Baltimore ex-cop: Police “have to solve the problems of America nobody wants to deal with”


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Cops could solve the problem of the extrajudicial murder of citizens by simply not killing people. They could solve the problem of higher than average incarceration of the poor by not placing them in the criminal system at their earliest opportunity. Those are problems in America’s ghetto that only they can deal with… they create those problems after all.

[...] everybody blames the police. And cops feel strangely victimized by this system--they're put in the middle and used as political tools.

Every foot soldier in every oppressive system ever makes this same claim. “I don’t want to be doing these things, but we have no choice! Nobody will offer a better solution - we are the only ones who truly care about keeping the peace. Conditions force us to act this way.”

It’s almost pure apologism, with the obvious thrust being that we shouldn’t hold police accountable for police violence, we should “blame society” for causing the social problems that innocent, well-meaning cops are exposed to.

But there is one grain of truth, which is that we should not just assign the police to prevent crime and preserve social peace in our society and then turn away. They are ill-qualified for that responsibility, and are only getting worse. We should develop and expand community-based approaches to public safety, with an eye towards eventually replacing the corrupt institution of the police altogether.

they could, at some point, say, "Fuck it, I quit. I don't like this job anyway."
Here's hoping they do.

So, in other words he was part of the problem while he was a cop?

Do we really need another cop apologist? There is not ONE act by a police officer, no matter how egregious, where there isn’t someone showing up to defend the cop. This includes home invasions, blatant racism, execution style killings, and outright corruption.

Maybe the true screening we need to do for officer recruiting is to make sure there isn’t a lack of empathy. Maybe they ought to have to pass a Voight-Kampff test, because cops that see other humans as animals just isn’t cutting it.


Balitmore ex-cop, not impressed. I don’t think we should send cops to solve these problems. Less cops and militarism is the way to go.

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I don’t think ALL the problems of the legal system in the US are to blame on cops. Voting for judges, police officials and prosecutors comes to my mind - while in theory a nice idea, the reality in the US shows that it sets the wrong incentives. And then there is this whole “vengeance” attitude to justice - eye for an eye got you the biggest prison population on earth. The attitude stems from the the US believe in violence as a appropriate answer to solving problems: military violence against foreign affairs problems, state controlled violence against criminals/social issues.


I think he is right, as a passing outsider I see racism as something many post boomer people use as a tool to determine class for purposes of discrimination. I know of few people would would fear a black doctor, though they might resent him for the perception of having jumped ahead in the line of class ascension. Same thing with police violence, it is the racist oppression which crammed many minorities into poverty and denied the networking required for business success. This lack of networking opportunity and the perception of lower class by perceived education and other assumptions continues to inhibit class migration.
Racism sucks and it made worse by the inherited continuing class inequity and history of violence and oppression. Today though, resetting the clock and ignoring the previous oppression, I believe that most people would far more gladly assault a homeless person for their class status then assault a passed out drunk but obviously well off minority college student for their race.

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A very good friend of mine (ok, my girlfriend at the time) signed up to become a cop. After police academy, she took a job with a moderately urban county police force in the Pacific Northwest. She came home from work one day to say that veteran officers explained that treating a suspect roughly was a way to discourage criminal behavior.

The idea was that the (apparently presumed guilty) perp would just be let off by the judiciary branch of the legal system, so “this is the only hell he’ll know.” I’m a little surprised I still remember those words after a couple of decades.


Who talking ALL? When you arrest people of one race or economic status but not people of another race or economic status for the exact same activity… you can lay that entirely on the police department.


But a huge part of the problem is if you send social workers instead of cops, you’ll be branded a sissy who’s soft on crime. Everybody loves to see a crackdown on the rung below them.

Fuck this douce! That he’s an instructor to NYPD rank and file and future detectives is disgusting. This is the Jack Nicholson “You can’t stand the truth!” BS. On the simplest level how does it explain a “white shirt” upper command police officer pepper spraying seated Occupy Wall Street protesters while at the exact same time having a police guard on the Wall Street Bull? He can’t stand the truth! Remember, the Knapp Commission solved all the problems with the NYPD. That was a joke. Sick one I’ll give you but then we’ve still got trainers like this one. A proud member of Bloomberg’s Army.


the way it was explained to me, Atlanta’s Red Dog unit was set up specifically to do this type of policing. Allegedly, their MO was they would ruthlessly beat the living hell out of the perp and toss him in lock-up. When appearing before the judge, all the Red Dog cases were summarily thrown out by design, but obviously nothing about the arrangement was officially on the books. Not sure if true, but the unit achieved infamy in the lyrics of e.g. Goodie Mob.


Well, at least they can’t say sociology is nothing but a left-wing conspiracy anymore…

I’m not sure I’d characterize what the police are doing as solving the problems of America.


Not All Everybodys…


i used to feel this way too: that most of the inner city issues in the us were economic issues, not race issues. it’s true that the two issues influence each other, but as i’ve gotten older, i’ve come to believe they are separate issues.

being poor and black is still much more difficult than being poor and white. most white people don’t feel that way, but most black people do. ( re: white privilege. )

there are income gap differences for equally skilled people of different races, difficulties of people getting jobs if they have “black sounding” names, there’s differences in police profiling and outcomes in the legal system.

here’s an article i saw recently with some numbers:

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I should say that the current racism still hits and affects in a similar way. I also think this classist basis racism is probably harder to solve because it is well camouflaged, more unconscious, like this…

I think it is less based in racialist hate than, as you also say, who the average person affords white privilege.
I think there is much hate but with a change of clothes a poor disgusting white becomes a trying hard white. It is harder to convince people that a minority is ‘trying hard’ and even then Eddie Murphy’s makeup job takes a few hours every day to apply.


But the Voight-Kampff test checks for empathy for animals, which the replicants couldn’t fake having.

Just like the bankers had to steal all the money because society demands eternal growth.



Your logic is flawed. They don’t create the problem. Police are enforcing the laws under the requirements set by the Code of Criminal Procedure, the Penal Code, Family Code, Health and Safety Code, and other state laws. Last I checked the Code of Criminal Procedure doesn’t command an officer to “arrest if you think it is a good idea”. If you want changes to policing start with the legislatures that write the laws. Police officers are bound under the law to enforce the laws on the books regardless of what they personally feel about them.

Further, the people breaking the laws are what the police are responding to that are the impetus for the interaction between police in the first place. I would posit that there are far more police exercising restraint in using deadly force than the other way around. Last year over 50,000 police were assaulted while working with thousands receiving significant injuries that would have supported the use of deadly force that didn’t deploy that force.

Possibly the use of some critical thinking on the part of people capable of exercising such a skill would yield a constructive determination of the root problems and a path to positively making a difference rather than simple conjecture and raw emotion being spewed on a BBS like a bowl of oatmeal thrown against a wall.