So, I saw this going around Facebook today:
Today, I stopped caring about my fellow man. I stopped caring about my community, my neighbors, and those I serve. I stopped caring today because a once noble profession has become despised, hated, distrusted, and mostly unwanted.
I stopped caring today because parents refuse to teach their kids right from wrong and blame us when they are caught breaking the law. I stopped caring today because parents tell their little kids to be good or "the police will take you away" embedding a fear from year one. Moms hate us in their schools because we frighten them and remind them of the evil that lurks in the world.
I didn't want to start a shit show, so I thought I'd share my thoughts here.
Personally, I stopped caring when a cop called me an asshole for enjoying a nice skate on the beach; I was 13 and apparently I was skating too close to his patrol car that was blocking the boardwalk.
I stopped caring when I was 23 and was arrested for making an improper left turn and wasn't carrying my license. It was the middle of the night, the next day was street sweeping and I was moving my car to avoid being towed—I didn't grab my wallet because I wasn't going far and I wasn't planning on being gone long. The cops spent at least 20 minutes calling me an asshole, accusing me of being drunk, accusing me of being a drug dealer, accusing me of being high, and they repeatedly told me the address I was staying at didn't exist (when it was really less than a block away and we drove by it on the way to the station).
I stopped caring when I saw a cop tear down the a residential street, pull onto the curb to assist another police officer in arresting a homeless man. The man was standing still, completely passive talking to the first officer. The second officer still felt the need to wrench the guys arms behind his back and shove him forcefully into the patrol car.
I'm not against the police. I feel that a well-trained police force is essential for a civil society and I have had many pleasant encounters with LEOs. I've seen police officers be compassionate to members of the local homeless population that they knew. One officer even helped a mentally ill man he, had clearly interacted with before, find his way back to the shelter. However, I have also, personally, seen police officers unnecessarily escalate situations that could have been easily resolved through conversation. Aside from my personal experiences, there are countless cases of police escalating situations—where there was no immediate danger to the officers or the public—to the point where officers felt justified| in | using force, which then became excessive. Couple that with the increasing use of SWAT to serve warrants and the increasing use of Civil Asset Forfeiture, it's not surprising that people feel like the police are corrupt, power hungry and violent.
Until police forces around the country get serious about adopting de-escalation tactics and stop treating every they perceive as lesser (POC, the poor, the homeless and the mentally ill) as scumbags and thugs who deserve what they get, I am not going to feel a damn bit sorry for the guy who wrote that post.