Thursday, December 08, 2011

Quis custodiet...

It's good to see that sometimes the watchers are getting watched.

One measure I've always used to tell the good cops from the bad ones is to see how they react to the idea of crooked police officers. If they come over all "Well, you know, it's a tough job and..." and hemming and hawing and making excuses, then I know they're very different from the lawmen who get all red in the face and talk about crooked cops with the kind of barely-reined-in revulsion most people reserve for baby rapers.

Looks like the officer at the linked article managed to run into one of the latter.

40 comments:

og said...

Some police departments seem to suck wrong cops to them like a tornado to a trailer park.

Joseph said...

FTA

Initially, Triggs said he couldn’t remember but later called the officers to explain that the license plate was on a SUV that cut him off while driving an undercover vehicle, followed by its occupants glaring at Triggs.

Police placed that license plate on a SUV similar to the one Triggs described and showed him a picture. Triggs identified that as the offending vehicle – not knowing that plate never had been on a vehicle

Knowing they’d caught Triggs in a lie, police arrested him April 5 as he was inside the Hamilton County Courthouse to testify in another case.


What a mastermind they've lost. Sheesh, you lie about an SUV with those plates cutting you off and they then show you a pic of an SUV with those plates and you CONFIRM YOUR LIE!?!? Was he thinking "man I'm good, I just pulled that outta my ass and there it is in real life, how about that?"

I'd say he might be qualified as a port-a-pottie cleaner, but I'm sure the feces would outsmart him.

Able said...

Well Kudos to the cops for getting him and taking it to prosecution, over here he would have been promoted to ACPO and given a nice cushy job in headquarters after all the ability to tell a lie, then continue un-phased when the facts jump out and bite you in the ass is what a real Chief is there for, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

> One measure I've always used to tell the good cops from the bad ones

See if they're breathing?

TJIC said...

I find it hard to believe that 99.9% of police departments would EVER investigate a cop for running a plate without authorization.

I'd love to know the back story here?

Color me cynical, but who's girlfriend was Triggs sleeping with / what other cop's protection racket was he stepping on /etc. that led the law to ACTUALLY be enforced in this case?

Tam said...

TJIC,

"Color me cynical..."

Uninformed, rather.

TJIC said...

> > "Color me cynical..."
>
> Uninformed, rather.

OK, inform me, then.

Why, given that every cop I've ever met routinely breaks minor laws (at best) and is outright corrupt (at worst), and that other cops NEVER raise eyebrows at lawbreaking by other cops short of raping a child in a church during Christmas mass, should I believe that my experience across three states is unique and bizarre?

I've changed my opinions on tons of matters, once I've received better information (including gun control, where I used to be a mindless left-winger).

So: I'm rational. I'm open. Go ahead and fix the problem that you identify, that I'm uninformed.

I'm willing to be convinced

Bubblehead Les. said...

So the story sez he can never be a LEO in Ohio, right?

I understand Indianapolis P.D. has some openings.

What Precinct is Broad Ripple in? ; )

Tam said...

TJIC,

"I'm willing to be convinced"

No, I really don't think you are.

I carpooled across half of Texas a couple months ago with a good friend who I wouldn't hesitate to describe as perhaps the most honorable man I know. He's a good enough friend that there are things you've typed in the past that, had you said them aloud in the same room as me, you'd likely be spitting teeth. (No offense intended, I like you just fine and you're spoken highly of by good friends, but I won't stand for people I care about being defamed in my presence.)

I'm sure you've seen plenty of crooked cops. And drunken Irishmen, superstitious Catholics, and stupid blondes. I have to shake my head when someone so obviously intelligent gets steered by such simplistic examples of confirmation bias.

Tam said...

Bubblehead Les,

"I understand Indianapolis P.D. has some openings."

He hasn't proven he can hold his liquor.

Matt G said...

TJIC, my opinion's not going to mean much to you, I know.

