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Guest • 5 years ago
GeorgeSalt • 5 years ago

Just look at the way cops are portrayed on TV and in the movies. Lots of Americans love rogue cops who kick doors and beat confessions out of perps. I can't stand American police procedural TV shows because more often than not the lead character is a swaggering, bullying dick of a cop.

Americans love to see rough justice meted out, as long as the "right people" are on the receiving end.

kiljoy616 • 5 years ago

aka the Poor.

Dex Sims • 4 years ago

Yeah, especially if the "right people" are poor people of color

homebuilding • 5 years ago

George, hence our "punishment' uber alles society

RobertRays • 5 years ago

Police and prison guards hate hearing these comparisons, according to an ex-policewoman I once worked with, but she made the comparison herself. She kept a certain hardness in her nature, but changed careers in part because she got sick of the liberties her colleagues took with people, thumping them as though to make up for some imaginary deficit of punishment elsewhere in the system, or because they could not abide insufficient respect of their authority.

(She also resisted escalating tension in a confrontation, which she saw too much of and which is now a recognized major policing problem. One night shift, she was called to arrest a drunken brawler known for injuring officers and always requiring several to bring in. She was alone -- but she brought him in without violence.)

Yahmo Bethere • 5 years ago

A former job entailed hiring ex-COs. The only reason they're on the other side of the bars is b/c they haven't been caught.

Lee • 5 years ago

I suspect "office culture" is everything. If you get a police department where the people in charge are bullying d*cks or turn a blind eye to the people who are, it just feeds on itself as those people hire their friends with similar dispositions. Decent cops don't want to work with those kinds of people, and before you know it you have a whole department filled with jerks who think that "it's OK because everyone does it," whether "it" is corruption or spouse abuse or excessive force. It's the same the other way if you have a well-run department with honorable, competent cops. But it's really hard to root out an entrenched culture, even if you can occasionally get rid of a bad apple or two. I'm not speaking from experience with police departments here, but I've seen it with businesses and other kinds of organizations, and from everything I've heard it really sounds like it's the exact same deal everywhere.

neroden • 5 years ago

If you've got an entrenched culture of criminality in a particular department, the only way to clean it up is to throw *every single member of the department* in prison, or at least to fire every single member simultaneously.

It's been done in a few small departments (NYS Police Troop C, for example). Unfortunately I know of no examples of large departments being liquidated like this.

S. Swenson • 5 years ago

Sounds like our county sheriffs.

S. Swenson • 5 years ago

Shall I call the first the "Javert Hypothesis", while the second is the "Dirty Harry Theory"? I'd put more stock in the first one than in the second, though there is some truth in both.

Guest • 5 years ago

you're getting warmer...

John Straka • 5 years ago

Like with their violence against the public, police officers get a free pass.

agorabum • 5 years ago

Not only that, when society (and especially their superiors and the local governments that supposedly supervise them) give them a free hand to commit violence against other citizens, they feel entitled to inflict violence. If they can beat and tase someone for 'resisting arrest' - when the only thing that happened was someone either disrespected a police officer or did not immediately comply with an unlawful police order, they have a mindset that violence is appropriate and sanctioned for any disrespect. So when they receive disrespect at home, they see the spouse as just another citizen - someone they can beat with impunity.

Guest • 5 years ago

x wife of a police officer in Tennessee said her cop hubby love to beat and torture people especially AA and other minorities.She went on to say he enjoyed the power he had over people and got off on seeing people beg him and his cop friends not to beat them.She said his sexual needs where sick disgusting things were he like to tie her up and pretend she was hooker and she needed to be punished for her sins.He told her their was no better feeling then seeing someone begging not to be beaten and tased .I guess you could say he was on a power trip or he is one sick cop.

stevie_wander • 3 years ago

I'm sure there are plenty of sicko cops. Just like positions of authority over children draws pedophiles, positions of power over the public can draw control freaks. I think many police departments realize this and try to do psychological testing, but I'm sure some get through, especially in small jurisdictions.

Emilio Lizardo • 5 years ago

And she liked it.

Calamity_Jean • 4 years ago

If she liked it, she wouldn't be his EX-wife.

Doom Incarnate • 5 years ago

Police can beat, taze and gun down anyone with impunity.

Is anyone at all surprised that little to no scrutiny is given to their domestic violence streak?


Let's not be naive shall we?

Silverbullet Live • 5 years ago

Police can beat, taze and gun down anyone with impunity

Years past I was working with some African-American workers who had to listen to some really stupid coworker say "the police are justified in their SWAT raids to control drug abuse". In that instance the Indianapolis, IN, SWAT team had killed an 80+ year old African-American woman. The SWAT said "She had a gun" and all that non-sense. It turns out the informant lied about the address, the police shot first, and then planted a gun on the dead woman. In any sane nation that's called Felony murder and conspiracy. America is no longer sane.

