The city of St Louis has an insanely high sales tax. They also have a 1% earnings tax. And they wonder why businesses are moving out of the city and into the surrounding suburbs − including to the east-side in Illinois which has its own idiotic high cost-of-government impositions.
On the first Tuesday of November past, city residents lined up by the dozen to vote on Proposition P − for “Police” − a half-cent increase in the St Louis city sales tax. Its purpose would be to provide a pay raise to police and firefighters. … read: “police”. St Louis hopes paying its cops more would mean being able to retain quality cops instead of having them move to the County and getting hired as St Louis County cops or municipal officers.
Prop P passed with 60% of the miniscule vote. St Louis city sales tax is now at a mind-numbing and commerce-killing rate of over 10%. The Mayor estimates that the city will see this money start to fill their coffers by next June at the earliest. I remain skeptical that any new money will be collected at all. Instead, I predict that total revenues from sales taxes will remain virtually unchanged, inspiring the city Board to use the Prop P portion for “other” outlays. If used for its mandated purpose, I remain even more skeptical that it will work toward the stated purpose.
On the other hand, if the St Louis Board of Aldermen handle its windfall the same way some county municipalities handled their similar cop-financing sales tax millage last year, government officials in St Louis are going to be getting brand new cushy office furniture, but cops aren’t going to get a pay raise.
But let’s assume that St Louis politicians actually do what they are legally obligated to do with this revenue. Among the cops who’d get an advertised $6,000 pay raise will be this dickweed and the two backups who covered his ass. It is worth noting that the original dickweed is a detective in the special unit formed after the Ferguson Fiasco of three years ago whose purpose is to investigate claims of excessive force used by police officers.
If that ain’t the coyote overseeing the foxes who patrol the henhouse, I don’t know what is.
Also in line to get a $6,000 pay raise would be the myriad cops who ducked and covered for Officer Jason Stockley. His bench trial for first-degree murder in the death of Anthony Lamar Smith resulted in still-continuing panty-wetting protests all over the St Louis metro region after the not guilty verdict was rendered last August.
In all fairness to Stockley and the cops, Smith was a heroin dealer likely responsible for the deaths of dozens of St Louis city youth, either from drugs or bullet holes. He was in the act being arrested for same when he decided to flee. While fleeing, he attempted to murder Stockley with his car, and he plowed into one or more police cars. Smith then embarked on a brief chase through the decrepit north St Louis side streets at a pedestrian-friendly 87 miles an hour.
Upon Smith crashing his vehicle, Stockley approached and claimed Smith was “reaching for a gun”. Stockley thereupon plugged Smith 5 times when once − at extreme close range − would probably have sufficed.
In all fairness to the idiot protesters who uniformly laud Smith, the heroin dealer, as an “innocent” murder “victim”, Stockley was, in violation of law, toting his private arsenal on duty. It was this private arsenal which Officer Stockley dropped when Smith ran into him at the start of the car chase. Stockley promised to kill the guy for it. That promise was recorded by dash cam. Not recorded on dash cam was the gun in Smith’s vehicle that Stockley claimed was being reached for, and which only had Stockley’s fingerprints on it.
Stockley, I should note, would not get a similar pay raise. Soon after this incident he moved to Houston, returning only briefly for his murder trial.
For what it’s worth, the not guilty verdict was predicated on the prosecution being unable to prove that there was not a gun in the front seat of Smith’s vehicle, and that Stockley or a cohort planted it there. Rather than attempting to prove manslaughter, which would likely have been a slam-dunk − why shoot five times when once would have incapacitated Smith? − the prosecutor caved into the sentimentalist outrage of the community which sees every police shooting as deliberate, racist murder. That argument is virtually unwinnable, jury or no, without even considering the fact that blacks kill their own by a 500:1 ratio.
In any event, that’s St Louis. St Louis is, like many medium- and large-city systems owning a generation-long liberal democrat political pedigree, a septic tank of mutant alligators fighting over the floating turds. He who lands on the biggest turd wins. At the moment, St Louis’s biggest turd is occupied − due in no small part to Shyster General Holder’s Justice Department “recommendations” following the Ferguson Fiasco − by drug dealers like Smith fighting their turf wars. And more power to them.
