Meet The Police Chief Who Quoted ‘American Sniper’ In His Non-Apology For A Dead Informant

There’s been some news coverage recently about the controversial law enforcement practice of using college-aged drug informants. Basically, the way it works is, a student tries to buy a small amount of drugs from an undercover agent, is then threatened with a strict sentence, and instead agrees to become an informant. Trouble is, being a snitch is dangerous, and informants end up dead all the time.

That’s what happened recently to Andrew Sadek, a 20-year-old student at North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton.

Sadek himself was entrapped by a C.I. who bought marijuana from him on two occasions. Although the total value of the sales was just $80, Sadek faced up to 20 years in prison because the sales occurred in a “school zone.” He agreed to do to others what had been done to him, buying marijuana at SEMCA’s [Southeast Multi-County Agency Drug Task Force] direction from two dealers at his school on three occasions from November 2013 to January 2014. Each time Sadek bought an eighth of an ounce for $60. According to the BCI report, he had to buy from two more dealers “to fulfill his obligation in resolving the charges he had been facing.” But at that point Sadek stopped communicating with his handler at SEMCA, which therefore charged him with two felonies and a misdemeanor on May 9.

That was a week after Sadek was reported missing. On June 27 his body was found in the Red River near Breckenridge, Minnesota, with a gunshot wound to the head.

Unpaid college students get tricked into working for free all the time, why should law enforcement be any different? A human life is a small price to pay for getting three eighths of dangerous marijuana off the streets. Seriously though, don’t take the plea deal, folks. Hire a lawyer. And move out of North Dakota.

In any case, if that alone wasn’t enough to illustrate the pure assholery of the police, check out the pull quote from Wahpeton Police Chief Scott Thorsteinson, who channels American Sniper in his nonpology:

In an interview with KVLY, the NBC station in Fargo, Thorsteinson said Sadek’s death is no cause for reflection on the methods used by drug warriors in North Dakota. “These types of investigations are conducted the same way pretty much everywhere where people breathe in and out,” he said. “They never did anything wrong that needed to be changed.” Thorsteinson, who acknowledged that Sadek’s mother “had to go through a difficult ordeal,” explained that busting drug offenders is a thankless but necessary job. “Law enforcement…we’re generally not popular,” he told KVLY. “The sheep dog is not loved by the flock, and they’re hated by the wolf, but we do it anyway.” []

Swish! Nailed it, bro. You’re exactly like that sniper, having to make life-or-death decisions to protect the boys in your platoon from those bloodthirsty pot dealers. It’s all worth it when they get home safely to their mothers and wives with non-bloodshot eyes. I heard one of the dealers actually competed in the Olympics of pot, won a Bronze for Colombia. How many of our boys have to take naps in pot-leaf blankets before someone does something?

Just look at this guy. Isn’t he the epitome of sheepdog?

I bet his genes were spliced with wolf DNA, like C-Tates in Jupiter Ascending.

The sheepdog speech that showed up in the movie version of American Sniper never actually appeared in the memoir, and seems to have been going around in various forms for some time.

The sheepdog speech comes from Lieutenant Colonel David Grossman’s book On Combat, published in 2004. […] Since then it has spread through military and police circles and the right-wing blogosphere. It’s proved particularly durable with gun rights groups. With the release of American Sniper, it has reached its largest audience yet. […]

In Grossman’s original essay, now available on his website, he credits an “old war veteran” with first telling him about wolves, sheep, and sheepdogs. He writes:

  If you have no capacity for violence then you are a healthy productive citizen: a sheep. If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive sociopath—a wolf. But what if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep love for your fellow citizens? Then you are a sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking the hero’s path.  

Since the sheepdog analogy was published in On Combat, it’s been referenced or copied wholesale on countless military, special operations, and police blogs. It has been featured at least eight times on the Internet’s most popular military blog,, as well as other popular milblogs like A Soldier’s Perspective, SOFREP, and This Ain’t Hell. And we’ve found dozens of other blogs that reference or link to Grossman.

Off the Internet the analogy has spread to T-shirts by at least four different companies, one of which calls itself “Sheepdog Inc.” (Slogan: “Shirts for heroes who hunt down evil.”) [Slate]

I always preferred the satirical, Team America version of the Sheepdog speech, but I can understand how “Dicks f*ck pussies, but they also f*ck assholes” might be too long to be the name of a t-shirt brand. “The problem with dicks, is that sometimes they f*ck too much.”