About Cops

Posted by  $  Herb7734 2 months, 4 weeks ago to Culture
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Sometime ago, I noticed a definite negative attitude toward police by certain persons who post in the Gulch. While I have a number of friends and a relative in law enforcement, I have personally only known cops who are really good guys. They are patriotic persons who believe that they are doing good, and are willing to put themselves at risk at the drop of a hat 24/7. I was wondering how pervasive is the anti-cop attitude in GG, or is it only by people who have had a bad experience, or just plain dislike having anyone having authority over them.


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  • Posted by  $  Zenphamy 2 months, 4 weeks ago
    Herb; I think you and I have had this conversation before, but I'll still respond.

    I've known, throughout my life, good and bad cops, as individuals--as well as good and bad CPAs, good and bad Doctors, good and bad car salesmen, etc., etc.. But all those other good and bads don't kill nearly 100 Americans per month of all races and ages, nor are they protected from the consequences of their misdeeds by the state and their good compatriots. And saying that, I fully recognize that there is a number of those shootings that are unavoidable, though I'll continue to question each and every one. We've all seen the Carolina shooting of a fleeing man shot in the back and the cop trying to plant his taser.

    But until the good cops weed out the bad cops and the bad practices and the bad enforcement actions, such as early morning SWAT raids to serve misdemeanor warrants by militarized members of their organizations, I'll continue to question all cops, particularly the ones I know personally and individually. Those men take an oath when they enter their profession, and 'I'm just doing my job and following orders', just flat out doesn't cut it any more for me.

    I don't have an anti-cop attitude as much as I have a pro-individual-liberty attitude. If they desire my respect, they're going to have to earn it, and I don't recognize or grant anyone's authority over me.
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    • Posted by  $  2 months, 4 weeks ago
      That's the trouble with enforcing the law. No one can be free as long as there is a society that requires policing. However, you give the impression that the bad stuff is commonplace and can be found wherever there are police. I don't think you mean it that way, or do you?
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      • Posted by  $  Zenphamy 2 months, 4 weeks ago
        Maybe we've got too many laws, many of which are anti-human and anti-liberty. We've definitely got way too many people that want to control others and some of those individuals go into police and regulatory professions. We've all met 'Barney Fife' somewhere and sometime, but our state gives him more than one bullet in his pocket then train him to use them with no hesitation targets and programs based on the Marines 'Left of Bang' hunter program. (Most of the 'experts' utilized to develop that program were cops.)

        In a nation of 330 million of the supposedly most free individuals on earth, that imprisons more people per capita as well as more in total than any other, and sees near 100 per month dying in interactions with police, more than any other--we've got problems. The hero cop in my thinking is the one that has never had to pull his weapon while on duty, and the one that his neighbors talk to about their difficulties without fear of being reported--not the first responder type that wants hero recognition.
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        • Posted by  $  2 months, 4 weeks ago
          You'll get no argument from me on that.
          The retired cop (my cousin's kid) never pulled his gun in 30 years except on a target. However, his shoulders are almost as broad as his height. His nickname is "Bear." So, most bad guys don't usually give him much trouble Many first responders are there simply because they are closest to the scene when the call goes out. They are not given a choice when they get a call, also, and remember, they are on call whether they are on duty or not.
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  • Posted by jdg 2 months, 3 weeks ago
    Like (probably) most of the list, I have no problem with most police per se. But the system as it is both enables and protects abuses, and that makes reform urgently necessary.

    If we're going to have a civilization we have to have a government, and that implies police. But a big drawback immediately arises: you can't sign up to enforce only the laws that are moral. It's all or nothing, and if you refuse an order you're fired. Thus, in my view, it is not quite morally possible to become a cop, unless you can find a way to retain enough choice that you aren't required to violate anybody's rights. (The same problem exists with being a soldier, too.) To put it simply, respecting people's rights has to be given priority over following orders. And I don't want badges or guns in the hands of anyone who doesn't see things that way.

