Monday, July 11, 2016


Does she really frighten these robocops that much? 

Police, it must be admitted, have a tough job.  

I've known plenty of cops over the years, from New York City cops who were cops because their fathers and uncles and brothers were cops, to suburban cops, to undercover cops, to FBI agents, to small town cops. Women cops, men cops. Old cops, young cops. There are lots of different types of cops, but most of them shared a pretty jaded point of view of humanity. They saw the raw side of life and had to deal with some pretty insane people and some pretty stupid people and some violent nasty people and some who were all three.

The "Police Log" which runs in a the Portsmouth Herald, unadulterated, gives some insight into what cops have to deal with. My favorite posting was: "Called to see woman who claimed her neighbor called her 'obese.'"

We also know cops from "The Wire," which is the best portrait I've ever seen of cops, and matched what I saw completely, and this is no surprise since the show was created by and written by a police reporter (David Simon) and a cop (Ed Burns.)

But one thing which typifies American cops is they are different from English cops, and different from the cop on the beat so many of us knew in our youth.

Now they are the heavily armed cops who look like they are in the employ of the Empire, those robo cops with the body armor.
His father murdered by police

For some time, I've thought, "We'd be better off without any of these guys around. Keep them in the station house. Call them in when things really get hot."

Of course, the other problem is the station house, where cops can strip down your daughter if they drag her in for rolling through a stop sign.

When Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, he listed the affronts to dignity and human rights perpetrated by the King, but he did not list strip searching. That omission was addressed in the Bill of Rights, with the fourth amendment which prohibited unreasonable search and seizure, but in the 18th century they were not talking about the virtual rape of women in jails; they were talking about soldiers ransacking your house--a violation to be sure, but nothing compared to what goes on daily in our local jails across the country.

And now we have murderers with badges stopping cars for broken tail lights or for no good reason at all, the real threat to life and limb today.
Bad cops: Nothing really all that new

We really ought to think again about how we arm our police and about what their job and their personality should be.  
Unthreatening: The Very Image of a Good Cop

If Jefferson, Franklin, Hamilton could return today, how appalled would they be by what we allow our police to do in what they conceived as a "free" country.

Maybe, what we ought to do is to disarm our policemen, or allow only a Taser and a club.  If we are really worried about their safety, keep one cop with the gun back in the car and let the less threatening, unarmed cop walk up and get the driver's license.  For cops walking the beat, let them walk in pairs. 

If we were really worried about their safety, rather than their egos, we'd disarm our police.

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