Man to Man Education (Update: New Video)

Slightly crass language, but an illustration of a common problem.

Trouble.

Watcha think?

Udate: New Video

I am not changing my mind on much of what I said, but all that considered, the man does seem to have an anger problem. Mind you, I have no issue with non-negotiable law enforcement, but the man has a bad habit:

No Youtube video yet. You’ll have to go here.

31 thoughts on “Man to Man Education (Update: New Video)

  1. I saw nothing wrong with it Dude.
    The sad fact is teh ofiicer is now being suspended, and will probably loose his job, all for doing his job. Yes there needs to be a line that police officers shouldn’t cross, yet there also has to be a line that youths shouldn’t cross. We need more police officers like this one running the streets if the parents of these types of youth won’t get their kids off the street. Parents need to take responsibilty for their children, teach them respect, and to follow the rules, so incidnets don’t happen. Pray for both parties. I’m reminded of a cras movie that I have seen in the Parents break out into song singing to find someone else to blame for their kids behavior before someone blames them.

    P.s. Looks like a close and shut case for the A.C.L.U. To bad I would like to shake this officer’s hand, is there any kind of Kryptonite to fight the A.C.L.U?

  2. First of all I can’t see how anyone could respect a police officer who dressed like he did, and drove the car he drove. He was kinda dressed like a UPS man. ^.^ But I must confess I myself would have the hardest time not lashing out on the guy. The kid did good but in that respect but he was dissrespectful and out of place. like Set All Afire i do think there is a place where police do need to draw the line, i did hear somewhere that fathers who play there cool are the most effective and i think that the cop (eventhough he was not the kids father) could have been more effictive. but alas we do have to pray for both parties because bioth need patients, and to not let the stress of every day life get a hold on them.

  3. I think that this clip serves as a very good example of several things.

    1) The boy is ignorant of respectful behavior.
    2) The officer is ignorant of the behavior of an “authority”.
    3) Abusive authority imposed upon the ignorant, results in resentment, hurt feelings, and negative consequences.

    First, I sympathize with the officer. Theirs is a MOST difficult job! And they routinely have to deal with the ignorant, and the disingenuous who CLAIM ignorance.

    Secondly I empathize with the kid. It appears that he is genuinely ignorant of what it is he has done wrong to warrant such a severe response. It does not SEEM that he continually intentionally disobeys, **but then we did not see what initiated this in the first place. I infer from the officer that this is one of multiple times he had to confront this kid.** The look on the kid’s face when he is confronted with his ignorance truly illustrates that he is “lost” in his ignorance. “Dude, what did I do?” “Don’t call me Dude!” “Dude, I call everybody dude, dude!”

    Thirdly I notice the effect on the attitudes of those witnessing the confrontation: “…just shut up! Go along. Don’t say anything, you’ll make it worse.” “Give it up!”

    Unfortunately the officer is the one who bears the responsibility for this incident. He is the authority. He has the “right and power to command, enforce laws, exact obedience, determine, or judge” as an authority, he also has “power to influence or persuade resulting from knowledge or experience.” It WILL be argued that his judgment, and his power to influence or persuade are somehow impaired.

    If this had been a “dangerous” situation his assault on the boy would have been justified, but in the case of an ignorant boy disrespecting authority, it will most likely be seen as an abuse of authority. This is the sad part it seems: the ignorant WILL not be taught at home, and CANNOT be taught by civil authority.

    The officer certainly does not exhibit chivalrous behavior in THIS circumstance—so it would seem, but all we have is this snippit of film and NOT the complete history of the incident.

  4. Okay, female perspective here! First of all, in today’s sad arena, I was fearful that this officer was acting so intimidatingly because he wanted to get this kid’s address and find out if the kid’s mother was home … I was concerned that he might not actually be a police officer but rather a predator. I’ve told my daughters, for instance, if they’re ever pulled over to stay in the car and call the police from there to verify if this officer is truly who he/she says they are. How sad is that?

    Anyway, once I came to the conclusion that he was indeed an official police officer, I couldn’t help but feel he was on some sort of dangerous ego trip. Now, don’t get me wrong, the kid is definitely deficient in his manners. HOWEVER, we don’t demand respect, we EARN it. Being totally intimidating does not make these boys *respect* the police. My father was like that at times and I learned to completely disrespect him … the opposite of what he was trying to accomplish. I finally said (the disrespectful child that I was) that the gestapo got people to do what they wanted because if you abuse someone enough (I was never physically abused nor is this boy depicted in the You Tube), you’ll probably get them to do what they want! But you don’t RESPECT them … in fact, you flee from them the second you have the chance! Even if they do say something later of great value, you will probably not listen. So, sadly enough, in my female view of this, it was a lose-lose situation that could have had a much better outcome!

    With that, I sort of do understand why this officer was placed on probation. He has NOT helped police officers gain the respect they desperately need to do their jobs properly. It is doubtful he brought any peace to that street or stopped any kids from skateboarding there. People who lack manners and have lost all respect for you will only find ways to *go underground* with their charades. Underground is always more dangerous. This police officer is not going to give these kids good manners in one shouting session … the kids haven’t gotten them for 12 years, he’s not going to fix the problem … in fact, he’s made them convinced that they’re the nice ones!!

    Good thing I’m on my computer because otherwise some of you might throw tomatoes at me … tee hee.

    Ciao,
    Jen

  5. If someone in authority isn’t tough with these kids now, while they still have ‘some’ fear of authority figures, in a couple of years there’s a good chance they’ll be out of control. I remember Dr. Ray Guarendi saying that basically if we really love our kids, we’ll discipline them, because if we don’t do it with love now, someone else will ‘discipline’ them violently later. I have a feeling this police officer really cares for these kids – and others like them – and sees these kinds of punks continually on the streets and knows what they are likely to become. Better to scare them and take away their skateboards now than find them shot in the alley by a gang member later because they either thought themselves invincible or had no respect for authority or someone with a bigger gun.

