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An appeal from a cop...

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posted on Mar, 4 2010 @ 12:40 PM
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Greetings ATS,

I think it is high time I speak out about a trend that I see on these forums that is extremely disheartening to me; the unabashed blanket characterization of law enforcement officers as monsters, thugs, fascists, etc, etc…

I am a supervisory agent with a federal law enforcement agency. I have been doing this job for seven years and I have worked with all manner of local, state and other federal agencies during my tenure. As I said, I am in a permanent supervisory position and, in the course of my supervisory duties, initiated, participated in and handed down decisions in disciplinary actions ranging from instances of simple negligence to allegations of civil rights violations. That being said, I think that I am qualified to make observations and statements about the field of law enforcement.

I don’t think that anyone, be it a civilian or member of the law enforcement community, can say with a straight face that misconduct, sometimes egregious, does not occur within the ranks of law enforcement. It spans the entire spectrum, from the smallest police department to the largest federal agencies. Corruption and misconduct exist; that I will never argue. However, my problem with many members of ATS starts here. Taking these examples and using them as a basis to label all members of law enforcement as criminal anarchists is myopic at best; dangerous and inflammatory at worst. I would think that it is safe to say that these opinions are widely held, however I do not think that the majority of members that post here feel that way. I have seen many level-headed individuals point out that many of the shocking and offensive instances of police abuse are isolated incidents that reflect the actions of a small percentage of law enforcement officers. Others will even have the level-headedness to recognize that some of the videos you see are taken out of context and do not tell the whole story. Edited and sensationalized, many of the videos that show alleged instances of police brutality are actually depictions of unfortunate chains of events that led to physical encounters.

Please note, please… I am not saying that about every video that is out there. Some genuinely show improper conduct on the part of the involved law enforcement officers and should not be condoned.

For all of you that have shown that you are open minded and cognizant of the challenges that law enforcement officers face every day, I extend my personal thanks to you for seeking the truth and not rushing to judgment by labeling the whole of law enforcement as jack-booted thugs.

Now, to those that still cling to your stereotypes and blanket characterization of all “cops” as a criminal scourge that must be eliminated, I will make a final argument and appeal for reason. It saddens me when I see comments like, “all pigs are murderers and should be dragged out into the street and shot.” I think we all can see that cops, just like any other profession, are drawn from the pool of society in general. As are teachers, bankers, lawyers, pharmacists, etc. Being from the general population, which we all should agree is comprised of a wide range of people, it should be safe to say that, as a cross section of society, some of the less desirable people will inevitably end up wearing a uniform. Or teaching, or signing your loan paperwork, or filling your medication. To point out instances of these people behaving badly and applying a broad stroke of stereotypical labeling to EVERYONE that wears a uniform is unfair. What about the teacher that molests his students; the pharmacist that knowingly fills illegal prescriptions; the banker that practices predatory loan practices? Are these isolated incidents enough to call for the elimination of the profession? When seen in that light, I hope this argument takes on a new shape.

continued...



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posted on Mar, 4 2010 @ 12:41 PM
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continued...

I do not ask that everyone here runs out and gives a cop a hug. Our jaded mindset would probably lead us to think that you are plotting to do something nefarious to us. But ask yourself why we have that mindset. Those of you that have never been in law enforcement would have a very hard time understanding our view of the world. Where in most professions deal with a normal cross section of society, we, by nature, are forced to deal with the worst of society. We aren’t there when great advances in life-saving technology are discovered. We are usually around when the most brutal acts of life-ending atrocities take place. We go into a world every day that is characterized by danger, boredom, aggression and violence. When we deal with the public, it is usually because that public in question has done something bad. It is hard for many people to relate to that type of life, day in and day out. But we accept that responsibility and do our best to cope with it. Sadly, it comes with a high price. Divorce, suicide, alcoholism are unfortunate side-effects of our profession and have, for years, gone largely ignored. The last decade however has seen a more open acknowledgement of these harsh realities and departments all across the country are taking steps to implement policy to provide counseling, peer support and other assistance programs to help officers deal with this harsh world we operate in. We are years behind, in part because of the institutional distrust of outsiders that don’t understand, but we are making progress.

Finally, I would like to address one sentiment that I have seen over and over. Those that openly call for cops to just go away and stop being cops. Do you really want that? I will fill you in a few harsh realities that you may not have a full understanding of. I hear comments all the time about us and our badges and our guns that are outward symbols to you of our oppressive nature. But what about the other tools of our trade? The body armor we wear? That is a defensive measure, not an aggressive one. On that note, there is also the understanding that our body armor probably won’t help us when we deal with the increasingly violent and sophisticated criminals who no longer confront us with handguns or shotguns, but high-powered rifles that completely negate the body armor we wear. So what if we just stopped? What if we all quit and walked away? Who is going to protect us? I ask you; who here is going to step up to that plate? In case you haven’t heard, there are some evil people in this world to whom life is a cheap commodity. You have all heard of the violence in Mexico, but what you probably haven’t seen is the harsh, cruel ugly reality.

