.

The Penalty Is Always Death

I oppose police, and the governments for which they act as the enforcement arm of, as an institution. As such, I feel like the traffic stop of Dubose was a completely unwarranted threat of violence. One which Dubose would have been warranted in using lethal force to defend himself against, well prior to Tensing drawing his weapon. If I did not, I would have to accept the following facts and let Tensing go free.

Dubose was a gang member, driving without a license, with liquor in his car. The vehicle was registered in the name of a female, which Dubose obviously did not fit the description of. He claimed the car belonged to his wife, but Dubose was not married, though he had managed to father 13 children. He was a convicted drug dealer who had served time in prison, and had been charged with burglary and assault. He was dressed in all red, a color often associated with the Bloods street gang, a violent criminal organization. He acted nervously, and reached around the vehicle several times.

When Tensing asked Dubose to step out of the vehicle and put his hand on the door, Dubose started the vehicle in an obvious attempt to run away. Tensing rightly felt threatened by this. As a result, he pulled his weapon, and shot Dubose. Tensing’s account of the situation after the shooting does not match the video footage. He claimed to his fellow officers that he had been dragged by the vehicle, but his body cam shows he shot immediately after Dubose started the car.

If we are to accept that Tensing has the right to threaten violence against people, then prosecuting him for murder when that threat is taken through to its ultimate logical conclusion, is not fair. It doesn’t even stand up to rational scrutiny. Every police stop is “Stop or I’ll Shoot” even if governments would like us to believe otherwise. This is the nature of the State itself, and to say otherwise is to lie.

So if you endorse the State as an institution, then you endorse the killing of Samuel Dubose.

You cannot have it both ways.

You cannot blame it on race.

You cannot blame it on guns.

This is your fault, and you deserve to share a cell with Ray Tensing.


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  • Lily Gonzalez

    Great article, I have shared it with praise. However, this statement is false: “When Tensing asked Dubose to step out of the vehicle and put his hand on the door, Dubose started the vehicle in an obvious attempt to run away. Tensing rightly felt threatened by this.” How is ‘running away’ a threat to Dubose?

    • Doop-doo-doop

      If you release a nervous fart a cop will feel “threatened”

      It is well known that cowards have a much, much smaller threshold for what will frighten them out of their wits

      • Lily Gonzalez

        Agreed. However, Cantwell states that Tensing RIGHTLY felt threatened. There is nothing ‘right’ about feeling threatened when a person runs away.

      • Lily Gonzalez

        and they have a much, much smaller dick.

    • Cindy Taylor

      Tensing was hired by The State to carry out the “threat of violence” in the here and now. Thus I interpret this to say is that “we the people” set up a State of force, hired a man to carry out the force, and then cried “RACE!” when he did what we hired him to do.

      In real life does an actually brave man feel physically “threatened” when another person runs or tries to run away? No. But in this case the threat was to his authority to initiate violence. Far be it from me to speak for Chris, but this is roughly the way I interpret it.

      • Tyler Hurson

        And this is where the state mythos self-detonates. “We the people” consented to our government, yet our government is doing something we don’t like, which would indicate that “we the people” actually didn’t consent to the government.

        • Cindy Taylor

          Hey, where’s the “like” button? You got it Tyler!

          • Richard Chiu

            Those little up/down chevrons before “Reply-Share” are for upvotes and downvotes.

        • Christopher James Friesen

          I do hear-by give a group of strangers(Government) permission to do things to me without my permission. MY LOGIC IS FLAWLESS.

    • Richard Chiu

      Tensing had already initiated a death threat against Dubose. The fact that. in that situation, he had no right to defend himself from any response Dubose may have made (including drawing a gun and shooting at him) has no bearing on whether any given non-compliance was likely to be a prelude to some kind of more effective response.

      Tensing had to know that, had Dubose managed to incapacitate or kill him before leaving the scene, the chances of a successful escape would increase dramatically. Dubose also probably knew this. Tensing had to know that Dubose probably knew this.

      Tensing should have known that many people have a very real fear of the police, and involuntary contact with police is likely to make them react irrationally, and that attempting escape without a clear plan is one of those reactions. But regardless of that, he also would have known that some people, feigning fear or innocence, are playing for tactical advantage.

      Or, put more simply, the cops in my area know that I will kill them if they start anything. If one of them started something, they would be right to feel threatened by ANYTHING I might do because it would certainly be a prelude to lethal force. That doesn’t mean I think they would be right to start anything, It just means that they would have to be complete idiots to not feel threatened.

      • Lily Gonzalez

        There are a lot of us who would shoot to kill a cop to avoid being kidnapped, caged, or killed. Cops fear this. And by your standards, cops should kill everyone they detain for fear that the person “MIGHT” want to harm them.

        • Richard Chiu

          “Should” isn’t implied, unless we accept it as a given that cops should detain people and that they have a responsibility to defend themselves from those they detain. I don’t take either of those as given, but for someone who does, then yes, it is logically entailed in those assumptions that cops should simply kill anyone they detain at the first hint of non-compliance.

