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Has your Opinion of Law Enforcement Officers changed over time?

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posted on Sep, 13 2011 @ 02:16 PM
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I know when I was younger, I had the utmost respect for Police Officers. For years, I have supported them for putting their lives on the line for us, and for performing a job that many others would refuse to do. I know from my own personal experience, that working with the public can be very difficult at times. I've always defended officers that have been involved in brutality cases. Basically, taking the stance that they need to control situations quickly and sometimes with excessive power in order to safely secure a situation.

That being said, I can see some of my views starting to change. Given the recent onslaught of videos showing officers going way overboard, and in some cases, actually beating people to death, I'm beginning to think my loyalty has been misplaced.

I guess that's why I've created this thread. I still have a great respect for police officers, but I'm also beginning to see a more sinister side to law enforcement. I know that just like any group of people, it is unfair to lump them all into the same group. I'm sure there are still plenty of good police officers, but there are some rogue cops out there who are giving all of them a bad name. I guess you could say, I'm sort of "on the fence" about how to view law enforcement. I would love to hear some of the thoughts that you in the ATS community have on this subject.




posted on Sep, 13 2011 @ 02:21 PM
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Like ATS needs yet another police bashing thread. Thanks.

I believe police are less corrupt now than probably ever. With everyone having cameras and more laws than ever protecting the perps... think about how much dirty cops may have gotten away with in the past.

It's a case of a small minority making the whole look bad.



posted on Sep, 13 2011 @ 02:23 PM
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When I was a kid, I always trusted police officers. What happened, though, was that I became a teenager.

Cops were suddenly looking at me like I was a public nuisance simply because of my age. Now, I was an honor roll student who never even got detention and I'm female to boot, so it was quite a shocker. Thing is, I'm 25 and still look like I'm 17 or 18, so I get the same dirty looks and rough voice.
edit on 13-9-2011 by AnIntellectualRedneck because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 13 2011 @ 02:34 PM
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Yes, but my ex-wife is a cop; so I may be more biased than most. That being said, cops have gotten more arrogant and more willing to harm innocent civilians.



posted on Sep, 13 2011 @ 02:35 PM
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I believe people's perceptions of L.E.O.'s have changed over the years, especially since the dawn of the internet. There have always been good guys and bad guys on both ends of the law, the difference now is our ability to attain information regarding these "bad cops." In the past it was easier for gov't agencies to sweep the garbage under the rug, ship the officer out of town, and wipe their hands clean. Now, they have local news, youtube, social media, ATS, and the likes posting information within minutes of the offense. We live in the information age and that is a positive, but people need to understand that the crooked Sheriff has existed long before today and is nothing new. Same thing with all of these nutbag priest raping kids, new to you not to the church.

So when asked if my perception of law enforcement has changed, I would say no. I am just happy that I am more aware today then I would have been in the past, at least now I know what to look for and how to properly handle the situation (pulls out camera phone.)



posted on Sep, 13 2011 @ 02:48 PM
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My opinion of police changed in Williamson County, TX in 2009. A few friends and I were detained and harassed by 4 RRPD (Round Rock) officers for being potential "domestic terrorists". Me and a couple National Guard buddies (after a meeting, so we were in uniform) were at my house. We walked up to the corner store and back (like a half mile walk.) We got all the back in my front yard and were smoking (cigarettes, no alcohol or drugs involved) and joking. When they roared up running code...

This was shortly after the Napolitano incident with the DHS memo..

Long story short, we were harassed for 3 to 4 hours and our CO actually came down with his RR detective buddy to tell the patrol officers to leave us alone. Which they quickly did.

I actually moved out of RR out east because of this.



posted on Sep, 13 2011 @ 02:52 PM
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Yes, massively. I used to respect them but not any more, sure there are some good ones but the bad ones massively outweigh the good ones from my experiences and I havent even been arrested for anything.

They are on the same level as lawyers for me, theres no way Id be friends with one or would see a woman who was one.

It would be too embarrassing.



posted on Sep, 13 2011 @ 02:58 PM
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Originally posted by jjkenobi
It's a case of a small minority making the whole look bad.