    If he didn’t care about them and wanted to just make their lives miserable, he wouldn’t have asked to talk to their moms (who also probably needed a good scare to snap them into adulthood!) As for the yelling – he’s an Italian man — probably a dad himself. Go to a couple of good Italian parties and you won’t find too many Italian men speaking quietly. I just attended an Italian family reunion in Baltimore and I can vouch for it!

  6. To Other Mary:

    Well, I do come from one of those LOUD Italian families. The decibles isn’t necessarily what was upsetting, it was his total disrespect for these kids. As parents and authorities, we have to give respect to our kids if we want to gain respect. So, in this case, taking away the skateboard when it appears that these boys have been warned before … well, THAT’S discipline to me. Those boards can be quite expensive and if you don’t want to follow the law with them, then you lose it. Simple. As adults, if you want to park in a no-parking-zone, be prepared to watch your car get towed!! Then to say to the boy that he will need to come to the police station later with his mother in order to discuss what will need to take place to get it back … that would have been a great idea! No humiliating, no yelling … just some slight torture in other ways! Once the boy and mother came to the station, I’d maybe set up some plan of how he would get it back. Maybe he would need to be the new police guard for that area to stop other kids from using their skateboards there to save this policeman from having to do such a petty task when he should be able to use his time dealing with much bigger issues. If he did this task successfully for one month and didn’t call him DUDE for the whole time, then he could get it back. Otherwise, skateboard gets auctioned with their other items.

    Chris worded things very eloquently to me. Ignorance paired with abusive authority is a lethal combination, unfortunately. No one wins. This officer let his emotions take over. We all do this at times so I’m not here to throw the first stone! But, it doesn’t make it right. Even Dr. Guarendi would agree with that. The point is to discipline BEFORE you get yourself into an emotional tirade. As Dr. Guarendi says, we are the adults … we need to act like it which means we need to remain in control!! As a parent, when I lose my cool and start getting into my kids’ faces and start intimidating, I do not usually get the end result I wanted! It’s when I take a deep breath, whisper a prayer, and calmly do what needs to be done … in this case, take skateboard … that the moutains start to move. Apologies come forth and then I can lay down some ultimatums!

    Sadly, as we all know, a good percentage of these kids WILL find themselves in bigger trouble later. Maybe the police officer did indeed have concern for them in his heart (I’ll admit I didn’t see it). I just see his tactics as more of a guarantee that these kids will be trouble now. Today, adults have personally confused kids … they no longer expect respect as they try to be friends. Some of my kids’ CCD teachers ask them to call them by their first names. I won’t allow it. They are putting them on a peer playing field when they are NOT peers! They allow themselves to be called DUDE and other slang expressions. Then we wonder why we have these issues. I think it might just be adults who allowed the issue in the first place. sigh. When most of us were kids, you called adults Mr. or Mrs., Miss (not Ms), Dr, Father, etc. Never by their first name and certainly not some expression like *hey man*, *bro*, *buddy* which were more common expressions back then. No adult would allow it .. .now they do. We’ve reaped what we’ve sowed. Have we not? The real question is, “How do you stop this snowball that is rolling now at quite the speed?”

    -Jen

  7. In my teenage years I met some pretty ornery cops, but I was a pretty stupid teenager. I think the two somehow go together.

    The cop made a point. If the kid does not learn, someone other than a person who cares for him is going to let him have it. The kid has to learn some respect, period. He is lucky he didn’t “Dude” someone who might really hurt him.

    I don’t think I would give the cop a medal, but I wouldn’t want to have the kid coddled either.

    Notice, no father at home. Hmmm. Didn’t I say something about that somewhere?

  8. If a Saint acted like this they wouldnt be a Saint at all. And arent cops called to be Roman Catholic Saints too.
    This is a foolish kid and a corrupt cop. If the job is too tough he should quit.
    Corruption and violence are far worse than extremely minor youthful foolishness ( punkishness)
    .The kid is charged with… disrespect , did I get that right because he wasnt skating any more.
    This cop tries to indimidate the camera person ( the no witnesses routine) and would bat around a protester at an abortion clinic in a second if given the opportunity.

    Martin Luther King and his supporters dealt with this , and for doing good, not wrong no less.

    Cops must handle this far far better.
    So who s the punk ?

    Besides doesnt every cop take an oath to uphold the law . Cant this cop work a detail at an Abortion clinic or a Strip Club where they respect cops and the law.

    If there was a law that said disrespect was banned and deserved a belligerent verbal and physical beat down , then o.k. Bad law but at least the cop would be doing his job.
    Maybe the cop is mentally ill or a mob cop.

    Ah remember when Police threatened to block the path of the 85th running of the Boston Marathon.
    My favorite is when they assaulted and threatened constructon workers for doing their job during the convention . The US marshalls had to come to town to bring the Law and protect us from the police.

  9. Father, I couldn’t help but think that too. I wondered why he had to talk to the mother — talking man to man to the father would have been more effective and appropriate. But alas, fatherlessness abounds.

    Now that I have watched the video again, I see more things. The kid does not have a father, as he rudely shouts to the cop. The kid had his ipod on when the cop stopped. We didn’t see what happened before the camera started rolling, but my guess is that the cop yelled for them to stop skateboarding and the kids didn’t listen to/hear him. That is why the cop even stopped in the first place. His voice became louder throughout the interaction because the kids weren’t responding appropriately to his questions. The policeman just wanted to give the kids a little taste of how he handles an adult criminal – these kids who think they are so adult that they can wander around town with their boards/pods/cells and do as they please.

