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View Diary: Overnight, all hell broke loose in Ferguson, Missouri (168 comments)

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  •  I. Hate. Cops. Sorry that may be a little "don't (10+ / 0-)

    let a few bad apples spoil the whole bunch', but it's just the way I feel.  The vast majority of police officers I've ever met in my life, either personally (i.e. I have a friend who's wife is a police officer and as such a huge portion of their friend base are cops) or simply having the opportunity to have a brief conversation with one out in the general public, have a GIANT ego and a GIANT chip on their shoulder.  It's clear to me that the entire reason they went into that line of work is that the desperately seek authority, control and power.  So what is mostly (I'm imagining) long, boring, non-Starsky-and-Hutch-like days, they're just aching for any little opportunity to exert that deeply sought after authority/control/power.  And when that opportunity presents itself, no matter how tiny, man watch out.  No way they're going to let that opportunity to show you who's boss slip away.  God only knows when the next opportunity might come around.

    •  It's sad that you feel this way (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tikkun, mt41w, ram27

      but I understand the reasons.  Ever since 9/11, the police have become more and more militarized, and the civic religion of worshiping authority has grown.  Some cops are heroes, most aren't and some are criminals.  We need to remember that in our culture and in our systems of civic control over police departments.

      I have known professional police departments (Madison, Wisconsin) and in Chicago, I've known horrible cops and good ones.  But there are police departments around the country that deserve only scorn, and no longer have an actual role of serving the community.  I cannot ever look at a California Highway Patrol car without automatically thinking "asshole".  I know it's not fair, but there it is. And this clusterf*ck in Missouri - the entire force needs to be disbanded and started completely fresh, hiring from within the community.

      “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

      by ivorybill on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 07:08:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I've always felt that way (5+ / 0-)

        But as a non-white male I was taught the importance of never ever antagonizing them.

        •  The hidden transcript is always there with (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ivorybill, MNPundit, ram27

          oppression. You may smile at your oppressor to survive, but you both know you aren't friends.

        •  "As a non-white male" (0+ / 0-)

          I'd still like to know how standing there with empty hands in the air can cause a cop not just to shoot him, but to empty a magazine into him! Whatever the excuse, that particular cop (Bryan P. wasn't it?) should have wound up in jail awaiting trial for murder. Period. This idea of "No cop should ever be charged with anything no matter what  he does" has got to stop. This is now in essence a police state. Okay, not all cops are like that, but if it's a large number of cops (and it IS - that's not contestable) and they're randomly and widely distributed and always backed up by the rest of the force and Chief of Police, then it might as well be all cops who are bad. In other words, this is now a de facto police state.

          Does no one else remember the people who used to do internal investigations? They seem to be gone; cops, even good ones, used to fear them! Now if there even are still such departments, they exist to clear those involved, to make up excuses for trigger-happy or heavy-handed cops. The heaviest sentence I can remember seeing offhand is that the cop was fired, but he could just as easily go to some other department in some other city and go back to what he was doing. The most egregious killing of an innocent civilian still doesn't result in criminal charges and punishment. When and how did this change happen?

      •  Madison cops are good . . . (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Nowadays. But as a UW Alum and "veteran" of the protest periods there in the late 60s/70s, I can remember when the Madison Police were a mirror image of the Ferguson gestapo. Tear gas and billy sticks were their response to peaceful protest. Always.

        It was, in large part, the election of Mayor Paul Soglin (another protest vet and student) that led to the make-over of the Madison PD.

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