Part of the Problem

Monday, May 4th, 2009

Snap of a mini-van bumper sticker sent in by a reader.

Once again, cops aren’t soldiers. American cities aren’t battlefields. And U.S. citizens aren’t potential combatants. This isn’t pedantry. It’s about the mentality with which police officers approach their job, and about what sort of relationship they’re going to have with the people whose rights they’re supposed to be protecting.

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62 Responses to “Part of the Problem”

  1. #1 |  J sub D | 

    As a retired former member of the military let me just say, Sing it loud Radley.

  2. #2 |  pegr | 

    I’ll “support your local sheriff” when he supports and defends the Constitution.

  3. #3 |  runcible | 

    I find it rather ironic that this comes along at a time when NYC is seeing some of its lowest violent crime rates since the early 1960′s. Certainly not the reality that that sticker would suggest, huh?
    (Oh, and… former NYPD here, BTW.)

  4. #4 |  Marty | 

    I bet this person’s other bumper stickers deal with building walls on the borders, supporting DARE and MADD, and there’ll be a couple supporting making abortion illegal, and there’ll be one for gun control.

    one nice thing about bumper stickers- they help me quickly figure out who I wanna tailgate with…

  5. #5 |  Mattocracy | 

    I guess when you wage a war on crime, the cops become soldiers and US citizens become the enemy. It’s a civil war of sorts.

    Damn…that’s a scary revelation…

  6. #6 |  SJE | 

    I totally agree.

    I’d add that the problem of taking an aggressive approach also applies to the military. One of the criticisms of the early stages of the Iraq war is that the military was so focused on the killing and blowing up aspect that the military neglected very important things like providing security, building relationships with people etc, and not torturing them in prison. The initial welcome by many turned into outright hostility and insurgency. The “Anbar awakening” shows how effective it is to have people on your side. Similarly, the initial ouster of the Taliban was done not just with U.S. military force, but also with spec. ops. working with northern alliance.

    Don’t get me wrong: the military is supposed to kill and destroy. But effective managment of an issue requires more than that.

    The point is that both the military and the police have great tools and abilities to kill, control, and destroy. However, real life is not like Halo 3. If you treat everyone as an enemy, they will become your enemy.

  7. #7 |  Militarization of the police force, in a nutshell | Renegade Futurist | 

    [...] The Agitator: Part of the Problem [...]

  8. #8 |  Mark Jackson | 

    Does this mean that we have an occupying force? Hmmm, well Americans have never handled these things well. Guess it’s time to lock and load?

  9. #9 |  Ken Hagler | 

    Your post reflects the way things should be, but the bumper sticker reflects the way things actually are.

  10. #10 |  Danno49 | 

    The collective conscience of most Americans keeps getting more and more submissive.

    And it scares the shit out of me.

  11. #11 |  Danno49 | 

    Aw crap.

    The collective conscience of most Americans keeps getting more and more submissive.

    should have been

    The collective consciousness of most Americans keeps getting more and more submissive.

    My bad.

  12. #12 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    Living in Asia (Japan), cops bow to you in the street.
    They work for US. We pay their salaries.
    That idea has been lost. In the “Land of the Free.”
    Community watch hysteria has morphed into a war on the people.
    And it annoys the shit out of me.

  13. #13 |  nemo | 

    Another bumper sticker I have seen was even more disturbing. It was pinned to the cubicle wall of a former cop turned security specialist in a company I used to work in.

    It said, “Never Question Authority” and it showed a cop hefting a PR-24 threateningly . More suitable for East Berlin in the 1970′s than America in the 2000′s.

  14. #14 |  Scott | 

    Yeesh. The Albuquerque Police Department used to have a billboard up on I-25 that was a recruitment ad. I should have taken a picture of it. It had a cop in a full camouflage uniform with a mask and helmet (SWAT I guess). He was hanging at the end of a rapelling line attached to his waist, and he was pointing a handgun. The ad said something like “Ready to put on a new uniform? Join APD.” I’m all for recruiting policemen, but I thought the ad was over the top at best. The message I got was “Join APD, and we’ll put you on the SWAT team straight out of the academy! Learn how to bust through windows and tear it up! What a thrill!” Thankfully they took the ad down after a couple months.

