The Nature of Police

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Bill and Lew: This report — along with Will Grigg’s massive collection of other brutalities — illustrates the sociopathic nature of those who work for the police system. Such people want to work within an agency that permits them to exercise the violent powers of the state to enforce whatever whim they might have. To most police officers, the greatest offense amounts to behavior expressing a “contempt of cop,” and will be dealt with firmly. Their “right” to remain unaccountable (i.e., to not be answerable for their wrongs) is implicit in the definition of the state as a “system that enjoys a monopoly on the use of violence.” To suggest that the enforcers of state power should be limited in the exercise of their momentary whims, is to suggest that the state, itself, is subject to some higher standard (i.e., that it does not enjoy a monopoly on violence).

Those who respond that not all police officers are  ill-motivated are doubtless correct. But virtually all members of the force will cover for those who do exceed the bounds of decent behavior. If you doubt this, re-watch the video-taping of the infamous Rodney King beating, and see how many police officers just stood by  and observed the brutalities of their “fellow officers.” Remind yourself, as well, of how the then LA police chief went into a tirade against the man who videotaped the attack;  and of how local governments now conspire to criminalize the photographing of police actions.

When I was in grade school, kids used to threaten one another on the playground with the claim that they would “call the police” on them. Teachers — ever mindful of their task to condition young minds into obedience to authority — would respond “Oh, no, the policeman is your friend.”  Small children know better: They have always been more in tune with reality than are the adults who have been trained to roll over on command, to sit up and beg, and to carry their leashes in their own mouths!

11:26 am on August 8, 2012
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