Most of the SWAT got away with it, the city had to do a pay out, and the dead is still dead. So it goes.

The worst thing is we give American police departments tanks and weapons formerly used in Iraq. I get near physically ill when some police chief says "if this gear can save one of my officer's life..."

You're not a citizen. You're a subject. Atlantic is just figuring this out.

William Bergmann • 5 years ago

My house was searched two weeks ago on an anonymous tip.


No one got shot, but it was a harrowing affair for someone as utterly boring as I am.

Kingandrew • 5 years ago

I remember one evening as I got ready for bed, there was a loud banging on my front door. I pulled on some pants and answered the door. There were three police officers standing on my porch. They immediately began interrogating me in a forceful tone of voice about who owned the house and how long I had lived there. I politely answered them and kept asking them what address they were looking for. Finally they answered me and they were at the wrong address. Our town has a central avenue and streets are divided into East or West, with the numbers rising as you get farther away from this central point. I am a couple of blocks away from this dividing line and live on West ____ Drive rather than East _____ Drive.

Once the address was cleared up, the whole tone changed. The officers spoke in friendly voices, apologized for bothering me, and were gone in seconds.

I was shaken. And I wondered why they took such a confrontational tone to begin with. Surely even guilty parties are more cooperative if you approach them in a friendly respectful way. I felt immediately scared and defensive, although I was innocent and had no idea what crime they might be investigating.

I was also surprised that the patrol officers didn't know their way around town better. My house is only a few blocks from the police headquarters and city hall, on a major street in our town. The house has been standing for nearly a century, my family have been the only occupants, and my grandfather served as our town's mayor and my grandfather served as postmaster--both while living in this house.

Calamity_Jean • 4 years ago

You're lucky that they just didn't break in and shoot your dog, or you. You're probably white.

Yahmo Bethere • 5 years ago

I hope you wrote all of this up and sent it to their commander, the city council and the news.

Alex • 5 years ago

I believe so many of the people in law enforcement and customs have been in the military that it permeates where they work and their approach to "customers" and their relation with the public. It is something we could do better but, on the other hand, if there were less guns out there there would be less fear among them; hey, they get shot every once in a while.
But someone has to be in law enforcement otherwise the choice is chaos.

stevie_wander • 3 years ago

Yeah, I saw the same thing in the Post Office. It was really cliquish and they were really arrogant.

Slātlantican • 5 years ago

Read your post, and from the start, I was wondering, "where's the search warrant?" Glad to see from the end of your post that you've learned your lesson, but how positively wrong that these guys presumed that you would consent. Well, I mean, you did, but hell, they shouldn't have even asked.

William Bergmann • 5 years ago

The -only- reason I consented is because I was unsure of the warrant procedure, how involved my landlord would have been, and his propensity for retaliating in petty ways for perceived annoyances.

Slātlantican • 5 years ago

Indeed, in all the cop shows I've watched over the years, I've never seen the issue of renter's rights raised. E.g., can your landlord consent to a search of a home you have signed a lease to? I'm 100% certain this was settled by the courts decades ago, but I don't know the answer, so I understand your uncertainty.

BoomerGal • 5 years ago

Indiana? Not surprised.

stevie_wander • 3 years ago

Yeah, a bizarre state for sure!

UncleStu • 5 years ago

"Atlantic is just figuring this out."

Get off the anti-Atlantic BS. You are just showing your ignorant non-thinking bias.

Slow Poke • 5 years ago

The "judge, jury, and executioner" and "I'm above the law" attitudes seen in many LEO's today were not always part of their makeup. There was a time when the neighborhood cop was seen as a friendly protector and was armed with a pistol and nightstick, not body armor and other military hardware. Of course, modern-day perps are also better armed, but police forces have tended toward quasi-military organizations, and, IMO, acting as if the US is now an undeclared war zone. Thus we get repeated Fergusons.

To those LEO's who complain that they don't get enough respect, I would say that they cannot demand respect, it must be earned.

RobertRays • 5 years ago

Although it is now obligatory, I'll say anyway that most police earn our respect. The whiners you mention may expect deference from the press, community leaders and activists, to say nothing of people they detain. The former cohort have jobs to do, and reporting on the accountability (or lack) of police accused of misconduct is part of it.

As for the latter, I'll never forget (but cannot cite a link to) a Los Angeles Times story of a rogue anti-gang team in Rampart Division finally brought to heel after years of killing, crippling and framing people. When one member's home was searched - probably with less damage than a civilian would be entitled to - his wife said it was a horrible experience; she felt "violated!"

Imagine that.

