Thursday, December 28, 2006
The "New Police Professionalism": Serious Christians Need Not Apply
Enemy of the Almighty State: Ramon Perez, formerly an exemplary police officer in Austin, is seen here with his wife Michelle and their home-schooled children (from left) Victoria, Philip, Rachael, and Sarah.
Ramon Perez was a rookie police officer in Austin, Texas when he responded to a domestic violence report in January 2005. When he arrived at the address, he was greeted by a distraught woman who claimed that her elderly husband had pushed her down the stairs, leaving her with injured arms.
As he interviewed the alleged victim, the alleged assailant, an elderly man apparently in frail health, emerged from the home carrying car keys and a cup of coffee. Perez, who had called for backup, told the man to stop. As he did the backup officer, Robert Paranich “lunged” at the elderly man, nearly knocking him off his feet.
“I considered that an escalation of force,” Perez later recalled.
With the suspect struggling to regain his balance, Paranich yelled at Perez to use his Taser to subdue the elderly man. To his considerable credit, Perez refused to do so, chiefly because the man wasn't resisting arrest, but also because the rookie officer was concerned that the man was so frail the electroshock device could send him into cardiac arrest.
Those considerations, incidentally, are spelled out in the Austin Police Department's Taser policy, which Perez followed exactly. In the event, Perez and Paranich were able to effect the arrest using “soft-hand” tactics. When it's possible to arrest a suspect without resort to violence, Perez later said, doing so is “the constitutionally correct thing.”
A few days after this incident, Perez received what he and his attorney Derek Howard describe as a punitive transfer to the night shift. Two months later, Perez was questioned at length about the January arrest, as well as a second incident in which he acted with unauthorized fastidiousness about constitutional correctness.
He was told to report to APD psychologist Carol Logan to undergo what was described as a session of “word games” to develop better communication skills with his superiors. Perez was not told that the interview would be a "fit-for-duty review" held to facilitate the pre-ordained decision to fire him.
According to the Austin Chronicle, Logan confirmed that Perez had been told the meeting would focus on “word games.” However, her four page report mentions nothing about that exercise; instead, it focuses “entirely on Perez's moral and religious beliefs, which Logan concludes are so strong they are an `impairment' to his ability to be a police officer.”
Perez is a self-described non-denominational fundamentalist Christian, an ordained minister who home-schools his children. This, according to Logan, produces an “impairment” of his ability to absorb new facts, to communicate with his superiors, and to deal with “feedback.”
“Perez has a well-developed set of personal beliefs,” wrote Logan. “These seem to be based primarily on his religious beliefs and it is obvious that he has spent a lot of time reflecting upon and developing these views.”
While Logan, displaying the reflexive condescension of a career servant of the Regime, describes Perez's convictions as “admirable,” she criticizes him for displaying “defensiveness” when his convictions are challenged. The firmness of Perez's moral beliefs is problematic, she concludes, because they “provide him with a rationale for explaining how his views differ with others.”
Boil down Logan's assessment in a saucepan, and here's the residue: Perez was unsuitable to serve as a police officer because his values transcend the authority of the State, and his moral convictions have immunized him against collectivist thinking.
"Those meddling Christians always interfere with official police state business!" While Nazi second-in-command Martin Bormann didn't use those exact words in his 1942 memo calling for Germany's Christian churches to be "absolutely and finally broken," that's more or less the gist of what he wrote.
It should be noted that Perez was also troublesome because, unlike most newly minted law enforcement officers, he had two decades of adult life in the rear-view mirror before beginning his police career. He was a 41-year-old ex-engineer when he graduated from the academy, and his fellow cadets honored him with the Ernie Hinckle Humanitarian Award for compassion, integrity, and leadership on the strength of the character he had displayed.
A month after the psychologist – who actually functions as what the Soviets called a Zampolit, or “political officer” -- rendered her assessment, Perez was given an ultimatum: He could resign from the APD and keep his peace officer's license, or be fired and lose that license, and thus be left unemployable by any other department. Perez chose the first course, while fighting with the Austin City government for a year to see the report that had led to his firing.
The triggering incident was his refusal to use a Taser on an unresisting elderly suspect; this episode revealed that Perez -- who would appear to be an exemplary officer, a throwback to an era when police were peace officers, rather than heavily armed enforcers of the State's decrees – was not morally ductile. He was fired for disobeying an order from a superior that was unconstitutional and illegal by the department's own standards.
The official explanation is that Perez was fired for being a “substandard cop.” Perez's attorney, Derek Howard, offers a more credible assessment: “He didn't fit in because of his religious belief system.”
“It was concluded that my [morality] justified it [the decision to disobey], when in fact it was my commitment to policy and our training at the academy and the U.S. Constitution, and not necessarily my moral, spiritual foundation, that led me to that decision,” explained Perez at a press conference earlier this month. “Being tough is a good thing. Being tough, as a cop, can save your life or someone else's. But when that toughness crosses over into civil liberties, that's where a line needs to be drawn... and for some officers, that's a gray area.”
Like Molech and other omnivorous pagan idols sustained by lethal violence, the Regime under which we live is a very jealous god: It requires unqualified, instantaneous obedience, particularly from those in the business of enforcing its decrees.
Perez, like any Christian worthy of that designation, will render to Caesar only that to which Caesar is due – which in our system means only the power necessary to protect the lives and property of the innocent. Or, as he put it: "I do believe, if you are a police officer, you have an ordination by God to protect and preserve life." All of this resonates with the actual meaning of the much-misapplied verses in Romans chapter 13 that are often wrested by those preaching unconditional submission to State power.
So now Perez is out of a job, and Austin's branch of the Leviathan Force will fill his slot with someone willing to adapt to the Regime's priorities. In simple terms, this means it will find someone willing to shoot an unresisting elderly suspect, at point-blank range, with a Taser.
This is not the only time I've heard of a police department using psychological testing to weed out police recruits whose Christian convictions make them unsuitable to serve the Regime.
A few months ago a former professional associate of mine described how his son, who applied for a position with a Sheriff's Department in Wisconsin, was rejected after he was made to play similar “word games” with a psychologist. Despite scoring well on every evaluation, this young man was deemed unworthy to work as a deputy sheriff because of his inflexible moral views and impatience with arbitrary bureaucratic policies.
One such incident could be an anomaly, and a second a mere coincidence. Three or more, however, constitute a trend. I'm confident that a third episode of this variety could be found with relatively little effort.
at 10:18 PM