from the whatchagonnado-when-they-come-for-you? dept
You know something's wrong when the police have become public enemy number one — and this week, that's the story the top comments tell. The most popular target for this week's ire wasn't even a cop from Ferguson, but rather an LAPD officer whose tone-deaf, self-contradictory opinion column spurred Michael to write our most insightful comment of the week:
Do what the officer tells you to and it will end safely for both of you.
Ladies: do what the rapist tells you to and it will end safely for both of you.
Children: do what the molester tells you to and it will end safely for both of you.
Journalists: do what the government tells you to and it will end safely for both of you.
Jews: do what the Nazi tells you to and it will end safely for both of you.
...I'm not sure his advice is very good...
The officer's position was confusing, and he didn't seem to realize that some parts ("I know that some officers engage in unprofessional and arrogant behavior; sometimes they behave like criminals themselves ... And you don’t have to submit to an illegal stop or search. You can refuse consent") entirely and directly contradicted his overall message that you must always, unquestioningly, do whatever a cop tells you to. In the face of such doublespeak, Digger got frustrated enough to write our second most insightful comment of the week:
No police officer has the authority to commit an illegal act. period.
No police officer has any authority when they are bullying or harassing people for the fun of it.
No police officer has any legal standing when they ignore people's Constitutional rights.
No police officer is above the law.
So Mr. High and Mighty L.A.P.D. Officer, what I say to you is - shut the fuck up you pathetic little whiner. Do you know why you get cursed at? Yelled at? Called vile names? It's because your brethren, predecessors and hell, possibly even you do all of the above, which makes the people that you work for angry.
Guess what happens you piss off your bosses. You get fired, you get demoted, you get thrown out. Since you cops think that just because you wear a badge you have the right to do anything you want, say anything you want, harass anyone you want, you're going to get treated like the scum you are.
Act professional. Act within the letter as well as intent of the law. Arrest your fellow officers that do not comply with this. Prevent abuse and harassment by your fellow officers. Take the time to talk to those people who you normally just stare down at from your high horse. Get to know them, they're usually pretty good people who are scared of what you're going to do to them today. People get angry and do stupid shit when scared, so stop scaring them, stop angering them, stop the abuses of the police state.
We the people are the law, you the police officers are the ones who were hired, by us, to enforce it. If you cannot or will not do the job correctly, we the people will take action and remove you from the job in whatever way necessary. Does that sound like a threat? It's not - it's just common sense. Something that is sorely lacking in today's police departments and governments.
The crux of the defence offered by the police and their supporters is that they face danger and abuse in their job, making their more questionable actions necessary or at least understandable. Our first editor's choice for insightful goes to That One Guy for explaining why cops need to stop playing the victim card, and start being the "bigger man":
Working the street, I can’t even count how many times I withstood curses, screaming tantrums, aggressive and menacing encroachments on my safety zone, and outright challenges to my authority.
Cops, by the very nature of their job, are going to see people at their worst. They are going to encounter people who've just had something terrible or tragic happen, people who are under intense stress and are looking to lash out, to somehow deal with the situation, to get some measure of 'control' back into their lives.
This may take the form of 'curses', it may take the form of 'screaming tantrums', or something similarly drastic or 'confrontational'.
Cops also, by the nature of their job and the power and authority vested in that position are quite often seen as a threat. They are people who can, at a whim, make your life miserable, carry, and are allowed to use, such 'delightful' items as batons, tazers, pepper spray, and pistols. People who have few actual limits as to what they can do to a member of the public, but who are protected, extremely so, by the system and their fellow officers from the public.
It should go without saying that people that are seen as a threat, generally don't get the warmest welcome.
Given the above, the various reasons people aren't going to be on their best around cops, and the fact that none of this should be a surprise to anyone who is, or is looking to become, a cop, if he, or any other officer can't maintain a professional demeanor around this sort of response from the public, if they can't remain civil and polite even if the other person isn't, I've a simple suggestion: Get another job. Because if they can't handle that sort of stuff, then they don't deserve the position and power they have as police.
Whining about how 'hard' the job is is just that, whining. They knew how hard the job was before going in(or they should have anyway), and yet they took it anyway, if they can't handle it, get out, and let someone more qualified take their place.
For our second editor's choice, we'll take one brief detour from admonishing the police. After a UK man was sentenced to 33 months in jail for filming and uploading a movie, one commenter transparently attempted to derail the discussion by making it all about black-and-white "morals" — a notion jupiterkansas rightly rejected:
You can't bring up morality until we've settled on the morality of continuous extensions of copyright length so that that it now lasts two lifetimes and has locked up a whole century of culture.
You can't bring up morality until you we've settled on how Hollywood and the music business cooks the books and doesn't pay out royalties they way they should.
The laws must command respect and businesses must behave respectably before you can start talking about the morality of what some kid does with a video camera in a movie theatre.
If you think he deserves jail, then there's a lot more immoral people that need to be behind bars.
The article isn't about whether someone did something wrong or not. It's about the extreme punishment for a minor offence based on lousy laws dictated by a private company.
Over on the funny side, we're back to the cops. With the situation in Ferguson continuing to bubble and the cops continuing to threaten reporters, one anonymous commenter took first place by asking a simple question:
Why hasn't anybody blamed video games yet?
Meanwhile, with more and more people demanding to know why local police forces have been kitted out with military-grade equipment, Squirrels Without Borders gave the only possible satisfactory answer — a bunch of lies:
You guys have short memories. That is why you don't realize why this level of force is necessary.
What about the time when the citizens of Ferguson, MO beheaded an American journalist?
What about the time when the citizens of Ferguson, MO crashed several planes into skyscrapers?
What about the time when the citizens of Ferguson, MO hid weapons of mass destruction?
What about the time when the citizens of Ferguson, MO tried to capture territory below the 42nd parallel?
What about the time when the citizens of Ferguson, MO bombed the pacific fleet?
What about the time when the citizens of Ferguson, MO invaded France and Poland?
For editor's choice for funny, we start with one more nod to Michael, whose reply to an anonymous commenter's claim of having been stopped 37 times by the cops is some professional-grade satire, though I'm not sure about the choice of "widdling":
Careful, you are widdling down your anonymity.
We now know that you are in your 20's, black, and live in New York City.
Finally, after hearing the news that the National Guard (which is now withdrawing) was moving into Ferguson, another anonymous commenter perfectly expressed our shared hope for a peaceful resolution:
I hope the National Guard has better luck at dispersing the police than the protesters have had.
That's all for this week, folks!