But I think that I've had some pretty good opportunities to see how things really go, with regard to "looking the other way." First, I've been with a couple of smaller rural departments that regularly use the resources of larger departments and coordinate with big departments. Second, I've grown up in a career cop's household, and had heard some very private discussions about how things go, long before I pinned on the badge. (Again, I know that this makes me sound subjective. But I'm on record as having no hero worship for my profession. I didn't think for a long time that I would do this job.)

1. There are bad cops. They exist, and it's a fool who denies it.
2. There are good cops who have made minor screwups.
3. There are bad cops who do a good job of hiding that they make major screwups, every day.
4. Human nature is to rationalize one's behavior, and to be lazy. If it's easier to cut a corner, cops, being human, will probably do it unless there are consequences. Cops are humans.
5. When you see cases like the one Tam referenced? That's a nice behavior modifier for all cops to see. The Cincinatti PD did all of the cops in the country a favor by taking down a 13 year cop, and letting us all know about it.
6. When you see cases like this, don't forget that the reason that you can be so disgusted about it (as I am) is because some cops put in some long hours and generated a lot of paper, to bust one of their own. With rare exceptions (yes, I know whom I'm speaking to), other persons in society don't get such a national spotlight for each and every bust. I'm not saying that we should reduce the glare of that spotlight at all, but I am saying that one should not mistake that funnel of the national news stream for a window on actual reality, with regards to scale.
7. In the departments that I've been in and worked around, a corrupt cop's days were numbered. Reputation is incredibly intrinsic to this job, and even if it were the case that even a quarter of us were corrupt-- heck, even if half of us were, the black letter law and the public description say that we are to be held to the law, so even if it were only to look good, we'd discipline our own, if only to save our own butts. But trust me: we've got a LOT of goody-goodies in our profession, whose job it is to Tell.
8. That said, I speed. Just ask Tam-- I've still got her fingernail marks in the dash of my little car. The thing was, though: I was absolutely willing to accept what was coming to me, if I'd been pulled over on that little deserted back-country high plains farm road. See #4.

TJIC said...

@ Tam said...
> > "I'm willing to be convinced"
>
> No, I really don't think you are.

Well, thanks for assuming bad faith, and that I'm lying.

That makes the rest of this discussion a bit harder.

Again, I've changed my mind on several very big hot-button issues over the last 20 years:

* gun control
* abortion
* the desirability of government regulating monopolies
* the utility of democracy

> I carpooled across half of Texas a couple months ago with a good friend who I wouldn't hesitate to describe as perhaps the most honorable man I know.

So the very most honorable man you've ever met is a clean cop.

I believe you.

I also believe that the very best teachers are excellent at what they do, and deliver far more value than they take in paycheck.

That has no bearing on whether I think that MOST teachers are good at what they do.

Similarly, the fact that you have a friend who is an honorable cop merely shows me that a RIGOROUS selection filter ("people Tam respects") filters out the riff-raff and allows in really top-notch honorable people.

I would have expected no less - I know that you have high standards and demand ethical behavior.

...but it has no bearing on whether most police departments are willing to investigate their own, or whether the large majority of cops have two standards: "what the little people are allowed to do" and "what we, the self-proclaimed warrior elite (with union benefits and union lawyers) are allowed to do".

I don't think that either one of us is going to convince the other by saying "I know one good cop!" / "yeah, I know one bad one!".

Here's my challenge: follow Injustice News on twitter for a week, click through to the articles, and tell me if after a week you think that criminal behavior by LEOs is abberant behavior, or pretty much just par for the course.

https://twitter.com/#!/InjusticeNews

In return, I'll read some RSS feed you select, or read a book or two that you name.

> I'm sure you've seen plenty of crooked cops. And drunken Irishmen, superstitious Catholics, and stupid blondes. I have to shake my head when someone so obviously intelligent gets steered by such simplistic examples of confirmation bias.

