Saturday, May 11, 2013

Good Cop, Bad Cop - Abuse of Power?

Thanks to the Internet and social networking we see far too many stories about cops who abuse their authority. This is a good thing, because we sure as hell don't see these stories on the evening news. And when I say abuse I'm not just talking about making a traffic stop to flirt with a cute girl. I mean assault, murder, arresting people for nothing more than video-taping the police officer's actions, lying in court under oath, violating their oath to uphold and defend the Constitution, and many other such incidences. You have seen the videos, you know what I am talking about.

Now before you go off a a "Floyd hates cops rant," you should know that I was going to be a Richmond Police officer many years ago, but the city's residency requirement squelched that. I have worked with cops in various capacities, I have many friends who are cops, I play hockey with some of them, I have known many outstanding police officers, who understood what it meant to "serve and protect." However, I have also known some real pieces of work. You know the ones. The cops who think that their badge and gun mean that the laws that apply to you and me do not apply to them. They think they can do whatever the hell they please and excuse it by pointing to their badge. Sorry, but it's true.

So, given what we have seen and what we know, what should happen to these rouge cops when they abuse their authority and unjustly arrest someone or hurt someone, "just because they can?" Should they face the same criminal charges/penalties that you and I would face? Or should they just get some time off with pay, while their very own department "looks into it?" If we can't trust the men/women in uniform, who have sworn an oath, to obey the laws and do the right thing, then who do we turn to? Who do we place our trust in?

As for the "good cops," I have lost a lot of respect for them as well, because they seem to be OK with the actions of these bad cops. Why do I say that? Well, what are they doing about it? I hear many of you complain that the "moderate Muslims" among us are as guilty as the radical/terrorist Muslims, because they won't stand up to the bad ones. They just shrug and wink and ignore it. Well, why is it OK when good cops do that regarding the bad cops among them? I do not like the way I have come to feel about our judicial system and those who enforce the laws. I want to respect them, as I have done similar work and I know what they are up against. But when they abuse and ignore the law, when they attack people for little or no justification, when they think that the laws don't apply to them, because they have a badge, when the good ones ignore the bad ones and do nothing to put a stop to their abuses, then I cannot offer such people my respect.

Simply wearing a badge and a uniform is not enough. You want respect, you have to earn it.