Good Riddance to a Bad Cop

Scott Ritter did some research on Major Travis Yates and the Tulsa Police Department.

By Scott Ritter
Special to Consortium News

In an essay penned for the online magazine (a self-described “industry leader in law enforcement news, original content and training…a true advocate for the profession”), Major Travis Yates, a 27-year veteran of the Tulsa Police Department, put the nation on notice: “America, we are leaving.”

Major Yates’ essay pulls at every heart string imaginable in building the case that the crucifixion of his fellow men and women in blue — “these super heroes” — at the hands of “cowards” (i.e., police chiefs, sheriffs and politicians) who no longer have “our back” when the going gets tough.

Yates invokes an evangelical air in couching his argument (indeed, as he told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, “it was almost like God was with me when I wrote it”), painting a disturbing picture of an “us versus them” confrontation where the “good guys” (the police) are being wrongfully cast as the “bad guys” by a society increasingly indifferent to the harsh reality of life as an American police officer.

  • “Kids used to be taught respect and now it’s cool to be disrespectful.”
  • “Supervisors used to back you when you were right but now they accuse you of being wrong in order to appease crazy people.”
  • “Parents used to get mad at their kids for getting arrested and now they get mad at us.”
  • “The media used to highlight the positive contribution our profession gave to society and now they either ignore it or twist the truth for controversy to line their own pockets.”
  • “We used to be able to testify in court and we were believed. Now, unless there is video from three different angles, no one cares what you have to say.”

“I would never send anyone I cared about into the hell that this profession has become…I used to talk cops out of leaving the job. Now I’m encouraging them. It’s over, America. You finally did it. You aren’t going to have to abolish the police, we won’t be around for it.”

I read Major Yates’ essay. I then took a pause to reflect on what he wrote, before reading it again. And again. Then I did some research on Major Yates and the Tulsa Police Department.

Resume of Consummate Professional

At first blush, this is a harsh indictment of a man who has spent nearly three decades serving and protecting his community. Major Yates’ resume paints a picture of the consummate professional — the ideal, even, of what America should want a police officer to be.

He is highly educated, beginning his law enforcement career only after completing a four-year degree (the Tulsa Police Department is one of but a handful in the United States that require a bachelor’s degree for all potential recruits — most police departments require only a high school diploma or GED certificate). Yates went on to get his master’s degree in criminal justice and is currently completing his PhD in military and strategic leadership. Yates is a graduate of the FBI National Academy.

Yates spent the first 18 years of his career either in a patrol function or assigned to specialty units such as gangs, media relations, training and planning. In 2014 he was promoted to the rank of major, and placed in the elite Special Operations Division of the Tulsa Police Department, with responsibilities over SWAT, K-9, motorcycles, bomb squad, helicopter unit, reserve program, dive team and disaster response unit. Major Yates currently oversees the records division.

Yates has been a crusader of sorts for the cause of police officer safety, especially when it comes to the operation of emergency vehicles. In 2004, Yates — who at the time was a sergeant with the Tulsa Police Department and a supervisor within the Tulsa Police Precision Driving Unit — began writing articles to address the issue of emergency vehicle safety for the online magazine (described as an “online environment for the exchange of information between officers and departments across the United States and from around the world.”)

Yates eventually went on to write a monthly column for on driver safety, and his opinions became sought after by his fellow officers, for whom he provided tailored training, and the media, for whom he provided sound bites. By 2007, Yates began writing for, focused on “tactical driving tips.”

In 2010, at a conference for law-enforcement instructors, Yates observed to his colleagues “If we would just slow down, wear our seatbelts and clear intersections, we could get our line of duty deaths to below 100 a year.” Thus began Below 100, a program designed to reduce traffic-related police officer deaths by changing the culture of policing. 

“Below 100 means supporting a culture of safety throughout your department,” the organization notes in its web site. “Make doing the right thing so ingrained in your personnel that it becomes the norm and not the exception. Just as importantly, hold accountable those who stray outside what should be common sense. Often, a private word with a misguided officer is all it takes to correct his or her misperception. Below 100 is committed to providing you the tools and resources you need to make a culture of safety thrive throughout your department.”

This is the Travis Yates his supporters want you to see — the consummate professional, focused on safety and improving the culture of policing for the betterment of the community he serves. And it is all true.

Another Side to the Coin

George Floyd protest against police violence, May 30, 2020, Lafayette Square, Washington, D.C. (Rosa Pineda, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons)

But there is another side to this coin. In his article, Major Yates noted that “With all this talk about racism and racist cops, I’ve never seen people treated differently because of their race. And while I know that cowards that have never done this job will call me racist for saying it, all I’ve ever seen was criminal behavior and cops trying to stop it and they didn’t give a rip what their skin color was.”

This sentiment was echoed the day after that article was posted when, during a regular Monday evening appearance on a radio show with Pat Campbell, a conservative talk radio host, entitled “Behind the Blue Line,”  Major Yates (in his role as “private citizen”) addressed the role of law enforcement and the perception of systemic racism among the ranks of police officers across the country.

