Tuesday August 21, 2007

So, Rick has been following the case of Miami Police Chief John Timoney and the Lexus SUV he’s had on “loan” from a local car dealership for over a year (without pay), including the pathetic excuses his department came up with when CBS4 called them on it. Well, John, the shit has hit the fan: your boss just told you to give back the car, and called for an ethics investigation. (BTW, in no way does this confirm, I’m sure, my long-standing assertion that all cops are assholes.) Update: He paid for the car. Two contrasting opinions in the Herald today: Ana Menendez is critical of the chief, drawing the comparison to the FTAA protests (see the link to the video in the comments), while the official editorial seems to hold that everything is fine now. Update (8/23): A vote of no-confidence by the police union is scheduled for September 4th. I hope this ends up sinking this asshole.

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  1. Kim Reyka    Tue Aug 21, 09:43 PM #  

    I don’t know who you are, but I resent you calling my husband an asshole. He died protecting everyone, including people like you too ignorant to appreciate the work he was doing.

    You did not even know him.



  2. b.a.c.    Tue Aug 21, 10:05 PM #  

    Timoney is a POS. In fact I agree with your assertion that all cops are assholes. This guy stands in front of the local news camera’s and preaches his bullshit about the law, morality blah blah blah and he is as corrupt and the people his boys in blue arrest. I hope he gets sent back to NY where he can be with his criminal son.



  3. Jaded    Wed Aug 22, 12:01 AM #  

    Yes, I believe the Miami Beach police department took a turn for the worse after this potato farmer took power down here. I can tell you countless stories of encounters Miami Beach residents have had with these piggies. Its as if he brought down with him everything bad about New York- class resentment, racism, sexism, rudeness, Sopranos style behaviour and attitudes etc. As far as “them” protecting “us,” I’ve rarely seen it. I had a stranger trying to break into my apt at 1 AM once and the bastards showed up 15 mins after I called 911. Here in South Beach anything is less than 3 minutes away by car. Of course the guy left and they left w/o doing anything about it. Who cares right? Ah but arrest non-criminals, especially if they look to be of a better standing in society than them, of course!!! Oh what about the FTAA protest debacle 3 years ago? Those dorky kids werent harming anyone but of course Timoney had to give the media something to make himself look like a macho bastard and give the shock force something to do (I swear I was in a bus and saw like 70 protesters, all nerdy looking kids, and like 300 shock force officers laying about with nothing to do. This was around 12 PM.) Yes sorry for those who still uphold an ideal standard when deciding to join the force but most cops ARE assholes, anywhere in the US of A. Doubt it? please watch this video of a wild boar of a cop killing an innocent family man in Puerto Rico:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRj7MlzRrAo

    BTW, police ineptitude in PR is legendary, but with Timoney its getting closer and closer to this everyday.



  4. alesh    Wed Aug 22, 08:13 AM #  

    Kim~

    I’m sure you’ve heard of exaggerating for the sake of effect? No?

    By the way, check out this video of the cops in Broward laughing about shooting a woman who was protesting peacefully with rubber bullets.

    Where are the “good cops” standing up and telling their pals that it’s wrong to do that? I don’t see them in the video.



  5. b.a.c.    Wed Aug 22, 10:37 AM #  

    JESUS I never saw that video online…..Funny thing is I was standing right next to that woman during the protests and I can remember her getting nailed with rubber bullets and tear gas paint balls. It was a pretty awful sight…Then I got shot with a rubber bullet and sh$t hit the fan…..Miami Police is the pits and that video displays their lack of professionalism and willingness to do wrong to the community.



  6. Jonathan    Wed Aug 22, 12:30 PM #  

    “Exaggerating for the sake of effect”? The nerve of some people, quibbling with your reckless generalization. Your response to Mrs. Reyka was heartless. Maybe all people who run popular artsy weblogs are assholes.



  7. alesh    Wed Aug 22, 01:26 PM #  

    Jonathan~

    Break me a give. Do you really think that’s really her? Of course not. More to the point, does anyone actually take offense if they get insulted as a member of a group that way?