I had considered posting some photos from intel reports that I have on my computer that would catch many of you cop-haters at a loss for words. And words don’t do these images justice. I can’t post them because I would be banned from this site. But this is the part to understand; these images are from YOUR backyard. These are not images from backwards countries half a world away; they are from your friendly neighbors to the south, and in some cases are actually from this side of the river. Images of executions on a massive scale; shootouts in the streets between rival criminal enterprises, an outnumbered and UNSUPPORTED police force. And in all of these photos, you will see a few common characteristics. Weapons befitting an army, violence and wanton disregard for innocent bystanders, and U.S. DOLLARS. Lots of them. You have no idea what is being help at bay by the thin blue line that you hate so much.


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posted on Mar, 4 2010 @ 01:01 PM
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Originally posted by JWH44
when I see comments like, “all pigs are murderers and should be dragged out into the street and shot.”


Honestly...come on dude, you know as well as anyone else that only the most knuckle dragging moron paints pictures like that.

People whom say that are typically criminals whom fear police for good reason.

Hell, I made some stupid mistakes in my life, and even at my worse, I respected cops as symbols of law enforcement and as just regular guys doing their job. I have always been respectful of police (even the ones with the word "jackass" written on their forehead) and they in turn were respectful back to me.

That of course doesn't mean all cops are decent...there are some real pigs amongst the ranks whom got the gun and badge not for a desire to do good, but rather to have some pseduo power they can wield over other people for some rather mentally disturbed reasons. Those are however not the norm.

Anyhow, you got your free coffee...what do us IT guys get? nothing...pfft. But then again, we dont get shot at by our computers on a bad day...so I guess you deserve the coffee.



posted on Mar, 4 2010 @ 01:07 PM
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I hear ya

I'm a retired Marine and I get called baby killer war monger you name it...
you would think we would have out grown those general stereotypes but no.. maybe I'm just think skinned but I leaned to be that way otherwise I'd turn into the thing I was accused of... those of us who do the job day in and day out know the truth...

sadly when we get those very few bad guys in our respective org we all catch hell for it... but you and I know those people are just a small % of the whole, by far we're just like every one else doing a job and trying to get by


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posted on Mar, 4 2010 @ 01:08 PM
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You list problems and focus on the other side of the blue wall/code, yet you don't do a good job providing reasonable solutions to the problem. Should people become more actively involved in their communities? Should law enforcement step it up in their community relations program? Should we place emphasis on restorative justice and less on the aspect of punishment by prison/jail time?

Before you question me, or assume that I hate law enforcement, I don't. Like you said, these people are from our communities, and there are good and bad apples in the bunch. Many officers experience a plethora of issues and take their jobs home, which lead to the problems you listed. However, a major problem that law enforcement does not address, but that you address is the "Us vs Them" mentality. See, you're only pointing out the mentality from the perspective of those who don't like police officers or those involved in law enforcment, but you aren't saying much of anything about police officers and how their blue wall/code contributes to the problem. Yes, you do mention corruption, but the "Us vs Them" mentality is not always rooted in corruption and may play out in an officers daily routine. When this happens, it may lead to corruption or resentment from the public, and this needs to stop.

In closing, offer some solutions and address the problem on both sides, if not, all you’ve done is provided a well written rant that paints law enforcement as the victim...


[edit on 4-3-2010 by EMPIRE]



posted on Mar, 4 2010 @ 01:09 PM
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I genuinely respect your words.

And if I ever contributed to the ignorance inherent in generalizing about law enforcement I sincerely apologize.

If there is one thing that is certain in this world it's that we are all individuals and we are free to conduct ourselves as we determine is appropriate.

I concur that many here are unusually zealous about disparaging those who wear a badge of authority. Some of it I attribute to simple immaturity and misplaced angst. Some, perhaps, is ideological; which is another story entirely.

Me, I just miss the good old days when peace officers could spend their entire careers without ever engaging in, or having to confront personal violence for its own sake; and certainly never being so stoked and 'strack' that pulling a weapon makes their day.

Of course some of this could be a result of media allure (they love scary/sad/horrific news in the editors' room) or skewed training perspectives. But in the end, we all share the burden of creating our reality, and maligning people for the sake of 'group think' is a distraction we can hardly afford.



posted on Mar, 4 2010 @ 01:10 PM
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reply to post by SaturnFX
 


Then I think you see that my post wasn't really directed at members such as yourself. I appreciate that you have a more solid understanding of the realities of our profession. As I have said many times, there is not a single law enforcement agency that doesn't have its share of bad apples that make it that much harder for the rest of us to do our jobs.

