3/24/2014 - PKT, Los Angeles, CA writes ...
Cops or Soldiers?
Having spent many hours riding with police I know firsthand they routinely develop a them vs. us mentality. It comes with the job and cops tend to hang out with cops thus further insulating themselves. Add to this already existing mentality the new weapons, military gear and increased militarization of police and you have a formula for tragedies waiting to happen.
Some police officers also tend to be petty having a general disdain for the public. I remember one personal instance where parking on my street wasn't allowed between noon and 2 p.m. for street cleaning. It was 1:45 the street cleaner had long finished its task and I had to dash into my house to grab some papers. A police car was parked in front so I stopped to talk to the cop, explained what I was going to do, pointed out the street cleaner had passed and I would only be parking for about he minute. He glared at me and almost snarled saying if I parked he would ticket me and if I didn't get back in my car and leave he would do so anyway. That's an extreme case but not an aberration.
The point is cops walk a delicate line between being wary for their own safety but also being servants of the public. The increased military attitude I fear is shifting too many police onto the wrong side of the line. This isn't a political issue where liberals and conservatives should disagree but just a common sense issue of what we want and expect from our police.
[Editors' Note: We suspect that only the most gung-ho neo-cons (and Stalinist liberals) would disagree on this issue. Liberals and plain ol' conservatives should agree that militarizing the cops -- even aside from the essence of Posse Comitatus -- just invites abuse, lends a sense of above-the-law, and just sends a message to the public that they should abandon what they thought they believed about America.
Always nice to find common ground.]
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