Can’t Argue Much

The Street Pharmacist (excellent nick) thinks that the cops have brought a lot of the current shit on themselves:

The police have had a real image problem for years.  It is no surprise that when the crap hits the fan, many people are willing to watch them fry.  What is happening right now is a direct result of the mindset that police have had- the US-versus-THEM, “thin blue line” horseshit that they have been following.  Now they are paying for it, and the law abiding citizens will, too.  You have lost the support of much of the public, and you have no one to blame but yourselves.

Read it all, because the details are quite shocking.

I’m kinda with him, although my real ire is directed at the badge-carrying assholes who shoot innocent people at 4am when executing [sic]  a no-knock warrant at the wrong address.  And I’m doubly pissed when the prosecutor or whoever shrugs and says in effect, “Boys will be boys” and in the end the only bad thing that happens is to the victim and his family.

Compared to that, glad-handing a speeding ticket or two is small potatoes — although the consequences of refusing to glad-hand can be horrible.

I have many friends in law enforcement, and I know that a goodly number of my Readers are either serving- or retired LEOs.  Since arriving in the country in the mid-1980s, I’ve had nothing but good experiences with cops, even when I was busted (twice, in 35 years) for speeding or for some admin screwup (e.g. expired license) on my part.  So 90% of the time, I’m going to be on the side of the blue because I respect what they do.

But the converse of that is when they fuck up, they need to ‘fess up, take the lumps, and to hell with the blue wall of silence.  If that doesn’t happen, my attitude will do a 180 faster than thought.

I’ve written about the militarization of the police for years now, and the way the public is referred to as “civilians” (hint:  don’t do it).  That “us vs. them” attitude is understandable — the definition of police work is coming into daily contact with scumbags and scrotes — but it’s still wrong.

Once again, it’s also understandable that the aforesaid criminals will hate cops.  Where the cops have screwed up is turning the law-abiding citizens’ opinions of them away from respect to dislike.  (In Britain, even the law-abiding refer to the cops as “rozzers” or “The Filth”, and we’re starting to turn in the same direction.)


  1. “The police have no one to blame but themselves for the situation that they find themselves in right now. For years, instead of calling out the bad cops in their midst, they actively shielded and protected them. This created a real PR problem for the cops.”

    That’s not a “PR” problem. That’s a “you’re not the good guys” problem.

  2. I think this is worth repeating:

    Peel’s Nine Principles of Policing

    1) The basic mission for which the police exist is to prevent crime and disorder.

    2) The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon the public approval of police actions.

    3) Police must secure the willing co-operation of the public in voluntary observation of the law to be able to secure and maintain the respect of the public.

    4) The degree of co-operation of the public that can be secured diminishes proportionately to the necessity of the use of physical force.

    5) Police seek and preserve public favour not by catering to public opinion, but by constantly demonstrating absolute impartial service to the law.

    6) Police use physical force to the extent necessary to secure observance of the law or to restore order only when the exercise of persuasion, advice, and warning is found to be insufficient.

    7) Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent upon every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.

    8) Police should always direct their action strictly towards their functions, and never appear to usurp the powers of the judiciary.

    9) The test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with it.

    1. #7 should be listed as a header, and again as a footer, to Sir Robert’s sage advice, and handed out at each shift briefing.

      Also, LE does itself no favor when they join unions – you need fewer barriers between yourself and the public, not more.

    2. I was going to bring this up but you beat me to it. I especially endorse askeptics emphasis on #7. After I retired I spent some time being an LE volunteer doing things that needed be done but didn’t need a sworn officer-traffic control, business contacts, cows in the road, etc. plus getting waved down by people who thought we were cops. We went through an academy which was a truncated version of what the deputies got. They made a really big deal about Peel’s Principles. Of course, this was a rural becoming suburban department, not a big city department so the worst scum just wasn’t there except on rare occasions.

      For rural and suburban departments, get rid of no-knock warrants, civil forfeiture, and weed out a few assholes and you are good to go. Big cities are another problem entirely. Cops there think correctly that the politicians don’t support them so they circle the wagons. Unions are much stronger and more insular. And the proportion of seriously bad guys is much higher.

  3. Any organization, especially one which depends upon the trust of the general public to be effective (police, ministry, teachers) needs to understand two things:

    1) Bad apples will sneak in. Bad people exist, and some will get thru the vetting process to become cops/priests/teachers/etc. It WILL happen as sure as God made little green apples. Deal with it and plan for it.

    2) Once identified, the bad apples need to be eliminated, by the organization concerned, with extreme prejudice. Failure to do so will lose you the good will of the people whose trust you depend upon.

    As I’m fond of saying, get out the broom and sweep your place, or the rest of us will have to do it for you. We’re likely to use a bulldozer instead of a broom, which will be hard on the china.