While acknowledging that there are racist cops, Yates points out that the Tulsa Police Department carefully screens each and every applicant, and if someone has exhibited any questionable behavior (“told a bad joke,” Yates noted), they would be denied employment.

This may be true. But Yates ignores the fact that there is a difference between racist police officers and a police culture that is systemically racist. At a time when the entire country is being torn asunder in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis Police Department, Yates exhibits a level of tone deafness that hints at a larger problem of racism so deeply ingrained into American police culture that it is invisible to officers who hide behind statistics, and ignore reality.

Major Yates is a textbook case in point of this phenomenon. When Pat Campbell opined that “George Floyd has nothing to do with our community, Tulsa,” a clearly agitated Travis Yates shot back, “Tell me what that is doing other than furthering the divide between the police and the community.”

His Case for Exonerating Derek Chauvin

A June 2020 mugshot of Derek Chauvin. (Wikimedia Commons)

Yates then went on to articulate a case for the exoneration of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, noting that his actions were in complete conformity with departmental policies calling for the restraint of suspects resisting arrest.

Yates noted that both Chauvin and former Officer Thomas Lane, a rookie, can be heard discussing “excited delirium,” a condition which Yates claims meant George Floyd was a “dead man walking” unless the police intervened and tried to save his life by restraining Floyd and calling for paramedics.

Yes, you read that right — Yates was making a case that the Minneapolis Police charged with murdering George Floyd were trying to save George Floyd’s life.

[Note:, for which Major Yates serves as the executive director, has published an article entitled “The Acquittal of Derek Chauvin,” which echoes Yates’ comments to Campbell about George Floyd’s murder. It should also be noted that “excited delirium syndrome” is not a recognized diagnosis in the American Psychiatric Association’s leading diagnostic manual, commonly known as the DSM, and its use by police is believed by skeptics as merely providing a convenient excuse to lay the blame for an officer-related death on the victim instead of the police.]

For Major Yates, the protests over George Floyd’s murder at the hands of police are part of a larger campaign organized and funded by Black Lives Matters (or BLM, whom Yates refused to name during the interview, citing legal concerns) in an effort to defund police departments over the issue of police brutality against blacks.

“Over the years,” Yates said, “because of this money, because of the marketing, they’ve [BLM] made regular Americans believe that cops are just hunting blacks down in the street and killing them, and its completely the opposite of what the research says and what the data says.”

The data, Yates notes, is what is important. “You get this meme of, ‘Blacks are shot two times, two and a half times more,’ and everybody just goes, ‘Oh, yeah,’” Yates told Campbell. “They’re not making sense here. You have to come into contact with law enforcement for that to occur. If a certain group is committing more crimes, more violent crimes, and law enforcement’s having to come into more contact with them, that number is going to be higher,” Yates continued. “Who in the world in their right mind would think that our shootings should be right along the U.S. census lines? That’s insanity.”

Then came the clincher. Citing research conducted by former Harvard University economist Roland Fryer, Heather Mac Donald of the conservative think tank Manhattan Institute and the National Academy of Sciences, Yates added that some research states that “we’re shooting African-Americans about 24 percent less than we probably ought to be, based on the crimes being committed.”

Statement Under Attack

Tulsa’s police chief, Wendell Franklin, in January 2020. (YouTube)

Almost immediately, Major Yates’ statement came under attack. In a Facebook post put out two days after the interview, Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin and the Tulsa Police Department expressed their collective desire “to make it very clear we do not endorse, condone or support Yates’ comments made on the show,” adding “This matter has been referred to our Internal Affairs Unit.”

The mayor of Tulsa, George Bynum, similarly condemned Yates’ comments, noting in his own Facebook entry that what Yates said “goes against everything we are trying to achieve in community policing. He does not speak for my administration, for the Tulsa Police Department, or the City of Tulsa.”

For his part, Major Yates was unapologetic. When asked by a local Tulsa news affiliate if he believed black Americans weren’t being shot enough, Yates said, “That is absolutely nuts. I’m amazed that anybody would even ponder that. That’s crazy. I was citing data, that said they’re underrepresented in that data. And so, I don’t want anybody to be shot. Nobody does, but the data that most people are believing, there is alternative data out there and that’s the data I was citing.”

The data, however, isn’t that clear. Roland Fryer’s study, cited by Yates, has been challenged by the results of two major academic studies, which found that “Fryer’s analysis is highly flawed,” suffering “from major theoretical and methodological errors” which Fryer communicated to the media “in a way that is misleading.”

According to a Harvard blogger, Justin Feldman, “While there have long been problems with the quality of police shootings data, there is still plenty of evidence to support a pattern of systematic, racially discriminatory use of force against black people in the United States.”

Moreover, Heather Mac Donald, who has “devoted her career to the proposition that anti-white racism is a far more serious problem than anti-black racism,” and is employed by the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think tank which, among other ideas for urban reform, promotes “proactive policing” as a means of combatting crime.

In Tulsa, “proactive policing” has generated serious controversy in the aftermath of a pedestrian stop of two black teenagers by members of the Tulsa Police Department Organized Gang Unit (OGU). 

