Modified London police brag-sheets

Wowsa. That same logic and swap out some words (say “black people” or “Muslims”) and you would sound like a racist asshat.

A segment of population perpetuating negative stereotypes doesn’t condemn the whole population.


I wouldn’t go that far. they certainly kill fewer than the cops in the US, but our cops have done plenty of terrible things to go around.


I would sound racist, yes.

But I didn’t use the words ‘black people’ or ‘Muslims’ in my comment. I gave my opinion about cops. And while I understand and respect your caution against unfair generalizations, I no longer believe that courtesy should be extended to law enforcement officers. Can I blame an entire group for the actions of members of that group? The answer to that question varies for every one of us; we all have a threshold in this regard and it’s not necessarily the same for each group.

For me, cops have long since breached that threshold; they’ve shot it dead. Unless an individual cop demonstrates that he is not a bastard, it is safest (and most likely) to assume that he is a bastard. Let’s stop being polite on this point.


Thank you.

Thank you also for using the term “orthogonal.” People always look at me weird when I tell them two arguments are orthogonal.


I just find that way of thinking dangerous. Yes there is a problem with some cops, they are still a minority. Yes the calls for reform and weeding out the bad cops from the police force are too quiet from within.

But that line of thinking is identical for people who have “had it” with a group of people. That line if thinking is EXACTLY what leads to racism and other -isms. To naturally assume a group of people are “bad” unless proven otherwise is exactly what leads to a lot of bad things.

And I have heard these exact things by others. “Why aren’t the most vocal condemners of terrorism these so-called ‘peaceful’ Muslims?” “Why isn’t Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson marching in Chicago where blacks are killing each other every day in gangs?”

If you give a cop the stinkeye automatically because he is a cop, you’re just like a cop giving the stinkeye to a guy because he’s black. You’ve become what you hate.


I imagine that the black teenagers who get stopped every other week for driving while black would disagree

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I respectfully disagree?

I think that it is possible for reasonable people to adopt a general attitude toward one group without a serious risk that they will begin applying the same logic to other groups. The slope isn’t always or necessarily slippery.

Again, I understand that you’re suspicious of this perspective in the abstract. But I think it’s also important to note that on the particular issue of ‘cops as bastards’ we disagree on some important premises. You believe that bastard cops are “still a minority”. I believe that they constitute the overwhelming majority. Some cops are bigger bastards than others, but in my opinion so many of them are bastards that, in the present moment, this is besides the point.


One more point, a significant one in this context: My assumption that cops are bastards will generally end with me giving one the stink-eye. When cops give black boys and black men the stink-eye that is often the prelude to very real violations of privacy and safety. When cops give black boys and black men the stink-eye, those individuals usually end up harassed, beaten, jailed or dead.


Hey!. We’re trying to fight a WAR on crime, here.


Horseshit. There are just so many differences between the groups here: being black is an accident of birth. Being a cop is a choice that an adult makes and can unmake at any time if the culture becomes something you cannot defend. Being black in most western countries makes you part of a discriminated-against, less-powerful minority. Being a cop makes you part of an exceedingly powerful, largely-immune-to-prosecution, minority. Cops are part of an actual formal institution. There are Chiefs of Police and Mayors that actually make policy that cops are expected to conform to. I’m pretty sure the rumors of the meetings of black people where they decide on how they will behave are unfounded.


I am not saying that you are going to apply this to other groups. I am saying that doing so for just about any group is wrong. While there are exceptions, especially with smaller groups, I can’t think of any other broad occupation where such blanket assumptions would be acceptable.

I am not sure reality aligns with your perception. While I think there is a systematic protection of cops who misbehave in many places, if even half of the cops out there were misbehaving every day things would be a lot worse.

You are not alone. ALL of us have preconceived biases. When I say “single welfare mother”, what pops into your head? Many people would picture a minority, when white people are the majority of people on welfare.

People are good at taking anecdotal data and using what ever confirms their bias as ammunition, and ignores anything that doesn’t. We do it for everything from groups of people to our favorite brand of cereal.