The difference is that when I see a drunken Irishman, I think "I've seen lots of non-drunken Irishman". When I see a dumb blonde I think "some of the smartest women I know are blondes". When I see a crooked cop, I think "Well, how about those two on-campus cops...no, they broke the law. Well, how about relative X...no, he used to BRAG about speeding off duty, running tolls, and confiscating beer from teens for his own personal use. How about my brother's good friend, officer Y...no, he told those stories about banging hookers in return for not busting them. OK, what about Z...oh, yeah, he condoned that illegal behavior in two for 15 years."

I honestly have never met a cop (out of 10 or so total) in 3 states who did not routinely break the law.

5% of Irish being drunks is one thing.

5% of blondes being idiots is one thing.

80-100% of cops routinely breaking laws that they would enforce against others is an entirely different thing.

Note, Tam, that one of the things that I changed my mind about (because I strive to be open minded) is that I used to RESPECT cops and think that all of the trash that was talked about them was do to the criminal element not liking the actual enforcement of justice.

It was 15+ years out in the real world that made me realize that the gutter rats that I have no respect for were actually RIGHT about this one thing.

Let me turn that confirmation bias charge around on YOU:

You've met a handful of clean cops, so now you assume that all cops are clean.

TJIC said...

Honest question for everyone:

Is there a source of data that will let us compare arrest rates for cops versus a similar demographic?

Again, I strive to be open minded.

TJIC said...

And let me say that I think the KEY reason that cops are so corrupt is tribalism: they convince themselves that they're a thin blue line standing against anarchy...and then, anything they do to enforce that division is legitimate.

Here in my town 10 years back we had one cop steal beer from underage drinkers for his own personal use, and another cop pull a peeping-Tom on an underage girl.

Both lied about their actions.

Right, right. Just two bad apples. Exactly the 10% criminal rate you'd expect in a department of 20 cops.

...but then their partners lied to cover for them, and absolute NO ONE knew anything about it.

The only reason the thing was exposed was that the peeping Tom was seen peeping, fled from the scene, left his cruiser behind, filed a false report that it had been stolen, and when it was "recovered", stolen beer was found in it.

If it hadn't been for a series of coincidences this bout of criminal behavior would have gone undetected (and the Thin Blue Line would have covered up, AS IT TRIED TO DO).

This stuff happens every single day, in - and I'm talking without footnotes here, so feel free to stick your fingers in your ears and say "myth making!" - 90% of the departments in America.

TJIC said...

MattG,

I've read your blog, and I respect you tons.

Thanks for weighing in here, and for being so calm in doing so, given that I'm obviously a hostile audience.

I intend to reply, but the clock just ticked past the hour, and I really should get to work.

I'll write later.

Thanks again for responding.

og said...

"He hasn't proven he can hold his liquor."

neither has anyone else at the IPD

caleb said...

A sample of 10 isn't much of a sample.

Sport Pilot said...

It’s good to see the officer was caught and his commission revoked. Generally speaking if you’re convicted of a felony offense your commission is revoked. Other things that will take you down are conviction of Domestic Assault, DUI, misdemeanor drug charges and misdemeanor theft. Untruthfulness will get you fired and decommissioned by the agency you work with because you are now “Brady Damaged” and any investigation you are party to is tainted. It’s painful to arrest or prosecute a fellow officer but is absolutely necessary; most resign rather than deal with the after effects.

Matt G said...

TJIC, you're right that the argument "Well I know an honest cop" is similarly poor proof to point toward noncorrupt police.

But your anecdotal references are just as specious. You asked, "Is there a source of data that will let us compare arrest rates for cops versus a similar demographic?" Yes, but what of it? It shows that arrest rates are far below the average, and this does nothing to moderate the claims that the cops are corrupt and refuse to police themselves.

One of the most frustrating aspects of these articles is how unequal the perception is. I used to drive a school bus as a college job for a middle-sized school district. The head of the transportation department told us, correctly: "You have to drive better than you ever have, not just because of the cargo you carry (the buses are tanks), but because of the fact that you're driving a 48 foot long billboard with our name on it, and a big number on it to identify you. Also? Any tiny fender bender with a bus gets full coverage." He was right. I saw it again and again. Some driver would accidentally cut off someone, and the city paper was afire with an editorial. Minor rear end collision? Chopper footage on the very next news cycle.