Destruction from 1921 Tulsa Greenwood massacre. (U.S. Library of Congress, Wikimedia Commons)

These officers, along with members of the department’s Crime Gun Unit (CGU) are tasked with interdicting and removing illegal firearms from the streets of Tulsa — the epitome of “proactive policing.” Major Yates, whose resume includes service in the Tulsa Police Department OGU, is fully aware of the realities of “proactive policing” and the skewing effect it has on police statistics.

“You have to apply law enforcement with people you are coming in contact with,” Major Yates told Patrick Campbell. “Are you going to look at population or crime? When you talk about demographic parity, that is very difficult.” But there is nothing about the Tulsa Police Department’s takedown of the two black teenagers that can be explained by anything other than racial profiling.

And in a state with one of the highest police shooting rates in the country (42 shootings per million people, with 165 shootings since 2015), the reality is that by violently detaining those black teenagers in the manner they did, the Tulsa Police Department’s OGU needlessly created a situation that could have rapidly escalated out of control, resulting in a scenario which had one or both of the black youth’s shot dead by police.

Just ask Major Yates.

In a 2016 article published in entitled “Follow Commands Or Die,” Yates argued thus:

You can debate all day long about what proper police force is, when it should be used and if the entire criminal justice system is racist but there is one thing in common with every so called ‘excessive force’ video you have seen in recent years.

The suspect is not following commands.

Should there be a discussion about police training and police reform and making sure our officers have all the tools they need to do their job as safely as possible? Of course, but let’s be honest, there is a responsibility on the citizenry to follow the instructions of a police officer in front of them.  It is a basic premise that every law-abiding person should be able to adhere to.

The way I see it, we have two options to stop police use of deadly force. Police stop being police or…citizens can do what an officer says to do.

Tell that to George Floyd. Or the two unnamed Tulsa youths detained by the OGU. Or any number of black males gunned down by police officers carrying out the kind of “proactive policing” which creates “police contact” under circumstances that are far more nebulous than the black and white scenarios Yate’s draws upon in making his points.

Yates, through his company SafeTac, teaches police officers around the country a course entitled “Seconds 4 Survival: Win the Ambush.” Promoted as “a dynamic, media intensive course designed to reduce the reactionary gap that can lead to deadly consequences in law enforcement interactions with suspects,” “Seconds 4 Survival” provides “real life scenarios combined with tactical considerations…that will give the student the knowledge to survive attacks.”

When you add a mindset pre-programed to treat every encounter with a citizen as a potential ambush, and the resultant hair trigger response Yates promotes as part of his approach to policing, you get a recipe for disaster —one that, statistically speaking, places black lives at risk far more than white.

Every new police officer joining the Tulsa Police Department takes an oath of office which contains the following statement: “I will protect the Right, Lives, and Property of all citizens and uphold the honor of the Police Profession, with my life, if need be.”

If you join the Tulsa Police Department, you have to be aware of the city’s troubled past with its black residents. The Greenwood massacre of 1921 left between 200 and 300 blacks murdered at the hands of a white mob, and the entire black suburb of Greenwood burned to the ground. Tulsa is still coming to grips with the horrific reality of that event, with its current mayor only now ordering a renewed investigation.

The Tulsa Police Department, recognizing that there is an inherent distrust among the black community of the police, has made efforts to bridge this gulf through community policing. These efforts, however, have been undermined by the efforts of Major Yates and others like him, who seek to eradicate racial disparities in the use-of-force within the Tulsa Police Department through the misleading use of statistics — “data,” as Yates would say.

Major Travis Yates, while claiming to defend this oath, has in fact betrayed it through his actions and words, which promote the very racism he denies.

“I wouldn’t wish this job on my worst enemy,” Major Yates concluded in his essay, “America we are leaving.”

After digging into the details of both Major Yates and the history of systemic racism that exists in the Tulsa Police Department today, all I can say is, “Good riddance.”

Scott Ritter is a former Marine Corps intelligence officer who served in the former Soviet Union implementing arms control treaties, in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm, and in Iraq overseeing the disarmament of WMD.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

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39 comments for “Good Riddance to a Bad Cop

  1. Scott Ritter
    June 22, 2020 at 12:47

    I was affiliated with the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) from September 1991 until my resignation in 1998. During that time I participated in 35 inspections, 14 as Chief Inspector. I am on record as briefing the US Government in 1993 that UNSCOM had accounted for all of Iraq’s Soviet-supplied SCUD missiles; this finding was rejected by the US Government, which claimed Iraq retained a covert force of some 20 missiles. I’m also on record as preparing a foundational document in May 1997 which detailed the fact that UNSCOM had accounted for more than 90% of Iraq’s WMD, and that the remaining unaccounted material was either destroyed and we lacked documentation, or was being hidden by Iraq. This document served as the foundation of inspection missions undertaken over the course of the next year which sought to determine with finality the exact status of Iraq’s unaccounted for WMD. The analysis contained in this document served as the basis of an article I published in Arms Control Today in June 2000 entitled “The Qualitative Case for Iraq’s Disarmament.” That information, and the underlying analysis, was proven correct in the aftermath of the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq by the US.