    This police officer is just that — a police officer. He is not a parent, and he has no obligation to treat a bratty kid on his beat like a son. When I was a kid, I respected my parents out of love — I respected the police out of fear. I was scared out of my whits for my drivers’ tests — just walking into the police barracks for my written test was scary enough, let alone getting into a car with one! That healthy fear was a good thing that is sorely lacking in many youth – and results in adults who disrespect authority or refuse to obey their superiors at work — who have an continuous feeling of entitlement and can’t hold a job because they now can’t do whatever they want.

  10. The people on this blog who are outraged at this officers opinion are the reason that this society is going down the gurgler! So the kid got yelled at – BIG DEAL!!!! For goodness sake, if the cop didn’t care about kids he could have just arrested him and taken him down to juvenile, where of course he would have been released. Until the next time – for a more severe offense until he would have killed someone, or perhaps have been found dead a few years later in a back alley. He was yelled at!!! Oh perhaps he had his feelings hurt .. Well diddums! And for those who say that the cop didn’t give the kid respect! Oh for goodness sake!!!!!! Why don’t we just skip down the yellow brick road, hold hands, have a big group hug and sing Kumbaya! Kids give respect to Authority figures. Authority figures are to be obeyed or they give consequences, not “respect”.

    This video is a metaphore for what is wrong with the world, and this blog string seems to echo that.

  11. Well, after a good night’s sleep, I decided to watch it again. I’ll admit I saw things somewhat differently the second time around. I did see the policeman calm down at points in between which told me he was somewhat in control. I did not see him as being in any kind of control the first time I saw this and that was a scary thing to me. I also think I saw a kid who was indeed scared but trying to *save face* in front of his friends so continued to be a bit of a wise guy. Also, clearly saying *dude* had become part of his regular vocabulary so he wasn’t even able to stop it even when he was scared out of his mind. Which, of course, is why we parents try to get kids to break bad habits because bad habits do NOT go away once you’re under pressure. Kids think they can turn these types of habits on and off but they cannot.

    Yet, in the final analysis, I think they were both wrong. Period. I think the police officer could have handled this in a far better manner. I think that clearly this kid was not taught how to respect authority … and, forgive me, I’m one of these people that find myself trying to fit my feet into their shoes. He is rudely behaving as he has been taught and allowed to do … whose fault is that? Not the kid’s. Do I hope someone can help this kid to reform? Of course I do. Do I think this shouting antic of the cop will correct this? Nope.

    Maybe having grown up with a person like this cop, I sort of cringe when I hear it. Unlike Other Mary, I did not grow up respecting my parents out of love and respecting the cops out of fear. I grew up just plain fearing them all! I think I grew up respecting some teachers and priests more than any other adults and that probably was what *saved me* pyschologically. But, we don’t need to go there. However, different people’s backgrounds sometimes result in viewing life differently. We’re not in heaven yet so we still must grapple with all this gray area. I’d love for it all to be so black and white but the fact is that we humans just cannot always see in black and white. When it gets most dangerous at times is when we THINK we are seeing in black and white. As soon as that starts happening to me, I know it’s time to humble myself because only God sees so distinctly.

    Peace … Jen.

  12. BEfore someone attacks me on the *black and white* issue, I do need to correct myself … obviously where the Church is teaching something and Scripture is instructing us, this is indeed black and white! This IS coming from God. So, yes, it’s black and white that we are to go to Mass each week, for instance. This is not left up to the masses to decide as they wish. Just wanted to clarify myself there. 🙂

    Have a good day. Jen.

  13. Well now Knight Errant I think that’s a bit over the top, though, I think you are entitled to that opinion. I think the video illustrates a clash between a fatherless generation and the upstream effort to maintain law and order. I also think the people whom you criticize are struggling with the same clash of cultures, and no one comes out unscathed in this business. I wish our problems were simple. I for one do not think they are.

    I tend to presume the best about this law enforcement officer for the following reasons:

    1) Cops put themselves in harms way every day for the sake of the common good. They make judgment calls all the time upon which their safety and ours depend. They can even be stabbed or shot by a kid or even a girl. It happens.

    2) At some point, and I think it was early on, the kid knew exactly what the cop wanted and chose to defy him. Even if it was mostly passive defiance, it was still a challenge. That was a choice. It was a bad choice.

    3) No law enforcement officer can deal with a challenge to his office with primarily a negotiative stance. If he does he is finished. Every kid in town would have known that the cop was a pushover.

    4) I generally do not sympathize with anyone who resists a cop. They may do so at their own risk and perhaps in one instance or another might have a good reason to do so, but generally its a stupid thing to do and its good that such a person learns quickly not to do it. If it had been L.A. where I grew up, when that kid refused to surrender his skateboard, he would have have had to deal with real pain and with handcuffs. In this case, the kid was treated gently.

    5) The cop did the right thing by asking, even from early on, to talk to the kid’s mother. He could have dragged the kid off to juvi, and then let him call her then. Instead he sat the kid down and called his mother. The cameraman, who was another kid presumably, and no friend of the cop, either stopped filming before the cop spoke to the mom, or edited that part out. If we had seen that conversation, who knows what we might think of the cop now.

    The cop was no John Bosco for sure, but I am not so sure that humiliating and punishing him is the right course of action. I remember how much stuff I got away with in school. For all the gruff treatment I might have got for the things I got caught for, that was nothing compared to what I deserved. This kid is not a victim. . . at least not a victim of the cop.