I believe that this is the truth. As of right now, I'd have to say that I still trust those LEOs that I know personally, as I know their dedication to justice, but the small minority which are making the rest look bad are doing such a great job of it due to the public's availability of and ease of access to alternative media sources. In short, while I still trust the locals, I no longer trust those above the local level.



posted on Sep, 13 2011 @ 02:58 PM
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People are people.
Some people are stupid, while others are intelligent.
Some people are clean, while others are dirty.
Some people eat meat, while some eat only vegetables.
Some people are lazy, while some are energetic.
Some people like to get high, while others live their entire lives sober.
Some people are assholes, while others are kind.
Police officers are people too.



posted on Sep, 13 2011 @ 03:12 PM
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My thoughts on police changed when I was 22 years old. It was the middle of the day when there was a pounding on the door. There was 2 very large policemen standing there they yanked me out of the house and told me I was under arrest. I asked what for and they informed me it was for a dog leash law. I had no idea what they were talking about at the time I didn't even own a dog. According to them my dog was picked up with out a leash several months before and I had not paid the fine. They began to place cuffs on me and I told them I don't own a dog I never recieved a fine and why would I be arrested over a dog in the first place! Well they slammed me against a brick wall.... then I lost my cool and said oh does that make you a man you bleeped de bleep bleep! I was taken down to the ground and roughed up a bit more till my land lord came down and started to raise hell. They called for back up and shoved me into a car my land lord went into my house and got my liscense when they ran it they figured out they had the wrong person uncuffed me and went upon there merry way! I didn't even get an apology. All this because some dog which wasn't mine wasn't on a leash....after that I lost all respect for the police. Power is the ultimate corrupter!



posted on Sep, 13 2011 @ 03:24 PM
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My thoughts on police changed when I was 22 years old. It was the middle of the day when there was a pounding on the door. There was 2 very large policemen standing there they yanked me out of the house and told me I was under arrest. I asked what for and they informed me it was for a dog leash law. I had no idea what they were talking about at the time I didn't even own a dog. According to them my dog was picked up with out a leash several months before and I had not paid the fine. They began to place cuffs on me and I told them I don't own a dog I never recieved a fine and why would I be arrested over a dog in the first place! Well they slammed me against a brick wall.... then I lost my cool and said oh does that make you a man you bleeped de bleep bleep! I was taken down to the ground and roughed up a bit more till my land lord came down and started to raise hell. They called for back up and shoved me into a car my land lord went into my house and got my liscense when they ran it they figured out they had the wrong person uncuffed me and went upon there merry way! I didn't even get an apology. All this because some dog which wasn't mine wasn't on a leash....after that I lost all respect for the police. Power is the ultimate corrupter!
reply to post by jrkelly77
 


Wow, amazing story. This is exactly what I'm talking about. Too many of these officers think that the badge somehow gives them the right to treat people anyway they want. To me, if these so called, Peace Officers, are really intent on keeping the peace, then they would treat people more civilly.



posted on Sep, 13 2011 @ 03:29 PM
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reply to post by BrokenCircles
 


Good comment. Like I mentioned in my opening thread, I know it is unfair to hold all officers accountable for the actions of a few. However, one of the problems that I have with them, is there seems to be an unwritten code among them that prevents them from reporting bad behavior on each other. If a police officer loses it, his fellow officers will sweep any misdeeds under the rug.



posted on Sep, 13 2011 @ 03:32 PM
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In my younger years to be honest I was afraid of any law enforcement officer every time they were around someone had done something bad. Then when I got older and was contemplating going into an academy myself, realized they are just human beings not gods. Still have a healthy respect for anyone wearing the uniform but understand it a bit more than I did back then.



posted on Sep, 13 2011 @ 03:33 PM
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My perception of Law Enforcement has certainly changed over time, partially due to the things I have seen some of my friends and family go through, but more specifically because of a situation that involved me:

Three weeks after I buried my second wife (I'm twice widowed, breast cancer 2001 and stroke/MRSA 2005), I was feeling particularly depressed and went to visit one of my sons. He lives about 15 miles from me, but the route to and from his home is bottle-necked by bridges approximately twenty miles apart. For me to make the drive I have to cross one of these bridges, and it was about 10pm. Believe it or not, at that time of night in my area, cars on the road are few and far between, so there's no getting lost in the crowd. I drank two 12 ounce beers at his house early in the evening, and then went back to my normal coffee. I drink coffee almost exclusively all day long. He gave me another beer to take with me, and I had put it on the front seat of the car earlier and forgot about it.