    The United Nations has no integral intelligence organization or capability. As inspections became complicated by Iraq’s refusal to tell the truth about its WMD, and the Security Council’s insistence that inspections continue in an environment where Iraq was not fully cooperating, UNSCOM was compelled to develop its own in-house intelligence capability; I played a major role in building and implementing this effort. UNSCOM carried out extensive liaison with the intelligence services of several member states, including the US, UK, France, Germany, Russia, the Netherlands, Canada, Egypt, Jordan–and Israel. I conceived and conducted the first liaison visit to Israel in October 1994, and from 1995 until 1998, I was the primary point of contact for intelligence liaison between UNSCOM and Israel. As with similar liaison activity with other member states, Israel provided information which was assessed by UNSCOM for its relativity to its mandated mission, and operational viability. If the information was found to be credible, then UNSCOM would incorporate it into its inspection architecture. The decision regarding locations to be inspected and the timing of these inspections were the sole purview of UNSCOM. The relationship between UNSCOM and Israel was kept secret for political and operational security reasons; of note, when confronted by senior Iraqi leadership in March 1998 with the accusation that I was working with Israel on inspection-related activities, I acknowledged this fact, and told the Iraqis that UNSCOM would turn over every stone in pursuing its mandate. The honesty of my answer played a role in the Iraqis trusting me, and allowing my team to inspect the Ministry of Defense. The US Government had insisted the Iraqi MoD be inspected, knowing that Iraq had said this was a red line. The US had deployed significant military capability into the region in anticipation of launching an attack on Iraq when they refused to allow my team entry. By successfully carrying out this inspection, I was able to avert a war, a fact I am very proud of. This act ended up costing me my job at UNSCOM, and after my resignation I was very forthcoming about UNSCOM’s relationship with Israel and other member states.

    The is no position of “UN Inspector General”, so I am at a loss as to what the gentleman is referring to. I worked for the UNSCOM Executive Chairman (two men held that position during my time; Rolf Ekeus, a Swede, who held the position from 1991 through July 1997, and Richard Butler, an Australian, who succeeded Ekeus in July 1997 and was in that position when I resigned in August 1998. The Executive Chairman was responsible to the Security Council, whose resolutions it implemented. While UNSCOM did not work for the UN Secretary General, both Executive Chairmen coordinated with the SG’s office. I worked for the Executive Chairman, and kept them both fully appraised of every aspect of my work–indeed, I could do nothing, and would do nothing, without their expressed permission, which most of the time was spelled out in writing given the sensitivity of the work being done. On occasion, the Executive Chairman had me coordinate with the Secretary General’s office, and in March 1998, I was called to the Secretary General’s office to brief him in person about a mission I had just completed. The concept that I somehow kept information from my UN chain of command is baseless and ludicrous.

  2. McQuaid
    June 20, 2020 at 02:23

    What good cops really say about the depths of criminal cop culture:


    see: Joe Rogan Experience #670 – former Baltimore police officer Michael A. Wood, Jr. on []

    Anyone telling you it’s something else is a liar or just not looking for the truth.

  3. lexx
    June 19, 2020 at 14:27

    “Kids used to be taught respect and now it’s cool to be disrespectful.”
    that was before 12/14 year old girls are throw against the wall or floor by a cop that weighs 4 times their weight
    “Parents used to get mad at their kids for getting arrested and now they get mad at us.”
    because they are arrested for things kids do like doodling and taking back to teachers
    “We used to be able to testify in court and we were believed. Now, unless there is video from three different angles, no one cares what you have to say.”
    that is because videos have proven over and over
    that cops are lying

  4. ricardo2000
    June 19, 2020 at 13:55

    It is common to hear police utter, ‘I’d rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6.’ In other words they would rather commit crimes than risk their lives in the performance of their duty to protect the community. They would rather be a criminal threat to the community. Most police put their loyalty to ‘blue brothers’ above everything, even if those ‘brothers’ are corrupt and murderously racist. Those ‘police officers’ aren’t loyal to the Constitution, Human Rights, honesty, or service to the community. These police are nothing more than ‘trained cowards’. Police shootings occur because they aren’t part of the community. They are a gang that hides, denies, and excuses criminal behaviour.

  5. lexx
    June 19, 2020 at 13:13

    didn’t they call the cops because he ALLEGEDLY passed a fake $20 bill and not for
    a condition which Yates claims meant George Floyd was a “dead man walking” unless the police intervened and tried to save his life by restraining Floyd and calling for paramedics.

  6. lexx
    June 19, 2020 at 12:53

    “Kids used to be taught respect and now it’s cool to be disrespectful.”

    that was before 12/14 year old girls are throw against the wall or floor by a cop that says 4 times their wight

    “Parents used to get mad at their kids for getting arrested and now they get mad at us.”

    because they are arrested for things kids do like doodling and taking back to teachers

    “We used to be able to testify in court and we were believed. Now, unless there is video from three different angles, no one cares what you have to say.”

    that is because videos have proven over and over
    that cops are lying

  7. Stan W.
    June 18, 2020 at 14:34

    Police are government employees. Nuf’ said.

