All in the Family featured the curmudgeonly Archie Bunker. Archie was television’s most famous grouch, blunt, blustering, straightforward and untouched by the PC crowd. He was the archetype of the conservative male. Michael desprately tried to reeducate him, but he persisted in his breviloquence.

Looking back at the last 40 years, we realize: ARCHIE WAS RIGHT!


NWA Was Right (again)

Is it now illegal to be a MAN and a police officer?  No honest to God man would do what cops in Louisiana did.

Riley Miller's daddy might have died Nov 1 in house fire.  It is possible.  Perhaps that's what the cops thought they were protecting Ryan Miller from when they tasered handcuffed and locked him up in a police car while his one year old son died looking for his mommy and daddy in their burning home.
Firefighters later discovered the body of Riley Miller near the doorway to a bedroom.
It's true I have no idea what the exact situation was at the time of the incident.  I don't know how high the flames were or how bad the smoke was.  I also have no idea why they didn't get the kid out when they got out.

One thing I do I know and believe with all my hart.  Ryan Miller is endowed by God with the right to his life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.  Ryan Miller and only Ryan Miller owns his life.  It is his, given to him for good or ill, by the creator of the universe.  Would he have thrown it way running into that house?  God knows, I don't.  The point is, it was his to risk as he saw fit.  Sometimes men die after they run into a burning building.  Sometimes they save a life.  Sometimes the life they are protecting is worth more to them than their own.  That's the way it is supposed to be.

I don't know if Ryan Miller would have become a hero or another statistic if he went back into his burning house.  By all that is Holy, he should have been allowed to do it.


  1. WaterBoy3:24 AM

    First, I have to say that I agree with you 100% -- he should have been allowed to go back in, as it was his life to risk.


    Events don't happen in a vacuum, and there are possible repercussions of his actions on other citizens of the city.

    Firemen are (usually) government employees, and their equipment and training is paid for with citizens' taxes. One or more of those firemen might have been tempted to go in after him, despite their training telling them it was already too late. While the loss of Mr. Miller would not have much direct effect on the city's coffers, the loss of firemen would. Is it right that the rest of the city has to pay for the loss of any firemen in terms of death benefits and replacement costs because of Mr. Miller's action?

    Furthermore, the widow could flip and sue the city for negligence for the policemen/firemen allowing Mr. Miller to go in. While SCOTUS has held that police (and presumably similar employees like firemen) can not be held legally liable for not responding in time to a life-threatening situation, it is not certain that same ruling would hold in this case, especially since they were already on site. Taking a case like this through the court system could cost the city, and by extension its tax-paying citizens, a fortune. A settlement would be the most likely outcome, again paid for by the citizens.

    So, I would change fire/police department policies to allow residents to enter their own burning residences under the following conditions:
    1. No fire/police employees are allowed to follow the resident in, if the condition of the fire under the existing policy would otherwise prohibit them from entering.

    2. The city cannot be held legally liable for a fire/police employee allowing a resident to enter under provision #1.

    Since I can't imagine either of those would actually be enacted anywhere, it's difficult to condemn them for acting as they were trained to act.

  2. I understand that no one is required to save another person, including those who are paid to be in the FD or PD.

    That said, "we might get sued" is a piss poor excuse for stopping a man from doing the right thing. No doubt they will get sued now. The fact that the boy made it out of bed and into a hall way proves he wasn't immediately over come by the fire.

    If the grandmother is correct and they arrested the dad, instead of just restraining him, they have committed an unlawful detention. Not that the cops will be arrested or see trial for it.

  3. WaterBoy2:23 PM

    Res: "That said, "we might get sued" is a piss poor excuse for stopping a man from doing the right thing. "

    I'm not saying it was right -- I'm only pointing out that is the way it is, and that is what needs to be changed.

    Police and fire dept personnel are trained to try to prevent suicides, too. In their onsite opinion, that's what this guy was trying to do, noble as it was.

    Do you think that police/fire personnel should let everyone trying to commit suicide do so, while they just stand by and watch, waiting to clean up the mess?

    Not that it really matters, but it was apparently on the orders of the fire department that the police acted to detain him, because he was interfering with their efforts to save the boy.

  4. WaterBoy2:31 PM

    Res: "If the grandmother is correct and they arrested the dad, instead of just restraining him, they have committed an unlawful detention."

    He apparently was taken to the jail but released without being charged, and later treated at the hospital for the burns he suffered when first trying to rescue the boy.

    But if there is a provision in the city code against interfering with the operations of fire department personnel -- and it would be difficult to imagine the fire department ordering his restraint if there wasn't -- then it wasn't unlawful however wrong it might otherwise be considered.

  5. WaterBoy2:34 PM

    Res: "No doubt they will get sued now."

    In such a situation, they were bound to be sued no matter what they did.

    In their eyes (lawsuit + 1 dead) > (lawsuit + 2 dead)

  6. Res Ipsa7:07 PM


    Your points are well taken, and not lost on me.

  7. WaterBoy2:04 AM

    I'm also curious if there are any conditions under which you would say the fire department would be justified in preventing Mr. Miller from entering, or if it's an absolute right no matter what.

    For example, if he was physically disabled and in a wheelchair, but the house had been made wheelchair accessible? Or he was mentally handicapped, but not under the legal guardianship of anyone? Or if it was the boy's 15-year-old brother instead of Mr. Miller?

    It seems to me that everyone has circumstantial limits, and the main point of contention between people is usually where to set those limits. Age of consent is a perfect example.

  8. WaterBoy2:24 AM

    FWIW, my opinion is that his right to go back in ended the minute they called 9-1-1 and the fire department showed up. At that moment, he asked the fire department to help him, and gave control of the situation over to them. If he subsequently didn't like their decisions, he should have told them to leave and he would go back to handling it himself.

    Like I said, I agree that the fire department should have given him permission to go back in, since it was theirs to give or not give, and subject to their department's official policy. But since they didn't, Mr. Miller should have accepted whatever happened after that or sent them packing.

  9. The fire department didn't stop him the cops did. Had the FD been there chances are they would have gone in with the proper equip etc.

    It seems (from my rereading) that there was a time delay from when the cops showed up and when the FD arrived. When the FD arrived they felt the fire was to hot to enter. If it was at the time of the incident we can't say. That said there is no limit to what he should have been allowed to do.

    Maybe Miller would have been in time, maybe not. In any event they stopped him. That should have been enough there was no reason to arrest him on top of it.

    Any adult should be able to sacrifice their life as they see fit.

  10. WaterBoy8:53 PM

    I had looked around for other articles on this situation, since there weren't many details in the article to which you linked.

    For example, this one reports:

    Officials said the smoke was too overwhelming, so Ryan tried to get back in through the front of the home, even though firefighters told him it was too dangerous.

    This would seem to indicate that the fire department was already on site before he tried to go in.


    Officials said police tried to restrain him but Ryan would not cooperate; an officer ultimately had to use a Taser to restrain him.

    The police apparently tried to physically restrain him before using the taser. And it was in yet another article that it was reported that the fire department ordered the police to restrain him, though I cannot locate it now.

    I'm not sure if we'll ever see the full story, though.