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I hope I never get pulled over by LAPD cop "Jack Dunphy"

The pseudonymous Los Angeles police officer apparently thinks very little of the Angelenos he's paid to "protect and serve." I say this having read Dunphy's dig at The National Review on the Obama administration's flubbed response to the Henry Louis Gates affair. An excerpt (emphasis mine):

So, since the president is keen on offering instruction, here is what I would advise he teach his Ivy League pals, and anyone else who may find himself unexpectedly confronted by a police officer: You may be as pure as the driven snow itself, but you have no idea what horrible crime that police officer might suspect you of committing. You may be tooling along on a Sunday drive in your 1932 Hupmobile when, quite unknown to you, someone else in a 1932 Hupmobile knocks off the nearby Piggly Wiggly. A passing police officer sees you and, asking himself how many 1932 Hupmobiles can there be around here, pulls you over. At that moment I can assure you the officer is not all that concerned with trying not to offend you. He is instead concerned with protecting his mortal hide from having holes placed in it where God did not intend. And you, if in asserting your constitutional right to be free from unlawful search and seizure fail to do as the officer asks, run the risk of having such holes placed in your own.

When the officer has satisfied himself that it was not you and your Hupmobile that were involved in the Piggly Wiggly heist, he owes you an explanation for the stop and an apology for the inconvenience, but if you’re running your mouth about your rights and your history of oppression and what have you, you’re likely to get neither.

Note the italics -- and consider that an armed officer of the law grotesquely warns any innocent civilian who cites his Constitutional protection against unreasonable searches that he runs the risk of being killed. I hope that a cop who pulls me over simply because another guy driving a blue VW Jetta committed a crime would exercise more restraint should I point out that the law is on my side.

In all seriousness, Dunphy is completely out of line here; any officer who considers citizens belligerent for asserting their Constitutional rights is a danger to the public and his department. Chief Bratton take note.

Hat tip to Brian Doherty at Reason magazine's Hit & Run.


Comments () | Archives (10)

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When you advise Chief Bratton to "take note," please take note yourself that "officer Dunphy" has been an outspoken critic of SO40 and the Chief's interpretation of that, too, i.e., that by NOT requiring everyone the cops stop to be subject to having their legal immigration status checked when stopped for any violation OR just for being "suspected" of being illegal, the Chief is all but encouraging illegal crime to flourish.

In other words, that our protecting our constitutional liberties to go about our business without"showing papers" to any cop upon request, without cause -- reminiscent of communist countries -- is tantamount to aiding and abetting illegals in their crimes.

Dunphy shares the position of Mayoral Candidate Walter Moore and his City Attorney Running Mate David Berger, who is now on "Team Trutanich' and with whom Trutanich has expressly said he agrees on this. These are the guys your L A Times endorsed and pushed for, much to the shame of this paper. So I gather your point of view is the minority opinion on this.

Dunphy's may be in the slight majority on LAPD's rank and file, though NOT among the officers: one key reason the PPL and its current head Paul Weber want to make the Chief an elected position so they can throw money at electing someone more in line with thier views. And with YOUR paper's, if consistency at LAT means anything. I think Chief Bratton IS aware of this.


I was actually shocked at the complete ignorance of the law displayed by the original poster, when he asserted that the law would be on his side if he were to be stopped for matching the discription of a person who had committed a crime nearby.

Our legal system has long acknowledged something called Reasonable Suspicion that give police officers the right to detain someone reasonably suspected of committing a crime such as in the example cited by Dunphy.

If said citizen fails to comply with an officers commands (who believes that the person he is stopping is wanted for a crime, perhaps violent in nature) the citizen is in fact not on the side of the law since he is resisting a lawful detention by the officer. (even if the person being lawfully detained is innocent of the crime being investigated).

Of course this is all stuff that is pretty much covered in the first week or two of any police academy and as such is way beyond the intellectual grasp of any employee at the L.A. Times.


You can whine all you want..but ultimately the cops will win. What part of stupid do you not understand?

Robert C. J. Parry

Mr. Dunphy, in fact, cares a great deal about the people of Los Angeles. He's put his life on the line, every work day, for a couple of decades, for their benefit, often at some great risk.

What, exactly is the problem with the part in italics. You look like a suspect in a crime. Cop tries to stop you. You resist being stopped, much as would the miscreant in question. Should your resistance be sufficient, you will force the officer to physically restrain you to establish whether or not you're the miscreant in question (never mind that by acting like a stubborn jackass you're very much giving the impression that you ARE the miscreant).

Should you resist said physical restraint, and do something even more stupid (though you're already on a trajectory of record setting stupidity)... like, say, try to push the copper off of you, and you put your hand on his gun in the process... or if you reach into your pocket leading him to think you're trying for your own gun even if you're merely grabbing your car keys... you will, in fact, rightfully be plunked full of holes.

Cops have a right to go home after work. There's a fair number of crooks who will happily deny them that right. If you act like one of them, you can fairly expect to be treated as such.

Why is that so hard for anyone to understand? Especially an editor of a major metropolitan newspaper?

Robert C. J. Parry

Last thought...

The option, of course, is to give criminals the option of deciding whether they want to be stopped or not.

Which is utterly idiotic.

To most people.


so officer dunphy is going to shoot us for asserting our fourth amendment rights? that's ok. somewhere out there is a gangbanger quicker on the draw than he is, and because this gangbanger is less of a threat to our constitutional system of government than officer dunphy is, i know who i'm rooting for when dunphy pulls over the gangbanger.

"was never a horse that couldn't be rode, was never a cowboy couldn't be throwed."


My god both this editorialists and some of the commenters here are utterly clueless. Asserting your fourth amendment rights in the middle of a police confrontation? Sorry, but you do not have the legal right to assert anything when the police are LAWFULLY detaining you for a violent crime they suspect you may have just committed. The law is on THEIR side to STOP you for investigation. If you offer resistance because you mistakenly believe you have the constitutional right to resist then you will be placing your life in jeopardy (because now the police, believing you may be the guy that just shot up a convenience store down the block, will most certainly act to protect themselves).

And for what, to prove some kind of principle that is legally incorrect in the first place? Some of you clowns would be well served to take a first semester Law 101 class to learn about reasonable suspicion. There is nothing unconstitutional about Jack Dunphy's position on this matter. He is 100% correct.

Pete Malloy

This is typical of the LA Slimes to post. This paper has gone so far to the left it will fight anything just to fight. This hippie type attitude occurs every so often where some know-it-all tries to pull out his pocket constitution while being contacted by the police and goes home with a traffic ticket that started off as a warning or a fat lip that started out as a detention.

Keep it up folks. You'll all be on the losing end of any future police contact with that attitude.

While you're celebrating the 40th anniv. of Woodstock, Dunphy and his public serving partners will keep you and family safe from criminals even when you don't want them to.

The Dude

What a rag!

Officer Dunphy is right on the money. Our police have a difficult time out there, dealing in real time, and on occasion they stop the wrong fellow. But, never have I, nor anyone I know, or anyone else for that matter, been stopped for no reason. You may not agree with the reason, but there is always a reason.

LA Times reporters should got off their high horse, but they won't.

I expect nothing less from a failing and crumby rag.


I guess these thing happen all over the world, unfortunately :(



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