A bunch of rookie cops have recently been fired for doing bad things. Let's think about that for a moment

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/01/01/a-bunch-of-rookie-cops-have-re.html

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I feel it’s also telling of what aspiring / new cops think the ‘normal’ is. Almost as if they feel that this behaviour is expected (or at the very least tolerated if not encouraged) to become part of the police.

Talk about a bad reputation…

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And lest we forget, they all carry guns. Mind boggling…

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I always come back to this article, which states the role of the police in stark terms;

The police were not created to protect and serve the population. They were not created to stop crime, at least not as most people understand it. And they were certainly not created to promote justice. They were created to protect the new form of wage-labor capitalism that emerged in the mid- to late-19th century from the threat posed by that system’s offspring, the working class.

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“One small step for man.” When they can no longer kill with impunity because they “felt threatened” or “saw a gun” that wasn’t there, we’ll have “One giant leap for mankind.”

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I taught a couple sections of Criminal Justice students at a community college. They were the least respectful and most likely to cheat of all the various disciplines and majors there. Although there are many good cops, the profession attracts scum too.

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The “Fucking Pig” Kansas cop was not inexperienced in law enforcement. He’d had 5 years prior experience as an MP, no doubt at Ft. Riley. Doing the math, with him being 23, he went into the army at 18, did his stint as an MP and went right into the Herington force. He’s just an asshole, not an ignorant, cheeky fresh-to-the-force baby cop.
I think what he wrote on his cup is exactly what he is - a fucking pig.

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Good. Hero Worship is creepy and weird and just plain wrong. They are just people. They’re Humans that can be fallible, can be malignant, ignorant just like the rest of us. They should be held to same standards as everyone else, at the very least.

There’s always been crooked cops in this country, but 9-11 did something to us to drive the need for hero worship. They pull some pretty brazen stuff and no one bats an eye because tHe ThiN bLuE LiNe!!!

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I coincidentally just saw this news this morning:

That headline is underselling it: a NY police officer on a trip to Nashville gets drunk, kicks in door of black woman’s home, threatens to kill her children, he and his buddies laugh it off when the cops show up. He’s facing some charges in Nashville, but as of yet isn’t facing any disciplinary actions in NY. He’s a five year veteran, so…

at least 40% of police officers self-reported domestic violence in the home

My recollection of the mental health survey previously given to police officers, where they self-reported committing domestic abuse, was that the 40% number only was in reference to a certain number of previous months. So it’s even worse than it might appear - one could easily extrapolate that into most police officers being guilty of domestic abuse. Which in theory makes them ineligible to carry a gun. (But in practice almost never gets enforced - between most abuse not being reported, cops covering for each other, and massive loopholes - e.g. unmarried domestic partners being excluded from the law.)

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I’m conflicted on whether our long term trend lines for policing look good or bad, but one thought has been rattling around my brain for a few weeks. Modern policing is a pretty recent invention, really only going back to the early 1800s, with Peel’s reforms in 1929 and the NYPD going back to 1845. Prior to that one of the better historic comparisons is an army garrison. I keep thinking we’ve wandered unthinkingly into filling our cities with the standing armies that almost every major political and legal text of the enlightenment warned of.

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“… because it lets them excuse the unconscious biases in themselves.”

Unconcious? Well, there’s that. There’s also “ignored” and “never self-analyzed”. It doesn’t take super-human intellectual abilities to ‘test’ oneself with certain questions, such as, “How would I feel – viscerally – if my white daughter/son married a minority? And why – exactly – do I feel that way?”

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Another grain for consideration … when the cops switched from blue uniforms to BLACK … was it then they switched from serving and protecting to being an occupying army? It is not so big a jump from Officer Friendly to SchutzStaffel, is it?

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Terrific observations. I think it’s also very important to look at the recruiting process. Ads that go on Breitbart are not going to attract people with positive values about the urban population.

Ads that show officers in paramilitary gear looking like they’re raiding Osama’s compound will draw applicants who are eager to do that, and who see it as the proper way to police a community.

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Police was much older dating back at least to thr ancient Rome. Of coyse they followed the orders of the people in charge.

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Minor edit needed here:

secret lists of criminal crops

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On the theme of the history of policing…

However, that’s British policing. American policing has a somewhat different history.

Street cops:

Detectives, Secret Service, Military Intelligence and Corporate Security forces:

FBI:

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The article should have been more specific about referring to American policing; there have always been city guards, as you point out, going back a very long time.

Have you read Lindsey Davis’ “Falco” series, set in Rome? Falco’s oldest friend is a member of the Vigiles.

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It’s easy to fire the cops that performed the salute, the questions that ought to be asked are: 1) what hiring practices and training filled a stage with people willing to follow that order?, 2) who gave the instruction to do the salute and what happened to them? This looks like a mafia induction / loyalty test.

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