By posting this thread, I simply felt a need to speak out about my feelings regarding some of the more anti-law enforcement voices that lurk on these forums. For those that understand, I thank you and I do not lump you all into the same voice. Also, i just wanted you to know that there is one more voice from the law enforcement community that pays attention to what is said on this site and takes an interest in your opinions.


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posted on Mar, 4 2010 @ 01:12 PM
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95% of all cops i've dealt with were super A-HOLES........and i've never even been arrested.


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posted on Mar, 4 2010 @ 01:15 PM
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Yada yada yada, here comes the thought police again, stating that a minority is bad in every walk of life. We have heard it all before.

My life is proof what the police are doing in this day and age, vendetta is not the word, just pure evil.

Most police are just evil sadistic hard on wannabee morons. They get thee job so they can kill people for there friends,and run vendettas, explains 90% of police.

My life is absolute proof of the abuse of power these people do, and thats the majority.

Like i always said if you want to murder people and get away with it, join the police.



posted on Mar, 4 2010 @ 01:15 PM
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I think it is a matter of "power breeds corruption." It is not the case that all cops are this way it is just that the position leaves the possibility more open to corruption then other jobs. Which further explains why government is notoriously corrupt and characterized as such. I have several cop friends, and yet I have had my run in with a corrupt cop myself.


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posted on Mar, 4 2010 @ 01:16 PM
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reply to post by JWH44
 


Ok if you want to come on here and appeal to us, answer me this; how many times have you been aware of your fellow boys in blue covering for each other and their misconduct. This includes, every instance you have seen or heard or participated in AND also as a supervisor included.

Now i KNOW i will not get a 100% truthful answer from you. So please take your time, ill wait, and return with the proper statistic.

If your wondering why im so fed up with this police state just google Frank Jude and the Milwaukee police. The person who was with him that fateful night was my ex girlfriend, so i have the real first hand account.

This event consited of a DOZEN milwaukee police officers TORTURING this man. While another DOZEN stood by and watched, then LIED to cover for those drunk idiots.

Maybe now you realize why this tone is so prevalent.


POLICE OFFICERS ruptured both of his ear drums with a ball point pen
POLICE OFFICERS each held his legs apart while another kicked him in the groin
POLICE OFFICERS took a buck knife and held it to his SCROTUM and ANUS
POLICE OFFICERS beat him unrecognizable
POLICE OFFICERS stood and WATCHED only to COVER for the offending POLICE OFFICERS.



"Frank Jude, Jr., a.k.a. Frankie Lee Jude, Jr., (born August 14, 1978) is a Wisconsin man who was severely beaten by off-duty Milwaukee police officers in the early-morning hours of October 24, 2004. Following a state trial that ended with the jury acquitting the three police officers charged, a federal investigation led to plea agreements with three police officers and the indictment of five police officers, including the three who were acquitted in state court. Before trial, one of these five pled guilty. The federal jury acquitted one of the remaining police officers and the three police officers who were acquitted in state court were convicted in federal court."

[edit on 4-3-2010 by imeddieone4202003]

[edit on 4-3-2010 by imeddieone4202003]

[edit on 4-3-2010 by imeddieone4202003]


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posted on Mar, 4 2010 @ 01:17 PM
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You've got to be a certain type of person, psychologically, to begin with, to even WANT to be a cop.

Power-trip A-Holes all the way.



posted on Mar, 4 2010 @ 01:19 PM
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reply to post by EMPIRE
 


I'm glad you bring this up. I felt my post was getting a little long winded already, so I cut it short. Books have been written about how to solve these problems and I could write pages about my feelings regarding many of the ills of the justice system. Obviously, police are not going to to ever be able to "solve" the larger problem of our degraded moral fabric in society. As many have stated, by our nature we tend to be reactionary; we show up after the bad things have happened. It is a necessary function, but it does little to prevent the bad things from happening in the first place.

The solution to these problems as a whole does not lie with police. Education programs, job and carreer development and REFORMED social services are the first baby steps towards addressing the ills of society. Beyond that, a streamlining of the legal system is something that is far overdue. The juggernaut of our criminal justice system has become so bogged down in red tape that I am surprised it still functions at all. Those are issues that invite countless man-hours of thought an reform. I do not claim to have all the answers to these problems, but, in the interest of brevity, I will acknowledge them here and ask that people take a harder look at the causal factors that lead to the failures of policing and refrain from pointing the finger at the most outward symbol of the justice system, the law enforcement community, as the sole problem.



posted on Mar, 4 2010 @ 01:19 PM
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S&F!

I have noticed this and I am not in this field, I do however have family and friends who are. I had a boyfriend who was a cop as well. Society does this with every group. If a select few act like idiots or morons then the entire "group" is labeled that when it is really a select few. Society loves to stereotype.