  8. Jeff Harrison
    June 18, 2020 at 12:30

    My opinion.
    What are police officers supposed to be doing? They are supposed to be stopping violations of the law when they see them taking place or when a citizen reports what looks like a violation of the law.

    What aren’t they supposed to be doing? They aren’t supposed to be sticking their noses into everything in sight trying to find out if a law is being broken. Examples. Up here where I live the cops were harassing a couple of teenagers because the one cop claimed that he’d heard them talking about a “nickle bag”. 50 years ago a nickle bag was an ounce of pot. Today five bucks’ll buy you a joint. For their part, the kids claimed that they were talking about Nickelback (a rock band). There was a big huge thing about weather the kids were saying nickel bag or nickelback. But it begs the real question – what did that […] cop think he was doing? Had a violation of the law occurred? No. You can talk about anything you like. So why did he hassle these two kids? Because he’s a […] cop. And a prime example of what is wrong with policing today. He wasn’t investigating a crime; he was investigating to see if he could find a crime. And that’s not the role of the police.

    Clearly, this bozo thinks that cops can do anything they want. And they can’t. And that’s where this guy’s argument for just following a cop’s commands falls apart. Can a cop tell you to jump off a bridge? No. Can he tell you to stop. Actually, legally, he can’t unless he’s first arrested you for some crime. Equally clearly, this guy thinks that the first thing that you should say upon encountering a cop is to say Jawhol mein herr obergruppenfurer.

  9. Philip Reed
    June 18, 2020 at 11:26

    It would have been nice if Ritter could have provided exact context and commentary, perhaps in audio form, regarding what he said Yates said about the Floyd killing. I can’t accept that Yates would say the way it was handled was appropriate and done by the book. That defies everything common sense and his career has stood for these past 27 years.
    I’m a retired Canadian police officer with 32yrs. experience and I can tell you there is no training in the world of policing that condones that type of arrest and procedure. Once the cuffs are on ,he’s to be picked off the ground and placed in the cruiser or paddy wagon.Period. Almost nine minutes in that type of restraint is unacceptable and wrong. Nobody in my circle disagrees with that.And I suspect Yates doesn’t either if represented properly.
    All the things that Yates promotes ,from officer safety, to professional driving courses, to education are obviously laudable points that go towards a more professional policing standard. I hope Yates responds to this smear article if indeed he even knows it exists.
    Scott, you’ve written many great articles but this isn’t one of them. Your military background doesn’t qualify you to expound ,with any degree of credibility , on the policing profession that is quite unique and separate from military and intelligence work. You could have at least attempted to speak with Yates before writing this unnecessary and cowardly hit

  10. Roland M
    June 18, 2020 at 02:37

    Hey, Scott… Your bio says you served “in Iraq overseeing the disarmament of WMD.”

    Which WMD would those be?

    • lexx
      June 19, 2020 at 12:22

      he was a weapons inspector before the invasion saying there were no WMD

    • michael Chattick
      June 21, 2020 at 15:16

      Ritter was an inspector between Kuwait invasion and 12 years.between first surrender alnd UN intervention inspector teams and the final extnction of Iraq as a nation 12 years later and early after search for WMD.
      While he says he told there was none his reports only say his group found none.
      a couple years later it was found that his group were in- directly connected to Israeli intel and were usingg that for choosing where and when to inspect.
      Inspections were supposedly under UN mandated Arms Control as lead agency, and not directly to US oe its allies, and while still a US military so were allied officers in the teams.
      Not once while in US service did he publicly come to aid of UN Inspector General who said no WMD existed. And UN leader tore apart by US and allies.
      It was only later when world waking up to vastness of US lies and public opinion changing did he come out of closet.
      A hero, to some extent, as he lost support of.NEOCONS and Repub//Demo NEOCON LYING CONGRESSIONAL AND EXECUTIVE BRANCH caught out in their lies.
      US populace at large owe him thanks for releasing details, but his and others did nothing to change outcome to Iraq or change american cultural traits that led to an iillegal and genocidal war making culture. From inside or outside US policy decision makers.
      Old saying that” organizational and infrastructural changes do not come from within and can only oome from without. As a proven axiom.

  11. Michael McNulty
    June 17, 2020 at 19:53

    If the economy collapses and the elite flee abroad to leave us in a Mad Max world, one of the greatest dangers we will face will be marauding gangs of ex-policemen. The elite they so willingly serve will leave them just as poor and hungry as the rest of us.

  12. Will
    June 17, 2020 at 17:38

    funny but if you changed the word from police to Registered Nurse, it would be more true, what with all the idiots (and especially cops it would seem) running around without masks (and the pay cuts we’re all taking because of COVID 19 wrecking the clinic/outpatient procedure/elective surgery biz). only none of us are quitting….cuz we ain’t snowflakes

  13. Andrew Thomas
    June 17, 2020 at 15:12

    Hiring black cops is the answer to nothing. Look at what happened in Baltimore, among many other incidents. And is anyone taking bets on who is going to be on stage with Trump in Tulsa? My money is on Yates.