    “All cyclists are assholes.”

    Does that offend you even in the slightest sense? I’ve made that statement before, so what’s different now?

    (Yes, it’s a generalization. Yes, I realize there are exceptions. But it would only be “reckless” if there was a conceivable negative outcome of my statement. There isn’t.)



  8. noneemoose    Wed Aug 22, 01:42 PM #  

    wow, the bicycle cops are taking it in the neck today. sad.



  9. Chief Timoney    Wed Aug 22, 01:56 PM #  

    How about “All people who drive BMW’s are pretentious and pompous pinheads?”



  10. noneemoose    Wed Aug 22, 02:02 PM #  

    Alliteration is also against the ethics code. Unless, of course, you’re willing to buy that line.



  11. Chief Timoney    Wed Aug 22, 03:23 PM #  

    [shrugs]

    What’s your point?



  12. Alex    Wed Aug 22, 04:16 PM #  

    Only if the BMW in question has 6 cylinders or more, and was made during the Bush presidency.



  13. alesh    Wed Aug 22, 07:42 PM #  

    Alex~ Don’t dis the 318 like that. I’m a menace with that thing (even with the automatic transition, as folks doing the MIA2Broward commute have learned since I’ve been driving my mom’s).



  14. Teacher    Wed Aug 22, 07:50 PM #  

    Alesh,

    Here’s a negative outcome for your ignorant comment: losing readers.

    Your stupid comment is a perfect example of sloppy, careless (not to mention offensive) writing.

    Why alienate your readers like that?

    Adios, Critical Miami!

    From the daughter of an MDPD sergeant/reader who used to like your blog.



  15. b.a.c.    Wed Aug 22, 07:58 PM #  

    Oh dear a blogger offended someone. You might as well scratch Miami Nights off too since we take pride in being offensive, cynical and as alienating as possible.



  16. alesh    Wed Aug 22, 09:50 PM #  

    “Teacher”~

    I’ll leave aside the irony of your anonymous pseudonym, and just point out that if I was worried about offending the occasional spouse or husband, this blog would never have gotten off the ground.

    When I’m offensive (correct or not) I gain some readers and loose others. You’re talking about a guy who got (and lost) his dream job because of this blog, so I don’t need any lectures. The point is that when I start to worry about stuff like that it’s to the blog’s detriment.

    Bless you, though, if your comment is an answer to the question I posed at the end of #7 :: if the only negative effect of my statements that you can come up with is that a small group of people stop listening to me, then you’ve made my case better then I ever could have.



  17. Steve    Wed Aug 22, 09:53 PM #  

    I offend also, as a matter of policy, and Alesh and I already had this conversation in person.

    “All cops are assholes” isn’t a particularly insightful generalization, and his timing for making it is just pis-poor.

    I don’t especially like cops either, and they very evidently don’t like me. We each have our reasons for thinking the other are assholes, and we both have our valid points.

    Nevertheless, as I’ve arrogantly pontificated a million times, here, on my own blog, and others,’ any statement that starts with “All” where the next word is a profession, ethnic or religious group, nationality, gender, etc., is certainly bound to be as vapid as it needlessly offensive. We have to be cleverer than that, as well as more sensitive.

    Except, of course, when discussing the French.



  18. Jonathan    Wed Aug 22, 10:25 PM #  

    Alesh,

    I think it may really be Mrs. Reyka. Since you can’t know, why make a point of pushing your wild generalization now? What great principle are you defending that is worth the possibility of hurting a real person?



  19. alesh    Wed Aug 22, 10:29 PM #  

    Steve and I of course generally agree much more often then we disagree, but being the disagreeable folks we are to be being, we focus on our disagreements and try to make something of them. Insofar as this case pertains, there are two points.

    #1: A police was recently shot to death, making this a bad time to point that cops are assholes, despite the fact that a FUCKING POLICE CHIEF just did something blatantly assholey. My response to this is . . . I’m sorry your father/husband/friend just got killed. But it just doesn’t change the status of most of his colleagues.

