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Canton, OH Police Officer Goes Berserk

By Wyatt Earp | July 22, 2011

Jason sent me this story, and I am still shaking my head. Canton Police Officer Daniel Harless is seen – on his dashboard video camera – angrily berating and even threatening to shoot a man because he didn’t tell him he had a permit to carry quick enough.

A profanity-laced dash-cam video from a Canton, Ohio police car that shows a street cop threatening a legally-armed citizen with felony charges, and possible execution, is racing across cyberspace at warp speed, enraging gun rights activists all over the country. The police department has begun an internal investigation.

The officer is identified as Daniel Harless, and he has been on sick leave since Monday of this week, the newspaper said. He has also been placed on administrative leave.

There’s more idiocy below the fold.

Ya gotta give Officer Harless points for being such a knucklehead while he is being filmed by his own dash camera. Irony alert!

The video shows that the unidentified motorist tried at least twice to advise the officer, who continually interrupted him with shouts at the armed citizen and the two other people, one of whom the cop alleged was a prostitute. Finally, the man in the car was able to tell the officer he was armed, and that’s when the cop completely lost his composure.

Here’s the . Suffice to say, this guy is not exactly a “people person,” and he sure as hell shouldn’t be wearing a badge.

Now, I’ve seen this story at more than a few websites and in each case the comments section devolved into a cop hate fest. And that’s fine. If people want to do that here, I have no problem with it, just don’t expect me to jump into the fray. Regular readers know that I am the first one to put up a post when a PPD officer is arrested, fired, or otherwise disciplined. You folks know how I feel about bad cops, so you can assume how I feel about Officer Harless.

That being said, as of 2006, there were approximately 800,000 law enforcement officers in America. Lumping every one of them into Harless’ category is like lumping every member of the military in with Lynndie England and Nidal Malik Hasan.

That’s all I got; have at it.

Topics: The Job | 20 Comments »

20 Responses to “Canton, OH Police Officer Goes Berserk”

  1. Bluwall Says:
    July 22nd, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    I got nuthin’ you said it all – - – he shouldn’t have a badge.

    I hate when these things happen; now I’ll have to spend all weekend at the BBQs defending the JOB.

    We’ll be “discussing” this at turn-out tonight.

  2. JT Says:
    July 22nd, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    That’s all I got; have at it.


    The older I get, the more I think it’s always been “The Good Guys vs. The Bad Guys”.

    Figuring out “who’s who” is always gonna be a challenge.

    No matter what their public persona.

  3. Jason Says:
    July 22nd, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    I submitted the video to highlight the fact that mandating shall notify is ridiculous. If a person passes the miriad of background checks to buy and legally carry a gun, chances are high that they won’t go on shooting sprees at the sight of the first uniformed officer.

    Bashing cops is stupid. Save your energy for bashing the moonbat anti-gun folks who work daily to render us defenseless against criminals. The hatred for gun owners is bred not within the rank and file of police officers but within the ranks of leftists who engage in the drafting of policy that deprives us of our rights.

    Then again, the least intelligent amongst us practice hatred towards the police right up until the time they need a cop for something. They harbor the same hatred for guns, the military, and everything else that makes us free.

  4. Kim Says:
    July 22nd, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    I saw this earlier today and just had to shake my head in disgust. I don’t lump (or try not to) all cops into a negative category. I try to be realistic when it comes to cops.

    1. They are human.
    2. They have a dangerous, highly stressful job.
    3. I have a great deal of respect for them. The respect is earned by the badge. It is lost by the behavior of the person wearing the badge.

    This cop lost my respect. Maybe he was having a really crappy day and took it out on the driver or maybe he is like that on a regular basis. Either way, as of right now, my civilian opinion of him is he does not need to be in public.

    By the way, if I ever lump all law enforcement into a “cop bashing” category, please string me up and flog me.

  5. Old NFO Says:
    July 22nd, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    All I’ll say is he needs to be GONE… he does not need to be a police officer.

  6. Robert B. Says:
    July 22nd, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    I saw this over at Lawdog’s blog. He said it best.

    In my travels, I have mercifully never encountered such a badge pinned on a dope. He should be reduced in rank back to civilian.

  7. Otis P. Driftwood Says:
    July 22nd, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    I have utmost respect for policemen and others who put their lives on the line. But there is no need to be badge-heavy in just doing your job.

  8. L Frame S&W Says:
    July 22nd, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    “Excuse me officer, but if I wanted you dead, you would be bleeding in the back of my car”

  9. fozzy Says:
    July 22nd, 2011 at 11:20 pm

    Cleanse your palate with this vid of some idiot trying to get a cop to freak out so he can post it on youtube. The officer is calm, professional and makes the instigator look like an asshole.

    What kind of idiot open carries an airgun anyways?

  10. PapaMAS Says:
    July 22nd, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    No cop-bashing here. The police have to be held to high standards due to the nature of their job. This guy has spectacularly failed at that and should be gone. Period.

  11. Sebastian Says:
    July 22nd, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    I didn’t focus on this in my post, but it’s really surprising this guy not only left the driver in the vehicle, but the other officer arriving on the scene is searching the back seat. Screw whether or not the guy had a gun, you just left him in control of a two ton bludgeon.

  12. John A Says:
    July 23rd, 2011 at 1:09 am

    fozzy – airgun?? S%W 40cal [even unloaded] is an airgun?

