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The Thin Blue Line, Coparazzi, and other thoughts from a fustrated LEO...

This is a discussion on The Thin Blue Line, Coparazzi, and other thoughts from a fustrated LEO... within the XDTalk Chatter Box forums, part of the XD Talk category; So consider this a NOT well written essay venting my fustrations with closed minded ignorant people that think all police are jack booted thugs out ...

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Old 06-06-2011, 02:28 PM   #1
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The Thin Blue Line, Coparazzi, and other thoughts from a fustrated LEO...

So consider this a NOT well written essay venting my fustrations with closed minded ignorant people that think all police are jack booted thugs out to suppress their rights while explaining some reality to those who care to open their minds and learn a little about who the average and majoity of police officers are. I am going to start by making no apologies for crappy grammer and what will probably be worse spelling.

What the Brotherhood of the Thin Blue Line really is:
One of the things I am tired of hearing about is how horrible the Brotherhood of the Thin Blue line is. Yeah, there are those out there that wear a badge and uniform that are no better than the dirtbags that we lock up. And these dirtbag cops tend to protect each other's asses, throwing up the wall that covers each other. Thats NOT what the brotherhood is.

The brotherhood is about who a cop's family is. Some of us are lucky to have an understanding family to come home to. I'm not. Thats probably a good thing though. But I have my coworkers, who are also family to me. We see each other every day, for long periods of the day, and really know each other like best friends, or brothers.

When one of our brothers gets cancer, we pass the hat to help out. When one of our brothers pays the highest price for his service, we line the streets to wish him godspeed to his next patrol in the great beyond. When one of our brothers has a kid, we are there to light his cigar on that happy day.


The "Us vs. Them" mentality:
Part of the "Us vs. Them" mentality that does really exist comes from this closeness we have with out co-workers. My beat partner is the guy I know. We work well together. We don't have to say what we are thinking. We communicate with a glance, and read each other's minds. My beat partner, my brother, he is the one I know has my back when the poo starts flying. He is the one I can expect to be there dragging my shot up ass to cover if it unfortunately ever comes to that.

Then there is "Them". The citizens. Does the average citizen have my back? Will the average citizen be standing there providing overwatch cover while I am interviewing the suspect? Is the average citizen there for me at my lowest time to share in my grief or pain? Is the average citizen there to celebrate in my joys? No. On most occasions they are not doing any of that. Its not their job and the average citizen isn't faulted for this.

There is something else that contributes to the "Us vs. Them" mentality. We are pushed to it by the citizens themselves. The majority of us John Law police are also John Q Citizens. But the rest of the John Q citizens want to look upon us with disdain when the law doesn't work in their favor. When we have to arrest John Q Citizen for hitting his wife, John Law becomes an ass in John Q's eyse . John Q doesn't tell his buddies he was wrong. John Q tells his buddies that John Law was wrong.

People like me get to log onto forums like this one, and read posts from people who think that the minority that makes up the bad officers is the majority. I read that I am one of them. I read that I am part of the problem. This gives me pause. This makes me wary of YOU. You don't like me, and you don't want to know me. You don't want to REALLY know me. You don't want to hear the TRUTH. You make yourself into one of THEM by alienating me and my brothers, who are nothing more than John Q Citizens, JUST LIKE YOU. In a nut shell, one of the biggest reasons there is an "Us vs. Them" mentality is because "Them" pushed "US" away!

Coparazzi and the Modern Media:
So who likes having a camera shoved in their face for doing their job or while doing their job? Granted, the camera is often used to record LEO doing wrong. These are the videos we all get to see. These are the videos that are spread like wildfire to inflame the publics opinion. Who sees the videos of use doing our everyday job correctly?

But even when an officer is doing their job well and rightously, a camera is sometimes produced. And with the ussual media spin, and officer who is doing right is critiqued, criticized, and put on trial in the court of public opinion FOR HAVING DONE NO WRONG, and then he is found GUILTY because of people's ignorance.

I see it all the time on the news. An officer is video'ed trying to affect an an arrest on someone. That someone doesn't want to go to jail, and resists the lawful arrest. Force is applied, and the suspect is finally handcuffed...

