Early draft written and posted via Smartphone
By A.F. James MacArthur
"There's nothing I hate more than a dirty cop." I remember those words well. As I sat in my chair at the police academy, the instructor from internal affairs said this with such a serious tone we knew he meant business. The class was about integrity and professional behavior.
That was a couple decades ago. Looking back through the years as I've gone to battle against bad and crooked cops, and even fought for and assisted honest hard working ones, a few things jump out at me.
No matter how egregious the offense, no matter how brutal the act, despite having ample evidence, there will always be some who instinctively play devil's advocate for cops behaving badly. Some make blatant excuses, while others attempt to downplay and minimize brutal behavior. I've heard many variations of excuses offered, but after a while the theme of a repeating pattern starts to emerge.
One of my favorites is: like any organization, you're gonna have good people and bad people working there. This is typically said to downplay allegations of systematic misconduct on a police force.
Really? So this is a reason not to demand a higher stand of professional conduct from those sworn to protect and serve?
Let's analyse this a moment. If I go to McDonald's and the guy in the kitchen is having a bad day, I might get soggy fries, or maybe my burger may be missing a pickle. When a cop is having a bad day, its a different story.
Police behaving badly leads to folks being hurt. People become victims of unnecessary force. Inncocent citizens are sent to jail with flimsy or fabricated probable cause. Evidence is manufactured. In extreme cases, people lose their lives.
This is no small or trivial matter. Few occupational positions in our society gives one single individual so much power and authority to royally ruin someone's day, merely on a whim if they please.
From the brutal Nazi oppression towards the Jews in the second World War, to the disproportionate minority victims of rampant abuse in the war on the streets of modern American cities, its easy to pretend its not happening when its not happening to you. When its never happened to anyone you know, and when you simply don't want to believe such a thing could take place.
Choosing not to believe abuse runs rampant and continually making excuses does not change the realitiy of incidents actually taking place. To those falling victim, the ever present cell phone camera and other modern recording devices coupled with the speed of the internet has proven to be a much needed game changer.
All the low down dirty cops out there should just know this; like the theme of the once popular TV show "Cops," the bad boys they're coming for just could be you. What you gonna do?
In a future article, we'll look more into how modern technology in the hands of citizens has dramatically changed the way police brutality and misconduct investigations take place. Feel free to comment and give feedback on this piece.