  14. So, Father Angelo,

    For all the awful stuff you claimed to do as a teen, what do you now think WOULD have been the right way to discipline you? What do you think would have turned you around? Could any human have turned you around? Do you feel you were a mischievous teen just because of *you* or do you think that your environment caused this? Would a cop or other adult who got in your face and shouted at you more often have cured you of your wild and woolly ways? I’m not asking this with any sort of sarcasm … I truly have been trying to answer these questions myself and, as a parent, it would be great to understand this a little better so I don’t repeat past injustices and yet not become a total *woos* (sp) as a parent.

    I know this is maybe bringing this simple video to too great of a psychological, touchy-feely discussion for some. But, in the end, that’s what this video is! Things aren’t always so simple to solve but if we never try to bust below the surface, we never solve anything. We only *talk, talk, talk* with no ultimate progress.

    Growing up as a girl, I didn’t have the same struggles as many teen boys may have had. I was far from anyone’s worst nightmare but I far from had a halo over my head, either. I never got in trouble with the police … not because I SHOULDN”T have gotten into trouble, mind you, but I knew how to look sweet and innocent. I learned this well. And, that was one of my points from above. I like your description of the cop … I think it’s very accurate. But, what I see with the boy is someone who has probably been yelled at most of his life. In his case, without a father, he may have even been neglected and felt he was in the way of his mother and never wanted by his father. I wouldn’t doubt that … even if it’s not true, that would be how a child perceived it. Anyway, as for how he dealt with the policeman, it was unacceptable. He clearly wanted to be viewed as *cool* among his buddies even if it meant he had to take some heat … I’m sure he didn’t expect to have his skateboard taken away. But, yet, I also think he acted in a way he had become accustomed to acting which his other buddies did not. What I mean by that is that after you get yelled at for EVERYTHING all the time by most adults and possibly never heard when you did things right, you eventually learn how to TUNE THE NOISE OUT. It’s called self-preservation. That’s what I see when I look at this boy. He is tuning out another screaming adult that doesn’t give a bloody d–n about him … or atleast from his frame of reference. So, had most of us had access to i-pods, we’d have been plugged in, too, if the screaming was a constant occurrence in our lives. Since we didn’t, we learned to ignore. Or, we learned to tell people what they wanted to hear and then go off and do what we wanted. We learned to take things underground. So, all the yelling and humiliating, from what I can gather, never got us to truly become better people. Instead, it got us to become far more creative as to how to out-wit these people. In the end, what we wanted was to feel valued in some way. In the areas we felt valued, we were willing to go the distance. Atleast for me, that’s the case. I felt valued academically and as a musician so I became the BEST at those things that I could possibly become. That was where I got my positive feedback. In all the other things, I was a major disappointment (or so I thought) so I became even more of a disappointment. (When I was a child, I acted as a child.)

    Well, I was just curious as to what it was that turned you around. Was it some adult who, like this police officer, shook some sense into you? Or a series of adults like this? Was it just a major conversion that you had or was it some other loving adult who saw something good in you and could look past the surface of who you were portraying yourself to be to see someone very different?

    -Jen A.

  15. Jenn and All,

    Well first of all, I want to quote the great St. Augustine: “In certain things, unity. In doubtful things, liberty. In all things charity.” This is mostly a disagreement about what good men should do, not what they should believe in this very difficult situation.

    Here is my pathetic story: When I was in high school, I had an ongoing enmity with the parking lot “guard,” who was effectually known by myself and my friends as the “narc.” He was thoroughly evil man–in our eyes–because he did his job, which was to keep the students from loitering in the parking lot during school hours, where generally we went when we were up to no good, which was often.

    I noticed that he seemed to get along fine with that dubious and suck-up part of the student body population who managed to keep mostly out of trouble and were respectful to him. What a bunch of nerds.

    Anyway the narc earned our undying hatred by confronting us and enforcing the rules. We all said that we didn’t like his manners, but what was he to do? Negotiate with us? Look the other way? Not do his job?

    I must admit that the real reason for our not liking him, in retrospect, was that he wouldn’t let us do what we wanted and because he represented “authority” which we were duty bound, by pear pressure, to rebel against. The fact that he was obnoxious was just an excuse for us. And BTW, we did everything in our power to make sure that he had no choice but to be obnoxious. We wouldn’t ever have wanted to be without that excuse, you see.

    The principle at my high school was a priest, a rather stern but fair man, and I respected him, though, not publicly, of course. He caught me bad mouthing the narc once and let me have it. I lost the good priest’s respect that day, and I have regretted it ever since, though at the time, it did not change my behavior.

    That little synopsis is an answer to your question. The narc had his role to play. He had to do his job, and did it though we made it as miserable as possible. What else could he have done, but return the favor? I suppose if he had been as clever as St. John Bosco it might have been different, but I am no worse for it. On the other hand, the good priest had his role too. He was in a position to influence in a way that the narc was not. We really cannot expect all men to be all things to all men. I don’t think that is the meaning of St. Paul.

    I am not saying that the cop in the video could not have been more prudent in his exercise of authority, but I really do not think that kid is a victim, as I say, at least not of the cop. The kid made a choice to disrespect an officer of the law. As I say, I was not even dumb or arrogant enough to do that. His flippancy speaks volumes. I am not saying that he is a bad kid, but he made a bad choice.

    Bad choices have consequences, and very often once we have made the choice, the consequences are out of our control and suddenly we are confronted with things we never bargained for, confronted with things that seem unfair. That’s life. We all better get used to it fast, or our lives will be a mess.

    I think organizations like the ACLU just encourage a whiny and effeminate culture. Such movements are fascist in nature and are leading us toward anarchy. Hopefully that kid will not be visited by some stupid lawyer, but by some father figure who will teach him the meaning of life, and not tell him how abused he is. Once we assume for ourselves a victim status, its over.