This is very much what you see with cops, but worse. They are not only in uniform, so you get to examine them outside of their vehicles, but they also are the ones charged with enforcing the laws, so there's greater public reaction to any perceived infraction.

But here's another thing that's frustrating: the cops generally can't comment back. Not only do departments have policies against their officers speaking about cases in the media, but often, they are forbidden by law from doing so. The general public has no such restriction. I have more than once been accused by a criminal that I took to jail of misconduct, and I was not permitted to talk about it. The last one (he's since pled, so sure, I'll talk about it without using his name), for example, claimed that I beat him and coerced his confession to having consumed prescription drugs and alcohol. He told his family about it from jail, and they came to the PD to write an official complaint. As is proper, I was NOT permitted to talk to the family, nor if they had gone to the media to speak to them about it. The complaint went away when I presented my sergeant with my in-car video and my cover-officer's in-car video, showing the guy from the moment of the traffic stop until the moment that we arrived at the jail. But he will to this day I'm sure tell everyone about how he was railroaded after an illegal arrest, yadda yadda.

Departments generally refuse to discuss ongoing cases with news media. The defendants are not restricted so, and blast what they will. I've seen my department raked over the coals in the paper before, because we kept our very effective evidence and retorts under a bushel while the accuser gave multi-part interviews, ad nauseum.

Bad cops are like dirty dishes. You'll note with disgust the ones you see, but never pay a second's thought to the police/dishes that are clean. Which is most of them.

dave said...

It’s good to see the officer was caught and his commission revoked. Generally speaking if you’re convicted of a felony offense your commission is revoked. Other things that will take you down are conviction of Domestic Assault, DUI, misdemeanor drug charges and misdemeanor theft. Untruthfulness will get you fired and decommissioned by the agency you work with because you are now “Brady Damaged” and any investigation you are party to is tainted. It’s painful to arrest or prosecute a fellow officer but is absolutely necessary; most resign rather than deal with the after effects.

Depends on the jurisdiction:
http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20111204/ARTICLE/111209980/2416/NEWS?p=all&tc=pgall

**************************
Among the Herald-Tribune's findings:

•One in 20 active law enforcement officers in Florida has committed a moral character violation serious enough to jeopardize his or her career. Nearly 600 have two or more such acts of misconduct on their record and 30 current officers and prison guards continue to wear a badge despite four or more offenses.

•The number of officers with serious violations is much higher than state records show. State law calls for every moral character violation to be reviewed by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. But local agencies fail to report cases and have faced no consequences for doing so. The Union County Sheriff's Office has not reported a case of misconduct in 26 years.

...

According to school records, Currie was evicted from his residence in 1992 because of repeated instances of "domestic disturbances." Nine days after FIU hired him in 1996, Currie was arrested for domestic battery. He received a three-day suspension and underwent domestic violence counseling. Shortly after completing the program, he was again arrested over domestic violence allegations.

The school fired him. While he was terminated, Currie was arrested and accused of child abuse.

Florida law gives public employees the right to a hearing before an arbitrator, and the Police Benevolent Association filed a grievance on Currie's behalf. Norton, who estimates he handles 25 to 30 labor cases every year, said arbitrators "generally tend to lean in favor of an officer."

In 1999, an arbitrator sent Currie back to work by changing the school's termination into a 10-month suspension.

Three years later, a supervisor gave Currie permission to leave work early and get his car fixed. Instead, Currie drove — armed and in uniform — to confront a man he thought was sleeping with his girlfriend.