I dunno, I’ve been told that micro-aggressions and harmless biases still makes one a bad person. YMMV.

And to be clear, I am not on my knees pleasuring cops on the weekend. I’ve repeated said that the recent increase of SWAT is unwarranted, the War on Drugs is a farce, that there are departments basically stealing from people under the protection of drug profit seizure laws, and there are some department with total bullshit policies like NYC Stop and Frisk. I just think it would be more productive to attack the policies in place we don’t like, and revise the system to remove bad cops from the job. Demonizing the whole force does nothing but to reenforce their “us vs them” mentality.

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Welcome to: the Police Apologists Forum.

Tonight’s Topics:

Black = Guilt : It Isn’t Racism If It Is True.

Casual Bigotry: If You Just Stopped Behaving Like Criminals We Wont Need to Hunt You.

Violence: Due Process Doesn’t Work, This Is For Your Benefit Can’t You See That?


A good thing to note to potential non-sciencey types here would be that it’s pretty much nigh impossible to handle or carry an item without leaking some of your DNA onto it. Touch DNA tests are really damn sensitive (generally <10 epithelial cells needed, and if no DNA could be found on the sock, then it’s fairly unlikely that he had handled it (barring purchase/handling in a clean suit with gloves).


What evidence do you have to support this claim? A study of some sort, perhaps?

On the other side, for starters, lies what you just said – doesn’t the lack of calls for reform and weeding out of the bad cops from within suggest the existence of more bad cops than good ones? A systemic pressure, that is, that stops what are actually the few good cops from blowing the whistle on the mostly bad ones?


I understand. You seem like a thoughtful person and I don’t view your objections as those of an apologist for bad behavior, etc. We just disagree on this issue, that’s all.

I am not cautious re: the “us versus them” mentality because in my view we live in an “us versus them” reality. In my opinion, every civilian lives under the threat of having our lives ruined (or taken away from us) because a cop is having a bad day. That outcome is more likely for some people than others depending on their race, class, gender, visibility, etc. For example, I am comparatively less likely to be jailed for “resisting arrest” than a young black man walking to work on Chicago’s South Side. However, nobody is entirely immune from this kind of threat. And my being nicer to a cop, or viewing them differently, will not change their mentality. In practice, cops are not required to presume the innocence of the civilians they encounter. Everyone is regarded a potential perpetrator, some more than others. I extend to cops the same (dis)courtesy.

But not wrong for all groups, we can agree?

For example: all rapists are bastards.


Call me a naive optimist. Or maybe I’m not ready to condemn a whole group with out evidence to the contrary. Perhaps you have a study to support your claim? Like just about any group, you can’t paint everyone with a broad brush.

Again I have heard the EXACT same thing about other groups like Muslims. They lump in all of them together because they don’t feel the moderate/modern ones do enough to denounce the fundamentalist terrorist ones.

I agree with that. I do think the pressure to just ignore things and keep it the status quo is a factor.

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Like I said, if you tighten the group down enough, you can make that sort of statement.

Everyone in prison is a bastard. - What about non-violent drug offenses (there are a lot of those)? Some poor guy who who got falsely convicted?
All rapists are bastards.

I’d agree with “Cops who abuse their power are bastards.”

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I will take what I can get, :smile:

Though we don’t need to tighten the group down too much in this case. Given that 1 out of every 6 women in the U.S. have been raped or threatened by the attempt, “all rapists” is a much bigger group than folks in the U.S. are willing to acknowledge.

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The original designs were created by anarchist mag STRIKE!, but nobody knows who printed them out giant-sized and pasted them all over town.
Here’s a good interview about it:

Okay. You are a naive optimist.

Difference is that being a police officer is a job. There exists a mechanism to remove people from that job if they are deemed to have broken the standards of conduct which society have decided. After that has happened one can no longer call themselves a police officer. When the “good cops” are not seen to be acting against their “bad cop” counterparts, then they ARE culpable, doubly so when there is a culture of the “thin blue line” to protect those who should be removed.