  16. Fr. Angelo, I quote you (out of context perhaps, but relevant and illuminating possibly)…though at the time, it did not change my behavior……

    As we grow older, we hopefully grow wiser, and it is the summation of our experiences that help to shape our consciences. As you reflect on this memory it seems that this chapter in your life had some significance – at least to the extent that you can remember it with such vividness. And I dare say that if not a pivotal “black and white” transforming experience, it may it have “changed the hue” by which you viewed the world, even if it were subliminal at first.

    So the Narc and the Principle may have played some small part in forming you to become what you are today, and indeed, although the experience was viewed by the adolescent as negative, perhaps the result was positive, in retrospect.

    So if may be just a touch more bold, I think the world would be a better place if we were all to believe, and act, in more of a black and white fashion. Our Lord said “But let your speech be yea, yea: no, no: and that which is over and above these, is of evil.”

    Jennifer, I know that the world is gray, and that everyone wants things to be nice, but to give in to this mentality is to accept the status quo. We Christians are called to be more than that – to be clear and not nuanced. You sound like a very nice lady, but if you hold to Our Lord and Lady, the world will not like you and you will have to compromise (shades of gray) or stand firm (black and white). This is perhaps stretching the metaphore beyond a cop yelling at a kid, but I think the issue is more broadly relevant.

  17. Some things are black and white (“in certain things, unity”), but somethings are gray (“in doubtful things, liberty”). I don’t believe that acting as though men can disagree in good faith and still remain comrades is not “standing firm” (“in all things, charity”). On the contrary, to stand firm, we need to know the difference between the certain things and those which may be debated in good faith.

    So if may be just a touch more bold, I think the world would be a better place if we were all to believe, and act, in more of a black and white fashion. Our Lord said “But let your speech be yea, yea: no, no: and that which is over and above these, is of evil.”

    I would believe that, if we are referring to the general spirit of relativism which denies natural law and the possibility of objective revelation. Yes, in that case we need to be more black and white. However, I do not believe that we need to be more black and white in respect to things that may be legitimately debated.

    It is a myth concerning the middle ages that it was completely monolithic. The age of faith was truly liberal, in the sense in which the liberal arts became what they are.

    Truth is objective and realism as opposed to relativism and skepticism is the only sane philosophy, but most of us most of the time are fallible. Furthermore, as Tolkien said, we are “made in the image of a maker.” Solutions to the problems which plague are culture and overshadow our future will need quite a bit of imagination to solve.

    The Church is quite large when you think of it. There is plenty of room to move around.

    That is yes, yes BTW to the liberty of the children of God.

    I know some may say, no no, Father Angelo is now a liberal. That is precisely what I am not. I have been clear. And the point I am trying to make is so important for rebuilding of the Church that I will just have to keep pounding it home.

  18. Police Officer Right, Kid wrong. All that the skater dude is a coddled waste of a boy. We live in a society where we have to be “tolerant” of peoples “feelings”. We are afraid to stand up and (as Knight Errand points out) let our yeas be yeas and our no’s be no’s. First and foremost the skater punk (not all skater’s are punks, and not all punk’s are skaters) we illegally skating on public property which banned skating. If we are going to turn a blind eye to that then there is no argument that the cop was out of line, the kid has his rights violated, and from now on police officers must call in and check with their liberalistic feminazi bosses before engaging and individual who is breaking the law. Not to through fuel on an already hot fire, (notice my name) but how many of you bloggers are fathers? If you’re not a father, and are indeed a mother, well then you can’t “judge” this matter because your using your God given motherly emotions , not that it is a bad thing moms are great they are the hearth bearers of the home. Please ask your husband what he thinks about this police officer. I don’t know but I think all this kid needs is a swift kick in the keester perhaps a slap upside the head from his (absent) dad and he wouldn’t be dressed like that, hanging out doing illegal activities.

  19. Good evening.

    Father Angelo, I had to laugh at your story, if you don’t mind. We had a ‘narc’ when I grew up, too. Now, mind you, I wasn’t into hanging out in parking lots and giving a narc a hard time … but I thought it was a very local name that someone came up with. Who’d have thought that people in CA had the same wacky terminology? Hmmm .. unless it was the same man???

    However, the more I think on this, the more I realize that sometimes men and women view these things very differently. Many boys probably have stories such as yours, Father Angelo. Hanging out and causing mischief for the sake of mischief and I guess cops and narcs have to deal with this and maybe some boys just don’t respond to anything but someone getting in their face about it. Girls didn’t tend to be into mischief in that same way … atleast not that I recall. Today may be a different story. So, as grown men, you maybe can look back and realize that you just needed someone to tell you to CUT IT OUT. Although some don’t like to see the differences in genders, I defintely feel this is one of those differences. Also, I liked your explanation that once we cross the line and make bad choices, many times the consequence is out of our control. That’s true and I guess I wasn’t looking at it that way. I was reacting emotionally due to my own frame of reference.

