Your Lying Eyes

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29 April 2008

Cops and Bloggers

Well I certainly got some major feedback on my defense of cops - particularly regarding the Ruby Ridge outrage. I appreciated all the comments, even the one that concluded "Go f*** yourself, you neocon twit" (sans *) which I resented but only for the "neocon" accusation. My defense of police in these kinds of situations should not be viewed as an endorsement of prevailing police practices, of crooked or pathological cops or of blanket police immunity. I believe I am falling back on traditional legal concepts of intent and reasonable doubt. The questions to be asked whenever a cop is on trial (when anybody is on trial) are "Was there an intent to commit a crime?" and "Is he guilty beyond a reasonable doubt."

The above mentioned commenter observed:
You are obviously one of those typical New York-area assholes who worships anything the cops do. Its the likes of you who gave rise to that creep Giuliani. Its because of dipshits like you, Ziel, that we're becoming a police state.
No, I don't worship anything the cops do. I hate SWAT teams - they are an abomination. A SWAT team is almost never necessary, but they're permanently ensconced in the police infrastructure, and thus need to be constantly justified by being used - inappropriately, and often with terrible consequences for life and property. I don't like the routine use of restraints and humiliation tactics during arrests and the offhand tasering of women.

But he has a point - I am from the New York area and am aware of what the police must deal with on a daily basis in this region. More important, I saw what the aggressive policing style of the 90's has brought about - the NYC miracle, where a city on the verge of complete chaos has become a veritable municipal disneyland. Sure, I'd rather guys at Yankee games aren't hassled in the parking lots for drinking out of beer bottles or peeing against the fence, but when a populace is badly behaved and lawlessness is rampant, society has the right and duty to enforce its norms.

Other commenters pointed to the bullying behavior of many cops and a general "jerkiness" of cops. Of course there are out-and-out psychopaths, jerks, bullies, and common thugs among the police. This is regrettable, but a bit unavoidable to some extent given that it's an awfully tough job (when it's a tough job) and not terribly well paying. As one commenter noted, 90% (perhaps more) of who cops deal with are scum, so it takes a bit for them to adjust to normal folk - and even then, many of the regular folk they deal with end up being scum, too. Then we give these guys tremendous power - power of life and death, since we give them guns. Of course they're going to fuck up now and then with tragic results. But it's important to keep perspective on what's a fuck-up vs. what is a criminal act, and never to prosecute someone based on a mob's emotions. There's nothing wrong with people venting their anger, but prosecutions and convictions must be based on facts.

9 Comments:

Anonymous Robert said...

The problem with some police is that they suffer from a type of Barney Fife syndrome. They overcompensate, take themselves too seriously, or their power goes to their head. That is why there are Swat teams and the militarization of the police forces in this country. Also they feed into the hyped up panics and witchhunts the media comes up with like the War on Drugs,Protect the Children campaigns that make all parents suspected abusers, and the overemphasis of enforcing driving laws when people are afraid to walk the streets at night.

April 30, 2008 12:38 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

When John Kennedy was shot and they found about Lee Harvey Oswald, two Dallas detectives showed up at his house, knocked on the door and asked if he was home. Imagine today, there would be swat teams and helicopters and the rest. All the swat teams, military type gear, fleets of police cruisers and most people still have to lock their doors at night which was not common 50 years ago. This may be one reason for the negative response.

April 30, 2008 12:43 PM  
Anonymous tom miller said...

OK, I may have misunderstood your point in that post. I got the impression you were endorsing gestapo police tactics. I see posters at so called conservative sites praising the cops for using such tactics all the time. [See the Free Republic site for instance.]

But you are willing to admit that cops sometimes use vicious tactics. So I may have been a bit hasty in judging the merits of your argument, Ziel, for which I apologize.

May 01, 2008 11:32 PM  
Blogger ziel said...

I see posters at so called conservative sites praising the cops for using such tactics all the time. [See the Free Republic site for instance.]

I think these people are confused - they see liberals trashing the cops so they automatically defend the cops. They're incapable of independent thought. If Democrats are against something they have to be for it.

May 01, 2008 11:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think these people are confused

I think Tom Miller was confused also, not to mention jumping to conclusions. People should make sure they perceive the actual content of a post, not what they want to read into it. Combine that with an unwarranted, profanity laden attack and you have the classic "boob" post.

Don't understand why people so often respond to a logical (not always, I admit) argument with mistaken conclusions and ad hominen attacks, instead of responding to the actual points.

May 02, 2008 7:06 PM  
Anonymous tom miller said...

I think anyone too gutless to use their real name shouldn't lecture anyone else about "boob" posts.

May 02, 2008 11:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gee, was that another ad hominen attack that refused to address the points? :-)

May 03, 2008 7:59 AM  
Blogger Dutch Boy said...

Cops used to be big, tough white guys who hassled and third-degreed the scum and left the rest of us alone. No longer. Plenty of them are non-white incompetents or women who have no business being in the trade.

May 03, 2008 5:06 PM  
Anonymous Power Uncorrupts! said...

With terrible power, come a NEED, a BURNING NEED for LESS RESPONSIBILITY!

The MORE POWER! THE LESS RESPONSIBILITY!

For if Power Un-Corrupts, then More Power Un-Corrupts Even More!

June 11, 2008 12:57 AM  

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