    If a police department, with the support of the rank-and-file cops, came out and said “Officer So-and-so has been found guilty of Assholery in the First Degree. He has been fired from the department, with loss of pension and benefits, and has been blacklisted so he may no longer work in Law Enforcement. We’re working with the District Attorney to determine if criminal proceedings are warranted.” there’d be absolutely no problem. Covering it up only makes it worse (Roman Catholic Church leadership, and Penn State leadership, call your offices.)

    1. This. Anyone who says, “well, it’s just a few bad apples” needs to be beaten around the head and shoulders with a board inscribed with the FULL aphorism, which is

      One bad apple ruins the entire barrel.

      As I’m fond of saying, get out the broom and sweep your place, or the rest of us will have to do it for you. We’re likely to use a bulldozer instead of a broom, which will be hard on the china.

      Or a killdozer.

  4. I laughed when the cops stood aside to let Antifa/BLM types assault the attendees of a pro-police demonstration. If they won’t protect you when you openly support them, what makes you think they will not follow illegal orders to oppress you?

    I used to be a big law-and-order guy, supported the cops. Not anymore.

  5. It doesn’t matter how good a guy you are, Kim, or how much you support law enforcement.
    You don’t have a badge, so you are always going to be a “Them”.

  6. In my misspent youth if my friends and I were horsing around enough to warrant a cop’s attention.(Nothing criminal, just being a nuisance.) The usual response from the police was “Cut it out right now and take it elsewhere before I officially have to take notice.” To which our response would be “Yes sir, we’re going now.” and later thank god he hadn’t called our dads.

    Now it’s everyone is arrested and parents are hauled out of work to pick them up from the station which seems to me to have a bad effect on public relations. Especially when the “crime” is something like skateboarding in the wrong place.

    It used to be the police’s job was to keep the peace. If that meant sometimes looking the other way for minor infractions that was acceptable and left to the officer’s discretion.

    Now it’s every little thing must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and it’s not just the cops. The prosecutors routinely file felony charges that plea bargain down to misdemeanors for no other reason than to say “I’ve got a 98% conviction rate reelect me”.

    The police have a us against them attitude? It goes the other way also.

  7. Its not just local LE. Its at the federal .gov agency level as well. It’s made far worse by the self-protective bureaucracies, and a complicit court system. If you’ve ever tried to fight this legally, you would have more of a chance as a jobber in a pro-wrestling ring.

    The militarization of the police is bad, the federalization of them is going to be even worse.

    It comes down to the non-accountability of any sort of municipal body toward its citizens.

  8. A big part of the problem is that the good cops are also caught between a rock and a hard place. What good does it do to arrest rioters when they are immediately released by the DA without charges? When the cops see that they no longer have the support of the DA, their own chief or the mayor/city council (looking at you Chiczgo and Madison) aas well as losing the support of the public, it is not surprising that they basically become discouraged and disinterested in doing anything active.

    The situation can be corrected, but it will take massive reforms on the police side and wholesale replacements on the political side. I am not optomistic.

  9. Yeah, the whole “civilian” think is a pet peeve of mine. Used to work with several LE agencies as part of the old job. Friends with and respected the majority of them. But I had to bite my tongue many times when someone referred to civilians in a meeting. (Time and place; a room full of police chiefs when you are there as a liaison is not the hill to die on, and would have had no impact).

    I’ve seen firefighters starting to do the same thing.

    Here’s a hint: if the legal authority controlling your operations is not the UCMJ, YOU are a civilian.

    It’s a small thing, but it aggravates the gap between private citizens and government employees.

  10. The thing to remember is, the administrations in the cities where the problem is worst, MADE IT THAT WAY. Decades of giving Police Unions prerogatives they should not have (and cheerfully accepting campaign donations from those same Unions). Decades of passing petty laws that ensure that the urban poor will have mostly negative interactions with cops (New York’s asinine knife law springs to mind). Decades of reciting the mantra “all the proper procedures were followed” when an idiotic ‘dynamic entry’ raid went horribly (if accepted procedures were followed, the twit who wrote them needs to be fired, too.) Decades of farming petty fines to make up budget gaps rather than cut out fat.

    The Fascist Left may not have PLANNED this from the beginning (they don’t strike me as that bright) but they LOVE being able to pose as defenders of the poor, while counting on the Police Unions for donations because they can’t really fire the bad cops.

    And, of course, the Black Quislings like Sharpton don’t aim Black Lives Matter at the real problems, either with the cops or with the Black Community.

    If the urban poor ever woke up one morning with the realization of how badly the politicians and ‘activists’ have used them, Hell would go for a walk with the sleeves rolled up.

    The Police Unions must be broken

    Asset Forfeiture must stop.

    Dynamic Entry raids must be limited to only the most dangerous situations.

    No-knock warrants must be scaled back DRASTICALLY.

    And cities like Chicago must cut their suit to fit their cloth. Don’t have the revenue to fund basic services AND the laundry list of Leftwing hobbyhorses? Then the hobbyhorses have to go. Nickle-and-dime-ing the citizenry for petty crap is bullshit.

Comments are closed.