    Knight Errant, we probably agree more than we disagree but we’re wording it differently. I definitely believe Our Lord to be black and white. And, about 20 yrs ago when I had a conversion, I would have adamantly stated that the world is black and white and that it’s our duty to hold to that. However, the older I get, the more I seem to understand this gray matter. Now mind you, I totally understand what you’re saying about walking on that narrow path. And, you’re absolutely right, the world doesn’t like you … or thinks you’ve lost your last marble somewhere. I’m groping for words here, so please be patient, but I think as you make that definite decision to follow Christ, you begin to aim towards that black and white. You begin to search for that truth in every decision and action. However, due to our humanity, I’m not sure we ever quite get to the black and white we strive to see. We are all coming from very different experiences and those experiences have helped to shape us to be who we are. Those *memories* of the stupid things we did as kids have somehow shaped us to be who we are. We’ve accepted some of our past as being positive and some as being negative. And, God miraculously turns those unbelievably stupid things we did to work towards His glory. Mostly, I think, each one of our stupid things gives us more of that charity that St. Augustine mentioned. That’s where the grey comes in, if you will. I cannot expect someone, for instance, who grew up in a ghetto where he/she was fighting for their lives, surrounded by squalor, drugs, prostitution, etc to view the world in the same way as someone who grew up in a fairly affluent area attending safe, private schools, etc. Even if they BOTH become good, solid Christians, they will NEVER see the world in the same way, I don’t believe. They can both strive for the same black and white, but their shades will be very different for many areas. As I said before, I’m not speaking about those areas that the Church and/or Scripture has clearly upheld. I’m speaking of things like this cop story and so many other stories like this.

    As for St. Paul and being all things to all people, I think that’s how God miraculously uses us to His benefit. If we cannot in any way relate to other people and their struggles, then they will not likely relate to us as we try and preach the Gospel that we’re told to preach. I have now found it more and more beneficial to admit my crazy and stupid stunts of my past instead of hiding them … because THESE are what pique people’s interest and get them to listen about why you’ve made the changes you’ve made.

    I personally find it mind-blowing from a Faith perspective to hear about some of these holy men and women who dedicate their lives as religious when I hear about where some of them have come from. It gives me hope … hope that some of our youth who seem so empty, spoiled and obnoxious (like the skateboard kid) can actually reform their lives and be an awesome priest one day!

    God bless you all,
    Jen

  20. I intend to avoid getting into a debate, and will simply state my humble opinion. The kid was in the wrong for being disrespectful, and the officer was pretty much right. But if I were in his shoes, I would have been a bit more lenient, since, after all, the kid doesn’t know any better, and I would give him a slight chance…

  21. Hello,

    I just watched the movie made a couple of years ago about the life of our beloved late Pope JPII. I think his humble yet bold statements speak volumes on this discussion here. He was a man that held to the black and white … yet clearly saw all the grey and eloquently empathized with so much of it. That’s love. That’s Christ. That should be our Church at all times, were we to be infallible, which we’re not. I think were Christ to have looked at that troubled, fatherless skateboard boy … He would have picked him up and hugged him. Although Mary Magdalene clearly was sinning, it wasn’t the righteous *law of the land* that was ready to stone her at that time that saved her. It was Christ’s ability to love her when no one else did … to pity her when no one else did … and to forgive her when no one else would … that’s what saved her! We are called to no less. I think if Christ were to look at that struggling officer who was at a loss for what to do to gain control of this situation, He might have stood along side him and encouraged him to take a deep breath.

    This is not liberalism. This is not moral relativism. This is not social-agenda tolerance. This is that paradox of our faith that Father Angelo has mentioned on some of his homilies.

    Now don’t get me wrong … I’m not saying that we don’t sadly need prisons and tough cops on the street. I’m just saying that when you look at some of these kids who grow up with so much emptiness … it should draw us to pity, not anger. Maybe this is that motherly instinct of mine … but I have already begun praying for this boy … that someone, somewhere is drawn to truly love him unconditionally … and that some father-figure takes him under his wing to give him some man-to-man guidance before it’s too late. Ahh … maybe it could be that cop! Wouldn’t that be an awesome paradox. One can only dream.
    Blessings to you all… the movie went late….very late. Oy. It’s after 1:00am. I’m going to regret this tomorrow for sure.
    Jen

  22. Watched the new video and the man does indeed seem to have a very short temper and very little patience. I can’t help thinking that it certainly doesn’t help his ego to have him dressed like something off of the program CHIPS…or maybe just give him a real gas-guzzling cruiser to drive around in to help assert his masculinity so that he doesn’t have to yell and manhandle everyone! J/K!!

  23. Look how fast we condemn a child for complaning and excercising his legal God given freedom of speech , and hand him over to the (Roman) authorities. If the boy knew he was talking to a crazy man he would have excercised better discretion. We must be respectful because in part there are violent nutcases out their , and we should not want to tempt them. Why defend the cop who because of pride bullies and berrates someone who had not even broken the law . Remember this came about because the sin of the cop in not wanting to walk away when the job was done. The cop fell into the trap, and as did you , lowered himself far below that of the child. Far below.
    Would you people also condone child abuse from your spouses. Of course you would. How about abuse from your spouse , like back in the day when it was legal to abuse your wife.

    Do you really think that if you could nearly eliminate crime and asked for the states help , mainly the police, they would support you. Clearly those who know the police and the politicians would answer that they would not , some even from experience.
    Just because you wear a badge does not mean you represent justice. It just means you have the power if virtuously excercised to win the war on crime , decisively , which we are clearly not seeing.

    Problem one , the communities , problem two the police , and lastly – the criminals.
    Ask yourselves how would a violent gangmember handle that same situataion if a neighborhood kid was skateboarding or roller skating on their sidewalk. The same way? He would. How would you?
    What if you saw him doing this. Would you intervene , as you rightfully should and take on the authority. Or would you side with the troublemaker , who is the man and tell the other party well you looked at him the wrong way? Or you brought it on yourself by complaining?
    I would surely hope not.

    . Most criminals will complain that the police arte less trustworthy than there own kind. And that the police exploit them , in a heinous way.
    But you people seem to take the side of Rome , seeeing the need for them to “protect” you.
    Little do you know that the protector always uses his power to exploit . Beware of traitors and those who blindly support them, not able to see through them.