After I crossed the bridge around 10pm, sure enough there sat a Deputy with nothing to do, waiting on the next poor soul to drive by. She pulled out behind me and followed me for about 2 miles and pulled me over. After looking at my paperwork, she told me that the reason she stopped me was that my license plate bulb was inoperative, and asked me if I had been drinking. I told her the specifics, and showed her the warm beer on the front seat which was not open. She then asked if I would allow her to search the vehicle or she needed to get the dog out to search. I allowed the search, but she had me face away from my vehicle and lean palm-down on the hood of her cruiser. After about 10 seconds she returned with a pistol pointed in my face, told me she had found a bag of marijuana and a bag of white powder that would have to be analyzed. She said she found them on the front seat beside the warm beer.

After several minutes of questioning, the other Deputy showed up and they placed me handcuffed in the back seat of his vehicle turning up the radio so that I couldn't hear the discussion, and opening the trunk of her car so I couldn't see what they were doing in mine. In a few moments, the female Deputy, opens the door next to me and tells me that "The drugs I SAID I found in the vehicle; that was my mistake. The charges I arrested you on are dropped, but I can tell you've been drinking and I have no breathalyzer. The other Deputy will take you to the county jail to be breath-tested, and your car will be towed. If you fail the breath test you will be charged with DUI, but if not you will spend the night in jail, and be released in the morning."

Once at the jail, I passed the breath test and they locked me up for the night, taking my wallet and other personal effects. At that point, I had $130.00 in my wallet, but they didn't count it in front of me or give me a receipt. In the morning my wallet had just $75.00 in it, although the rest of my personal effects were intact.
After they released me, I walked to the impound yard, which is about 4 miles away to find out about getting my vehicle back. He said it would be $97.50... Well when I went to jail, I had the cash to get my vehicle out, but with part of my money missing, I was stuck. I called my daughter-in-law who is a corrections officer, and asked her to bring me the balance, which she did. Once in the yard I checked the license plate bulb which worked fine, so the whole event was complete harassment.

I missed a day of work, had to pay $97.50 to get my vehicle back, plus the $25.00 I borrowed from my family, and the money that went missing from my wallet. I wasn't even charged with a crime. The deal went bad from the beginning because the vehicle was registered in my father-in-laws name, and I am not legally allowed to give consent for search in my state. In my mind, I spent the night in jail because she was upset that her set-up didn't work, and it made her look like a fool. I found out later it was only her second week with the Department as Canine Officer, after having transferred from dispatch with the police dept. She was trying to make a name for herself, and I just happened to be the guy that crossed the bridge that night.

Since that time I have had a few more encounters with this Deputy, but she has been very respectful, and helpful in some cases. I have no ill feelings toward her anymore, and talk to her when I see her in town. So far this is the only bad encounter I've had with an officer, but it seriously changed my perception of them in a negative way.



posted on Sep, 13 2011 @ 03:39 PM
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Has your Opinion of Law Enforcement Officers changed over time?


In some sense, yes.

Today's street cops are no longer the guys who simply serve and protect. For those of us old enough to remember the TV show, Adam-12, that personification of the knight in blue has long since faded.

The 21st century rendering of the police officer is closer to being paramilitary and not very apt to respond to your concerns as they are to violently enforcing whatever interpretation of a given law that moment. This is NOT to say that ALL are like this, but it is certainly becoming the rule, rather than the exception.

Here in my corner of the US state of Alabama, county deputies do definitely take on a militia-like appearance and carry the firepower of a soldier in a combat zone. One city in particular, which is home to a large university, has a PD very well known for not only eagerness at law enforcement, but an ambitious, if not even aggressive approach to it.

In short, you will break the law whether you like it or not and if you spend more than a few minutes there, you will have an encounter with these folks.

It's really a shame in a way, because the reason behind the militarization of police seems to link directly back to a government that knew, for quite some time, that there was something coming that might require a police state mentality. And to be sure, we have seen our economy frittered away overseas while here at home, one does well to land a career flipping burgers at Mickey D's.

It's one of those little nagging things that keeps the old NWO concept alive and well...



posted on Sep, 13 2011 @ 03:56 PM
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I don't think it's really changed. Even as a kid I would hear stories of police officers who shot and killed unarmed civilians. I thought it was terrible. But I also knew that not all police officers would do that.

I've heard lots of stories from friends about police. For example, at protests they sometimes start arresting people even people who hadn't caused any commotion, but simply because they were at the scene.

