I received this email from a former police officer who agreed to let me publish his email but asked that I removed his name, which I did. I’m encouraging this person to continue to blog here, with hopes that it can help bridge the gap between non LEO’s and active LEO’s. Afterall, CopBlock.org is for everyone and police have the most to gain from our content. Enjoy.
I am a former law officer with some 20 years of state and federal experience, ranging from patrol operations to criminal investigations, and special operations. I served in several executive positions as well. I am very concerned about the militarization of our police, the lack of respect of police accorded to private citizens, the arrogant attitude of police officers and their supervisors in regards to the rights of the American people and the US Constitution.
Moreover, I am extremely concerned about the use of needless and senseless force against American citizens by police military raid teams (SWAT) serving to implement ordinary tasks that ordinary patrol officers used to perform. Now, it seems that so-called SWAT teams are routinely employed for all police operations and appear to have a primary purpose in terrifying people into compliance with vague, arbitrary and indeed, unlawful policy measures.
Since when is a SWAT team used or justified in collecting a defaulted loan? Excuse me, but am I living the United States or in Nazi Germany, whose police originated the concept of SWAT teams? That’s right, the Nazi Gestapo conceived of the idea of using heavily armed police and military tactics against political dissidents or dangerous criminals with a twofold purpose. One was to overwhelm likely resistance. The second, was to terrify people into submission.
Additionally, I am terribly concerned about the lack of accountability of police departments, mayors and county commissioners related to instances of excessive force, outright brutality, criminal conduct and disrespect of police officers, who seem to act as if they are above the law or beyond any standard of accountability.
Contextually, my feelings are that citizens have a right to exact accountability and a higher degree of conduct from police officers than of the public at large. Moreover, they have a right to demand that officers not only know and maintain the law, but to abide by it.
Consequently, I approve of citizens taking issue with police when they are abusive and act inappropriately. Patrolling the police and filming their activities is one measure I feel that is justified concurrent with the seemingly out of control and lawless conduct by many police departments across the United States. Police officers are public servants acting supposedly in the public’s interest and the public has the right to question them about their activities in that venue or to film them in the performance of their duties, especially in instances of possible criminal conduct by police.
Part of the problem remains with public trust and a lack of interest by the public in enforcing accountability of police officers. We became complacent and too trustful. As citizens, we neglected our public duty and shrugged off police excesses. Now, that neglect has come to haunt us as our protectors are now preying upon us. There has been a fundamental and harmful paradigm shift. American police now treat us as security suspects rather than as citizens with rights to be upheld. And we don’t seem to be doing enough to reverse that trend.
I am afraid of our police and I don’t say this lightly. Many of the officers employed today are of substandard quality. They are in many instances simply hired thugs. I feel it is very important to expand programs such as Cop Block and to link with other civic minded organizations in attempting to take back control of armed elements in our society, like the police.
Additionally, as citizens we must use the full recourse of law available to us. This includes letters to police and sheriff department executives, to officer associations, to prosecutors and judges and if necessary to peacefully protest abuses. Filing Title 42 Civil Rights violations against departments and officers is a measure that needs to be considered as well. Recalling, firing, and suing public servants that condone police excesses should be a priority for any community that suffers from police abuses.
In conclusion, I urge American citizens to not expand police powers. When I had the privilege of serving the American people, I had all the power I needed to do my job. Moreover, I am proud to say that I had the support of my fellow citizens as long as I respected them as people and upheld their rights. During my time, we were proud to be considered peace officers and not as ass kicking “enforcement” officers. There is a tremendous difference and you can see that difference as so-called law officers act as thugs and gangsters in routinely brutalizing American citizens across the United States. “Move or I’ll tase you,” is one common expression I am hearing from police — over and over.
A good peace officer never needs to threaten to use force likely to cause serious injury or death to accomplish his mission. Back in my day, people understood that implicitly. We simply asked people to cooperate with us and never used force, unless it was absolutely necessary. Nor did we put people in jail and ruin their lives for trivial offenses. When we saw instances of abuse by fellow officers, we arrested them or got rid of them.
It is absolutely critical to rethink the role of the police in America as we head into the second decade of the 21St century. Our police must remain faithful to the US Constitution and to protecting people and their rights as public servants, in our own communities,and under local supervision. American police must remain free of federal or national control. In this vein, they remain the guardians of a constitutional republic and not of a tyrannical national security state like Nazi Germany or the former Soviet Union.
I salute you for your courage and keeping faith in the purpose of the United States.