    100 kids like that would be a minor problem , but 50 cops like that could destroy a comunity like we saw in the 60’s and 70’s in L.A..
    If you knew about Frank Serpico played by Al Pacino or former young black leader Fred Hampton you would see the real abuses are at the state and law enforcement level since they have the most power to publically serve . But ultimately in is our fault , especially those Roman Catholic who refuse because of their weak dispostion to be Saints as God calls us all to be, and continually allow themselves to be decieved by the world and ultimately, the demonic.

    And your ability to harrass or question a parking lot employee should not hinder your judgement that a person has a right to demand an explanation from a cop , and he must give it to them. If he is evil he will see it as a threat and will not, compensating by use of violence.

    This is disrespectful , but its from St Stephen.
    You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always oppose the holy Spirit; you are just like your ancestors.
    Which of the prophets did your ancestors not persecute? They put to death those who foretold the coming of the righteous one, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become.
    You received the law as transmitted by angels, but you did not observe it.”
    When they heard this, they were infuriated, and they ground their teeth at him.

    Compared to dude whats your problem . If these kids were gangbangers the cop would have been shot over an illegal search and trying to rough them up , or the innocent friend of the boy would have been shot by the cop or charged with some outrageous crime since they were both together.

  24. I think it is great to have examples to strive for like JP11 gave us. Although it is different in the abstract than in the practical. I would bet lots that if this cop went up and hugged the kid after he mouthed off at him that the response would have been something like “dude – you gay or somethin” – a worsening of the disrespect. And then the lawyers would arrest him for inappropriate contact with a minor or something like that!

    I’m sorry, but these situations call for considerable prudence, and although the cop went overboard, the nature of the response seemed correct.

    And we can’t say that Our Lord always used soft word’s and actions. After all he rebuked Peter with some of the strongest words possible for God to use “Get behind me Satan”! And he overturned tables and chased the money changers out of the temple with a whip! Remember he is God and if he aimed with a whip at a soft piece of backside he would not miss!

    All of this reinforces Father Angelo’s statement that good people can differ on issues that are not clearly black and white. Jennifer gives a wonderful example of charity and empathy, whereas I as a father immediately think that the kid needs even more of a boot up the backside. We can both learn from this and find a place somewhere in the middle, where the true answer probably lies.

  25. For a policeman he has poor observational powers. The videographer would have pretty obvious to me I hope. If the boy had been alone he wouldn’t have been so bold I think. When kids collect in packs they tend to have a certain bravado. The cop, seeing this, probably overcompensated. I suspect if the cop was/is being disciplined it’s because he threw the boy down and was generally abusive of his authority. The court of public opinion doesn’t look kindly on these kinds of videos. I had to laugh though when the cop told the boy that maybe his parents needed to discipline him more. I thought how society simply frowns on such discipline and I wondered if that same cop would be in the face of a parent who’d been accused of being heavy handed with that boy.

  26. And should I not be concerned over Nineveh, the great city, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot distinguish their right hand from their left, not to mention the many cattle?”

    This cop and many more keep pulling this trash on tape with the support of the public , and like Pope Bendict as a youth , joining the Nazis will not be far off for all of us.

    You never put your hands on anyone or threaten their well being because they give you some lip. If this is tolerated for the state , I see why the highest court in the land has given us the right to kill our children through abortion.

    Pay a man to protect you from an enemy , and sooner of later you will wish it was just you and the enemy.
    The myth of a clean police force.
    Do not ask the police to do what we should be doing. This cop is a Hiliary voter. I say that because no straight man would ever handle this that way. Or perhaps John Mccain, he’s a loose cannon.
    And once again the kid listened to the cop , followed his orders and stopped skateboarding and was leaving.
    The issue was can someone argue with a cop , or better voice thier opinion. Answer , not with a nutcase.
    When the cop talks to the mother , excuse me miss , I beat your child up because he called me dude. Yes Im a grown 200 lb man with a gun. I only threw him down on the ground.

  27. Well, we’ve clearly gone around in circles with all of this but I do think it helps to see the other side … the different shades of grey. I guess were I to watch a video of this kid, say, raping a girl or putting a gun to someone’s head … then I would expect the cop to be all over him … throwing him to the ground … shouting … I would NOT expect a hug to go to this kid!! If I could imagine Christ in one of THESE two scenes, I think I would have seen His anger and lots of muscle, too! But, this was the case of a wise-guy. And, like I said before and like Extra Frate said, this boy probably gave him the flack he did because he was trying to ‘save face’. That’s what many kids do … it’s not smart, it’s not polite, it’s immature! That’s what a kid is … immature! Like Extra Frate said, if this kid had been alone, he would not have given the cop any flack … I feel quite certain about that.

    Now, like Knight Errant said, and I had to laugh, were this cop to have reached over and hugged him, that would NOT have been the correct thing to do. And, I meant it more figuratively than anything. But, the cop could have gone over to the boys and with a smile on his face said, “I need you to take the plugs out for a sec … you kids KNOW you’re not supposed to skateboard here. I’ve told you before. I’m sorry you made the bad choices you did which left me with no choice. I now need those boards and you will need to come to the station later with a parent to discuss how you will get them back.” I don’t know, something like this. This tells the kids that this cop really does LIKE them and CARE about them (which they deeply lack) but need to uphold the law. Now granted, it’s easy for me to come up with kind words after the fact. It’s many times very hard to do that in the heat of the moment. Which is why we must also be forgiving of the cop, no? However, when you can look at these kids and truly feel pity and love, versus disgust and anger, it really does make a difference in how you react to them. That’s the real issue … some people look at these kids as thugs … others look at them as kids who need help. (I would look at the rapist or shooter as a thug … I look at this boy as a lost-soul who’s trying to save face. I could be wrong .. he could be a thug or on his way to thug-hood … we have only a few seconds of a snippet of his world.)