  15. #15 |  BTHO | 

    The collective consciousness of most Americans keeps getting more and more submissive.

    Damn straight.

  16. #16 |  Matt D | 

    I agree about the militarization overall, but the one thing I’d point out about this bumper sticker is that it’s at least possible they’re referring to officers who also serve in the military and have been called up for duty overseas.

  17. #17 |  ClubMedSux | 

    What I find interesting is that I recall a former law-enforcement officer posting on here about how lax uniform standards (specifically the whole tshirt/sweatshirt and baseball cap look) has led to reduced professionalism. It’s like they trend to one extreme or the other but aren’t quite comfortable where they are (or have traditionally been, I suppose).

  18. #18 |  lukas | 

    Yeah, Matt D. That’s why the Patrolmen’s Benevolent fucking Association of the City of New York put up a fucking cop on the left hand side of the sticker. Duuuuuude.

  19. #19 |  Guido | 

    Benevolent would not be a word I would use to describe law enforcement.

    Speaking of bumper stickers. I have a neighbor a few doors down (Los Angeles) with a pair of them that read:
    “Republicans working harder so you don’t have to”
    and
    “Wine me dine me 69 me”

    Not sure what to make out of that…

  20. #20 |  nemo | 

    Damn, Guido! I almost choked and sprayed Pepsi on my monitor when I read that! Oh, jeez! LOL!

  21. #21 |  SJE | 

    Bene-violent, more likely.

  22. #22 |  tsiroth | 

    I don’t disagree with Mr Balko in general about the problems of militarization of the police force, but I’m with Matt D. A lot of police officers are in the reserves or national guard. They could easily be referring to those folks.

  23. #23 |  Hamburgler007 | 

    I’m not usually so profane, but the NYC PBA can fuck itself and the horse it rode in on. These guys are parasites, soliciting money at any possible opportunity. They used to call me at work at least once a week after 9/11 for nearly a year begging for money. Its nice that they hold themselves with such high esteem.

  24. #24 |  Jason | 

    I was just at a protest against Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Phoenix. Phoenix cops=totally professional, DPS=totally professional, but when we arrived at Sheriff Joe’s compound, they had camoflaged the facility (are they hiding the jail?), the deputies wore Kevlar helmets, and they had a military truck out. Why??? I thought they were cops, not paramilitary. All of the deputies were overweight and laid around, but Phoenix Police were in perfect shape and rode mountain bikes. The Sheriff deployed a helicopter….what for? To get an aerial view of peaceful demonstrators???

  25. #25 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    “Once again, cops aren’t soldiers. American cities aren’t battlefields. And U.S. citizens aren’t potential combatants. This isn’t pedantry”

    No, it’s not pedantry. It has to be said, and I thank you for doing your part to drive this message home, Radley.

    Damn, doesn’t anyone at the PBA have an interest in re-visiting the traditional “cop on the beat” (by this I mean re-inventing neighborhood policing for the 21st century). I challenge PBA members to think of how their jobs might change for the better if we dropped the drug war, the incarceration fetish and the militarization of law enforcement. In my view, departments could be more selective while recruiting, training could be more thorough, and officers could do more than go from call to call. They could take their time for a change, and be problem solvers.

    Granted, that doesn’t involve kevlar helmets, MP5′s and rapelling, but as someone who works in public safety, I find this vision to be much more exciting (and less life threatening) than a SWAT raid.

  26. #26 |  BobG | 

    Commander Adama, in the episode “Bastille Day” of the Battlestar Galactica series:
    “There’s a reason you separate the military and the police. One fights the enemies of the state, the other serves and protects the people. When the military becomes both, then the enemies of the state tend to become the people.”

  27. #27 |  Matt D | 

    Yeah, Matt D. That’s why the Patrolmen’s Benevolent fucking Association of the City of New York put up a fucking cop on the left hand side of the sticker. Duuuuuude.

    Sorry, what?