As a healthcare worker, I am accountable to numerous agencies and professional groups for how I treat the public. Although my industry experiences more physical assaults than most (I've been attacked numerous times by pissed-off, unstable people), I better have a damn good reason for saying or doing anything that makes someone mad. I won't get the deference from judges and juries that police are accustomed to. Institutional expectations are too low, as we see from this article. Maybe because too little goes the other way. Are not police, especially in big cities, denied sufficient counseling benefits for the psychological stresses of their jobs? Ex-cop author Joseph Wambaugh always said a cop's worst danger is exactly this, much more than the physical hazards.

jeremypw • 5 years ago

They not only commit domestic violence, they protect their own abusers. Try to get a cop to arrest a cop.

Zoltan • 5 years ago

I was once pulled over by a plainclothes state police lieutenant who was clearly intoxicated. I called 911 for help and when other troopers arrived, they were very hostile to me and refused to acknowledge the condition of the drunk trooper.

GeorgeSalt • 5 years ago

Try to find a prosecutor to bring charges. Cops and prosecutors work closely together to bring cases to trial and that close working relationship creates a conflict of interest.
In extraordinary cases, a presumably neutral prosecutor from another jurisdiction might be asked to investigate but most cases are not extraordinary and those cases get swept under the rug.

neroden • 5 years ago

This is why the top priority for progressive activists has to be getting control of the DA's offices. DAs need to be prosecuting criminal cops -- they are the worst, most dangerous criminals in pretty much every jurisdiction, and any DA who doesn't prosecute them is derelict in their duty (and in fact such DAs are racketeers). There's practically no point in prosecuting anyone else if you don't prosecute criminal cops.

IndieOne • 5 years ago

Americans tend to be a fearful bunch with an authoritarian streak when it comes to law and order, so they let the police get away with a lot. In the minds of many Americans, you are committing heresy simply by raising this issue. It's pretty twisted.

Tom Blue • 5 years ago

Not only domestic abuse, but illegal steroid abuse as well. It's rampant in public safety professions and most often the cause of that uber-aggression that people are finally, finally documenting on YouTube as a public service to us all.

I'd like to see the entire NYPD tested for steroids and I'd be willing to lay money on greater than 75% of them abusing the 'roids. Florida cops as well. Oakland cops. You can see it in their moon-shaped faces and over-developed bodies (and loss of hair or shaved head) and in that insanely aggressive behavior to the most innocuous situations.

Police departments really need to do random drug testing on their officers. But the problem is, their behavior is condoned by their superiors, by the county justice system, by indifferent citizens, until it is their turn that is. If they can do testing in sports, if they can do testing at Home Depot, they ought to test our public safety officials on the street as well.

Being crazed on steroid abuse and being heavily armed is no way to protect the public's safety.

johnny sunshine • 5 years ago

Well, maybe if we can finally get the NFL to do something about HGH first, we can get momentum going...

The_Lord_Your_God • 5 years ago

Police in general are often sociopaths, so it is not surprising that they abuse their wives and children when regular citizens are unavailable. The military also has similar problems with abuse.

Shadoeplay • 5 years ago

"The military also has similar problems with abuse." The Army takes domestic violence very seriously. As with any large organization, you will have leaders that don't do the right thing but as a whole we get after it. Any domestic violence incident that hits the blotter is reported to the installation commander. Soldiers are moved out of the home into the barracks and required to attend counseling, Depending on the nature of the incident, Soldiers are given nonjudicial punishment, court-martialed, or separated. I don't have enough experience with the other services but I imagine that they take a similar approach.

The_Lord_Your_God • 5 years ago

Navy brat speaking...

Same thing here, but especially among the enlisted ranks there has always been a culture that leaned towards abuse. No shortage of friends growing up who weren't beat by their dad for one thing or another. It showed on some of the women too - can't act out on the job so you take it home with you and act against those you can. Granted, the military does treat this seriously, but that doesn't stop in from happening.

Shadoeplay • 5 years ago

" but that doesn't stop in from happening" Oh, absoutely. We are a microcosm of society. I'm always a bit defensive about some of the unrealistic expectations of prevention put upon the military regarding problems that affect our entire society.

The_Lord_Your_God • 5 years ago

Lately the same could be said for the NFL and college "rape culture" for that matter.

UncleStu • 5 years ago

"The military also has similar problems with abuse. The Army takes domestic violence very seriously. "

The military, in general, isn't doing very well addressing their rape problems,

Kingandrew • 5 years ago

This policy is a stark contrast with the typical police response described in the article above. It would be good if the cops adopted some of these army policies on responsibilty, along with the surplus tanks and riot gear.

BoomerGal • 5 years ago

Strange, I don't see 5 or 600 posts outraged about abusive cops or military! Wonder why? Black men are easier targets, perhaps. You're a bunch of bigoted hypocrites.

The_Lord_Your_God • 5 years ago

Why do you feel the need to interject race into the issue?

Maybe the reason we don't see large numbers of posts about other abusers is because they are little people and not multimillionaire celebrity athletes who court public attention with their every word and deed? If that fact bothers you I suggest you take it up with the brothers involved.