    Coming to this mutual understanding is something I think we don’t really do enough. We’re all so wrapped up with our lives that we no longer discuss these moral dilemmas and this makes us consumed with only one view … OUR own personal view. Sometimes we can learn barrells full by taking the time (and that’s what it is … taking the time) to really LISTEN to how others perceive the same situation. (And listen kindly, mind you, because otherwise others go on the defense which is rarely good.) Truly we cannot learn to be compassionate, yet fair, if we don’t open ourselves up to learn. That takes humility and patience … ahhh … another paradox, I’m afraid!!

    I think we’ve all learned to view this type of situation a little differently since we all took the time to listen and learn. Our Lord and Our Lady are pleased, I believe. 🙂

    Enjoy the weekend. Spring fever is definitely hitting me and this is never good in New England when it’s only January … Mr. Frost is surely ready to hit us again before Easter.
    Peace in Christ,
    Jen A.

  28. rocket4afly and damian,

    Both of you seem to have had a very negative experience of the police. I am glad we have here an opportunity for a review of police behavior; however, your generalizations of civil servants who place place their lives on the line to protect us, is one sided, to put it mildly.

    Would you people also condone child abuse from your spouses. Of course you would. How about abuse from your spouse , like back in the day when it was legal to abuse your wife.

    Huh? Are you kidding?

    And Damian, your point with respect to the Pope Benedict comment was what?

    Extra Frate, Jenn, Knight Errant and All,

    I will concede to those who argue the cop was out of line with his anger and with his physically engaging the boy; however–and this I think, is most important–my concern would be mainly to ensure that cops do not get out of hand or accustom themselves with the idea that they can do whatever they want.

    I still maintain that the kid is in no way a victim. He is not scarred and he will not have long term or short term issues to be worked out in counseling, at least, as I have said before, not because of the cop.

    My greatest fear for that kid right now, is that he will be coddled into thinking that he was so abused and that he really does not have an attitude problem at all. Cops are not in the business of coddling, even if this cop went to the other extreme.

    The school of hard knocks is a great school. The kid acted stupidly and suddenly discovered that the situation was out of control. Good. He should be all the better for it. Hopefully he will have some relative, pastor or teacher to affirm what deserves to be affirmed and to encourage him to wizen up. That’s not the business of the cop.

    I think all of us at some point need to learn not to expect everyone to be a source of affirmation. If we look upon every rejection or raw deal as granting us victim status, we will have a hard time growing up.

  29. Father Angelo, rocket4afly and damian,

    I agree Father Angelo here. There are MANY police officers who join the forces truly to be of service to others. They aren’t in it for the almighty dollar, that’s for sure, and they aren’t in it for some ego problem. They’re in it to do good so we must be careful about pooling all people into one stereotyped category. This goes for doctors (whom some think are all in bed with the pharmaceutical industries), teachers (whom some think all have some evil liberal agenda to brainwash kids), homeschooling parents (whom some think are nutcases and won’t train their kids socially) and parents who send their kids off to school (whom some believe are feeding their kids to the wolves), etc etc. We need to be very careful about making blanket statements about people … it’s rarely accurate and it surely doesn’t portray us as being very charitable Christians.

    At this point, since our media has broadcasted this story across the Country, I must agree with Father Angelo. It’s now been exploited and probably no good will come of it, sadly enough.

    If you want to just look at the boy and his situation … I see the pity/charity/love thing. If you want to look at the cop … I see a guy trying to do his job but having a definite anger issue and possible ego problem who, imho, handled this situation all wrong. If you want to look at the OUTCOME of all of this, I see no good coming out of any of it now. I see a boy that, as Father said, can easily claim victim status and have fuel to become even MORE of a wiseguy instead of less of one. I also see police officers who aren’t sure where the line in the sand is as to how they can maintain any kind of discipline; afraid that their every mistake could come back to bite them down the road.

    As Father said, the school of hard knocks isn’t always a bad thing and, indeed, good or bad, it’s a reality. The sooner we come to terms with this, the better adjusted we can become as adults. Life is not always fair. This does not mean that we can say that the cop was RIGHT, mind you. But, as my mother told me when I went off to college and had some *winner* roommates, not everyone plays by the same rules!! Get used to it. And as many of us learned in school, not every teacher is nurturing or explains things as you feel they should. You must learn to get through the class and succeed in spite of them! This sometimes teaches you more about life survival than the actual, say, algebra lesson did.

    So if we look at this video in that light, there probably won’t be much of a positive ending. The nicer ending might have been if the video got privately sent to the police station where the cop was privately talked to or reprimanded. No one would have been exploited then. Meanwhile, the kid would have had to come to terms with the situation that some people are indeed really mean and unfair and totally inappropriate. So, be on guard and choose your battles wisely.

    Another case of where the media has probably made a huge mess of things.

  30. It doesn’t appear that this person (the ‘cop’) is acting out of love at all. He seems to have a ‘lash-out’ mentality from the first moment. I don’t think any kind of kid’s apology would have kept him from his behavior. Now, perhaps there was some ‘history’ between these groups that has gone before – don’t know. It is concerning that he is so easily raised to such anger in this situation. Every person responds to different types of ‘correction’, but I am guessing that this display of authority will do nothing to better these kids – which is the whole point.
    Before you think me a wilting flower on discipline – that’s not the case. There is a time for quiet strength, and a time for freak-out – I think he jumped a little too soon into freak-out mode.
    imho
    Scott

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