    I was suggesting that the sticker may be a nod to the fact that some cops also serve overseas in the military. Having a picture of both a cop and a soldier seems like a pretty natural way of representing that (and it almost looks like it’s the same guy in both shots).

  28. #28 |  Ian L | 

    Is it the popular thing to bash cops these days? I’m not a cop, none of my family or friends are cops. I think the criticism of that bumper sticker is a little harsh. Some of the shit cops have to deal with is practically the same as fighting in a war.

    Let me ask you this – when some criminal with a gun is terrorizing you, do you want the cop to act more like a soldier or more like a lawyer and read him his rights?

    I’m not saying cops are perfect – they are people – no one is perfect. But I think most of them are decent. I think most of them become police to help people. So before you immediately rip apart a stupid bumper sticker, i think you should consider that.

    if you really don’t want cops to be associated with soldiers, then petition the city to remove all their weapons and the next time a violent crime is occurring, the police can sit by and wait until it’s all over before doing anything since you seem opposed to police doing anything related to combat.

  29. #29 |  paranoiastrksdp | 

    Jesus Ian L, it’s like you badgelickers work from a template..

  30. #30 |  paranoiastrksdp | 

    just when I thought it was becoming cliche for the agitator crowd to
    inb4 the sycophants…

  31. #31 |  Ian L | 

    I’m not a badgelicker – I’m not some conservative nut job. I’m liberal. How about we discuss the issue without resorting to name calling unless thats all you know how to do.

    I get annoyed when people act like cops are the bad guys. I’m not saying there are no bad cops. I’m saying not all cops are bad. I’m saying I have some respect for people who are supposed to be out there protecting me. I have some respect for people who might have to get injured protecting me.

    Thats not a template – thats the truth.

    Cops have to deal with crap on a daily basis that if we’re lucky we never have to deal with or maybe deal with once in a life time. i try to take that into consideration in debates like this.

    I dont see anything wrong with that bumper sticker. if you want to argue that cops should have less power, should not be armed, should not intervene in violent crimes, then thats fine. But if you want them to be armed to step in when some one else is committing violence, then please explain to me how that is not similar to a solider.

  32. #32 |  dsmallwood | 

    you’re right Ian L. and the name calling was weak.

    to your question:
    when some criminal with a gun is terrorizing you, do you want the cop to act more like a soldier or more like a lawyer

    that doesn’t happen. on a personal level, the amount of “innocent” gun violence is almost zero. shootings are generally personal or business. it can be drugs, it can be love, but its rarely random.

    so … my odds of confronting a terrorizing criminal are low but my odds of being confronted by an terrorizing cop are high (i live near philly) … and that’s the problem.

    we are arming these cops, we are treating them like soldiers, we are letting them think they are “special ops” when we should teach them to be public servants. the commando stuff is one in a million. THAT is the entire problem.

  33. #33 |  Bob | 

    Yes the cops should not be troops at war with the enemy, but in reality have you seen the SWAT units? These guys are 100% black uniformed paramilitary shook troops.

  34. #34 |  Hags | 

    I would have to agree with you Ian L. People frequently badmouth police officers and complain about how “they got a ticket” or “they got pulled over for running a red light.” But where do these people, or any of us for that matter, turn when something goes wrong? Car accident, mugging, theft, rape, murder, sexual assault…it doesn’t matter, everyone turns to the police for these crimes. I don’t understand why it’s wrong to equate police officers to members of the military. They are fighting a war against crime on our own soil. As Ian said, this doesn’t mean I think all cops are saints, but they have perhaps the toughest job for the worst pay in the country. If you don’t believe these cops are equatable to soldiers, then what would you consider MP’s in the military? They are policemen, does that mean they’re not as good as their comrades in arms who are fighting on the front line?

  35. #35 |  jayduba | 

    Ian l No one forces anyone to become a policeman.As it is a sometimes dangerous job I find it amazing that anyone would whine about the stuff an officer has to put up with. The fact is that a job like law enforcement attracts the alpha male types. They get off on the adrenalin rush and enjoy giving orders. Its the perfect job for a bully. Also they are taught to respond with violence. As police responses grow more violent to any given situation (No knock warrants being the most abused) , violence against civilians (their word for us) will continue to rise.

