Putting Mourning Bands on Police Badges Is Defacing Public Property

Comments

1

I don't care about a token of mourning per se, but it absurd that we're supposed to believe its mere coincidence that the one place they put it is right on top of the badge number.

3

If you cover your badge number, you should be fired, automatically. No exceptions.

4

Agree with all 3 comments above.

5

They’re hiding their identities so that they can get away with beating and shooting people, period.

6

Why can't they just put on black mourning arm bands like literally everyone else does?

7

Bless your heart Charles for writing this.

8

A sign of mourning? What utter bullshit.

I have no problem with police officers mourning the death of fellow officers. I'm a veteran. I get that need.

But seriously? The only possible place on their entire fucking uniform for them to put a symbol of mourning is to cover their badge number? You've got to be fucking kidding me. They are straight up using this as an excuse to hide who they are. That turns them from public servants to anonymous renegades. Fuck that. They should be fired immediately for hiding their ID.

9

Agreed Charles.

10

It’s total bullshit, and there’s no excuse.

11

The last paragraph is so good!

12

What's to stop me from taping up a fake badge and calling myself an authority of the law. Whoo dafuq is youuuu

13

next they'll claim their body cams are turned off to "honor the fallen"

14

Let's see the Venn Diagram of the "thank you for doing your job" people that disrespected nurses and doctors who were speaking out during covid outbreaks, and those who believe police should be allowed to make a huge production out of those who get killed in the line of duty.

15

Then I guess we can all put black tape over our Drivers Licenses, license plates and passports as a “sign of mourning.” Right? That should be totally cool.

16

I agree with comment in this thread so far (1-15) which is quite remarkable.

This is off topic, but I asked myself for the first time when I saw this photo, "when did the SPD uniforms turn black?" I grew up in Seattle and they were blue. I'm not saying those were the good old days by any means, or that blue is the solution. But it's curious and seems to align with the trend towards militarization of police. Is this just Seattle, or is there a wider trend?

17

(ALL comments, I meant to write)

18

This has to be the most laughably dumb take I think I've ever seen from a media outlet. Placing a temporary, non-damaging band on the badge is "defacing public property?" Charles may wish to look up that statute. I guess dry cleaning uniforms is defacing them due to the chemicals in the process. Further, mourning bands are officially authorized, which also wipes out the criminal act element.

Also, we as a society have determined that death by murder is more objectionable than death by accident, no matter the profession. If floyd had died falling down the stairs at his home, nobody but his family would even know who he is.

Mourning bands are not the problem. Cynically using them to cover one's badge number is the problem. When properly affixed, they do not cover the badge number...or even come close to covering it. Discipline those caught manipulating their authorized placement in order to cover their badge numbers. Simple.

I will say the reasons for wearing them has expanded enormously in the last 10 years or so. It used to be that we only wore them if an officer in our own department died on-duty and for Police Memorial Day on May 15th. Officers have gradually taken to wearing them for the death of an officer in nearby towns, in the state, in Uzbekistan, etc. So, add only authorization for that original purpose and only in authorized manner.

19

@15 - Except there actually are laws that explicitly ban specifically what you're suggesting.

20

Update - I agreed with every comment in this thread up... until and only up until I actually made my initial comments.

23

Don't "forget" to turn on that body cam, either!

26

So then Chuck, by extension the same is true of Journalists? Jamal Khashoggi, or the five employees of The Capital who were murdered during the Capital Gazette shooting in 2018, for example?

You must agree that the job of a journalist must always be nothing special. The men and women in this occupation are supposed to provide a public good, like planting trees in parks, or removing waste, or repairing a transformer. If a journalist is shot and killed during work, it's much the same as a City Light employee falling to their death from the top of a utility pole or something like that. It is, for sure, unfortunate; but someone has to repair and upgrade our utility equipment. The danger comes with the job, and the public pays them to do this job.

Right?

27

the cops are being babies about this - what is so hard to understand about badge numbers being covered = less accountability? they can mourn in all sorts of different ways, covering the badge number ("oops, it was an accident") is total bullshit and i'm sure they know it but would never admit it.

28

@19... REALLY? BUT I'M MOURNING! There are also laws against police not identifying themselves.

And yet police are able to ignore a whole host of laws like... oh... I don't know ... not murdering citizens? At least I think that' still a law? Is irony and sarcasm still legal?

