Whatever happened to strong, stoic archetype of a police officer who upheld the law regardless of which societal flotsam and jetsam interrupted his daily routine? You know, those old-time cops who are now enmeshed in memories of blurry black and white film footage.
Police seem different today. I’ve had (many!) interactions with great cops in my day, but also, interactions with some absolute power-crazed slimeballs. It’s a difficult job, of course. Who would deny this? I’m not a cop-basher, but I am a police-state basher. Our modern society has spawned a breed of police officer raised on video games, bad food, instant gratification, undeniable entitlement, and poor impulse control. The astounding power that the typical American law officer possesses should endow humility. With his legally bestowed police powers come great responsibility and a subsequent need for self-restraint. But self-restraint seems in short supply with those who would wear badges in our modern day. Cops are not the same because our era is not the same. Strength succumbs to weakness because it’s a lazy culture we live in.
KTLA here in Los Angeles reported on yet another edgy police officer who lashed out and struck a mental case woman in the face with his elbow for no reason other than she was trash-talking and provoked the poor little boy in green. The lady did nothing. Nothing that deserved this. She was restrained and posed no danger and furthermore, made no aggressive moves. He was out of bounds. Of course, the courts and juries are rigged and the police officer will receive a toohtless public reprimand and be sent on his merry way patrolling the streets of Bellflower again.
Most intriguing is the backstory of Jermaine Green, the man who filmed this on his cellphone.
Intriguing because the police detained him and threatened to arrest him if he didn’t give them his phone. Upon this command, the quick-thinking bus rider pulled the memory card out of his phone, put it in his mouth, and kissed his fiance to transfer it to her surreptitiously. This might be a bunch of bluster, perhaps the Sheriff’s never intended to arrest Green. The point is, they threatened to arrest him merely because a video of their thuggish brutality existed in his hands; so scared, they trampled all over the quivering remnants of the man’s civil rights.
And what the hell did Lee Baca mean by “retraining” for this officer? How many hours and tax-payer dollars worth of “retraining” will it take before this Sheriff’s fuse is sufficiently lengthened so that he can be entrusted to interact with an antagonistic public again? You choose to be a cop and you know, you will be dealing with some shitty people.
The police state is coming. The proliferation of cell phone cameras and micro video recorders will usher it in. Police misbehavior is contained by secrecy. Once exposed, the open air unmasks its cold viciousness.