Street Smarts: Open Season on Cops

Welcome to 2015: now go spit on the nearest cop.

That is what a certain segment within America would apparently love to see happen. The mass media won’t explicitly support you, but they’ll certainly feature your story on the front page. If the cop then happens to arrest you and you get scuffed up in the process, you’ll need a squad of parking personnel around your house to coordinate all the arriving network satellite trucks, professional protesters, and grandstanding political leaders.

Ahh, 2015 is a great time to be a police officer. In case you are ragingly oblivious, I’m being sarcastic.

The current state of police-community relations is horrible and only seems to be getting worse. Cops have recently been killed because of all the blather and sadly, I’m sure between these words being written and published, more will die. It’s insane, and one major reason for this state of affairs is good people in this country standing idly by and allowing it to happen.

First and foremost, nothing infuriates a good cop more than a bad cop. But, as has been bitterly noted by police officers for generations, it only takes one bad cop to overshadow hundreds of instances of sacrifice and good deeds by professional officers. You’ll get no excuses from me on real instances of misconduct.

Yet, while there are certainly bad cops and bad police departments, their numbers are much fewer and farther between than some people believe and our “friends” in the national media seem to think.

Sadly it seems apparent that a goodly portion of the national media will not feel complete and satisfied until members of the public treat law enforcement officers like the returning military veterans in 1969.

Speaking as a long-time writer who has hung around newsrooms for literally decades and is probably less biased against the media than most police officers, I’ve never seen such an apparent intentional effort to demonize one of our civilization’s most important social control mechanisms.

When I say “social control,” I’m not talking about keeping the proletariat under the thumb of bourgeois capitalists and all that other crap your dope-smoking professor shoveled into your head during PolySci class back in college. When I say social control, I refer to the scumbags in your own community who are right now figuring out a way to rob, cheat, and steal from you. If the stakes are sufficient, they’ll slip in a little rape and murder along the way too.

Many factors are involved in our equation, but it is apparent that today’s generalized dissatisfaction and distrust of government is being co-opted by an opportunistic media populated by young and inexperienced (i.e., inexpensive to hire) reporters straight out of college being led by former flower children who have survived enough rounds of downsizing to become management. It is an environment where personal agenda and bias, usually liberal, will flourish.

Without such a bias, how else can you explain CNN continually referring to felons who are shot by police officers as “victims”? Granted, such usage is technically correct, but the words drip with innuendo that appears wholly intentional.

Take biased media, spice with pressure to present news more as “infotainment,” add in the normal hatred that some members of society have for law and order, mix with pandering by leaders (elected and otherwise), then stir in online platforms that let anti-social kooks grandstand alongside legitimate news organizations, and you have the recipe for our current situation.

Look, folks: law enforcement is a dirty business conducted by tough men and women who deal with the most idiotic, chemically altered and anti-social members of our human tribe, ones who occasionally will comply only by application of force. Sometimes it’s a wristlock, sometimes it’s a hail of bullets. Fortunately, I do believe the average citizen understands these facts even if they are completely foreign to reporters, pundits and leaders.

That’s not to say cops aren’t human. Sometimes either personal bias or outright criminal impulses are acted upon under the “color of the law.” But based on my experience knowing, training and working alongside literally thousands of cops from across the country, those cases are far, far fewer than television would suggest or social media gossip would have you believe.

Above all, the whole idea that police officers intentionally shoot non-whites is just about the stupidest thing that has been foisted upon the American public since the hula hoop. Internal moral compass aside, unless a cop is certifiably psychopathic, he or she isn’t going to risk career, family, financial future, and probable jail time by killing someone from an “oppressed” group either on a whim or intentionally.

The whole thing is stupid, very and utterly stupid.

To my fellow officers: remember your oath and continue to perform to the best of your abilities. You also need to be really careful out there.

To the rest of America: please stop standing quietly on the sidelines while media and so-called leaders completely gut the part of government that will personally come to your house and lay down its life to protect you and yours.

Cops aren’t the enemy of society—uninformed, biased, ignorant, and/or just plain stupid people emboldened by communications savvy are.

If you disagree, please call CNN or Al Sharpton if somebody tries to harm your kids.

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