  36. #36 |  CharlesWT | 

    Marty:

    “one nice thing about bumper stickers- they help me quickly figure out who I wanna tailgate with…”

    Hmmm…

  37. #37 |  Radley Balko | 

    Ian –

    Because cops and soldiers have different missions.

    Soldiers are trained to kill people and break things — to destroy an enemy. The job of a police officer is to keep the peace. Yes, they’re charged with fighting crime, but to do so while upholding our constitutional rights. A soldier obviously has no such obligations to the residents of the country where he’s deployed. Collateral damage is an accepted part of war. It is not an acceptable part of fighting crime. We don’t say police officers should be able to wipe out a block of Chicago because some drug kingpins live there.

    We have long had a law in this country called the Posse Comitatus Act which forbids the military from domestic policing functions for exactly these reasons. That law is still in place, but it’s being eroded in spirit because the police are becoming more and more like the military.

    I’d encourage you to go to the Cato Institute’s website and download the paper I wrote on this issue. It’s called “Overkill” and you can download and read a copy for free.

  38. #38 |  ClubMedSux | 

    Cops have to deal with crap on a daily basis that if we’re lucky we never have to deal with or maybe deal with once in a life time. i try to take that into consideration in debates like this.

    True, but at the same time they also carry a gun and wield an incredible amount of institutional power. Accordingly, it’s important that we hold them to a higher standard.

    On a side note, you’re right that cops have dangerous jobs and I am grateful for their efforts (I have several family members and friends in law enforcement). At the same time, here are some jobs that are more dangerous than police officers: garbagemen, truck drivers, electrical power line installers and repairers, roofers, farmers, iron and steel workers, pilots, loggers and fishermen. Each job is essential to our society (well, maybe not the fishermen, but the rest are). If we’re going to place cops on a pedestal, why shouldn’t we do the same for garbagemen and truckers?

  39. #39 |  freedomfan | 

    I don’t want to rehash the debate here, since it seems there are always those who can’t see the difference between winning military battles in combat zones and protecting the rights of civilians. And, apparently, there are some who think the discontent toward police often expressed here is due to traffic tickets or the fact that police are armed. I’m sorry, but if you think that’s the issue on this site, you really owe it to yourself to take a better look around before posting.

    And, I understand that this might just be a bumper sticker acknowledging police who are also reservists – which is fine – and making an unfortunate equivocation that, in both roles, they are “troops”, which is not the case at all and which attitude is not not fine.

    All that aside, I must say that I saw that picture on the left and my first thought was, “Jeez, at least they didn’t give him the red armband. That’s quite an unintended reminder of where this can lead…”

  40. #40 |  GreginOz | 

    That sticker really reminds me of the faux info-bulletins in Starship Troopers (the movie). As in ‘hi, i’m Troy Mclure…is your father smoking pot? Report it to your friendly paramilitary police and we will drop by & visit! When you are an orphan we will put you in an ROTC gummint skool & recruit you for our war against the bugs’. It dovetails nicely into the phrase “Homeland Security”. You know, like “Rodina” or “Ze Vaterland”.

  41. #41 |  guitarmartyr | 

    The “Gestapo” has taken too many liberties from the citizens of the U.S. Its only a matter of time before we have Soviet type “Gulags” imprisoning regular people for genuine American beliefs. The Costitution gives the American people Inaliable rights to rise up and revolt against a government that is not in the best interest of the people.
    “For the People, By the People” Submitted by a sane person..

  42. #42 |  TIM | 

    Was watching “No Country for Old Men” tonight. I have also read McCarthy’s book. Guess no one here got the point.

    The level of violence has increased in our society. Not the incidents necessarily but the level of force. Criminals routinely carry weapons of greater destructive force than our police force. In fact, the weapon of choice for police more and more are “less than lethal” force. Even in those situations all we here about is when “Less than” goes bad.

    While we may not be fighting a “War” here at home the technological level that the common criminal employs must be met in kind.