..."Next on CNN, OH MY GOD! The horrible police punched that woman while trying to arrest her!" Does anybody want to hear or make mention about the woman kicking and punching the officer or spitting in his face? Nope. Because the officer is already guilty, because thats the only way the media has a story. And everybody is so ready to gobble up what the liberal media FEEDS them. Everbody is quick to judge and hang their BROTHER.

Don't get me wrong. The media does hit it out of the park sometimes and a bad cop gets ousted. That is great stuff. As embarassing as it is for me as a LEO to see it, its a relief to "have them gone."

So can I understand why some police act the way they do when someone pushes a camera in their face while they are tryinto do their job. Yes. Even when you are doing right, expect it to be spun the wrong way. How else will the media have a story?

But please don't mistake what I am saying as me condoning certain actions. I underatand why an officer may have acted a certain way, but I don't condone the behavior. Do you have the right to video me doing my job? Yep. Hell, I am videoing you! Should officers freak out and arrest people for it? Nope!

And the biggest irony is that everybody is so quick to embrace the biased and slanted story that is fed to them by the liberal media! No one wants to wait to see how it works out. No one wants to wait to hear the officer's side of the story! No one wants to UNDERSTAND why the situation went down the way it went down! No one wants an untainted TRUTH from wich to make an informed opinion from. They want blood. They want to HATE. Often, but not all the time, they want to hate the wrong person.

What Happens When an Officer Does Wrong:
My God! Do the majority of the people actually believe we cover each others back and cover "it" up when one of us does wrong? Holy Lord NO!

Yes, the bad ones cover each other's backs. They are the minority though. For the majority of us, something else happens.

I have experienced this a bunch of times for myself. I have had FRIENDS do wrong. It becomes very uncomfortable. They were your friend, but now, they are a pariah. They go from the person you used to trust with your life to the person you are too ashamed to talk to. You pass them in the supermarket and exchange uncomfortable pleasentries. But you do it fast and you don't make idle chit chat. You don't want to be associated with them. They've become disavowed.

But some of the discomfort is actually good. Their situations and actions cause us to reflect inwardly on ourselves. It reminds those of us that are moral and ethical, us the MJORITY, that in our day to day lives that it is so easy to fall astray.

We have a commonly quoted saying; "I'll do whatever you need me to do to get your back. But I'll be damned if I do something for you that is going to have me end up sitting on the stand on charges in a Federal Courthouse."

The Great Conspiracy:
Guess what guys; there is no great conspiracy that the cops are trying to take your rights away and supress you. We don't have some seceret network where we discuss and plan some kind of impending slavery for everybody. WE ARE YOU! I am a cop. I am also a CITIZEN! I collect guns JUST LIKE YOU! I work on my truck JUST LIKE YOU! I drink beer with my friends, JUST LIKE YOU! I fall asleep mext to my woman, JUST LIKE YOU! I pay my bills (or try to!) JUST LIKE YOU! I am subject to all of the laws just like you! We don't make the laws. Thats YOUR responsibility. TAKE UP THAT RESPONSIBLITY! OWN THAT RESPONSIBILITY!

On Professional Courtesy:
So I have been pulled over for speeding before. Actually, I will admit that I have been pulled over for speeding on a couple of occassions. When the officer approaches my door, I tell them, "Hi sir, I just want you to know I have a loaded firearm on my passenger seat/on my person/under my seat. Here are my credentials to carry it." Have I ever gotten a ticket since becoming a cop? NOPE! Do cops give cops tickets? ALL THE FREAKING TIME! Hell, I've even arrested COPS and/or their spouses!

But guess what! I give more breaks to the average citizen than the number of times I encounter off-duty LEOs. Hell, I haven't written a speeding ticket since 2007! I have only written one ticket in the month of May, but gave out near 100 warnings!

Professional Courtesy exists in almost all professions! Do you pitch a fit when one doctor gives his/her services to another doctor for free? Nope! But when one officer lets another officer go with a warning, we sure as hell hear about that! But its okay for us to let other people off.

So Why is the Cop Problem Growing?
I actually don't think the police are getting worse or the porblem is growing. I think the exposure the bad stuff is just getting more numerous. I think its just more common to see the bad stuf publisized. But I think this stuff has been going on for a long time, just not publisized to the point it is today.

