Every state has a law allowing individuals to be involuntarily committed in the event that they are in such a mental state that they are an imminent danger to themselves or others. In Florida, it’s called a Baker Act, and it allows a doctor or law enforcement officer to hold a person for up to 72 hours for the purposes of medical and psychological evaluation, if that professional reasonably believes that they are a threat to themselves or others.

My last day at work, I placed a woman under a Baker Act after she told me that she had ingested several handfuls of pills in an attempt to commit suicide. If you do this, your documentation had better be able to stand up in court. Because if you misuse this power, you will and should get your ass sued. It’s one of the reasons why I carry a million dollars worth of malpractice insurance, and why that policy includes coverage of my legal bills.

But what happens if you are a cop with qualified immunity? What if you decide to misuse this power by lying in order to place an ex-girlfriend on an involuntary hold, then use force to enforce it? That’s exactly what Pennsylvania State Trooper Ronald Davis did. One of her friends got it all on video:

As I was watching this, I was thinking to myself, “What if this was my sister, or a close friend? Would I stand by and allow this, while just filming? Or would I use force to protect her from this felony domestic battery?”
If I *did* intervene, would I go to jail? Would other cops automatically take this cop’s side, and either arrest or ventilate me? I think we know the answer to both of those questions. If you are a cop and are reading this- This is what you should be asking yourself:

This cop is obviously a bad cop. Would I arrest someone for intervening in this situation? What if that person was holding the cop at gunpoint? Would I shoot them for pointing a gun at a cop? Even if it was being done to stop the officer’s felonious battery of an innocent woman? If so, can you still call yourself a good cop?

Something needs to be done. For starters, I think that qualified immunity should be eliminated. Let cops get personally sued into oblivion for stuff like this. They can go out and get malpractice insurance, just like medical professionals do.

Second, I think that cops should have *every* use of force judged by a panel of at least 7 people, and that panel should consist of: A judge, two current or retired police officers, and 4 citizens who are not convicted felons. That panel would have the power to fine police officers or refer them to the Grand Jury and suspend their LEO certification pending completion of the Grand Jury’s deliberations. The judge is there to advise the others on the meaning of the law, and only gets a vote in the event of a tie.

What other things might work?

Categories: CopsCrimePolice State


TheLastOfTheAmericans · September 25, 2023 at 5:33 am

What in the hell led up to this? Cops should nope the hell out of calls on ex-girlfriends and call in other cops to handle it, for sure. Think of it like a Judge recusing themselves. Conflict of interest and just generally stupid unless life is at risk. He obviously isn’t wearing a uniform.

But what are the circumstances that led up to the two of them being on the ground in the first place? That article doesn’t say nor does the media piece. Did he literally “red flag” her himself on the spot without an actual judge signing off on it? They are in a campground by the looks of it? Her current boyfriend filming it? Uh yeah…if that is the case, enjoy a long court battle followed by jail, dude.

I disagree completely about qualified immunity. If he did this outside of his normal duties as a police officer (AKA off duty) he isn’t covered by qualified immunity.

Boneman · September 25, 2023 at 5:44 am

Yeah there’s all kinds of wrong here. It gets a LOT of tapes playing in my head as to my interactions with the PSP. Other abuses of such things as “PFA” orders. Had that one turned on ME by the Evil X during the divorce. Based on her WORD alone… as spouted before a magistrate in PA. and written down in a sworn afadavit. Utter fabrications the magistrates will ALWAY err on the side of caution and I was summarily evicted from my home AND sans any trial whatsoever, I became a “Physical Abuser” in the commonwealth. That required me to have to REGISTER with any local L.E. agency where I lived as such. Fortunately, my atty convinced HER atty to have her “withdraw” her complaint at the settlement hearing. Hence, as if by magic, I was no LONGER a “Physical Abuser” in the eyes of the law.

Nice, huh?

There are so MANY such cases… where crap like this can be and are abused. This cop? I hope he gets his comeuppance in spades… clubs, diamonds and hearts too.

    Divemedic · September 25, 2023 at 8:05 am

    It happened to me, too. Back in 2014, but that one was my own dumb fault. While we were together, I told her how a previous girlfriend had used a domestic violence accusation to extort money from me back in 2004. When we broke up, she tried doing the same thing. If I hadn’t told her about that first time, she wouldn’t have known how to do it.
    The second girlfriend was a dumbass. She listed the wrong name on the petition, and screwed up the accusations. It was dismissed without too much trouble. The first one, the one from 2004? Hers was a bitch to beat. She had no problem lying and making up stories to prove her point, and wasn’t shy about crying in the courtroom to gain sympathy.
    In the case that caused this post with the cop, he had no problem using his position and authority in order to use his badge like a sword. I hope he goes to jail on a felony and I hope he gets a domestic violence conviction so he is a prohibited person. He doesn’t need to be a cop.

nones · September 25, 2023 at 5:53 am

Whomever is doing the recording must be on the side of the cop. That is why they did not try to intervene even verbally.

    Divemedic · September 25, 2023 at 8:06 am

    He’s actually pretty smart. Had he intervened, he likely would have been shot, either by the cop in the video, or an arriving officer. It’s no secret that cops stick together, and right or wrong, had he used force to stop that officer, he would have either been killed or gone to jail.