I've also seen a few people resisting arrest and then the police officer tackling them to the ground and beating them as the person lies on the ground covering their face. It's really sad. But I know that not all police officers are like that. So yeah, it has its good and its bad.

But someone did mention that it used to be a lot worse. That reminds me of the Angelina Jolie movie Changeling which is based on a true story. The police were looking for a missing child, and since they couldn't find him, they found a random runaway boy and brought him to her. It was a big event where she waited at the train station to see her child, and then they bring her this other boy. She is like, this isn't my son, there is some mistake. But the police say, no this is your son, he looks different because he has been malnourished for so long. She continued to protest, but then they say, you are distraught, you can't think right now, just bring him home and you'll find out he is your son. She gets her picture taken and in the paper it says that she is united with her son.

Of course it's not him, and she sees signs its not him, most obviously that the boy is not circumcised and her son was. Also, he goes to school, and the teachers know it's not him, and neighbors, etc. But when she goes to the police they tell her it's the boy, just go home and forget about it. So she argues, and then they end up arresting her for disturbing the peace, and she starts screaming and goes hysterical. Well, at that point the police decide to send her to an insane asylum, where they do shock treatments on her until she can admit that he is her son. She never does, but someone gets her a lawyer, who after much hard work gets her to be let go, and they sue the police. It's nice because the police finally get proven in court that what they did was really bad and they get dismissed from the department, and an investigation is begun to look for more internal crimes in that department.

Yeah, it's all a true story, and the woman played by Angelina Jolie is very remarkable. It's a shame what the police did to women back then. And how they would just send people into insane asylums if they tried to air their dirty laundry.



posted on Sep, 13 2011 @ 04:13 PM
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I've always had respect for them. I used to want to be one, but then I realized how dangerous it could be and decided against. I still believe there are way more good ones than bad ones, based on the 20 or so in my life I've met, either because I was stupid or because I just happened to be in a place to meet one.

I will say, however, that the police are given much more latitude now than they used to, which has not only changed the way they act toward the general public, but how the public acts toward them. We're just feeding off of each other and unless we can meet together (with our local police) and talk things out as to how we perceive each other, talking may be too late...too soon.


/TOA



posted on Sep, 13 2011 @ 04:31 PM
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Originally posted by MitchL61

....it is unfair to hold all officers accountable for the actions of a few
Unfair, but very easy to do. I hate being stereotyped, but still catch myself being guilty of it from time to time. Just too easy.


......sweep any misdeeds under the rug.
Maybe not even that much, but it is just as bad for those who look the other way. Don't wanna hear about it. Don't wanna see it. Don't wanna believe it. etc......



posted on Sep, 13 2011 @ 05:57 PM
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I shared my bad cop story so its only fair I share a good cop story. Theres a little old couple that live down the road from me. I live way out in the country and recently they changed some ordinaces. Well this elderly couple was fined for having scrap in there yard, there was a couple old cars and bits of this and that laying around. They were told to clean it up and were doing the best they could. There both in there early 80's don't have very much money and there children live far away.They were removing things slowly but they were doing it. Our councilmen decided this was not fast enough for them and told our chief of police that they were to be fined everyday untill it was done. The chief of police refused to do this. He told the twp. council that these were people doing the best they could and he would not take food out of there mouths over something so small. So what did The council do......they suspended our chief with out pay! Well luckly there are still people in this world who care about such things and we raised hell over it! This is a man who has always been good to our community who does his job but also has compassion for his neighbors. After 2 weeks he was reinstated. I'm so proud of him for standing up for what he thought was right even if it might cost his job, and I will be looking forward to replacing some members on the twp. council next election!



posted on Sep, 13 2011 @ 08:56 PM
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Sure, my opinion of LEOs has changed over time.
In the 60s I pretty much hated them, but then I hated most authority figures.
I've mellowed and matured since then.
I tend not to have one opinion for an entire group of people. And, I must say, we tend to hear more about bad cops than good cops....not too many phones recording cops helping people.

I don't think it's fair to isolate an opinion of LEOs unless other things are taken into consideration:

  • the Patriot Act.
  • post 9/11 fear.
  • the obviously intentional change from benign uniforms to paramilitary uniforms.
  • people in general seem to be more violent.
  • people in general seem to lack respect for one another.
  • many of our Rights seem to be trampled.
  • too many laws, often unfairly used.
  • the Internet has made the world a smaller and faster place.



edit on Tue Sep 13 2011 by DontTreadOnMe because: (no reason given)



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