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Beware of Brackets


Over at the Reason website, Brian Doherty takes issue with my earlier post regarding the Gates arrest. He quotes me as follows: “[A policemen [sic] talking to a citizen is] concerned with protecting his mortal hide from having holes placed in it where God did not intend. And you, if in asserting your constitutional right to be free from unlawful search and seizure fail to do as the officer asks, run the risk of having such holes placed in your own.”

Oh, what mischief can be achieved within those brackets. Those who bothered to read the entire post would have understood that in the scenario I presented, the officer was not merely “talking to a citizen,” but rather stopping one he reasonably (albeit mistakenly) believed had just committed an armed robbery. This important distinction was either missed by Mr. Doherty, or else he is deliberately misleading his readers. I can’t decide which is worse.

– Jack Dunphy is an officer in the Los Angeles Police Department. “Jack Dunphy” is the author’s nom de cyber. The opinions expressed are his own and almost certainly do not reflect those of the LAPD management.