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posted on Mar, 4 2010 @ 01:28 PM
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Now, whilst I do agree to a certain extent with the OP, he's also got to aknowlage the fact that there is a large proportion of the force who are on a blatent power trip. it's more than a few bad apples too. Yes, there are good cops out there, but IME they are a dieing breed. Take protests that the police kick trouble off at (and they do start it 99% of the time with draconian "crowd control") That is whole forces, working together as one, to beat the crap out civillians. now,if a copper thinks that it's wrong to bash innocent people who need a wee cos they've been in a kettle for the last 5 hours, but does it anyway, what kind of a man is he? If people say that it's only a few, how come you get hundreds and hundreds of them kicking lumps out of people for the luls? I'm sorry if you're one of the good cops out there, but your entire institution is rotten to the core.

You wanna get all frumpy cos people hate bad cops and tar the whole force with the same name? Well I'm sorry, but that, I believe you cops sometimes call "racial profiling" get used to it, we have to. And it's a small price to pay for all those cops who beat, harrass and even kill the people that they're supposed to be "keeping the peace" with.


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posted on Mar, 4 2010 @ 01:30 PM
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reply to post by JWH44
 


From my experience, LEOs have a We/Them attitude and don't really see themselves as part of the community at large and capitalize on the fear factor they generate. My attitude is only from my personal experience as I interacted socially with LEOs when my GF was a bartender in a cop bar. They don't tip.

I'm all for paying LEOs substantially more to attract more qualified personnel, training them to be more compassionate to the citizens that pay their salaries and actually prosecute corrupt officers with more than a slap on the wrists. No More Blue Code!!
Until that happens the attitude will not change toward LEOs and will continue to deteriorate.



[edit on 4-3-2010 by whaaa]



posted on Mar, 4 2010 @ 01:31 PM
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reply to post by imeddieone4202003
 


I consider myself fortunate that I have never been personally placed in a situation where a partner, a peer, has participated in actions that I would have to report. My agency has a very proactive internal investigation component that encourages the reporting of misconduct and takes great strides to weed it out. As a supervisor, I have been in the unfortunate position to take action against an employee that violated a subjects civil rights. Clearly, I cannot go into to details. The outcome; that person is no longer an employee with the service and is facing a prison sentence. So, as far as statistical information, one employee out of the hundreds I have worked with, for and over has forced me to investigate an allegation of wrong-doing.

You can choose to believe that or not; I really can't help that. I count myself as fortunate that I work in a professional, federal agency that take progressive action to week out corruption. I am certain that there are things going on that I don't know about, but I will take the action necessary to deal with these types of allegations if I am confronted with them. Again, I have a job to do and those of my co-workers that undermine my ability to do that job, which relies on public trust, must be dealt with.



posted on Mar, 4 2010 @ 01:32 PM
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Taking these examples and using them as a basis to label all members of law enforcement as criminal anarchists is myopic at best; dangerous and inflammatory at worst.
reply to post by JWH44
 


Beautifully stated post. Well done.

The above quote could apply to so many things here on ATS: religion, (be it christianity, hindu, muslim, etc) education, etc.

I'm a public school teacher. I see so many threads about how terrible public schools are....and I agree, there are problems. But as you so eloquently stated above, you can't use the (relativey speaking) few cases we see on ATS to judge every one involved. It does become very disheartening to see your profession continually bashed.

When I was in school, we were taught the cops were our friends. Today we have excellent police officers in our school who help to keep us safe, teach drug resistance and bully prevention programs, and who do volunteer work with our students. They are admired throughout our community for the work they do.

I feel your pain, OP. But know there are folks who still respect and appreciate police officers, even if that doesn't always come across on ATS.



posted on Mar, 4 2010 @ 01:38 PM
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Originally posted by smyleegrl



Taking these examples and using them as a basis to label all members of law enforcement as criminal anarchists is myopic at best; dangerous and inflammatory at worst.
reply to post by JWH44
 


These animals and they are just animals, can do anything to kill and destroy lifes. Just because some eloquent writer comes on here, i see many jumping for joy, and singing hymns.

Police are 90% trash humans, with the occasional good person, who probably gets bullied into being a beast anyway.

I have worked for them by the way, and got to be the worst working experience of my life.

Please come back in an eloquent way and tell us its only a minority and its the same for all parts of society, lol. No, the police draw in the scum of society with there promise of power to kill anyone you want if you join.



posted on Mar, 4 2010 @ 01:39 PM
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My life is absolute proof of the abuse of power these people do, and thats the majority.
reply to post by andy1033
 


Then, by your logic....

My life is absolute proof of the wonderful job these people do, and that's the majority.

Because every law enforcement officer I've ever dealt with has always been professional, kind, and helpful.





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