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View Diary: One police officer's reaction to Oakland/Denver (278 comments)

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  •  I keep it much simpler than a flower (1+ / 0-)
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    I simply ask, "Am I being detained?" and if the answer is "No" then I walk away. I do not engage with law enforcement. Ever. Police are not there to protect me. As a queer woman who has been the victim of domestic abuse and a violent hate crime, as someone who, despite never having committed a crime, has been routinely treated like a criminal by law enforcement, I've been made well aware of this fact numerous times.

    Did you know that the federal government is paying local and state law enforcement to militarize against its own citizens, to the tune of $1.2 Billion per year?

    Police commissioners, like politicians, are going to dance with who brung 'em, and that means whoever is shelling out the big bucks, and for what. Before you go getting all blushing-bride over police, you may want to take a good look at what they're actually doing. Hint: it's not for your benefit.

    When are you going to understand that being normal is not necessarily a virtue? It rather denotes a lack of courage. - Practical Magic

    by Keori on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 04:43:20 AM PDT

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    •  But you still objectify them. (0+ / 0-)

      Sorry, Keori, but you've missed my main point even as you make it for me again.

      You're using the fact of Federal funding from Homeland Security (and I get a chill every time I write that name, I can assure you) to local and state police agencies as an excuse to claim a non-related point; that all officers are essentially fascists and out to oppress people, which is patently not true both from the example of the diarist himself and the personal experience of many of us here (though obviously not you, which is both sad and unfortunate.)

      So police commissioners will take the Federal bucks because they'd be fools to turn down any money they can get (what with budgets shrinking and demands rising on them), but what does that prove about their actions? The vast majority of departments are not busy doing what the Oakland PD did (our own OccupyPhiladelphia has had no police problems and a great deal of support from the local FOP, who are after all working stiffs of the 99% like the rest of us.) They may be taking the cash and gear, but that doesn't mean they're part of some grand oppressive conspiracy.

      By the way, I know plenty of actual police officers and most of them would turn in their badges before they'd do what you seem to think they're doing. Just because we have departments like Oakland's where the local police culture has gone down a bad road does not give us license to paint all police with the same brush.

      Conservito delenda est pro is deleo orbis terrarum!

      by Stwriley on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 06:29:04 AM PDT

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      •  It comes down to trust (2+ / 0-)
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        glorificus, Calamity Jean

        You're telling me that I should simply trust the people who have the authority to beat me, kill me, detain me indefinitely, lie to me, commit perjury about me with criminal and civil immunity, come into my domicile without a warrant or due process and take whatever they like whenever they like, plant false evidence, elicit coerced confessions, and who have a well-recorded history of corruption and abuse of power with virtually no oversight. Just...because.

        It must be nice to be able to trust that law enforcement is there to protect you. Though, I suppose when you're a straight white middle-aged male in academia, you have no reason to distrust. Must be nice to be you.

        Perhaps instead of insisting that I'm wrong, you climb out of your ivory tower and consider what in my experiences led me to the attitudes that I have.

        When are you going to understand that being normal is not necessarily a virtue? It rather denotes a lack of courage. - Practical Magic

        by Keori on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 08:27:42 AM PDT

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        •  We are all products of our experiences. You (0+ / 0-)

          have a right to your opinion, based on your experiences. In my opinion, as long as you don't run through the streets with a flamethrowner burning down pedestrians and property you can hold any opinion you want.

          I am sorry that your experiences are not unique to you. There are bad cops. Just as there are bad doctors, bankers, auto mechanics and grocers. I hope we all have more postive experiences going forward, and more cops take after the OP.

        •  Nice assumptions (0+ / 0-)

          Many of which are wrong. If you're depending on my profile it's very out of date. I am no longer in academia (I teach high school nowadays) and haven't ever been straight. I've had bad interactions with the police as well, mostly when I was younger and more actively radical. And I'm also not white, thank you very much. I will freely admit to being middle-aged, however.

          I'm afraid your assumptions about police are no better. Your entire first paragraph is a long litany of police misconduct, not the actions of even the average (much less every) police officer. You seem unable to realize that this is exactly the kind of thing that you're complaining about in police officers; the stereotyping of you as a criminal based on (incorrect) assumptions rather than reality.  You wrote this and your previous comments in the diary of a police officer who is directly telling you that he does not think this way, nor do the other cops of his acquaintance. Yet you cannot let go of your objectified idea of police to admit that they are not all identical drones of governmental control.

          This isn't even a matter of trust so much as one of honest benefit of the doubt for individuals that you do not know. You would have that benefit for yourself from them, yet deny it to them from yourself.

          Conservito delenda est pro is deleo orbis terrarum!

          by Stwriley on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 10:02:20 AM PDT

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          •  My apologies (1+ / 0-)
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            Calamity Jean

            For assuming that you were straight. I've seen comments elsewhere from another stwriley implying that said individual was straight and I erroneously ascribed them to you.

            The difference between giving police the benefit of the doubt and them giving it to me is in the power differential. If they are wrong, well, the worst thing that will happen to them is that they'll look stupid to their supervisors. If I am wrong, I wind up dead, brutalized, or imprisoned. I'm going to err on the side of caution and assume that the police are not my buddies.

            We're not going to come to any agreement in this conversation. We are coming from two wildly different backgrounds with extremely diverse experiences having shaped our views. I sincerely hope you never have reason to regret placing your trust in law enforcement.

            Have a good day.

            When are you going to understand that being normal is not necessarily a virtue? It rather denotes a lack of courage. - Practical Magic

            by Keori on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 10:26:56 AM PDT

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