C · September 25, 2023 at 6:18 am

Doctors do it all the time here. They get away with it because few people in the Podunk BFE town have time/money for a lawyer. I’ve had a surprising number of people come in from a pickup order called on them. No erratic behavior. They’re not seeing stuff that isn’t there, not hearing voices, or threatening anything. They’re as calm and rational as can be. Docs are like “Let’s play it safe and send them to a psych facility any way”. I’m sure you know how it goes when John Q Public is told he’s being sent to the loony bin, and he knows he doesn’t have the insurance to cover it.

In other news: https://youtu.be/J6g6N4CJ6uk?si=gaO56t2nNoS67cw-


    Divemedic · September 25, 2023 at 8:17 am

    I can’t comment on your statement about doctors, beyond telling you that we document the exact reasons for a Baker Act (BA), and that is in the medical record. For example, “Patient stated to me that she took several handfuls of pills, to include killazine and dozeafil. Patient also stated that she has been diagnosed with depression and is under the care of a psychiatrist, further stating that she took the pills with the expressed intent of self harm. Involuntary protocol initiated and countersigned by Dr. Bones”

    It isn’t hard to get a no cost lawyer for a malpractice suit in Florida. There are billboards all over the state from lawyers like Dan Newlin, Jon Morgan, and others. They are free, unless they win.

    As to the video you linked to, it’s off topic, so I won’t comment here. I’ve seen that video, and there is a future post coming on that.

      C · September 25, 2023 at 3:16 pm

      Yeah. All Docs and states are different. I’ve just seen it abused here. Nobody here ever does anything though.

      Sweet. I look forward to reading it.

Noway2 · September 25, 2023 at 6:49 am

I seriously doubt I would have just stood around and filmed it, but then I’m a bit older and that what we learned to fo growing up. Honestly, while watching the video, I wanted to shoot his ass and make him into a good cop right there and if his buddies want to play cop games then we can play and see how many of them become good cops before I get taken out. I’ve long ago made up my mind thst I won’t be detained, I won’t go to jail or prison. I’ll go to Hell and the question will be how many bastards are going with me.

As far as what can be done? I like your ideas, including a panel which is majority non legal system entities and the illumination of immunity. You also know as well as I do that the system will never voluntarily relinquish the powers it’s grabbed or been given until forced to and that alone will eliminate a lot of cops, many of whom will simply quit and find other ways to bully.

I also think we need to get rid of all career law enforcement. It will always lead to tyranny. The founders were against standing armies and in their day, the solders (army) were the law enforcers. We didn’t have career cops until the late 1800s and shouldn’t have them today. We should go back to an elected sheriff who can deputized on an as needed and temporary basis.

Also, the 4th amendment is clear in that nobody should be detained or otherwise messed with unless upon warrant issued by and cause pled before a grand jury (the local people). It doesn’t say, unless some State super goon thinks you’ve committed a violation. Along these lines, get rid of State prosecution. This too is a modern concept. Go back to local trials and local punishments. This would also eliminate a plethora of “crimes against the state”.

I despise the legal system and cops in general for what it and they represent. While I’m not at the point of personally acting, yet, I have also decided that if I’m on a jury for anybody doing anything to a state agent or member of the legal system, I will not convict them for any “crime”, including death, to said member. You read that right, I will not even recognize them as human or having any rights because of what they are and how reprehensible I find them.

Now, it’s time to go read some Solzhenitsyn.

Anonymous · September 25, 2023 at 11:26 am

A LEO could be raping your toddler, and 97% of Americans will video you stopping that battery for use in your prosecution. People who want freedom are numerically a small minority, and will always be. “3%” isn’t a meme, it’s a measurement observed from early US history.

Robert (Not Rob) · September 25, 2023 at 12:30 pm

Some follow up to this story, published in the news media…

“The ex-girlfriend was involuntarily committed for five days and did not display any suicidal thoughts during that time, according to medical personnel.

Officer Davis, who prosecutors said is married with a family, is facing charges of felony strangulation, unlawful restraint, false imprisonment, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person and official oppression.

He was remanded without bail following an arraignment Thursday, the DA’s office said.”

This soon-to-be ex-cop is toast.

C · September 25, 2023 at 3:21 pm

Happy to see this opinion. I saw a video of a cop getting butt hurt over a guy knowing his rights and escalating to physical force. Cop was getting his ass handed to him until a couple of bystanders came to his aid. Me? Cop is on his own.

Grumpy51 · September 25, 2023 at 3:26 pm

At least one judge and DA saw through his shenanigans —

“Davis was charged with felony strangulation, unlawful restraint, false imprisonment, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person and official oppression.

He was remanded without bail after an arraignment on September 21.”

From here — https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-12556677/Married-Pennsylvania-cop-faces-false-imprisonment-charges-improperly-committing-ex-mental-health-facility-shocking-12-minute-arrest-video-allegedly-saying-Ill-paint-crazy.html

D · September 26, 2023 at 9:32 am

I think it’s a good idea. But the panel needs to have two other powers:

* The ability to decide if someone who “intervened” even gets referred to a grand jury or not.

* The option to say “this is an absolutely egregious violation of individual rights” and (if found guilty by a jury) the the government thug and human piece of garbage automatically gets raised to “hanging in the town square”.

Me · October 4, 2023 at 11:43 pm

I am a retired lawyer who did lots of defense work for cops and other gov’t officials. Qualified immunity should really only be a defense in the case of a situation where the law is unclear–that is, where the cop has no legal guidance. I have not seen it abused too often. The more problematic issue is absolute immunity accorded to prosecutors and judges. They can’t be sued at all, which leads to all these bogus charges against Trump, and the J6 people getting 20 years in jail for nothing, for example.

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