Following that incident, the school sent Currie to a law enforcement psychologist who deemed Currie "unfit for duty." The psychologist said there was "a continuing high probability to engage in future serious off-duty altercations."
**************************

I'm not saying honest cops don't exist; I'm not even weighing in on the ratio, except to say that 5% is way too high to be "isolated incidents." I am saying that anytime anybody is given power or authority, one is wise to be very skeptical and cautious toward him, and even more skeptical of the system that handles accusations against him internally, in secret, instead of in openly, in an independent court.

Fodder4thought said...

@TJIC:
Huh. That's the best explanation/apology (in the classical sense) I've ever encountered for a dynamic that is generally not perceivable to those on the outside of it, and I appreciate you putting it out here.

That said, I think there are types of places that tend to generate bad behavior in the departments that work them. College towns, for instance, spring to mind, with College Park, MD being one with which I have first-hand experience. I think it's probably hard to keep 'police = people = police' in mind when the bulk of the population is viewed as little better than well-dressed transients with a penchant for rioting.

TomcatTCH said...

There wouldn't be an issue if cops who did bad things got punished like private citizens committing the same acts are punished.

If we want to fix the perception, we need to fix the reality.

Merl said...

Is TJIC actually wrong about the likelihood of a cop being investigated for running plates that he shouldn't have? This guy only got in trouble because he did so to check into UC officers for his drug dealer cousin. Which would have gotten him in trouble in just about any department crooked or not.

Steve C said...

Tam
I'm afraid that I must point out that just after calling TJIC for assuming that all police are crooks, you made the assumption that all IPD are drunks

Tam said...

Steve C,

Actually, all IMPD are not drunks, as I know for a fact. But there's a difference between joking and not joking.

I know some good cops in IMPD, and hopefully they won't fall victim to the "Bad drives out the good" phenomenon that can completely gut a department over time. There seem to be people fighting the good fight there, but that's a big damn house to clean and keep clean.

Rusky said...

Is gun. Is dangerous.

Is cop. Is corrupt.

TJIC said...

> there's a difference between joking and not joking.

There's also a difference between "saying all cops are corrupt" (which you imply both here and in Twitter is what I'm up to), and "saying that LARGE NUMBERS of cops are corrupt, or at the very least break the law routinely (which is what I've ACTUALLY said).

What assertion of mine are you arguing with?

Again: I'm open minded here - please tell me why I should change my opinion, given the Bayesian priors I've already got.

I'm willing to listen.

Tam said...

TJIC,

Would you agree with the assertion that 100% of Americans break some law, ordinance, or regulation every day?

TJIC said...

> TJIC,
>
> Would you agree with the assertion that 100% of Americans break some law, ordinance, or regulation every day?

Yes.

1) Do you agree with the assertion that the majority of cops give "professional courtesy", i.e. letting other cops and their family members routinely break traffic laws that result in fines and increased insurance costs for the rest of us?

2) Would you agree with the assertion that 5% or more of active duty cops engage in crimes "involving drugs, violence, theft, or forcible sex" ?

http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20111204/ARTICLE/111209980/2416/NEWS?p=2&tc=pg

3) Would you further agree that criminals in uniform have their crimes underreported because "brother cops" tend to cover up for each other more often than not?

TJIC said...

> TJIC,
>
> Would you agree with the assertion that 100% of Americans break some law, ordinance, or regulation every day?

...and what sort of personality is drawn to a profession where EVERYONE is considered a criminal, and they - with their state issued badge and uniform - are in charge of enforcing this infinitude of laws and regulations?

For all the talk of "sheepdogs" standing up against the "wolves", I mostly just see two sets of wolves: those clever enough to get a community college degree in criminal justice, then get a unionized job that gives health care, retirement, overtime, and immunity from most laws, and those who aren't clever enough and engage in intimidation and theft WITHOUT the color of law.

But, again, I'm sure that there are some good cops out there.

You've met one, apparently.

I, despite having met lots of cops, never have.

Anonymous said...

Tam & TJIC,
I think you are approaching the same problem from two different sides, and ironically you both share a philosophy that would go a long way to mitigating the problems you both describe.

