Why Are Cops Assholes?

sanctioned thugs

I personally think cops are legally sanctioned thugs and bullies. I realize many would disagree with my assessment. That’s fair, but this assessment is based from my life experience. The absolute worst interactions I had were in high school. Cops would harass us for no reason. Their comments were so smug. It felt like cops were trying to pick fights with sixteen and seventeen year old kids who had little power to defend themselves. The irony is that I wasn’t doing anything wrong. The only result of their unprovoked rounds of twenty questions was to fill me with disdain for a class of people who are allegedly meant to protect us.

Some might say at this point, “who would you call if your house was broken into or there was a rape or a murder.” They might also say, “do you want a world of anarchy.” Those arguments aren’t fair. The insinuation is that we as a society can only have one extreme or the other. I want a society in which police follow the golden rule and treat others as they would like to be treated. Beyond this, they should never respond to words with violence. In many incidents, those who defend the police argue police brutality would have never occurred if the person complied with a cops request. One problem is many cops make requests that do not align with the law. Another issue most of us have seen is that the base state for many cops is so angry, they approach situations with an attitude that escalates intensity and anger.

Random Police Brutality Video

What is missing from police training is a philosophy that promotes freedom — officers should serve the public and not the state. 

Cops Can’t Be Too Smart

idiot cop

Have you heard that courts upheld a policy that allows police departments to decline applicants who test too high on their IQ test? The theory is applicants with high intelligence will be bored with police work and quit. Expensive training would be wasted. While this theory may be applicable at lower levels, don’t police departments like many government entities promote from within? If the pool to promote has fewer gears to work with, who will administrate based on the big picture.

One of my main problems (despite the fact they tend to be control freak assholes) is they rarely seem to take into account the intent of the law or how they could have the same or better impact with less draconian measures. The former component is likely on purpose. Societal structures don’t want the masses, let alone the cops, to question rules. Questioning the system leads to change. Cops are agents of the status quo. An aspect of enforcement that boggles my mind is how we can turn our nose up when looking at the role police and military play in maintaining societal structures of oppression and inequality in a country like Egypt, while the majority ignore it in our own country.

 

The Wrong People Are Drawn To Police Work

asshole cop meme

I don’t personally know anyone who could stomach the idea of enforcing laws that deprive people of their liberty without question. The stereotype of a police officer is someone in search of power and authority otherwise lacking from their life. When I see a police brutality video, a comment inevitably appears saying “if they had just done exactly as the officer had said.” This mentality ignores the fact that the cops in these videos are often ignorant of the law themselves, start the interaction with a hostile attitude, refuse to listen to the civilian’s side of the story, and escalate to physical violence when people disrespect them regardless of the threat level.

Us vs. Them

Even my aunt and her husband, referred to almost everyone as a perp for two years after they retired from the department. Some argue this problem is the result of police officers becoming jaded after seeing so much messed up crap. I would contend it has much more to do with the culture. Cops often become isolated and only interact with other officers. This creates a cycle where they become separated from the average Joe. The indoctrination process both in the form of training and culture instills a mentality where they need to play the role of the authority vs. non-authority. While this is true in some cases, too many cops of a bastardized perspective of what authority actually means.

I consistently see cops break the laws they are intended to enforce. They speed without sirens, run red lights, accelerate like they are in a rental car, and just generally beat the crap out of their cars. This is obviously the tip of the iceberg in regards to how cops are above the law. There is a case I vividly remember of a drunken HPD officer running into a house with his car. The PR spin from HPD immediately went to excuses of stress and financial burdens. If a regular person told that to a cop, I can only imagine the flurry of condescending comments. Then their is the deeper component I know nothing of personally whe

If you want to read more on the Us vs. Them mentality, I thoroughly recommend this article by former officer Gus Gadomski. Also, here is an interesting book on the NYPD thin blue line.

Summary

Everyone knows that being a cop means dealing with some sleazy folks. Most probably feel under appreciated (a sentiment shared by a huge percentage of workers). That doesn’t excuse the tendency of many cops to unnecessarily escalate situations and treat non-violent and non-threatening people with malice.

Major Problems

  • Who is hired / attracted to the profession
  • Training
  • Unions
  • Us versus Them mentality
  • Militarization
  • Brass denying there is a problem
  • Too much focus on numbers instead of positive change

Comments

  1. Your lack of knowledge and understanding for Law Enforcment and what actually the whole career entails is comical. Perhaps before you spout your bullshit over the Internet and post absurd meme’s about brutality and uneducated officers, you should do a little research outside of what the news and the standard tell you. Thank you for being one of those ignorant assholes that we love making fun of.

    • This is an absurd level of hostility about a half finished blog post. If you disagree with my assertions, feel free to explain your perspective. Being a cop is a stressful job. I am sure seeing crazy shit and dealing with horrible people has to manifest itself emotionally. That said, the police that I’ve dealt with have been rude and aggressive without cause. Even my co-worker who lives in Russia said that US cops scared him. That’s a sad statement to hear a country you love. The pendulum has swung too far and the metrics used to grade success have led us astray.

