What if the one you encounter is a bad apple?
Certainly, the attitudes, thoughts and words of a few officers will not necessarily be representative of all police. Even so, it is important to keep in mind there are indeed deranged, corrupt, and morally bankrupt people in uniforms who carry guns. Not infrequently, they will publicly, and shamelessly display their degeneracy because they know that regardless, they will continue to be protected by the law, and revered by the public. Below are just a few recent examples.
In the “humor” section of PoliceOne.com (a particularly heinous website where police congregate in order to stroke each other’s egos and cheer on “accidental” killings of civilians), Senior Editor Doug Wyllie wrote a piece called “25 signs that you’re a cop.” While undoubtedly hilarious for police, it’s unclear the public would find it humorous that most police “believe that 50 percent of people are a waste of good air” and “believe in the aerial spraying of Prozac and birth control pills.”
Ordinary peons not privileged enough to be a member of those who are not a waste of good air might also find the author’s attitude towards people suffering from depression rather disturbing — he wants to “hold a seminar entitled: ‘Suicide: Getting it right the first time.'” Although it was by no means a mystery before, this article by Wyllie makes it abundantly clear that many police believe themselves to be better and more worthy human beings than a great proportion of those they claim to serve, and are less interested in helping people than they are helping them disappear from the face of the earth.
More recently, Officer Trey Economidy of Albuquerque Police shot and killed a suspect, and subsequently listed his profession on Facebook as “human waste disposal.” APD as a result is reviewing their social media policy (read: they aren’t telling the officers to stop being assholes; they’re telling the officers not to broadcast to everyone that they are assholes).
Also this month, The New York Times ran an article on Miami police officers, who have killed seven African-American men in eight months (two were killed by the same officer over the span of nine days). These officers also had been participating in a reality TV show called Miami’s Finest SOS, during which Chief Miguel A. Exposito stated, “Our guys were proactively going out there, like predators.” Another officer stated, “We hunt….I like to hunt.”
Mr. McNeil, the seventh man to die in this killing rampage, was unarmed and never left the driver’s seat when he was shot in the chest. The officer who shot him, Reinaldo Goyo, was featured on Miami’s Finest SOS saying, “I’ve got some style. I’ve got some flavor” while wearing a hoodie labeled “The Punisher.” Goyo and his partner were nicknamed Crockett and Tubbs after lead characters in the TV show Miami Vice. Amidst all the fun and games, reality stardom, nicknames and one-liners, it is difficult to see where the “protecting” and “serving” come into play.
In response to this video, in which Savanna police beat up some St. Patrick’s Day celebrators, one cop commented,
That is what we in law enforcement call it. I, unfortunately, am in no position to hand out a medal to the officer (Judge Hester’s famous quote). If that was my daughter, I would explain that if you want to drink and show your butt, be prepared for whatever happens (including officers that are tired of running from one incident to another all night).
It’s not surprising that an officer would engage in victim blaming. And because he’s an officer, people tend to be less critical of such horrifying statements. However, the statements on their face simply make no sense. Presumably, under his logic, if his daughter were raped, mugged or attacked, it would be her fault. Violence by officers is justified as long as they were having a crappy day and the victim was drinking. She should have been “prepared for whatever happens” because she imbibed alcohol and wore her pants too low. Shari’a law, anyone?
Finally, police officer and longtime troll on Cop Block, going by the aliases “Training Day” and “TheBlueLine” had this to say to me because he disliked this article:
You are a peasant. You are weak. The power you hold lies only in your writing. You have no spine. You could not spring into action if your life depended on it. You are a sheep.meet me in a dark alley we will see who smells fear. Keep running your mouth you will never change a thing. It is my world. I am the enforcer.
As an “enforcer,” he believes the appropriate response to someone with contrarian ideas is to threaten to do something to them in a dark alley (rape? beat? kill? I don’t know what, exactly, but why else would he want to meet me in a dark alley?).
In response to the disgusting display of arrogance and psychosis by the police described above, skeptics will predictably turn to the “few bad apples” excuse. This article does not purport to hold general truths or be backed by statistics, however, one thing is undeniable — not all police are there to protect and serve. Some want us to just straight up die. Some are just here to screw around, get on TV, and kill black people. Some like to brag on Facebook about the people they killed. Some believe police brutality is acceptable as long as the victim was drinking and wore inappropriate clothing. Some see themselves as predators, and us as the prey. Some like to hunt down people they don’t like in dark alleys. So think twice if you ever want to call the police for help, or if you meet one on the street. You might get unlucky.