    If and when we can strip police (and prosecutors and judges and everyone else) of their immunity, so that everyone they bully or injure when they shouldn't can go to court and get justice, then I'd no longer have a problem with them, because once that happens (and the victimless crime laws go away, of course) they'd have to adopt the right set of priorities. And cop would no longer be an attractive job for people who love to bully.

    While we're at it, the system should compensate everyone who has suffered damage as a result of even completely legitimate police action if he turns out to be innocent (or at least innocent of anything big enough that the damage would have been called for). Thus for instance, a person who loses his home and his job after a false accusation of rape should be compensated just as if the accuser had done the damage physically. And similarly someone whose home was torn apart looking for stolen property that wasn't there.
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  • Posted by Steven-Wells 2 months, 3 weeks ago
    I've been the defendant in multiple (3) instances where the cops lied in court. Not misinterpretations of subtle things—straight up lies.
    Then there's blatant incompetence. For example, when the cop perjured himself on the ticket he wrote because he didn't understand the meaning of the sections he signed. The court accepts ignorance as an excuse for a cop, not for a defendant. The box that says "signed in" is where the ticket is signed, not two towns away. And the cop (a different moron) is supposed to write the current year on the ticket, not some other year. I would have been okay with the court cutting the cop some slack if it was early January. But it was NOT January. Oh, I just remembered the fraudulent discovery, with the cop claiming he had sent all materials, but then using non-discovered notes. But judges can be worse than the cops. See the judges pictured, for example, on the top of the page at http://www.stalincare.com/home/those-....
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    • Posted by term2 2 months, 3 weeks ago
      The only interactions i have had with police are concerning victimless crimes, usually traffic related. I just feel better as a result of my interactions when cops are NOT around to hassle me. Get rid of the victimless crime laws and I would probably feel differently.
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  • Posted by  $  Hawron 2 months, 4 weeks ago
    Unfortunately we have let the politicians and the administrative class have too much control over everything, so the ruling political / administrative class think the police are their own private army to enforce what they say and will on the populace.
    There are many good police who try hard to make the world a better place, but in the end it is the entire system above them that has gotten corrupt.
    What the political class get away with enforcing today, is worse than what the Founders of America went to war over.

    Also way too much of the time, the police are used simply as tax collectors by local governments and then the totally unconstitutional asset forfeiture laws make policing for profit a huge business, usually on the backs of the lower classes.
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  • Posted by  $  Dobrien 2 months, 4 weeks ago
    Hi Herb,
    I think that being a policeman or women is a tough profession. Their job must be frustrating to say the least when perpetrators they apprehend get slapped on the wrist and then repeat many times with fatal results.
    The complications with policing are many, the law makers pile on new laws and regulations.
    Then those same officials pressure to ignore laws. (illegal aliens).
    The vetting of candidates for policework is also
    Challenging. When I read a sheriff is fined $10000 for requiring citizenship as a job requirement.
    I think about how controlling and irrational national govt... meddling is over local .
    My recommendation to my kids when they were teens. Be respectful, be good use your manners and don't run from the cops.
    The most difficult situations in anyone's life and death, the police are first responders.
    Another issue that would improve the police situation in our country would be to take the money out of drugs. Legalize and Millions would no longer be criminals for using or trafficking.they would have to work to make the big money they make on selling narcotics .l think murders would decline all across the country. Just my two bits.
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  • Posted by chad 2 months, 3 weeks ago
    There is a difference in a first responder who is there to protect individuals from harm inflicted by another and the police who meddle in the affairs of individuals. I have a nephew who is a deputy sheriff and he responded on a call where he put his life and safety on the line while trying to dissuade a man who was threatening his children with a weapon. In the end he succeeded in getting the children to safety while not harming the unstable individual. He would also respond if the 'authority' told him to take my weapons simply because I had them or disburse my property if so ordered. We live in a police state where we are told we must submit to police authority. I do not intend to. Police have changed from when I was young to men who often desire 'authority' over others and want to exercise that authority. Then there are the cops who want to profit from that fear, those would be the most dangerous. Having a police force for protection is different than having one that enslaves. The distinction is becoming blurry.
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  • Posted by  $  Thoritsu 2 months, 3 weeks ago
    I have seen good cops and bad ones. The ones in FL when I was a kid were pretty bad. One wouldn't give us a jump start, saying it was against policy since they can blow up batteries. We had to walk 5 miles to get another car and do it ourselves.
    Another example was a kid I was in High School with, who got arrested and kicked the window out of the cruiser. He beat the hell out of two officers, and another cruiser ended up helping subdue him. This kid was no offensive lineman or anything. I got into a fight with him in High School for a blatant inappropriate act his did to my girlfriend, and I wiped the floor with him handily. Just more wimps.
    My favorite was the shooting in Palm Bay in 1986 (I think). This was pathetic. A senile old veteran lost his marbles and decided to shoot several people. He shot a kid in the neighborhood. Then he shot a police man in a car responding. His partner emptied his revolver at the guy right across the street. He then fumbled his speed loader. They found him shot with bullets all over his lap. Then this guy went into a Kmart and took hostages. He shot some people in the parking lot. Several towns of cops were called in, and eventually the National Guard. They couldn't get to the people who were shot in the parking lot...for hours. One nutty old man held off these guys for hours. This was one of the most blatant acts of police cowardice and incompetence I have seen. I could go on an on about these clowns.