  14. rosemerry
    June 17, 2020 at 14:59

    The “crimes” of so many people in the USA who are in contact with the police are in many cases minor, certainly not needing the “perp” to be arrested at all. Missing tail light, refusal to lower headlights, even trying to use a false $20 note or sell single cigarettes- no wonder US prisons are full if these are crimes and the banksters and CEOs live in luxury.
    To assume that the public consists mostly of dangerous criminals, to drive as if the catching of a driver is always urgent, to enter houses armed and shouting even if the house chosen is a mistake, to commandeer vehicles and their contents (could it be drugs??) are common behaviors in many of the 18000 (!)police forces, many armed with military cast-offs in an allegedly democratic developed country.
    Yates’s message of “do what you are told”, when the taught behavior of the cops is not to treat the public courteously and without violence or assumptions of guilt, would not bring out the best reactions even of law-abiding white people. I have been driving for over sixty years in many countries (NOT the USA) and ave from time to time been stopped and even fined, but always with courteous behavior by the police, and NEVER have I received SWAT teams in or near my house. OK, an old white woman, but so many stories and videos, plus words from Yates and others, show how uneven is the conduct of police towards different ages, colors, attitudes, mainly young black men being targeted and rich powerful white people not often facing such perils.

    • June 18, 2020 at 11:40

      You neglected to mention the scourge that is sleeping in public. A number of people were killed because of that, most recently in Atlanta.

      Police was authorized to be brutal and lethal by the top-most institution, including Supreme Court and Department of Justice.

  15. Steve Vender
    June 17, 2020 at 13:58

    Poor Major Yates, bemoaning the fact that police will no longer be able to testify in court because no one believes them any longer. I am a private investigator who specializes in criminal and indigent defense. I have been going to court for over twenty-five years and listening to cops testify. It’s a given fact that everyone lies in court. It’s also an indisputable fact that no one lies more than the cops on the witness stand. In my experience, a truthful cop is a rarity. If the police want to testify and be believed, then they should stop lying and tell the truth more, as they swore to do while taking the oath. As for Yates’ argument that George Floyd was a “walking dead man,” and that the murderer Chauvin was actually looking out for his well-being is so far out there that he’s sounding like the criminal, faux president. It’s an utterly preposterous argument, and I’m totally on board with Scott Ritter. Good riddance to a bad cop.

  16. evelync
    June 17, 2020 at 12:53

    Daniel Immerwahr’s book “How to Hide an Empire” shocked me and at the same time explained to me that the built in racist ugliness is built into the culture at the very top of this country’s power structure. And this country was not alone. After 30 years of Filipino resistance and with the aid of the Americans only at the very end the Spanish conceded. But the Filipino general was shut out of the concession because Spain told the Americans they would only concede to their white foe.
    The Filipino general at that point considered the U.S. their brothers in arms and expected the Americans to happily leave them their country.
    Instead the Americans started a brutal oppression including torture and waterboarding. Like the Spanish they considered people of color not their equal. The viciousness and racism in the highest levels of government and military as Immerwahr exposes, teaches us that the cultural racism is deeply rooted in the top echelons of government and seeps down to the police departments which it’s understood serve first and foremost the elite – those with power and money.

    Thank you Scott Ritter!!!!

  17. Michael McNulty
    June 17, 2020 at 11:26

    In my few dealings with the police I know some of them to be accomplished liars.

  18. Trisha
    June 17, 2020 at 09:58

    Win the Ambush? Perfect example of an emotional fear-based mindset that might be appropriate for a soldier in wartime but not for a “peace” officer whose job is not to make sure that HE gets home alive after every shift, but that CITIZENS get home alive, even if the “peace” officer has to take a bullet.

    And just how vulnerable is a “peace” officer to ambush these days? According to a January 2020 USA Today survey of the 25 most dangerous jobs in America, the job of patrol officer doesn’t even make the top 10, coming in at #16 behind agricultural workers, groundskeepers, farmers, and truck drivers.

    Too all those dominating pity-party “peace” officers like Major Yates, don’t let the door bang you on the ass on your way out.

  19. Guy
    June 17, 2020 at 09:23

    Maybe the training of police officers and who does it needs to be looked into.Scroll down for the transcript .

  20. Leonard Corwin
    June 17, 2020 at 08:54

    The article “Confessions of a Former Bastard Cop” on gives a startling look into apparently widespread attitudes about policing among policemen and how this militaristic culture is perpetuated through police academies and other cultural reinforcements. I won’t attempt to summarize it here; it would oversimplify it. This culture has little to do with preventing crime or making a better society. The article does have a number of positive suggestions about how alternative institutions could work.

  21. Skip Scott
    June 17, 2020 at 08:34

    I notice that Tulsa’s police chief is Black. I can’t help but think that one solution is to hire more Black cops to police Black neighborhoods. Although this acknowledges racism rather than solving it, it does take racism out of the equation when Black cops arrest Black criminals. There are many law abiding Blacks that live in fear in their own communities. They are often plagued by drug related gang violence. They want and need police presence for their protection. It is a sad reality that those police would be more accepted if they were also Black.

