Nomination For a Hero Badge

An old fat guy* threatened Joe Poopy-pants. He did it from his living room. He never got close to Basement Joe. The FBI showed up with a SWAT team and armored vehicles. He talked tacky to the FBI. They broke his window. I’ll give the FBI (Famous But Incompetent) the benefit of the doubt, he waved a gun at them. The FBI didn’t respond in kind. They shot the shit out of him. The fat guy didn’t survive. Politico recounts the event.

I was a cop for thirty years. I taught SWAT and Officer Survival. I participated in well over a thousand search warrants and high-risk arrest situations while assigned to a narcotics task force. All this is to illustrate that I have a passing familiarity with confrontations armed and otherwise.

Over the years I have observed arrest situations that I characterize as “Two assholes got in an argument and one of them went to jail.” This is a slight variation on the theme. What used to be an anomaly is now official policy, at least for the FBI and other paragons of liberal law enforcement. Derrick Chauvin and Saint George come to mind. The incident in the Politico story meets the criteria.

Here’s a secret. The FBI doesn’t know shit about arresting folks. Don’t believe me? Check out what a great job they did attempting to arrest two bank robbers in Miami. 5 Minutes and 145 Shots: Breaking down the 1986 Miami Dade Shooting The Firearm Blog How about the fire in Waco? Yeah, the ATF started it, but the FBI damn sure finished it.

Back to the Fat guy. In a previous incident, he confronted a couple of local cops with gun in hand. The locals, you know the guys the FBI looks down upon, didn’t feel inclined to shoot him. They talked to him, and he ended up inviting them inside the house. Given his attitude towards the FBI that probably wouldn’t have happened in this instance. Here’s an idea! Why didn’t the FBI call the locals to make the contact? The fat guy liked the local cops. Not a viable option. Such a move would have ruined the FBI media extravaganza.

Here is a quote from a retired FBI agent. Greg was an Assistant United States Attorney in San Antonio when I knew him. I liked and respected him. The quote can be taken a number of different ways.

“There’s all sorts of different ways you could have done it if the president wasn’t in town,” Greg Rogers, another retired agent from the Salt Lake City field office, said. “But when the president’s going to be in town and he makes that threat, you just got to go, right?”

Greg Rogers, FBI (retired)

When the only tool you have is a hammer, everything begins to look like a nail.

Read the quote and then keep the timeline in mind. Almost a year previously the fat guy came to the attention of the FBI when he went off on Attorney General. The FBI did nothing. In March of this year a couple of agents paid the fat guy a visit at his home. He told them to fuck off and they did. Three days before President Poopy Pants visited the FBI decided that they had to take action. What changed? The FBI found themselves in a crisis of their own making, inertia and ineptitude does not constitute proper planning.

I used to instruct local cops that the first step in controlling a situation is to control oneself. Too bad there were no FBI agents in attendance to learn and pass the lesson along. I modified the thought when I started teaching narcs about raid planning. The only perfect raid plan is one that stays in the drawer unused. A raid plan is nothing more than a starting point for the errors that will inevitably follow.

I cautioned students and told them to beware of what I called the “Dynamic Man Syndrome.” This occurs when an officer is confronted with a situation, and he takes action. The dynamic man syndrome is both good and bad. If the officer has an appropriate assessment of the situation, a realistic knowledge of his abilities, appropriate resources and a feasible plan, then there is a 70% chance that the syndrome is good. Remove any of the above elements and what is likely is a result would challenge the “Charge of the Light Brigade,” for its stupidity.

Back to the fat guy. The FBI had a three-day window. What could they have done in that time? The FBI could have recruited the local police to make the arrest. Even better the FBI could have recruited the elected Sheriff. Given the fat guy’s dislike for the Feds, I suspect he would gone out for donuts and made coffee if he thought the High Sheriff was coming to call. They could nab him when he came out to get his mail. Ask John Dillinger about being mugged by the FBI while walking down the street. But but we have an armored vehicle, a SWAT team, automatic weapons, a drone and all sorts of other neat shit. Plus, policy says, guns, talking tacky, disrespecting the FBI mandates a maximum response.

For a quarter, I’d have let them use a tactic my fictional heroes used. Simple, two midgets posing as neighborhood kids with a frisbee tromping around in the fat guy’s yard. When he came out to chase them off, the midgets could have grabbed him about the ankles. Given the push for diversity, the FBI probably wouldn’t have had to specially recruit the midgets.

I’ve got to give the FBI a bye. At the moment that the fat guy raised his pistol, he needed killing. Everything that occurred prior to that moment was an FBI fuck-up.

It’s not enough to respond to a situation. As a Police Chief buddy of mine says, “You have to do the right thing and do it right now.”

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* I refuse to contribute to the fleeting fame of the old fat guy. So, I do not name him. I do not mourn his passing. I take issue with the manner in which he reached room temperature. The FBI may have been justified at the particular moment of his demise. Everything leading up to that is pure bullshit and good reason not to trust the FBI.