    Just pay attention to how many cops are wounded or killed in your area and then imagine yourself at night, walking alone along side a car with multiple occupants any of which could be armed and then tell me how this feels different from any other possible form of combat? When the gangs in our streets have full automatic weapons and our protectors have pistols I think this is clearly a “walk a mile in my brothers shoes” moment.

  43. #43 |  TIM | 

    BTW, is Digg aware you are using their format and icons?

  44. #44 |  dsmallwood | 

    one more response as I don’t think it has come up enough …

    the people who support the police-as-a-form-of-soldier logic usually point to the violence inflicted on members of the police force as a justification of police militarization.

    please remember, law enforcement is a noble job and that we are all sympathetic to the price the officers pay … but much of this cost could be eliminated if we got rid of our drug prohibitions … but groups like law enforcement seem to always oppose decriminalization … when is the last time a Budweiser rep shot a cop?

    I can’t be sympathetic to their “WE’RE AT WAR” argument if they do all they can to prolong the war. one good piece of legislation and BANG, no more cops killed due to drug violence.

    police officers … any takers on this?

  45. #45 |  Sgt. Robert McFarland: “Good cop” reverts to type. « The Quick and the Dead | 

    [...] on this as he has no priors. But 2 weeks without pay sounds about right, so he can think about who he’s really working for . And it’s a lot more than some cops get for killing people. I just hope that his boss said [...]

  46. #46 |  Terrorific | 

    @Yizmo Gizmo:

    Cops “bow to you on the street” in Japan? How long have you been in Japan?

    The cops here are good at diffusing bad situations by staying calm, and don’t mind giving directions when you’re lost, but they’re also insufferable pricks like most cops worldwide.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77tqaz_Vjuk

  47. #47 |  Danno49 | 

    #42 – TIM

    Guess no one here got the point.

    That has got to be one of the most ironic posts I have ever read here.

  48. #48 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    I was in Japan 1 year, 2006, before I even
    saw someone get pulled over. Never saw an arrest.
    People respect the police, police respect the people.
    Here it’s the cops versus the people. A society at war with itself.
    I have no idea how police/citizens became an adversarial relationship in the USA. When’s the last time you saw an American cop do someone a favor?
    But it seems to be getting worse.

  49. #49 |  Terrorific | 

    @Yizmo

    I agree. American cops are getting worse, but I think what you saw of Japan was pretty surface level, if I can assume that you’re non-Japanese and don’t speak the language. I even had my house raided at 6 a.m. by immigration and police who assumed that my roommates and I were illegal. The reason it works in Japan is that the people here have no respect for their own rights and let the cops walk all over them, so the cops don’t have to act like assholes to get their way. If the people would stick up for themselves it would be just like in America.

  50. #50 |  JT | 

    Tim@42:
    The problem I have isn’t the fact the cops are armed. I don’t mind them carrying handguns. Hell, I have one myself.
    It’s how they use their weapons and authority.
    In fact, it seems the “less lethal” weapons have made them worse.
    Ever watched videos of random cops stunning people down over and over just because they had a bad day and felt like it? Give it a whirl. I’m not talking about a cracked out guy getting loud and the cop becoming nervous. I’m talking about a man screaming in agony because he couldn’t get his driver’s license out fast enough to make the cop happy. Yeah, there’s an actual video of that. Or a cop zapping a kid over and over because his back and leg were broken because he refused to stand up? There’s a video of that too.

    Then after you’ve watched ten or twenty of those, I want you to keep those firmly in your mind as you realize their fellow officers closed ranks to protect them. Nothing was done to these police for using “less lethal” weapons on a random citizen for the hell of it. (The word “less” is important by the way. People do die from being tazed down. I once got into an argument with a friend that a tazer wouldn’t stop a person as well as a gun. That argument ended in us buying a tazer and him popping me with it at my request. He won the argument. It’s agonizing. And used in anything but the heat of combat, it’s very much an instrument of torture.)

    Want to know why people don’t like police in general? The Blue Code of Silence is why. Let’s say Bob and Bill are cops. Bob is a “Good” cop. Bill is a “bad” cop. Bill tortures someone because he likes the way they scream. Bob covers up for him. Bob is just as bad as Bill.