    #2: The difference between prejudice against a self-selecting group vs. prejudice against a non-self-selecting group. Compare “accountants are good with numbers” and “Asians are good with numbers.” The former is less offensive/more likely to be meaningful because “accountants” is a self-selecting group. (At this point there was an interesting digression into the fact that “Jewish” can describe a religious group or an ethnic group, and on this point I was forced to secede some ground.)

    The fact remains that while “all cops are assholes” remains hyperbole, and not intended for literal consumption, it maintains a stronger relationship to the truth then a statement like “all Czechs are assholes” or “all bald guys are assholes,” on account of the relevant group’s self-selecting nature.



  20. alesh    Wed Aug 22, 10:38 PM #  

    Jonathan~

    My husband was just killed in the line of duty — I must hit the blogs!

    Right. I’d say your naiveté is getting the best of you.

    But if I was genuinely addressing the spouse of someone killed in the line of duty, I would express my genuine sorrow for their loss, and skip the stuff about how most of their loved one’s colleagues were probably assholes.

    Same goes for miners. Nine of them have recently died. Doesn’t change the fact that most miners (a smaller percentage then police, BTW) are assholes, but you feel for the ones that have recently died performing a function necessary to our imperfect society.



  21. Alex    Wed Aug 22, 11:12 PM #  

    A larger question: can you be an asshole and still be an effective cop? Can you do your work well despite being a less than perfect human being? Police by their very nature are called to exercise power, often violent power, onto other people. It’s obvious that some qualities that makes people assholes —disregard for other people’s opinion, antagonism, bully nature, etc— are assets rather than detrimental to police work. That’s why we need rules to control police excesses -because they are apt to commit them. After all, it would not do very well to society to have cops courteously argue the finer points of the law with the criminals they are chasing.

    It’s not a PC view and we would like it wasn’t that way (me included) but it takes a special person to sign up for a job where you will eventually forcefully restrain, mace, taser or shoot another person. It’s a dehumanizing job, hence the absence of protests in the video Alesh refers to. That’s not saying that they don’t do good to society, it’s saying that they may do better the bigger their “assholitude”. This belief does not mean I don’t appreciate when they protect me and my property or that I don’t feel bad when one of them is murdered in the line of duty.



  22. Steve    Wed Aug 22, 11:31 PM #  

    It’s obvious that some qualities that makes people assholes —disregard for other people’s opinion, antagonism, bully nature, etc— are assets rather than detrimental to police work.

    Alex makes a good point here, and if he’s correct, it explains why the biggest assholes in the police department get promoted, some as high as commissioner.

    What a load of shit. Really. A good cop doesn’t need to be an asshole, and shouldn’t be. Honest to god, it’s possible to be authoritative, brave, tough, and respectful all at once, as many cops are. If they aren’t, it’s because attitudes by their top officers and the civilian bodies who are supposed to govern them have let this happen, usually out of cowardice and lickspittle political fear. Want proof — look at that pants-pissing editorial in today’s Hurled.

    Look: I don’t like cops and for the most part they don’t like me. I’ve had far more bad experiences with them than good. It doesn’t have to be this way, and it many civilized places it isn’t. Don’t settle for less. A lot of good cops would thank you.

    Hey Alesh — what was that about bald people?



  23. Biscayne Bystander    Thu Aug 23, 12:10 AM #  

    Anyone consider that Timoney’s ride might be somehow related with his son’s 400 pound pot bust?



  24. Rick    Thu Aug 23, 06:16 AM #  

    What is wrong with just saying “most” or “many” if that’s what you really mean? Why do you feel the need to make that all encompassing statement and then spend a whole friggin comment thread explaining yourself?

    .



  25. alesh    Thu Aug 23, 08:21 AM #  

    A vote of no-confidence has been scheduled by the police union. I hope this ends up sinking this asshole.

