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Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Blue Wall is a threat to public safety



At some point, the whole discourse based on some spurious distinction between brutal sadistic bastards in police uniforms and the so-called "good" cops needs to be tossed out. I'd respectfully submit that we've passed that point.


Let's review: every time we hear about some vile incident like what happened to Stacy Bonds or Adam Nobody, the same tired apologists rush forward with the same tired storyline: Yes, it's regrettable, but we don't have all the facts, let's see what the internal investigation turns up, let's not condemn the whole profession for the out-of-bounds actions of a few bad apples, yada yada yada ...

Yawn.

That's bad enough, but what's becoming just as tiresome is the narrative that goes: well, it's time for the good cops to stop covering for the assholes in their midst, otherwise they get tarred with the same brush ...

News flash, dear friends: It Ain't Gonna Happen. The code of silence that compels cops to go all Tommy when their buddies kick the crap out of people is part of a dysfunctional organizational and occupational culture with roots going back decades. If you're a cop and your pals get the idea that you won't be there for backup, no matter what, you quickly lose the ability to function as a cop. When that happens, you're fucked. You are ostracized. No one will work with you, no one will ride with you, and you get all the shit assignments. It's going to take more than a few grassroots inquiries or (god help us) Rosie DiManno columns to fix that.

Small comfort to folks like Adam Nobody, Stacy Bonds or Lacy MacAuley, of course.

Once again, it's time to do away with a useless, spurious distinction. What's worse: asshole cops who kick the shit out of the citizens they're sworn to serve and protect, or the so-called "good cops" who look the other way and do nothing to stop them or out them?

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: a difference which makes no difference is no difference. The "good cops" in this narrative are about as useful as the "good Germans."

4 comments:

  1. well said. I listened to White in Ottawa talk about the Stacy Bonds case and how citizens can't let their views of cops be coloured by a few bad ones, but as you clearly explain, the problem is with their system which covers for their own.

    It's very offensive to hear White's plea as though it's up to us to just not think bad thoughts.

    ReplyDelete
  2. True. And I've mentioned that give the broad generalizations that cops make about the general public and various demographics within it, it's more than fair if we start to generalize the same way.

    I've also said that if the hypothetical "good cops" don't do something, then we're justified in trashing all of them. The onus is on them if they supposedly outnumber the "few bad apples."

    But I also agree with your contention that the barriers to their doing so are high. That's why I've long recommended that there be full-time citizen overseers of the police, who have full access to police headquarters and meetings. To avoid co-optation, they are to be elected from the general public and served by a full-time staff within police buildings but funded, trained, staffed, responsible to authorities above and outside the police services themselves.

    And we also need some no-brainer reforms of the regulations that allow our police to act with impunity.

    And then we have to just stop our ears to block out the inevitable whining and blubbering from the cops.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Why, thwap ...

    if I didn't know better I'd swear you were just trying to give me an excuse to use the expression "authoritarian crybabies who can't take criticism."

    ReplyDelete
  4. "That's why I've long recommended that there be full-time citizen overseers of the police, who have full access to police headquarters and meetings. To avoid co-optation, they are to be elected from the general public and served by a full-time staff within police buildings but funded, trained, staffed, responsible to authorities above and outside the police services themselves."

    Commissars, thwap?

    ReplyDelete

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