    I too was going to link that vid, because it shows what happens almost all the time and is thus “boring,” and that sort of thing does not get to YouTube. Both were non-confrontational, and once “Jeremy” got over most of his nervousness (which has been my reaction to being approached by LEOs too, even when it turned out the guy was asking for directions) got a bit friendly. That it was a coastal community in California makes it more interesting.

    Perhaps you quit watching as soon as it became obvious “Jeremy” did indeed have an agenda. To accustom the people at large to the occasional sight of a non-uniformed person with a weapon, in the hope that there will be less panic when it happens. Do what happened here: several people called about the unusul sight, an officer checked it out, end of story. Not what has happened elsewhere, like the mother and 5-year-old child who got “rousted” in a playground when people panic-objected. Eventually, of course, she was able to show she had had death threats and ALWAYS carried.

    I am undecided about the method “Jeremy” used, but he was hoping to avert future problems – not start them.

  13. PhillipC Says:
    July 23rd, 2011 at 2:22 am

    Wyatt, you and some of the other blogging officers out there show that not everyone with a badge is bad.

    I’m quite happy that the video of this is spreading far and wide, and hope that the department that employs Mr. Harless takes the exact same action against him that it would take against a non-officer for the same infraction. I believe that it would go a long way towards resolving some of the animosity people are beginning to feel towards police in general if it’s shown that this sort of thing isn’t going to be swept under the rug. Unfortunately, based on what I’ve read of the officer’s past IA investigations and reprimands, the only thing that will make a difference this time is the amount of publicity the incident has received.

    Unfortunately, a good cop never gets any airtime in the media. I’m glad there are so many good ones, but it would be nice if there were some way of weeding these bad ones out before they end up in this kind of video. I wish I had a foolproof method of doing that, but I don’t. In the meantime, keep up the good fight, and stay safe.

  14. Ranba Ral Says:
    July 23rd, 2011 at 7:41 am

    This guy definitely needed to go. I’ve talked about the different cops in our area before, at least in passing. Overall they tend to be good. Some towns’ police forces tend to be more dickish than others, but that’s to be expected to a degree.

    On a related note, I wonder if you’ve noticed this in your Department Wyatt, or if it’s a local thing, but from interacting with officers at the polling stations and just in public when I worked retail, it seems to me that the newer guys are more aggressive and curt than new guys were about 10 years ago. Has there been a shift in overall training in dealing with the public?

  15. C/A Says:
    July 23rd, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    Saw it. Every profession has its share of jerk-offs. Police work is no exception. The cop was out of line. That’s where it begins and ends. On the other hand the other cop there should have told him to take a breather and let him handle it since he was obviously bent out of shape. Nice way to get your boys back. NOT!
    Some cops have a big problem with people who carry. They need to realize that the way things are going (violence wise) you are only going to see MORE people carrying in the future, not less. Sign of the times.

  16. richard mcenroe Says:
    July 23rd, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    Of course the union will stand up for him a lot harder than they would if the suspect was Vinnie Vato or Patrice Lumumba Jihad X….

  17. DocHoliday916 Says:
    July 23rd, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    No cop is a good cop if they’re harboring and enabling bad cops. The Left has always had a hatred for law enforcement because of their belief in law enforcement supporting a “capitalist oppressive patriarchy….etc. etc.” I’m on the other side of the political galaxy and have no use for the Left. This video is troubling. Problem is, it’s not the only one out there. Police behaving badly. It’s happening too much and with tragic consequences. Day by day, the police are losing my support and I’m not the only one. Harless and the Canton PD have struck the wrong nerve. The police CANNOT harbor its share of jerk-offs simply because part of the currency of the profession requires the application of lethal force if needed. Either the police departments across this country shape up and take proactive steps to reclaim the confidence lost or communities are going to vote and pressure community leaders to impose upon their PD’s “improvements” the cops are not going to like. I’m no more than a nameless face in the crowd, humble with no ego…but if the LEO’s are losing my heart and mind and those of similar political stripe…there’s a problem…a big problem.

  18. Wyatt Earp Says:
    July 23rd, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    Ranba – Absolutely. The younger cops today come out of the academy thinking they know it all. They don’t show respect to us – detectives who have almost 20 years on – so you can imagine how they treat the public.

    When I got out off the academy, I was trained by a few old-timers. They told me to keep ears open and my mouth shut. You don’t have that in Philly anymore because we have rookies training rookies. It’s sad.

    There are more than a few cops in our division that we’re hoping quit or get fired.

  19. Dagney77 Says:
    July 24th, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    From a youtube comment: Start a call flood, call the Department and demand the firing of this Police Office. The officer involved is Patrolman Daniel Harless. The Chief is Police Chief Dean McKimm his phone number is (330) 489-3111. The phone number for Internal Affairs is (330) 489-3377. The Mayor is William Healy (330) 438-4307. CALL TODAY, be nice and polite, but stand your ground and demand he be fired. If anyone of you were to threaten to murder anyone, you would be in JAIL.

  20. Rev.Greenbud Says:
    July 25th, 2011 at 11:50 am

    The problem in policing and governance today is an attitude of selfishness, greed, and loathing that have replaced ethics, morale values, and faith in today’s young people. Most of the responsibility for this lies with our generation. We didn’t teach or instruct them in wisdom and righteousness. They couldn’t really lose their way because they never knew the way. The fabric of the family in America is dry-rotted from neglect. It’s every man for himself, this is a desolate path for a society and a country. The answer of course is simple enough, return unto the Lord, for if He lift us up we will be lifted indeed.