    Police are police-friendly. They often do give traffic tickets to each other, and they get other special treatment. This is inappropriate and annoying.

    All that said, being a police officer is a very hard job, particularly real cops in urban areas. I have great respect for the guys that can deal with this with polite attitudes and know where to draw the line. The doughnut-eating tax collectors of small towns are often not the same tough customers.
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  • Posted by  $  blarman 2 months, 4 weeks ago
    There are definitely some viewpoints on this forum that are more anarchical than others, there is no question. There is also great concern about the overreach of authority into many matters on which there is substantial question as to their authority or standing in said matter. I think that there should be vigorous policy discussion about whether or not a matter is subject to the authority of a duly-elected government.
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  • Posted by  $  allosaur 2 months, 4 weeks ago
    The good, the bad and the stupid for people being people are in any profession. Cops are no different.
    Me now the old dino been around. Me done seen it time after time.
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  • Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 2 months, 4 weeks ago
    It is the anti-authoritarian ideology that underlies the anti-police attitude. Policing appeals to people who believe in force. But that is only one side of the equation. Crimes against people and property are equally denounced here; and so the police are supported in "crime fighting." Put "Ferguson" in the search box and read the comments. So, we have an ambivalence here in the Gulch.

    My degrees are in criminology. Most of my work in that has been in private security. I am now in the state military department, which despite posse comitatus does have a law enforcement role. All that I can say here is: "It's complicated."

    We know from statistics that college-educated police write more tickets.
    We know from statistics that college-educated police have fewer complaints from the public.
    We know from statistics that women write more tickets than men.
    We know from statistics that women have fewer complaints from the public.
    The best police force would be comprised entirely of college-educated women. (For a glimpse into that, there is a novella, "The Good Walk Alone" by Wolf Devoon.)

    Criminologists know the unsolved problem of "Rotten Apples or Rotten Barrels." Some departments have bad cultures. We know that. When the college semester 2005 opened, our class assignment was to fix the New Orleans police department. Then Katrina struck and the assignment was canceled. On the other hand, Minneapolis does have its problems, but statistically far fewer of them.

