When a cop is more concerned with extracting fear or respect from citizens then with upholding the law, the line between cop and mobster begins to blur. They demand that everyone simply roll over and do as they say. If that compliance isn’t gained immediately, honor is replaced with ego and the abuse ensues.
I admit that I know some police myself and have met the occasional respectful, honorable and well meaning officer (though in all honesty I can count them on a single hand). In my own life’s experience and the experiences of everyone I have spoken with about this though, it appears that the honorable cop is in the minority.
Regardless of the percentage though, the ‘few bad apples’ argument isn’t valid. Even if it were true that only a few police were bad (i.e. breaking the law and abusing Americans) It still would remain a pressing issue, because when a cop is ‘bad’ it results in things like torture, kidnapping and murder. For this to happen even once is unacceptable. We know however, that it’s all too common.
The question though, is “Why?” I think the culprit here is two-fold; human nature and the system that produces and regulates the police. Within that system there are several elements that go into creating a thug out of an average Joe.
One of course is accountability, or the lack there of. When a person is placed in a situation where there is no accountability; its human nature to exploit that situation.
Another major problem is more abstract. It’s the propaganda that feeds the myth that police are somehow more than human or that everyone else is less.
This propaganda has created a class of citizens that are regarded as superior to all others. Both citizens and police are manipulated by this mindset.
What frustrates me the most are the people that feed into this propaganda; cheering on abusive police and mocking their victims. How can anyone see this video of the woman being shot and still believe that they only target thugs or people that break the law? That woman looks like a participant in a bake sale or someone you would meet at her kid’s soccer game. Honestly, what makes you think that a cop sees you any differently? Because you’re white? Rich? A Vietnam Veteran? If you aren’t a cop - you aren’t immune and deep down everybody knows this. After all, who among us actually feels good when they see a cop in their rearview mirror, regardless of their legal status?
The police that were once part of the community have now become a community unto themselves. They protect their own; regardless of the crimes they may commit and do so usually at the expense of law abiding citizens. The blue wall of silence needs to be torn down.
The police have been manipulated and believe what they are doing is acceptable, just as much as the civilians they herd like wild animals believe it is lawful. We as a nation have asked for more police with heavier weapons and stricter laws, while simultaneously giving up our rights and ability to protect ourselves. We, together with the police, whether by action or inaction have created this situation and so are all responsible for it.
I wonder sometimes if any cops actually realize that every time one of them takes it upon himself to malign, degrade or abuse an American citizen, he is doing his part to push us ever closer to a totalitarian state and the destruction of a free America.
All police, like all individuals in the military and members of congress each need to make a conscious decision “Am I an agent of the State or of the People?” “Do I defend the life and liberty of my fellow American or the expansion of authoritarianism?” You can’t have it both ways. I hope for the day when riot cops again encircle us and at least a single officer breaks ranks to join his fellow Americans in the exercise of freedom. An unlikely scenario, I know, but perhaps some of them will realize that a paycheck is a lot easier to replace than honor.
In the end, no one is evil simply by wearing a badge just as no one is honorable for doing the same. The truth is that every individual is responsible for their own actions. And those actions (not an outfit or career) can make men heroes or beasts.
If you want respect; earn it.