In wookie suit state, there would be few laws, an armed & trained populace, a high standard of guilt for the state to clear, a skeptical jury to weigh the evidence, and absolutely draconian punishments. In such a libertarian environment police would be there mostly to clean up/take statements.

The problem as I see is that there are valid reasons for LEO's to enjoy certain privileges (lack of public Home Address For ex.) But it is much easier to enjoy privileges and bust nice white ladies in volvos for speeding to soccer practice, rather that confront dangerous drug gangs .
and/or sociopaths. Despite the need for a LEO presence in society our current system is probably too far gone to salvage at this point. in the event of major breakdown current crop of LEO's have been trained and acculturated to view gunnies as dangerous nuts ready to rampage, rather than the main backstop keeping LEO's from having a total collapse on their hands viz Katrina, LA Riots etc.
Our current Anarcho-Tyranny serves no one well, leaving us with big laws unenforced, (john Corzine) and all around us a myriad of little laws designed to imperil the lives, happiness, safety and wealth of average citizens subject to destruction at the hands of a single malicious person.
To me, this unfortunately means TJIC has the right of it, scrap the whole damn thing and start over. A state that will not hang murderers in a timely fashion, but will drive a businessman into penury over whether the wood for his guitars has the correct stamp of approval does not deserve to continue, nor will it.

Tam said...

TJIC,

"You've met one, apparently."

I've met, literally, dozens.

Remember, my line of work has had me meeting cops like yours does comic book buyers. I literally cannot recollect how many times I've been out shooting pool or playing darts and been the only one in the group without a badge.

Are there bad cops? Sure. Just like there are thieving accountants and shyster lawyers. Which is why you keep your own books and are representing yourself pro se in your latest scuffle with the shitty cops in your town.

TJIC said...

> Remember, my line of work has had me meeting cops like yours does comic book buyers.

I think that after 10 years and two businesses I've had a grand total of ONE customer who has stopped by the office in person.

I'm not in e-commerce because I'm a people person.

> Are there bad cops? Sure. Just like there are thieving accountants and shyster lawyers

I'm amazed that you keep thinking that the levels of corruption in competitive markets like law and bookkeeping are anywhere near what they are in a government run monopoly where the only ones charged with enforcing the law against employees are ... their own friends and coworkers.

If you ever happen to see a news article about a bookkeeper being ostracized, called a "rat", having his calls unreturned, or having his car vandalized because he tried to follow the law, please forward it to me.

On the other hand, if you're interested in hearing stories about cops being called rats and terrorized because they tried to apply the law to other cops, Google and I can have 10,000 hits in your inbox in about three seconds.

It's funny that you're so skeptical about government so often, but have this huge glaring blind spot when it comes to the Thugs in Blue.

Matt G said...

"It's funny that you're so skeptical about government so often, but have this huge glaring blind spot when it comes to the Thugs in Blue."

Huh. You must be commenting on the wrong tab, TJIC. This is the tab where 90% of the time that the administrator of the blog mentions police, she's either condemning them or thanking them for giving her more material to snark at.

I know a couple of other good cops that Tamara knows.

And I know a whole lot of others who don't have blogs.

I worked as a co-moderator with one who honorably retired from the business, and happily fought politely but fiercely for everyone's rights to firearms before he recently passed.

I've a friend who got hooked on doctor-prescribed pain meds after hurting himself in a pursuit, and when he realized that the monkey was on his back, he went to his chief to ask for a leave of absence to check himself into rehab. Everyone was shocked: NOBODY knew. He now tells everyone who will listen to do anything they can to stay off of oxycontin, using himself as an example. He could have milked it for YEARS. He's never played the victim card.

____________________
See how pointless The Anecdote Game is? You can point out a whole bunch of guys you think are corrupt, and I'll point to a bunch of cops who aren't (like: all my co-workers), and we won't prove a damned thing. The opposite of data is "anecdote."