    The reason this is so offensive is that it’s just one more guy abusing the power entrusted to him by society. Anytime someone is punished for abusing their power we all win.

    Alex~

    I think I’m with Steve on this. I think it takes an asshole to want to be a cop, not to do the job well.

    Rick~

    Point well taken, though I’m pretty happy with this thread.



  26. Alex    Thu Aug 23, 12:16 PM #  

    I don’t disagree with Steve insofar as that ideal cop he fantasizes about, although the few people I’ve known who wanted to enter the academy and my even fewer encounters with cops suggest otherwise. I’m not saying they “need” to be assholes, but that they “can” be assholes and still do a good job policing the streets (as long as they don’t go over legal lines). In other words, your generalization is not as disparaging as it sounds.

    BTW, I’d prefer less thanks from the good cops and more action from within. If they see an attitude/culture problem, it’s up to them to speak up. Take down the “blue wall” for starters.



  27. noneemoose    Fri Aug 24, 09:03 AM #  

    The line is blue. The wall is chinese.

    Generalization, bad. A Clockwork Orange, good.



  28. mae    Fri Aug 24, 01:50 PM #  

    Sorry to come into the conversation late and with a different strand of conversation, but what about the new allegations of faking crime statistics to make the city look safer? Might the City encourage the police chief, a”cop who helped tame the streets of New York City and Philadelphia” (from an old herald article), to alter crime statistics as it promotes massive gentrification? Got a little thing about it up on our site, but I was interested in that idea in a space where people could respond to it!



  29. Sue    Fri Aug 24, 02:59 PM #  

    I don’t think A or B about Timoney. What I don’t understand is the big friggin’ deal with the Lexus. Tell me people: who wouldn’t take it and keep quiet?

    I know I would.

    Shit, Comcast screwed up and inadvertently connected my cable two years ago…

    You better believe I haven’t said a peep.

    Damn I love free cable.

    Probably not as much as I would love a free Lexus though.



  30. alesh    Fri Aug 24, 03:26 PM #  

    Mae~

    I dunno. I’ve heard of that sort of thing happening in other places, but I don’t have any information.

    Sue~

    There’s a very good reason Lexus dealers aren’t offering you a free car.

    The difference here is that he’s abusing the very power we’ve granted him. Same reason we tend to frown on politicians taking bribes.

    A similar example is that FBL referee that recently got caught fixing games — it’s all the worse because he’s violating the exact trust that you’re relying on him not to violate.



  31. nonee moose    Fri Aug 24, 04:28 PM #  

    What’s FBL?



  32. Biscayne Bystander    Sun Aug 26, 03:45 PM #  

    think he meant NBA



  33. Just Little Ole Me    Tue Aug 28, 06:30 PM #  

    I like cops—a few bad apples, but mostly, they do their job. All criminals are assholes.



  34. Biscayne Bystander    Wed Aug 29, 08:01 PM #  

    That might explain why so many Republicans are found loitering in public bathrooms in a wide leg stance.



  35. learn to separate the facts    Sun Sep 9, 08:07 PM #  

    Hey b.a.c. take your heartless insignificant comments about Timoney’s son and shove them up your ass. Way to be an asshole!



  36. learn to separate the facts    Sun Sep 9, 08:10 PM #  

    Hey b.a.c. take your heartless insignificant comments about Timoney’s son and shove them up your ass. Way to be an asshole! And Biscayne Bystander what the fuck does your remark even mean? How would the son’s troubles relate to the Lexus situation at all?! Dumbass.



  37. alesh    Sun Sep 9, 08:50 PM #  

    LtStF~

    Late to the game, but ok, I’ll try: we can respect people we have disagreements with. But in out civilization, hypocrites get a particularly strong flavor of contempt.

    Also, he used one word: “criminal.” That may be true or it may be false, but how could it possibly be “heartless” or “insignificant”?



  38. Biscayne Bystander    Wed Sep 19, 03:03 PM #  

    New Times named John Timoney “America’s Worst Cop.”

    Ouch.