    Until the time when the world becomes truly color blind it would be wise to use as many Black police as possible in Black communities. And even better would be to have those Black cops come from the same neighborhood they are policing. Improving the safety, health and welfare of those communities would do a world of good for our collective future. The kids growing up in those communities deserve better opportunities.

    • jdd
      June 17, 2020 at 14:16

      Your suggestions makes a lot of sense. However, under the current atmosphere, largely a result of the immense propaganda effort given to legitimize the Soros creation known as Black Lives Matter,” the color of policemen makes no difference. The BLM movement, which is apparently now beyond reproach, has made “defunding” the police its number one demand and makes no bones about the fact that would like all police departments dismantled, as has begun in Minneapolis. Moreover, by attempting to make racism, not the threat of war, nor the exposed failure of the US Health system, nor the collapsing casino economy, into the primary issue in the upcoming presidential elections, it is now clear that the DNC hopes to ride that tide into the White House against supposed “arch-Racist” Trump.

  22. June 17, 2020 at 08:00

    Well done, Scott Ritter.

    And by the way, the black man, Rayshard Brooks, recently shot in Atlanta, was shot in the back.

    How can any police officer justify shooting someone in the back unless the man he was shooting had just committed a heinous crime?

    And what was Rayshard Brooks’ crime? Being drunk in the parking lot of a fast food restaurant and not wanting to be arrested.

    • Philip. Reed
      June 18, 2020 at 10:17

      Take a close look at the video John. All of it. He wasn’t just “ drunk” in a parking lot. He was behind the wheel of a car whilst impaired by alcohol. He wasn’t “drunk”. There’s a difference. Everything leading up to the attempted arrested for impaired care and control was by the book with all parties being respectful and cordial. Then as soon as Brooks realized he was going to be arrested he violently resisted and obtained the officer’s taser, which in Georgia is considered a lethal weapon in the wrong hands.That’s how Howard, the prosecutor who charged Rolfe with murder, described , in court, what a taser was just two weeks earlier.A lethal weapon. As he was being pursued by Rolfe he turned at an angle and fired the taser at Rolfe. Rolfe responded by shooting him and because of the angle the shots apparently hit him in the back.Where in the back we don’t know at this point. The video that is on offer doesn’t clearly show what happened after the part where Brooks turns as he’s running away and discharging the taser. The courts will decide that.
      As for your casual remark about “shooting in the back” it nowhere near covers what actually happened. Further do you think violently resisting a lawful arrest for impaired driving is acceptable behaviour in a civilized society. ? I know you from your commentary on the CBC (Canada) website. I thought you were a more reasonable person based on previous commentary . And finally did you know that Brooks was out on probation and this offence would have sent him back to prison. Probably the real reason he resisted so violently. You missed the mark on your assessment of this case.
      Finally,Ritter’s article isn’t great. It lacks context regarding Yates comments and whitewashes the overall record that Yates promotes. It’s an unnecessary smear. I’d love to see a rebuttal from Yates if he even knows what Ritter wrote.

    • RC
      June 19, 2020 at 10:22

      If you’re so drunk you can’t stay awake in a take out line you run a big risk of killing someone while driving home. Once he blew over the limit the cops could have told him to park the car & given him a ride home & a stern warning. Bet they wish they had.

    • lexx
      June 19, 2020 at 12:47

      Yes take a close look at the video Philip
      the cops says he THINKS he is drunk
      and he was SLEEPING maybe he was just tired from working a double shift or 3 jobs
      AND HE obtained the officer’s taser because it was in his hand(the cop) when Rayshard Brooks was ALREADY on the ground
      and he was shot RUNING AWAY he was no threat
      the cops HAD HIS CAR and his identity there was NO NEED to pursue him and then they waited TWO MINUTES BEFORE CALLING AN AMBULANCE

    • lexx
      June 19, 2020 at 13:20

      Take a close look at the video Philip
      the cops says he THINKS he is drunk
      and he was SLEEPING maybe he was just tired from working a double shift or 3 jobs
      AND HE obtained the officer’s taser because it was in his hand(the cop) when Rayshard Brooks was ALREADY on the ground
      and he was shot RUNING AWAY he was no threat
      the cops HAD HIS CAR and his identity there was NO NEED to pursue him and then they waited TWO MINUTES BEFORE CALLING AN AMBULANCE

  23. Jay B
    June 17, 2020 at 08:00

    What I have found a bit disturbing is the similarity in language between some law enforcement officers and the criminals they confront. We have heard armed robbers say, “If the guy (victim) would have just done what I told him, I wouldn’t have had to shoot him.” Sound familiar? “If the perp had just followed my commands, I wouldn’t have had to use lethal force.” Echoes of “Clockwork Orange.”

  24. Ieuan Einion
    June 17, 2020 at 07:58

    I think this video footage of the killing of Daniel Shaver in Arizona in 2016 illustrates exactly what is wrong with Major Yates’ contention that “there is a responsibility on the citizenry to follow the instructions of a police officer in front of them.” It also illustrates that whilst police violence may bear down heavily on African Americans, white people are not immune to it.


