You See a Gun, I See a Lever

California Highway Patrol thug pointing rifle at innocent man.
California Highway Patrol thug pointing rifle at innocent man. (AP Photo/The Sacramento Bee, Randall Benton, via KTVU)

It sure looks to me like that cop is pointing a rifle at the guy in the Mustang. Which he shouldn’t be doing.

I thought he was doing it because he’s scared, but the more I think about it, the more it seems it’s all for show: an aggravated assault to impress the motorist or the photographer. The cop has no reason to think the driver might have evil intent.

Why do I say that?

The cop would never get that close to the driver with his rifle if he though the guy in the Mustang might have evil intent, because action beats reaction. Before the cop could get his finger on the trigger, a guy with evil intent could certainly deflect the muzzle of the rifle away from himself. He could probably grab the barrel and pull it into the car (with the cop attached, it appears, by the sling around his neck). He might even be able to get the the muzzle pointed at the belly of the Pillsbury Doughcop on the other side, all before the cop could pull the trigger.

It’s too bad the press doesn’t publish the names of cops behaving badly because what we have here is the wrong tool for the job, using the wrong tool for the job.

(H/T Mike Stuart.)

7 responses to “You See a Gun, I See a Lever”

  1. I saw some speculation on twitter that the perspective might be off, and the cop was really further away, or not pointing the rifle where he seems to be pointing the rifle.

    Looking at this carefully, I see several clues that the cop IS standing right up against the driver side door. Look at the reflection of his trouser stripes on the door; that makes it clear that he really is as close as he looks.

    There is no excuse for this other than raw intimidation.

    No wonder so many people consider police the enemy.

  2. Let’s examine the other cop in the photo, the one dressed in black, in full battle-rattle, and looks as though he’s completely clueless. As an astute judge of intelligence, character, and military worthiness simply based upon appearance, I can plainly see they chose a true winner when they hung a badge on this raw recruit. Wholly void of original thought, he was ripe for indoctrination in the Us vs Them radicalization so prevalent within law enforcement these days. Likely ex-military (or Walmart greeter perhaps ), human resources knew when they offered him the job he would never refuse an order. While difficult to say with any degree of certainty at this angle and with that helmet covering the head, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say this is Lieutenant John Pike’s mother…

  3. I have asserted on the twitters that the rifle is not actually pointed at the guy in the car. Let me be clear: that is an amusing distraction.
    Ultimately, some idiot brought an inappropriate weapon to a roadblock, then posed with it instead of holding it ready. That, in turn is just icing on the proper-role-of-police cake, which suggests that roadblocking an entire city is freaking always inappropriate.

  4. Not visible in the picture is the real reason for the stop and what the first cop is actually aiming at: Mike Stuart, taking a nap in the back seat with his G3 lovingly cradled in his arms.

  5. Anybody think that this might be a staged photograph for PR or other similar type purposes so that people will think that law enforcement is ready and on the job? I can’t believe that any normal citizen would be so calm looking with a rifle shoved in their face.

  6. The officer in the photo is not aiming his weapon at the driver. Even the photographer who took this picture has acknowledged this. See the link below for a detailed description of what is actually occurring in this photo:

    • The photographer may well be correct (though “looking through a long camera lens” presents perspective issues as well), but your “analysis,” as presented—lines and circles drawn on a photograph—is unconvincing.

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