      • David Tuday says:

        I wonder if the cops’ jobs would be safer if they were not assholes. People would like and appreciate them more and dislike them less. It’s the dislike that make their job dangerous. It needs to start with them because it is hard to like an asshole to start turning things around.

  2. citybob says:

    The response from “F-You” says it all. I have the kind of life experience and knowledge he refers to, and in my opinion, law enforcement officers (especially LAPD and Pasadena CA PD) who understand the role they play in the community and who resort to arrest and apprehension only as a last resort are the few GOOD apples.

    As a publicly funded agency, police departments are beholden to prove their “efficacy” in order to keep being funded.
    So they use “metrics” like number of arrests, citations, or other “legal” actions to prove they are worth the money (we) citizens pay them. This is why they justify DUI arrests as “we are saving lives” regardless of statistics that prove otherwise. (I know…validation required etc.)

    The other point I want to make is this: I am an asshole. My wife agrees. BUT, I don’t have a Badge that legally allows me to act like one in public. Like the Police. They get to carry a gun, baton, tazer, etc. and just use them whenever the situation goes beyond their mental ability to handle. OR when they need to receive higher efficiency ratings.

    In my life I have not had to deal so much with rude or obnoxious cops, as much as I have dealt with the consequences of cops lying in their “reports” and arresting “dangerous drunk drivers” in random DUI checkpoints….thereby screwing up peoples’ lives and public records, along with resulting monetary punishments totaling thousands of dollars, and requirement of “inter-lock” devices that also cost real money and seriously interfere with a citizen’s daily efforts to just keep a job.

    Ask any cop. They could care less. We are all idiots to them. Except, of course, we don’t have a badge.

  3. citybob says:

    And adding another opinion about cops having a “stressful” job. This is the fall-back cliché for anyone who doesn’t want to sound “anti-cop”. Screw those people…seriously. Where does it say that wearing a loaded gun, wearing Kevlar, and responding to requests of violent episodes is NOT a stressful job?

    If they can’t handle the stress then they are not worthy of the job.

  4. So your experience with a few makes you an expert to speak about over one million officers? Oh, let’s not forget your TWO relatives. So you’re basing this on what facts? Do you have any scholarly journal articles, studies, etc. to back up your “alleged” facts? Identify your sources/back up some if not all of the “alleged” facts and not base your article (I use that term loosely) on personal experience. Your personal experience cannot even remotely come close to representing the more than one million people who serve.

  5. The truth hurts says:

    I 100% agree with the author of this article. The majority of cops are complete assholes who thing the are beyond reproach. Most cops put on a badge and suddenly get power drunk. The militarizing of the police in America in conjunction with hot headed individual police officers should be a huge concern to every American citizen. There is also a huge problem with steroids use in the policing culture in America. Many cops are rampant steroid abusers which may be an underlying part of the bad attitudes and aggressive behaviors shown toward the public. I personally know of several cops that are on steroids and work out at my gym.

  6. Mitzi…how many times can people use the, “(few) bad apples” defense? All across the country, you see law enforcement being militarized; you see countless articles about police corruption or outright criminal actions with no punishment; you see about once a month another cop killing an unarmed person, over stupid minor stuff that barely warrants a citation, much less the death sentence..but their unquestioned authority status is more important than our lives. So, no…citybob probably doesn’t have “any scholarly journal articles, studies, etc. to back up your “alleged” facts”, he just has the TV new casters showing video of it happening, time and time and time and time again. Guess that’s not enough proof for you.

    Also Mitzi, where is your scholarly journal articles, studies, etc. to back up allegations that what citybob said is not true? Do you have any scientific studies to support your assertion that his personal experience is wrong? Ok…so his experience is not inclusive of the millions employed as police officers. How does that prove that his assertations are wrong, incorrect, or just misrepresented? I personally haven’t met every grizzly bear in North America. In fact, I’ve never seen a real grizzly bear in 40+ on this planet. I also have never seen in real life a cougar, killer whale, great white shark, or hundreds of dangerous species on the planet. By your argument, no one can make an assertion on any of these species, because no one has ever interacted with every species that is alive. While one or two exhibited this behavior, I have no proof that these species are territorial, aggressive, and/or very dangerous. I haven’t personally met every grizzly bear in North America, so you say I can’t make any kind of statement on the character of the species. I should just go to Yellowstone, cover my body in raw meat, and then try to go and find a grizzly cub to pet. And BTW…that last line is a lobber for all the Troglodytes to comment on; Didn’t want to make it too hard for them to come up with their typical, “POS like you should go to Yellowstone covered in meat…one less POS we have to deal with” comment.

    You see, lack of direct personal experience with every element in a group does not negate that one may discern facts of said group. So….next time you want to make an argument…please do, just be sure to actually make an argument…not just open your mouth to argue.

  7. Cop hater says:

    Fuck the police

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