I loathe election time.
It’s a time for everybody to witness America at its worst, and this year’s offering is no exception, in fact, it’s the most perfect example ever of what’s wrong in this country.
The bottom line is this: with about 300 million people in this country, how in the world are the people offered up to vote for this year the best available options?
The Democratic front runners are life long politicians with no clue about what it takes to raise a family in middle or lower class society, and the Republican choices are just, well, wow.
Surely, there are rational human beings out there who would love a crack at running this country, but can’t because they aren’t wealthy enough to be considered.
It’s ridiculous, but I digress.
I’m mad at the Democrats right now.
Bernie Sanders is sick and tired of seeing unarmed black men being shot by police. One of the few things that he and Hillary can agree upon is that local police departments are unfair to black communities.
I didn’t watch any of the debate because I was working a night shift to supplement my already worked day shift, in order to be able to afford a decent, middle class existence for my family. I only saw snippets and read some recaps in the papers.
Maybe I missed mention of the six police officers who’ve died in the line of duty in just the last few days alone. Were these deaths mentioned at all?
It should be really interesting to see how low these two stoop in their bashing of the police to garner minority votes. The same police officers who are there to protect them and their families or shut down roads so that they can get to their engagements or debates or whatever safely have to stand in these auditoriums and listen to such drivel without snapping.
Police officers don’t make the laws. We enforce the laws made by people who are supposed to have the interests of the people on their minds when they do make them.
If the laws are so unfair to the black community, then talk to the legislators, local and state especially. If the sentencing of black people is so out of proportion, then talk to the judiciary about that. I don’t control who can afford a good lawyer and who has to use an over-burdened public defender.
All we do is arrest the criminals, black and white and every shade in between. If the number of arrests of blacks is so disproportionate to the number of arrests of others, then maybe the reason for that lies somewhere outside of the responsibility of law enforcement?
I know that where I patrol, most of the suspects described to us police officers by victims are black males.
That’s not racism; that’s a fact.
Many of the victims are also black, perhaps even most. I can certainly attest to my experience being that most of the victims of VIOLENT crimes in my area are black, homicides especially.
You gonna blame the police for that?
No. I don’t accept that.
Police officers are most concerned with violent crimes. Those are the ones we want to solve more than any other crime, so that the most violent offenders are removed from society. That’s who we spend a great deal of our time looking for. Of course encounters with those suspects are more fraught with potential danger and violence.
I was given a gun the day of my graduation. I was taught how and when to use it in the months preceding that graduation for a reason. It happens.
I don’t have experience in patrolling rural America, so I can’t speak as to what goes on out there, but in urban policing, and I don’t suspect St. Louis is any different from other large cities, I am more hyper-vigilant about my safety in certain areas and around certain people. Any police officer who doesn’t develop that sense won’t last long.
It’s not racist for me to be more concerned about my safety when I patrol in North St. Louis than when I work a secondary job in the suburbs. There is more violence in one than the other.
A LOT more violence.
That’s not the fault of the police either.
Citizens of all colors want to be able to raise their families in relative peace and safety. I think a lot of people who’ve never lived in a violent neighborhood would be shocked to learn what lengths people go to because they fear being shot simply while sitting in their living rooms. I’ve been in homes where all the activities of the family, like watching TV, etc. are done on a second floor because of the fear that a stray bullet from the street might come through a first floor window or wall. There is often, literally, no furniture on the first floor.
That’s sad, but again, that’s not the fault of the police.
Violent offenders don’t normally just appear and then vanish after committing a single crime. Run the record of people committing violent robberies or shootings, etc. and I guarantee you that most of the suspects have considerable arrest histories.
The system lets them back out onto the streets to rob and steal until they finally manage to kill somebody, where I work, that’ll probably be a young black man, until they finally get thrown in jail for life.
Again, that’s not the fault of the street officer. You think we enjoy having to arrest the same clowns over and over again?
No. And they’ll tell us to our faces that they’ll be out again. It’s frustrating, and they’re right, but we’ll keep arresting them.
That’s what police officers do. We arrest people who violate the laws that Bernie and Hillary and the Bush’s and people like them make.
Well, that’s not ALL we do. We’re also supposed to keep the roads safe and man large events in your town like ball games and street fairs and what not. All those events your cities and towns have that are so much fun? Yeah, most of your local cops can’t attend them with their families, because they have to work them. Nothing happens in a big city without the police having to be involved.
We’re also expected to psychoanalyze criminals and victims on the spot. Can you recognize mental illness in a stranger versus an LSD induced episode? Should it matter? If the person is dangerous, should I care that he’s bipolar or whacked out on drugs?
I sure don’t care initially. I care about going home safely after my shift ends, and I’ll not make any apologies for that. If a mentally ill person is allowed to get to the point where he’s on the street causing a disturbance and “in need of help,” whose fault is that? We don’t blame his family or his doctor or pharmacist for not checking in on him, nope. We wait until the person is out of control and then we call the police and demand they deal with the violent outburst without anybody getting hurt.
And that happens almost every single time, except for when it doesn’t. When it doesn’t, you hear about it and then you take sides. On the left are the police bashers demanding reform and criminal charges. On the right are the police apologists who support us blindly. Neither side is 100% right, and most of either side has never had to deal with the mentally ill while they’re having a dangerous episode in public. While in a police uniform.
Yeah, the uniform makes a difference. Almost always, it makes it more challenging.
The very legislators who bash the police are to blame for allowing mentally ill people to roam the streets of our communities because it’s too costly to address their needs in a proper facility. Many law enforcement officers around the country barely have a high school degree, let alone a Masters in Psychology. Many are paid under $15 an hour. Guess what sort of people are going to take a job with that much responsibility for such little pay?
Yikes is right. That’s a lot of responsibility AND power given to a person working for not so much reward. The end result of that isn’t always pretty.
The drug war belongs to the legislators as well. Make marijuana legal and guess what? Law enforcement officers will stop making marijuana arrests.
I’m not a police homer by any stretch of the imagination, but there has to be a stand made by the people who understand that the system is fucked up FAR beyond the police.
The police officer on the street is just an easy scapegoat for a system that fails to educate inner city kids or grant job interviews to people named LaQuita or Tyrone because of their names alone. That sort of racism is where society is really hurting the underprivileged.
Do you know who does give jobs to Tyrones and LaQuitas?
Large urban cities and police departments. This is why it pisses me off to no end that the implication is that it’s the black community versus the white police.
The law enforcement community absolutely includes blacks, and there are plenty of white criminals and their ilk who also hate the police.
I would challenge any private company in the St.Louis area to compare their minority hiring to the St. Louis Police Department’s. I work with great officers of every race, sexual orientation and ethnic background.
I wouldn’t have it any other way. Urban kids don’t want to listen to a 40 year old white dude, no matter how cool I totally am. A black officer from their neighborhood though? Yeah, that’s a person they can look up to and emulate and strive to be like, or even better, strive to be better than.
We have those men and women and they go into the worst communities every day and make a difference just by being who they are.
Do police officers fuck up sometimes? Absolutely, but it’s the exception and not the norm.
Black children getting second rate educations and limited opportunities at employment is the norm. Those norms are not police related, and I would argue that they are way more detrimental to the growth of minority communities than any threat of being shot by a white police officer will be in most of their lives.