    All that said, there are good cops. Though I worry about them less for the criminals they face than because of what their fellow cops will level at them the first time they speak out.

  51. #51 |  lordy3 | 

    “that doesn’t happen. on a personal level, the amount of “innocent” gun violence is almost zero. shootings are generally personal or business. it can be drugs, it can be love, but its rarely random.”

    Hey dsmallwood (post #32)

    This is horse shit. I’m not saying that there is a criminal around every corner, but depending on where you live, and the amount of money you make, violent crime of a random sort is very real. It might be “drug” or “gang” related, but people get caught in the cross fire all the time. In Chicago, for example, a huge portion of the people killed are 18 or younger. Are all those kids staying out of trouble? No, but some are, and the ones who aren’t may be in gangs, but in some areas that’s about the only option if you don’t want to be targeted yourself (that’s not a justification, it’s just a fact).

    It’s easy to sit and say that most people who get killed put themselves in the situation when you probably live in a pretty comfortable area, at least relative to where most violent crime takes place. I’m making that assumption because you have the luxury of sitting around and commenting on the web, as do I (sorry if I’m wrong). But just because it doesn’t effect you doesn’t mean it’s not real.

    And to be honest, the reason it’s somewhat contained is because of what these cops are doing, right or wrong. Again, that’s not a justification, just the way it is.

  52. #52 |  MacGregory | 

    Most civillian cops I know that are National Guard or Reservists are Military Police when they are called to duty. Which makes me wonder: what percentage of our current civillian police force got their start as MPs?

  53. #53 |  Mario | 

    “All that said, there are good cops. Though I worry about them less for the criminals they face than because of what their fellow cops will level at them the first time they speak out.” — JT

    Excellent point. My understanding is cops have less antipathy for criminals than they do the so-called “rat bastards.”

  54. #54 |  Ian L | 

    #35 jayduba: you really think all cops are just bullies who get off on the authority? And you think no one should whine about what they put up with? I suppose you never complain about whatever job you have? I sit in front of a computer all day. The only danger i’m ever in is of getting carpal tunnel syndrome and i find stuff to whine about.

    I’m sure some cops are bullies. But i dont think it’s as many as you think. I’ve only had interactions with police a handful of times, mostly the ‘traffic ticket’ type interactions. ALL of the time they’ve always been polite and professional.

    #37 Radley Balko: I’m not saying the analogy between police and solider is perfect. But i do think there are some similarities. I dont know anything about the PBA so maybe there are some other issues with them that make this bumper sticker worse if you know about those issues. For me, not knowing anything about them, i dont find the bumper sticker all that bad. Sure, it’s not a perfect analogy. But when i look at it, all i see is someone trying to say we have two guys wearing different uniforms and they are both supposed to protect me and they both might get hurt while doing that.

    #38 clubmedsux: I never said anything about putting cops on a pedestal or not holding them to standards. It just seems to me people are more likely to complain about cops without considering anything that cops have to deal with sometimes. I’m not saying cops deserve special treatment. And i’m not saying any of those other jobs are less important or dangerous. (piloting is a more dangerous job then being a cop?) But it’s clear to me from some of the replies here that some people consider the cops to be nothing more then criminals with badges. Thats the part i disagree with. Sure some cops are bad – in any profession some will be bad – but for the most part i think most of them are decent.

  55. #55 |  John Wilburn | 

    #54 Ian L -

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 10 most dangerous jobs in America are: 1 – Fisherman, 2 – Pilot, 3 – Timber Cutter, 4 – Structural Metal Worker, 5 – Waste Collector, 6 – Farmer / Rancher, 7 – Power Line Worker, 8 – Miner, 9 – Roofer, 10 – Truck Driver.

