Friday, January 25, 2008

Continuing with the theme...

...that cops are a bad lot, this kind of thing scares me.

I'd like to think it's the exception, but I doubt it.

I'm not sure what the solution is, tho. Basically you've got people doing a tough, often thankless job. They're trained (officially, and by experience) to take control, to maintain order, to boss people around. Controlling the situation is often enough an issue of officer safety that they eventually come to feel threatened by *any* situation where they're not in total control.

So when people (who most likely never done the job and don't know what all the issues are) butt in or don't cooperate -- even in a fairly innocuous way -- cops tend to get their knickers in a serious twist*. And it has nothing to do with whether the buttinskis are right or not.

Bottom line, tho -- if you're going to do that job, you need to exercise discretion. And if you've lost your ability to make good judgements about the law and use of force, it's time to look for another career...

*(see previous post)


At Fri Jan 25, 11:09:00 PM PST, Blogger Left Coast Sister said...

My former self is going to be shocked at my comment, but here goes anyway.
I think you have a slightly media-induced view of the police. First of all, *any* profession has it's bad apples, perhaps even IT. (Hey, it could happen.). While there are bad cops, I also have to say I've seen many officers dealing with difficult people in a much more patient and controlled fashion than I would. But you won't read about them and therein lies the difference. I think we as a people are quick quick quick to judge others who are in a position not just of power but of responsibility. Have you ever been in a position where you were dealing with people and you had no idea how violent (or not) they were going to be against you or your coworkers? Do you know how you would react?
I'm not saying there are no bad police, don't get me wrong. But I think that media outlets would have you believe that ALL cops are pigs, and that's simply not true. They do a hard, thankless job of long shifts (at least in my town) and don't get a lot of respect on the streets. I honestly don't know why anyone would want to do it, but I'm glad someone does.

At Sat Jan 26, 10:22:00 PM PST, Blogger blogball said...

I’m with Left Coast Sister on this one !

At Sat Jan 26, 10:52:00 PM PST, Blogger bryan torre said...

i completely agree that it's a hard job, and that cops deserve a little slack and a lot of cooperation. i know a few, and they're good guys.

however: i'm not just basing my minor cop-bashing on the picture the media gives us -- i'm going by my personal experience as well -- while many or most of the cops i've had dealings with have been polite and professional, a too-large percentage have been rude, unnecessarily authoritarian, or flat-out untruthful.

At Sun Jan 27, 01:08:00 PM PST, Blogger bryan torre said...

Followup question for Blogball and LCS: ignoring the suggestion that cops are in general too authoritarian, what do you think about the Seattle case where the cops cuffed and jailed the guy for taking pictures and talking to the gf of the guy they arrested?
Scale of one to ten, how annoyed/afraid/concerned does that make you?

At Mon Jan 28, 10:58:00 AM PST, Blogger blogball said...

Am I worried that our civil rights and freedoms are slowly being taken away from us or that Washington is turning into a police state?

This guy Mohora that took the photos was detained for 1 hour by a couple cops that used bad judgment that day. I wasn’t there so I don’t know what their mind set was when they made that decision. Or they could be a couple of bad apples. The officers were disciplined and Mohora is $8000.00 richer for being inconvenienced. So no I’m not annoyed/afraid/concerned I’m a little more annoyed/afraid/concerned about increased crime rates.

At Mon Jan 28, 10:13:00 PM PST, Blogger Left Coast Sister said...

Good thing I havent' checked your blog since your storm of postings, so I won't have anyone read this comment. (:
Regardless, here's my deal: the Seattle story seems a bit over-0the-top for sure, but it isn't as though we are turning into China and people are arrested and the key discarded for their not-illegal actions. I don't LIKE that there are over-reactions, but as with anything, mistakes are made, there ARE bad apples, etc. That particular case in Seattle is probably abuse-lite, however.
The Abner Louima case, now that's an atrocity and books should be thrown at rotten apples such as those. As with Rodney King, there is NO DOUBT that officers can abuse their powers. But I think a guy being detained for a short time with no physical abuse, etc., seems unfortunate, but it'll happen when there are human beings using human judgement.
(PS I'm probably a bit touchy about this, since the death of DH's college roommate who was a Sac officer and was shot by a 16-yr old gang member (or wanna be gang member, that's not been made clear). His gun (the officer's, that is) was not pulled, he wasn't even pursuing this punk until he ran over a fence, then turned and shot him in the neck. The bad dude downs a good dude for no reason. That just sucks.)

At Tue Jan 29, 09:51:00 AM PST, Blogger blogball said...

LCS I’m here and I saw what you wrote.
I will be watching for you in the Twin Cities at the 2008 GOP Convention.


Post a Comment

<< Home