I did have a single good interaction with a police officer in the last 6 months. My oldest son and his best friend, climbed the fence of the local
private swimming club so they could skate board in the empty pool before the summer season started.
This same event has been happening at that swimming pool for as long as I can remember. I know because when I was 12 I did the exact same thing. With
the exact same results. The old lady that lives behind the pool, (obviously not the same old lady from my child hood, she'd have to be 150) called
the cops, and the sheriffs deputies showed up, made them call home, and I had to go to the pool and pick him up and make him apologize. Then we went
home and he was grounded to his room for a week.
One of the deputies was more amused than the other, because he remembered exactly as I did, climbing that fence, and skating that pool, because he was
one of the kids that was with me when I got busted for it 23 years ago. He was smiling, we shook hands and "the nod" happened, I was trying my best
to look very angry for my sons benefit. He needed to know he was busted. Just like I needed it back then.
The other deputy I didn't know. And he was being a total jerk. Arms crossed and standing "too close", to the boys and over shadowing them and being
oppressive and intimidating on purpose. When I walked up, I made it a point to walk into his personal space, at which time he looked both confused,
and angry that I had essentially "moved him" out of my sons face.
These boys are 13 and 14, not old enough to be waxing their cars, but too old to be playing "army" and building forts or bike trails in the woods.
There was no reason to intimidate them because they were so obviously scared already. Both of them had been forced to call home and explain that they
were being held by a police officer. Neither of them took it lightly, nor were they dismissive or disrespectful to the officer.
They are both good kids, and so far in his life, (my son that is) climbing a fence to skate an empty pool is the worst thing he's been caught doing.
Even his friend, while having a few more interactions with the deputies, is still a good kid.
Situations like this are where the difference the OP is talking about are most evident. This "crime", is so consistent, and so continuous, that it
is almost an institution. I am roughly the same age as the guy who runs the pool, and I remember him when we were kids. His parents were the ones
standing in his place when me and the deputy were waiting for our parents to come get us at the same pool. So this is a situation that happens 10
times every spring and fall when the pool gets drained. It's why whatever old lady lives in the house behind the pool is so vigilant at that window.
That is her entertainment. She's the pool granny and she loves it.
But in this situation, if both of the deputies were like the second one, I can honestly say that this event would have ended differently. It would
have turned into a confrontation, because if I had showed up at that pool with 2 grown men physically intimidating my 13 year old for skateboarding I
would have actually gotten pissed. I would have felt more inclined to be protective of my son, than to acknowledge his wrong doing. I felt that twinge
even when I knew one of the deputies. And I nodded at Robbie and raised my eyebrows after I told my son to get in the car, I was basically asking him
what the other guys deal was, why was he being so aggressive to two kids.
He shrugged his shoulders and rolled his eyes, and I know what that response meant. "I don't know, he's a douche but he responded too".
And that is how it goes. Apparently Robbie can't tell another officer of equal rank to stop being such a butt head. That guy obviously wasn't local
because he was acting as though DB Cooper had just been located and he was a 13 year old boy with a skateboard.
The pools owner wasn't angry, he wasn't yelling and red faced. He knows this routine. A million times over he knows this routine.
Robbie was relaxed and pleasant, and the kids were terrified, so there was no need for the second deputy to be aggressive and oppressive, unless!!! He
was just kind of a jerk anyway. He was trying to "scare" into them a sense of fear and respect. What kind of man needs to intimidate a 13 year old
who is on the verge of tears already??? A blatant and unrepentant A-Hole. That's who.
And it failed. All he succeeded in doing was convincing both kids that he was a jerk and a bully and my son said as much to me on the ride home.
"That guy was being a total jerk before you got there dad. Do you know him, is that why he backed off".
And I said no. He backed off cause on the inside he's a coward and a bully and I didn't give him any fear to work with. Even if you did something
wrong, and you get caught, you shouldn't have to be afraid. You'll probably feel embarrassed, or a little ashamed, but you shouldn't have to be
afraid. The worst they can do is kill you.
That kind of freaked him out, but I figured this was his first run in, so he was obviously old enough to hear my actual beliefs on this subject, and
over the next couple of days, I instructed him on what I do when I have to deal with a cop. Why I feel that you cannot trust a cop. And how to respond
if you are confronted by a cop who seems dead set on either nailing you for anything he can think of, or trying to force you into a situation where
you will "resist arrest".
He was pretty much horrified. He's been taught that all police are good, and you should respect them, and in one afternoon a single deputy undid all
of that training and I had to explain to him how the "real world" actually works.
And I gave him the single best piece of advice I have ever learned about cops.
Cops show up, after the crime. AFTER the crime. When the victim calls them, or the person who finds the victim calls them.
The only time a cop shows up during the crime, is when he sees you, and decides in his mind that you are committing a crime.
And that is the critical reality of Law Enforcement. Cops are not there, when it would be most beneficial to a given situation. Cops are there when
the event has happened and they start sorting out the garbage.
Or, when they decide that a possible crime might be happening with whomever is in their line of sight.
And to the poster who stated that a big part of the problem is that police training has shifted to over zealous paramilitary tactics in the wake of
9/11. Thank you for pointing that out. It is so often ignored that the line between CP and MP has gotten so blurry that civilian cops are being taught
military tactics, and carry military weapons and tactical gear to answer loud music calls and expired tags on vehicles.
When you build a Rambo, you can't be surprised when he acts like Rambo. And you have to take responsibility for letting a Rambo loose in Mayberry.
Sherriff Andy is still just as effective now as he was then. We just don't get Sherriff Andy anymore. He's too busy playing politics, and spending
grant money on more military grade tactical training and gear.
We get deputy Rambo instead armed to the teeth and trained that every person in his immediate vicinity is a potential threat.
I can't imagine why people don't trust or respect police. It's a mystery, wrapped in a puzzle, that the general population obviously hordes for
that quick payday someday in our future.
Here is a thought. If cops stopped doing the things that other cops get sued for.....wouldn't that pretty much put an end to the lawsuits???
You can't sue a cop for being friendly? Or for giving you a warning instead of an Arm bar take down over jaywalking.
People file lawsuits, when the lawyer tells them that there is enough evidence to threaten a jury trial, and get a quick settlement. If there was no
evidence, No city would settle. While I am willing to acknowledge that it is easy to get a settlement from most cities over police related lawsuits,
it's only easy because settlements are always much less expensive than if you take it in front of jury of regular people. Then what you are really
paying for is the anger and insult of the regular people when they see what is going on most of the time.
People don't win settlements on the shaky testimony of a convicted crackhead. If it was that easy, I'd have my Porsche by now. I'd be running
around just trying to punch a cop in the face so he'd beat the crap out of me and my craftily placed camera man would only start filming AFTER I
started getting "Kinged".
I'd proudly wear those wounds all the way to the bank, and then all the way to my European vacation! lol