    O. W. Wilson was a student of August Vollmer. Wilson re-organized several police departments. His last success was Chicago. No sooner was he congratulated than the department committed the "police riot" at the 1968 Democratic Party Convention. To me, all that proves is that people are not billiard balls so therefore criminology cannot be physics. There are no reductionist answers to the problems.
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  • Posted by  $  Abaco 2 months, 4 weeks ago
    Both
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    • Posted by  $  2 months, 4 weeks ago
      OK -- and so?
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      • Posted by  $  Abaco 2 months, 3 weeks ago
        Sorry Herb. I wasn't clear: "...or is it only by people who have had a bad experience, or just plain dislike having anyone having authority over them." For me, it's both.
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        • Posted by  $  2 months, 3 weeks ago
          Any constructive suggestions? The human race is not mature enough to be individually self governing. Therefore how do we function without police?
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          • Posted by Kittyhawk 2 months, 3 weeks ago
            Hmmm. "The human race is not mature enough to be individually self governing" but it's mature enough to give those same individuals power over others, including the power to seize property and the means and authority to kill? It seems a contradictory argument.
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            • Posted by  $  2 months, 3 weeks ago
              Note, I asked for constructive suggestions. As a race, we are constantly and forever at war with ourselves. Greed, avarice, envy are rampant among many of us. That is immaturity. Science has outstripped philosophy and has put powerful weapons into the hand of mystics and suitors to power. Your comments only serve to illustrate precisely what I was expounding.
              Also someone downgraded me to a zero. Boo Hoo.
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              • Posted by  $  Abaco 2 months, 3 weeks ago
                Specifically? We need less control over our lives. Let's secure the borders then reduce the amount of firepower those in power have over the rest of us. The harsh reality is that there are cops out there who abuse their power. I've seen them. I've known them. As you said, you've known cops who believed they were "doing good". The bad ones believe that too.

                So the suggestion is: Control the borders. Reduce the domestic fire power. Oh, and if cops beat a defenseless person to death as they did with Kelly Thomas in SoCal those cops need to be put in prison with the general population or put to death.
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          • Posted by  $  Abaco 2 months, 3 weeks ago
            I'd have to think about that. I was on a very remote island in the nation of Kirabati many years ago and what they did there was just handcuff the criminal to the flagpole for a day or so. Then, I think they'd ban them from the island if they went too far or refused to behave better. You and I both know that government equals force. Since they also determine the level of force, well...doesn't always work our very well.
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  • Posted by  $  mminnick 2 months, 4 weeks ago
    I had not noticed an anti-cop leaning here in the Gulch. Maybe I've missed it. I like you have relatives in law enforcement at all levels and ranks. I have also know several on the personal social level. all are ready to put their life on the line regardless of the sex, race or ethnic background of the victim of individuals they are interacting with.
    I know there are some bad apples out there as in any profession. Experience with those officers should not color the entire view of law enforcement officers actions.
    Consider this single stat. There have been 60 officers killed in the line of duty so far this year. If there are no more killed, that equates to 5 per month or 1 and a 1/4 every week. That is a record we should not try to emulate ever again.
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  • Posted by  $  DrZarkov99 2 months, 3 weeks ago
    Things cops hate: being used as revenue generators, spending more time finding and ticketing people for various ridiculous laws than chasing down the really bad dudes; injecting themselves into domestic disputes, a situation that gets cops killed and injured more frequently than when confronting a known violent offender; taking verbal and physical abuse from real jerks with a grudge against law enforcement.

    There aren't many jobs outside the military that you are aware that when you walk out the door, there's a distinct chance it could be your last day alive. Police and firemen share that reality.

    Not everyone who puts on a police uniform is cut out for the job. Some can't take the stress, and mentally collapse; some have a sadistic streak, and enjoy abusing people; some exercise power to intimidate and coerce; some are ethically weak and can be corrupted. Luckily for the rest of us, those misfits are in a distinct minority.
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    • Posted by  $  2 months, 3 weeks ago
      Yes, they are a minority. But some folks seem to think that the minority is quite large and you are as likely as not to get one of the bad ones. Like lots of Gulch people they are quite convincing.
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  • Posted by Donald-Brian-Lehoux 2 months, 4 weeks ago
    I was a cop. I read Constitutional law. Cops HATE "civilian" that know more than them. They keep putting me in jail. I get to relax and it is NOT a punishment for me. They, the cops. are literally saying "take your shit and go". If you suck up all is good. If you stand up THEY will break the law. Intimidation IS a crime. Your good guy cops will murder you if you do not have a seatbelt on and refuse to take the ticket or go to jail, FOR NOT WEARING A SEAT. No one needs a drivers license!!!http://www.apfn.org/apfn/travel.htm and cops will do all kinds of harm if you exercise your right. I had a police chief say "no you are not free".
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