          If you don’t like that conclusion, then you need to reject the premises on which it is founded. Some people reject one, some reject the other, some reject both.

    • itsme

      I have a massive problem with police brutality and i promise this is an honest question-
      if the driver of the car had the wheels on full lock, could he have run over the police officer? (***am not trolling)

      • Lily Gonzalez

        Doesn’t matter. All that matters is that the cop initiated a death threat – that is what all cop encounters are – and the recipient of that death threat has the moral right to use lethal force to protect himself. By the standards of cops feeling “threatened,” then every police encounter would warrant the cop killing an individual. A person running away by car or foot, does not constitute justification to kill an individual.

    • FreeWill1776

      I think that the threat is that he was operating a motor vehicle in a reckless fashion so close to the officer. Whether intentionally or not, the officer was vulnerable to serious injury or death. He wouldn’t have been the first officer to be hit, run over, or dragged by a vehicle.

  • Gene

    The prosecutor had mentioned that he doesn’t believe that a university should be in the business of policing. I could not agree more. Neither should any other group of people or institution be in the business of “policing” other people, at least outside the realm of providing protection to their paying clients.

  • Richard Chiu

    “If you do not oppose that practice, then you have no right to complain about what follows. You don’t get to blame it on race, you don’t get to blame it on guns, you don’t get to blame it on anything other than your endorsement of exactly this type of situation.”

    I will go further and say that opposing the practice still doesn’t mean you get to blame the results on race or guns.

    The fact of the matter is that race and guns do invariably play a role in such interactions, just as do the weather, the laws of chemistry, the evolutionary heritage of humans, the refractory properties of air, and any number of other things. But the attempt to shift responsibility onto those factors which you should endeavor to know and understand to the best of your ability does not change reality even if it temporarily fools some other humans.

    On the other hand, while “Hiring people to use violence, then treating them like crap or imprisoning them when they do exactly what you asked of them, is cruel and abusive”, it’s completely justifiable to hire people who claim to protect you, then being outraged when their claims of protection turn out to be blatant lies.

    Depending on how obvious or logically impossible the lie, you may have to have been an idiot or insane to believe the lie. And neither of those is completely without moral consequence. But the fault for the lie still falls on the liar. Most of the lies about government are constructed by politicians and media personalities rather than cops, these days, and there’s a whole slate of them passed down from antiquity. So I’m willing to grant that a lot of cops believe the lies on which their job is based, because they are idiots or insane. But not all of them. And not one that gets into a dangerous situation and acts like they don’t believe the pretty lies about how how their job is supposed to work.

    So when a cop gets into a situation and almost gets killed before drawing a weapon, then however the situation turns out I’m willing to believe that the cop was just an idiot or insane (barring additional proof). But when a cop reacts to a guy trying to start his car by shooting him in the head, he totally loses the “I didn’t know the true nature of my job” defense because he OBVIOUSLY did know.

  • paendragon

    “The State” (largest collectively-owned insurance company) was NOT created to “initiate” force, but to use force, if necessary, to stop others from committing violence against innocent citizens. If Dubose, as a gang member, convicted drug dealer, etc who was driving someone else’s car for whatever nefarious purpose, had even a single brain-cell, he would have placed at least a mock-up of a license plate on the front of the car before driving it around (or – *gasp!* – maybe even have paid for one).
    Threatening to run the cop over was when he made his fatal CHOICE.

    • Richard Chiu

      It may be the case that some governments trace their origins back to some compact (whether formalized or evolved) to provide for the collective defense of a group of people, of whom a significant portion or even a majority may have entered the compact voluntarily.

      This really has nothing to do with the creation of “the State”, or rather, the current status of the public organization of society. The existing ‘state’ is always an evolution of some original compact, and in nearly all times and places will be several generations removed from any majority or even significant plurality which meaningfully consented to even those operations conforming to the original theory, let alone the substantial alterations in both theory and practice that will have occurred in intervening generations as the class vested with the most power consolidates their own interests.

      Dubose ‘decided’ to die when he was born…which is to say that he got no more (or less) choice in the matter than anyone else.

      Tensing decided to kill him, and that was an actual and overt choice for which he has no right to deny responsibility.

      • paendragon

        Except there is no “The State,” outside of the collectively-owned insurance company we all agree to. Your only problem is with the band of merry criminally negligent delinquents, who, like you, see it and themselves as something separate from the rest of us, as masters in stead of public servants, having rights without responsibilities via an idolatrous false claim to some pretended and imaginary “authority.”

        • Richard Chiu

          Well then, since I never agreed to any such collectively-owned insurance company (and never will), and nothing I didn’t agree to could be “The State”, then there is no such thing at all.

          • paendragon

            If you agree with the idea of property rights, then you must agree that people who existed before you also had them, and that’s the simple reason for both how and why you are still bound by their past decisions.

          • Richard Chiu

            I should have expected you to make the appeal to slavery at birth being legitimate.