Tamara has here said something touching and kind about me; I am honored. So I will call a spade a spade: I think one reason that Tam believes that most cops are not corrupt is that I do. And JPG does. And LawDog does. And she knows how upset we get when we see corruption, and she knows that we don't walk around terminally pissed off. If you're willing to grant that I might be non-corrupt, TJIC, you're going to have to by extention grant that the people that I say are not aren't, as a rule.

As they say, one has to hang one's hat on something.

Anonymous said...

The most important point that TJIC could have made, but has not yet, is that when a dishonest accountant messes up your books it causes you a headache. Insert scenario for any other private sector career.

All it takes is ONE crooked cop to ruin many innocent lives (hypothetically). The power our LEOs have to imprison us and the hat tip their word gets in a court of law compared to Johnny Citizen means that they have to be expected to perform at a standard higher than the accountant, lawyer, or [insert private sector job], who doesn't have the legal authority to imprison me.

Dennis said...

> there are things you've typed in the past that,
> had you said them aloud in the same room as me,
> you'd likely be spitting teeth.

Ah, now we see the violence inherent in the system!

Tam said...

TJIC,

"I'm amazed that you keep thinking that the levels of corruption in competitive markets like law and bookkeeping are anywhere near what they are in a government run monopoly..."

You mean Certified Public Accountants and Members of the Bar (the latter of which, if they are criminal attorneys, often seem to play for both teams over their careers)?

You admit there's variety in them, but the, as you call them "Thugs in Blue" are a monolithic bloc from sea to shining sea?

Except, of course, when you use weasel words like "majority". Do I think a "majority" of cops extend "professional courtesy"? What does that mean? 51% of all cops in the US? 70%? 100% east of the Mississippi and 0% west of it?

I'd say it is practically a hundred percent in some jusrisdictions, to the point that some big cities even issue "courtesy badges" for the friends and family members of cops.

And it's damn near zero percent in others. In deer camp one year, I had to explain to Matt's dad, a retired career peace officer, what that "thin blue line" sticker on a car was. His reaction was epic. I though he was like to stroke out on the spot.

Hey, remember those poor Jersey cops, speeding home from Katrina, who got all butthurt because they didn't get "professional courtesy" and had the gall to complain that VASP was known for not cutting breaks to cops like it was such a bad thing? Yeah, those monolithic thugs in blue...

Anonymous said...

What's the saying? 99% of [ cops | lawyers | journalists | politicians | TSA screeners | OWSers ] give the rest a bad name.


In the February 2011 issue of Reason, Radley Balko's "Why Cops Aren't Whistleblowers" quotes a former police chief who states:

“You have to rely on your fellow officers to back you. A cop with a reputation as a snitch is one vulnerable police officer, likely to find his peers slow to respond to requests for backup—if they show up at all. A snitch is subject to social snubbing. Or malicious mischief, or sabotage.…The peer pressure is childish and churlish, but it’s real. Few cops can stand up to it.”

As Balko has spent the past 10 years or so documenting, the problem isn't just on the level of the X% of individual bad cops, and the Y% who refuse to hold them accountable: the problem is institutional.

If these stories were about any other group of unionized-government-employees, the number wouldn't be debatable among non-liberals. But since we're discussing the police, nobody here is going to change anybody's mind about what X or Y, or X+Y, is.

Tam said...

TJIC,

"It's funny that you're so skeptical about government so often, but have this huge glaring blind spot when it comes to the Thugs in Blue."

This is pretty funny, when you consider that I have a whole post category for dogging on the po-po, a lot of whom have stopped reading my blog because I'm such a "cop basher".

I swear to fuck, I just can't win with you people.

Anonymous said...

> Members of the Bar (the latter of which,
> if they are criminal attorneys

Fixed this for you:

"Members of the bar are criminal attorneys"

No, still not clear. The phrase 'criminal attorneys' is redundant, and makes it sound like the attorneys are specializing in criminal law:

"Members of the bar are criminals"

There, much less ambiguous.