The Untouchables

Here’s a scenario, all fantasy on my part but based a bit on conversations with police officers. Why do officers form a blue wall against any and all charges against them? Most of the complaints against officers are by no means roughing up people in poverty areas or minority areas; most of them come from entitled people whose kids got a ticket and they are enraged for the kid even being pulled over. The result is that the officer gets called on the carpet for disturbing Mr. Got-Bucks and his delinquent kid (think: a young Donald Trump). But if the officers offer a blue wall of silence, reprimands are oral and glossed over as the entitled people get busy with other things like harassing a school teacher.

One officer told me that the mayor of my city, a large city, put the word out that the call girls at the resorts were not to be disturbed, let alone arrested and arresting a john was absolutely off-limits.
Another officer said any officer desiring to get on the force in our city who had worked more than six months for either the NYC or Chicago P.D. was rejected automatically on the grounds that they could not have worked there that long without being corrupt.
Officers in Denver picked up my nephew and beat him in the back of the squad car and then sent him home barefoot in the snow.
The comment on the girls working the resorts resonated because I had worked a while with a woman who one day casually informed me she worked nights at resort whose name you would recognize. When I asked her if she wasn’t exhausted, she laughed and said no, she just got called up to a room for the night. A pile of 20s would be on the dresser for her to pick off of for her services. Oh….. my naive self said (I was only 27 or 28).
So when we speak of police reform we have to look at the whole picture, all the conditions the police work under. The key, IMHO, lies in the recruiting and doing massive vetting as you would for an FBI or CIA agent. Weed out the sociopaths and bigots and you will cut way down on the high-profile police killings of everyone, not just minorities.


  1. 伟思礼 says:

    I watched the video of several police walking up to my son kneeling, unmoving, hands in the air on the court house lawn and spraying him in the face with so much pepper spray that the grass was still dead days later. Then flung to the ground, handcuffed, and dragged away. He and 96 others were denied other rights and held for three days before the false charges were dismissed. All were peaceful protesters authorized to be so on public property by the first amendment—except the ones that weren’t protesters of any sort), just unfortunate enough to be within three blocks of the place some unidentified official didn’t want them to be. He was not allowed to inform his employer why he wouldn’t be at work the next day.

    I had long been of the view that the bad apples on police forces—though indeed very bad—were a small minority. Not so sure after watching how many cops in a single department chose NOT to ignore an illegal order to violate the first and fourth amendments.

  2. Pat Barrett says:

    While leadership is everything, we have to look at recruitment practices: looking for John Wayne and Clint Eastwood b/c you think that’s what a cop is? But then that also goes back to leadership. The attitude of leaders in turn goes back to the culture and we are back to John Wayne and Clint Eastwood.

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