Clearly stupidity is. Otherwise you'd be serving a life term.

30

@24 Yeah. Police should be totally anonymous. Like wear masks.

We shouldn't even know how many police we employ. Also the police shouldn't tell us why we're being arrested. Because we might use voice recognition to identify them.

Frankly, when people get arrested they should just disappear became otherwise the court proceedings may accidentally identify the arresting officers.

Fuck it. Let's all just put up barbed wire everywhere then beat and sodomize then gas ourselves. Skip a few steps.

31

@29 That seems perfectly reasonable.

George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Jamar Clark, Philando Castile, Breonna Taylor, Botham Jean and thousands of others would've liked that too.

32

The British police have their collar numbers visible in multiple places on their uniform, and most of them don't even carry firearms. Police in the US need to have their badge numbers visible at all times, in multiple places as well.

33

@30 "Let's all just put up barbed wire everywhere then beat and sodomize then gas ourselves"- you first.

34

Wow. Way to re-frame it Chas
your Best Work

so far.

35

@33 -see, I KNEW you’d be into it. I bet you got a little woody (verrrry little) just thinking about those big strong gimp suited Secret police beating the shit out of handcuffed black people.

Ps. I’d keep my browser in anonymous mode if I were you.

36

I gave you a perfectly reasonable response and was about to reply with another until I saw your last line. So, if you seriously believe Mudede's take that placing a temporary mourning band on a badge is defacing public property, you may want to reconsider who is stupid between the two of us.

As to your example, you actually can put crap on your license plate, as long as the number, state and expiration aren't covered. It's also not against the law for officers not to identify themselves; that's a matter of departmental policy. Best announced today she was changing Seattle's to prevent covering the badge number. Surprised that wasn't policy already.

Now, I gotta go turn myself into the police. I got a fingerprint on the window of the courthouse door when I pushed it open, so I know they'll be looking for me for defacing public property.

37

@36 Dude, the last cop in Seattle killed in the line of duty was Timothy Brenton in 2009. So we're back to mourning? Face it dipshit, they're covering up their badge numbers/identification.

39

Badge shrouds are truly a thing and have been for decades in law enforcement and the fire service. My department (not police) sends out an email stating the time period they are authorized - basically from the time of the email to the memorial. The wearing of them is nearly universal when authorized. It doesn't need to be for a death within the specific department. For example, after 9/11, we wore badge shrouds until the effort to recover bodies was ceased. Given that Police Chief Best was wearing one standing behind the mayor, I would guess that they had been authorized.

They are always placed over the middle of the badge. There are badge designs that don't have a number in the middle of the badge so that could be an option. The badge patches sometimes worn in lieu of a metal badge usually don't have numbers at all. Even some metal badges don't have numbers in an effort to cut costs. Mourning bands on the sleeve provide a handle for someone to grab so they are unlikely to be adopted.

I'm not saying that badge shrouds should be allowed in their current form going forward - just that they are not an artifice to conceal the number to hinder identification. I think that they should be printed on a high contrast, reflective patch placed underneath the nametag. That would be better than trying to read or take a picture of a small number on a badge.

40

@39 oh c’mon. Arm bands are handles? The vest, the helmet, the belt, some uniforms even have epaulettes! The handles thing is absurd.

Speaking as a former grappler (Who trained with cops for over a decade) and wrestler there is nothing BUT handles on those uniforms. They are a grappling dream. You could neck crank the shit out one of those riot cops with that helmet. In fact the H2H US Army Modern Combative's manual FM 3-25.150 has some great illustrations of that.

41

@40 OK, it’s not a compelling reason. I won’t debate the point.

I still think having the ID number in larger, more visible print by the officer’s name is a better solution than trying to read or take a pic of the badge.

42

Unfortunately, I disagree with almost everything in this article. However, this statement by Charles is spot on: "Now this is a problem the public needs to address, this deserves discussion and action: How do we make police work safe and less lethal?" Let's not defund the police budgets, let's redirect the funds to answer Charles' question (I agree that the tactical gear is not needed).

Traditions sometimes need to change, and covering of the badges is probably one of them. No one should abuse tradition to avoid culpability. Just remember that Firefighters have the same badge tradition, and no one seems to care.