    Police Officer isn’t even on the list…

    Cops that indicate that they have to make, “split-second, life-and-death decisions” on a regular basis, are either delusional or watching entirely too much television…

    According to Pshrinks, cops ARE in the highest risk category for Alcoholism, Drug Abuse, Divorce and Suicide…

    It would also be helpful (in reducing the fear that citizens have for them), if the police would stop; 1) murdering unarmed citizens, 2) raiding the wrong addresses, and 3) shooting dogs that bark at them…

    Learn from history; the last time Nazis were out of control, it took over 30 million human lives to rein them in…

  56. #56 |  Danno49 | 

    Jesus Christ. It’s not that difficult to understand, is it?

    To reiterate points already made here and elsewhere on this blog many times over . . .

    No one here is saying that all cops are bad or bullies or anything else negative.

    Speaking for myself, it’s the attitude in general that I have a serious problem with. Equating police officers to soldiers is indicative of how the LEO community has been viewing the general populace over the course of the last few decades. This is a very dangerous mindset and continues to lay the groundwork for future trampling of our rights as citizens. It will only get worse.

    When you are likening yourself to a military organization but your job is to ‘Protect And To Serve’ (like it’s written on the fucking cars) – don’t you think that initial mission could get perverted into a mission like an occupying army would have? Say, ‘To Seek And Destroy’? That is more in line with the military does. Fuck that. Not the police. But that is happening and we are seeing the consequences of this frame of mind almost every fucking day now. Innocent citizens (police officers are citizens too) are dying because of it.

    You folks who don’t see this as a big deal can’t see how disturbing this whole trend is? How fucking serious as a heart attack it is?

    What will you do when the police break into your house by mistake and kill your dog, or God forbid, your spouse? No, no. That won’t happen. That shit only happens to other people. People in the news. People you don’t know. But it will NEVER happen to you because you’re a good citizen.

    Wake the fuck up.

  57. #57 |  dsmallwood | 

    #51 | lordy3 |

    “horse shit” is a little strong. my post was anti-name calling.

    but i will answer your statement with a question … even if the violence is inescapable because of where i live and my relation to drugs (please see my second post), how does a SWAT team put an end to the problem of “people get caught in the cross fire all the time” ?

    do we put a shotgun armed police officer on every street corner?

    that is called a police state. i doubt anyone here likes that.

  58. #58 |  jayduba | 

    Ian L Sitting in front of a keyboard. So you realize the most danger you’ll ever be in is when you encounter a cop when he’s having a bad day.

  59. #59 |  Toastrider | 

    >> how does a SWAT team put an end to the problem of “people get caught in the cross fire all the time” ? <<

    Let all the people carry guns too. Peace through overwhelming firepower.

    But you’re missing the point. The problem is not that there are bad cops, per se — bluntly put, it happens. You get bad apples in the barrels sometimes. The problem right now is that nobody is taking action against those bad apples. The police close ranks, the offending personnel get slaps on the wrist, and nobody bothers to ask ‘Gee, is this a chronic issue?’.

    What’s more, this sort of thing is permeating our justice system and corroding it like acid. Read up on the Duke lacrosse case, and realize that if the defendants hadn’t had good legal representation, they’d have been crushed underfoot. And as I commented to a friend, ‘That moron Nifong just guaranteed a review and appeal of everybody he convicted over the last twenty years’. And they’d be right to demand one, because of the sheer scale of what happened!

    The rule of law does not mean ‘you have to play by the rules’. It means ‘EVERYONE plays by the rules’.

  60. #60 |  omar | 

    The rule of law does not mean ‘you have to play by the rules’. It means ‘EVERYONE plays by the rules’.

    Even if your job is dangerous, or you had a bad day, or if your buddy is the one breaking the law. Doubly so for the people with the power to enforce the law.

  61. #61 |  Connor | 

    I disagree with the position that the main problem is just a few bad apples. The problem is in the upper ranks that develop policy. Of course the average rank-and-file cop wants bigger and better toys and maximum ass-kicking potential. The purpose of management is to train these guys and direct their efforts towards the proper mission. It’s the chiefs of police who are the problem, not the beat cops.

  62. #62 |  Psychopolitik 2.0 » Could’ve fooled me… | 

    [...] sure about that?  If approaching the rest of the population in a manner akin to an occupying army ISN’T [...]

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