          • paendragon

            i.e: “In my territory, if you want to be allowed to drive, then you must get insurance before you are allowed to drive a potentially dangerous large steel-plated gasoline-powered moving vehicle around other people’s property and children.”

            This is a free-will choice, not “slavery.”
            (i.e: You can always choose not to drive, or to drive within the confines of your own property, if you own your own compound).

            In fact, you’re the one who wants to inflict slavery on others – you’re the one saying:

            “You have no right to own your own personal property, and so if I choose to damage it, then you have to work to pay for my chosen destructions, slaves!”

          • Richard Chiu

            There are ways to be responsible for the consequences of your own actions aside from distributing the consequences across a risk pool so that you aren’t fully responsible for them.

        • Coralyn Herenschrict

          “…we all agree to…”

          I keep looking around for my copy of the document I signed where I agreed to be violently ruled. I just can’t seem to find it anywhere. Must be behind the couch.

          • Richard Chiu

            Legally, your birth certificate is considered to be this document. Of course, that makes a complete joke of the idea of informed consent, but it isn’t even the worst joke Statists would have us take seriously.

          • paendragon

            You are not violently ruled – that’s the false slander meme of all you puerile so-called libertarian anarchists: “The State only exists to INITIATE violence! Waaaah!”

            NO. It doesn’t. It exists as an insurance company which those before you set up for their properties, and which you still have to pay into for it to defend you from disasters both natural and man-made (aka “crimes”).

          • Richard Chiu

            I’m not violently ruled only because I’m not ruled at all, having made it abundantly clear to those who would use violence to compel me that the only thing they’ll get for their trouble is mayhem and death.

          • paendragon

            Do you drive? Is your vehicle insured? If so, why?


          • Richard Chiu

            No. My vehicle isn’t insured. Because “risk-pool” insurance is a scam even when it isn’t mandated.

          • paendragon

            Well, I hope if your vehicle crashes into someone’s house &/or otherwise hurts or kills people, you have enough money to pay for the damages – otherwise, you’re knowingly enslaving them to your delinquency.

          • Richard Chiu

            If my vehicle hurts or kills people, then most likely its because the civil war has gone hot and I’ve decided that the targets I’m hitting are worth the collateral damage.

          • Lily Gonzalez

            I like that mindset in theory. How does it work in real life?

          • Richard Chiu

            It involved suffering a murder attempt by the police (apparently directed from the Federal level, and doesn’t that sound special…but it is actually distressingly commonplace).

            They failed, which is probably good, but they didn’t fail so completely as to leave me entirely unscathed, which is definitely not what I would have liked.

            Since that incident it has involved subtly (and sometimes less subtly) working to get cops to stop being cops by them either quitting, committing suicide, or being killed. Sometimes I do something to contribute to that work. Usually I just ‘supervise’…health reasons, you know.

            It dovetails with the business of getting people ready to survive the collapse of the global economy and the consequent attempt to install outright martial law in most Western nations.

  • Randall Knapp

    Will you be putting this on stitcher with your Chris Cantwell essays page?

  • Coralyn Herenschrict

    Glorious. Finally, some meat and potatoes on this site.

    “So I figure this needs to be rehashed from the beginning.”

    Re-hash away. Understanding the proper delineations between aggression and self-defense is the mission. Newcomers get hit in the face with the state’s version twelve times a day.

  • Coralyn Herenschrict

    “Hiring people to use violence, then treating them like crap or imprisoning them when they do exactly what you asked of them, is cruel and abusive….If we are to accept that Tensing has the right to threaten violence against people, then prosecuting him for murder when that threat is taken through to its ultimate logical conclusion, is not fair.”

    Whoa. Are these tongue-in-cheek statements? The fact someone was hired to use aggression is immaterial to the fact he as an individual accepts the job offer and elects to employ aggression. Treating him like crap, prosecuting him for murder, and imprisoning him is eminently just.

    “It doesn’t even stand up to rational scrutiny….You cannot have it both ways.”

    Yes, so rather than oppose prosecuting police in the name of consistency in promoting aggression, let’s endorse prosecuting police and call for prosecuting state officials as well in the name of consistency in opposing aggression.

  • Confirmation_Bias

    Ya race has nothing to do with it. All those stats? Just ignore them and live in a world of fantasy that alleviates any responsibilities you may have given your position of privilege. Notice all the confederate flag supporters on here? Ya, race ahad nothing to do with it, I’m sure.

    • Richard Chiu

      Generally, the statistics demonstrate unambiguously that it is the racism of blacks against whites which drives far more violent crime (including most crime against blacks) than whatever is left of white racism against blacks.

  • Glenn Gallaher

    A real simple question that you need to ask yourself. If someone that willingly takes on the mantel to uphold the law, no longer upholds the law and uses codes, rules, regulations, acts, dictates, and decrees over that of the law, should that person be treated as a public officer or a terrorist in that they choose not to uphold the law? Remember codes, rules, regulations, acts, dictates, and decrees are issued by companies on how employees are to be treated, and not law. Do you see the difference between them yet?