I live in the affluent [for now] Illinois-side bedroom community ring surrounding St Louis, where the cops are paid well. Very well, actually. Yet our cops act just like any others ever captured on viral iPhone footage. It is this behavioral similitude between cops in the “problem environment” of St Louis and those in the drowsy environs of its affluent suburbs which leads me to believe that giving St Louis cops a $6,000 raise will only make them better-paid assholes.
Cops tend to act the same as cops everywhere − coppelganging, as it were − imperious, authoritarian, self-righteous. I have the sad opportunity to see and interact with cops in a social setting at least once a week, and typically more often than that. Every single cop I encounter, from any jurisdiction, despite it being thoroughly non-cop-duty related, is unfriendly at best. Small talk is beyond them and smiling is apparently a disciplinary infraction. On those rare occasions when they deign to say anything at all to a mere citizen, they spit “sir” and “ma’am” as if having such venomous words lingering on their tongues causes physical pain.
Most are suspicious to the point of psychotic paranoia and look at everyone, from small children to feeble oldsters, as if they are felons for whom there isn’t yet enough evidence to justify slamming them to the ground and tasing them. Same as they act in a traffic stop, by the way.
And this police-statism is accomplished in a community populated by relatively wealthy [mostly] white people, and the relatively wealthy young adults from around the state attending university. Cops’ actual behavior flies in the face of both the antithetical outlooks we’re told by competing propagandist media sources we must hold.
The first is the “cops are racist murderers” victimology. Yet the only material difference between how cops behave within my mostly white population versus how they behave in the mostly black population twenty miles away is the rate of criminal activity within the community. Viral video evidence unmistakably depicts cops behaving virtually identically in both places − like irredeemable dicks.
The second is the chin-quivering Thin Blue Line fairy tale. Cops are all that supposedly separates us from zombie apocalypse … or something. Yet all too often they are the zombie apocalypse, trying to manufacture arrestable offenses out of nothing. Far too frequently, these confrontations end tragically, and I point at Eric Garner and Sandra Bland just for grins. Their crimes were, respectively, attempting to make a buck by undercutting Bloomberg’s obscene cigarette taxes, and moving out of the way of a speeding cop who was not driving to an actual emergency.
Pathetically, these incidents are not as isolated as the Thin Blue Liners would have everyone believe. Nor are they predominantly − let alone confined − to the black community, as our dishonest press continually preaches. I could just as easily bring up John Wrana, but no one knows who he is; the media doesn’t dwell on white people killed by cops. Police-state barbarism, in the name of public safety, is a nationwide phenomenon.
But police, in a free society, cannot provide safety without destroying the freedom in the free society. A free society is built on the premise of leaving people alone right up to the moment after they commit actual crimes − not pseudo-crimes, like being stupid and irresponsible, nor criminal precursors, like being anti-social and a pain in everyone’s ass.
Until actual crimes are committed, the cops are there only to make sure nothing gets out of hand. Unless and until it does, they are permitted only to join the crowd watching the fracas. And please pass the popcorn. They are specifically not permitted to drive things out of hand themselves.
Yet that deliberate escalation of conflict is pretty much exactly what cops do the nation over, as anyone can attest who’s ever been stopped for “43 in a 25” while poking along at 18 miles an hour behind an overloaded livestock trailer through a small town on the last day of the month. Or the Trekkie geeks with out of town plates stopped for taillight infractions. Or the guy going back to work from lunch behind an unmarked cop car who thinks green means “awww, look at the pretty color”. Or any of a million other encounters too numerous to mention, a large number of which are on YouTube.
Yet cops, and their legion of sycophants, have the temerity to whimper about the lack of respect shown them − and other authority figures − by the general public. Boo hoo. Try earning it.
Respect of authority − in a free country − is earned by the authority figure remembering that they are authorized to hold authority over free citizens in a free country, not over subjects in a police state. If that means the job of being the authority figure is made more difficult, so be it. If that means the job of being the authority figure is made more dangerous, so be that as well. That’s the price of a free country: freedom requires concessions from the government to the people.
It wouldn’t hurt to also learn to engage in pleasant conversation with strangers about nothing much, and knock off the paranoia. Citizens are not simply future notches on a cop’s professional belt.