  25. MrK
    June 17, 2020 at 07:10

    “Moreover, Heather Mac Donald, who has “devoted her career to the proposition that anti-white racism is a far more serious problem than anti-black racism,” and is employed by the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think tank which, among other ideas for urban reform, promotes “proactive policing” as a means of combatting crime.”

    The Manhattan Institute:

    – Employed Charles F. Murray of The Bell Curve, until in 1990 he bacame a full time employee of the Koch brothers’ Donors Trust funded American Enterprise Institute or AEI. Other thoughtleaders at the AEI: Ayaan Hirsi Ali (Submission), Christina Hoff Sommers (Freedom Feminism), etc.

    “In high school, at the height of the Civil Rights movement, Charles Murray burned a cross on a hill in his Iowa town, according to a New York Times profile of Murray. Murray later claimed he had no idea that his cross-burning had any racial significance.”

    It appears large brained Murray isn’t that bright after all.

    – Produced the Broken Windows Theory of policing by James. Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling.

  26. Michael Meo
    June 16, 2020 at 23:31

    The picture of Major Yates as an experienced, educated, informed, and highly respected professional, with which you began this piece, was clearly substantiated. The opposite part, which was intended to characterize him as a racist bad apple, was not substantiated at all; rather, you used guilt by association and contestation of his statements by people who differed with the studies he cited.
    The strongest part of your argument was the citing of Major Yates’ opinion that there are only the alternative to police shootings is immediate compliance with police orders, no matter what the circumstances. That indeed reflects a widespread problem within the police forces of this country, which tend to make resisting arrest a death sentence.
    Calling such a person ‘racist’ is unwarranted and destructive of rational argument.

      June 17, 2020 at 09:07

      There is a MORAL and LAWFUL solution which Mr.YATES seems not to care about- DO NOT SHOOT ANYONE who is simply DISOBEYING COMMANDS. When an OFFICER DISOBEYS the COMMANDS of this SUPERIOR, does the Superior SHOOT him???

      If however the “suspect” is approaching the officer with a WEAPON, as with ANY CITIZEN, and YES the Police officer is only a CITIZEN, with a Badge, then and only then should he like ANY CITIZEN have the RIGHT to defend himself.

      I am old enough to remember, when Police,in MY COUNTRY would have simply taken the mans CAR KEYS ,after locking his car and tell him to go home, sober up, come to the Police station in the morning to retrieve his keys and and then tell him to go and pick up his car.

      THAT is REAL Policing, by Police who care about others,unlike today’s Police Officer’s RACIST trainers in Israel.

      TOO MUCH work? Not exciting enough?

    • June 17, 2020 at 10:03

      The rest of his article is not substantiated? Clearly your point of view mirrors Yates and evidence to the contrary is summarily ignored. Yates thinks blacks are more likely to be harshly treated because that is who they interact with most. You don’t dig any deeper to see that many of those blacks are wholly innocent to begin with. Maybe they interact with them more by their choice, whether criminal or not. How many whites do you think are suspects like the professor who was entering his own house and the police took that as an attempted break in, or the child playing with a toy gun in a park, or the black comedian cuffed while a policeman knelt on his neck because he was wearing gray clothes. The lists go on and on.
      As for his immediate compliance argument, There are quite a few videos out there that show many whites attempting to flee like the recent one of a suspect backing up for escape and almost hit the officer. No shots fired. I saw one where an armed mentally disturbed white man pointed a gun at them and the officers took a lot of time talking him down. No shots fired. That list goes on and on as well.
      I also don’t see how guilt by association is implied in this article, when Yates actually TEACHES hair trigger responses to other cops. You chose to ignore how these explanations of statistics makes Yates look complicit. Much more of the country’s people are wanting to take a closer look however for the sake of us all.

    • AnneR
      June 17, 2020 at 11:03

      He is (Yates is) if he believes as he appears to by his own statements that most African Americans are criminals/criminally inclined. And therefore apparently (no matter how minor the so-called crime) deserve to be shot.

      As for us all – whatever our complexion – having immediately stand straight, click our heels and shout “Jawohl, mein herr” to a member of the Filth when they order us to do this or that. Or we should expect (apparently correctly) to be shot, kneed, tasered to death. People (?) like this Yates (all too bloody many in the Filth) seem to have forgotten who really pays their wages (certainly not the rich, bourgeois whiteys whose crimes they tend to completely ignore), that they are OUR servants, not theirs.

    • TimN
      June 17, 2020 at 11:10

      Yates is racist. He’s not your garden variety racist, but he is racist. You got fooled by his educational achievements. He’s not some cracker, but his childish, self-serving imbecile statements make it clear what he is.

  27. John R
    June 16, 2020 at 21:48

    Good work here from Scott Ritter – thanks for offering it. “After digging into the details of both Major Yates and the history of systemic racism that exists in the Tulsa Police Department today, all I can say is, “Good riddance.”

    I feel exactly the same – policeman that think and advocate his brand of justice need to find another line of work ASAP -before they find yet another reason to kill another citizen they are supposed to be protecting. The citizens are not the enemy and this is not supposed to be a war.

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