I have heard some of the old timers tell sotries that just downright shocked me. Beatings and false arrests have been occurring forever. The only difference is that today, it is publisized more. Its not happening more, we just notice it more.

If anything, there is MORE ACCOUNTABILITY these days. In the past couple of decades, we the police have been actually held more accountable for our actions. We hold ourselves accountable as well as the public holds us accountable. BAD Cops are getting away with LESS! There is MORE prosecution and punishment of bad police today.

There is not some new war going on! Its the same war thats been going on since someone took or appointed a position of authority. The only difference today is now the good guys are winning the battles, and people get to learn of that. Bad cops are being prosecutied and punished more these days than any other time. And its not because there are more bad cops and bad incidents. Its because of reform in how bad cops are exposed,handled, and ousted/punished! The problem is not growing rampent, its just more exposed!

So What Do I Expect From You?
I don't want your sympathy. My life is tough. Others have it tougher. Others deserve your sympathy. I have a sh-tty job. (I've been sh-t on, thrown up on, punched, kicked, amost killed, spit on, yelled at, dog bit, etc...) I LOVE IT! (except for the sh-t on, thrown up on, punched, kicked, amost killed, spit on, yelled at, dog bit, etc...) LOL

So what do I really expect from you?

A chance. I expect a chance to EARN your RESPECT. I expect the little bit of respect that should be accorded to everybody off the bat. I expect an open mind from you. Without that, how can I show you that I AM YOU. I am a regular person.

I expect a place I can come to to learn more about my hobby and exchange information and help others learn, with another sort of family (XDTalk). I expect to be able to do this without reading how much of a piece of sh-t I am because of people posting while being ignorant WITH ONLY THEIR ONE-SIDED VIEW. (I have both views. I've been "messed with" by the police, and I am now the police. I am John Law AND I am John Q Public)

In closing...
So I am expecting a whole bunch of different responses. Of course there will be the supportive and understanding responses. And for those, thank you.

But lets sit back and see how the negative, flaming responses roll in. Lets see how articulate the arguements can be.

I will not respond to anything I take as being a beligerent post. I will "turn my cheak" and ignore it. I will however welcome any academic discussion on these topics, in my favor or not.

It has been my goal to write this in a non-beligerent manner. I truely hope I was able to accomplish that. My goal is not to insight a cyber riot here on XDTalk. Not to start argueing, but to rather conversation.

I am not feeling all that articulate myself, having just woken up and typed this, but I've tried. So if there is anything I can expand upon or clarify, please ask.

And finally; be safe, look out for one another, and enjoy your hobby!
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Old 06-06-2011, 03:12 PM   #2
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Hey man don't take things so personally...as a public employee you're always going to be under scrutiny and the bad apples will ALWAYS spoil the bunch...I'm a teacher and all I do is take crap from people...it's the teacher's faults these kids are failing...meanwhile parenting has disappeared...I find it funny when people criticize...if our jobs were so easy they'd do them...then again many of them don't have the education or requirements to do so...all you can do is go to work everyday and do your best...keep your head up
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Old 06-06-2011, 03:18 PM   #3
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Too bad you can't spell "cheek"!
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Old 06-06-2011, 03:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rustynuts View Post
Too bad you can't spell "cheek"!
Quote:
I am going to start by making no apologies for crappy grammer and what will probably be worse spelling.
My supervisor gets headaches approving my police reports! When I proof read my own stuff, I never catch any of the mistakes! I am surprised thats the only thing found so far. LOL
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Old 06-06-2011, 03:33 PM   #5
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The issue as I see it is authority. Distrust of authority is an inherent founding principle of our nation and is inherently necessary. As a man you have my respect until you demonstrate you are unworhy of it. As a figure of authority I will ALWAYS distrust you, while holding the appropriate respect for the auhority that our society has ceded to you. On top of dirty cops, I have a tremendous problem with cops who want to overstep their authority. I hate the "just let me search your car if you have nothing to hide" mindset. Even if you're a cop, you're still just another stranger to me...I have no more inclination to let you rifle through my posessions than I would for any other stranger.

With your note on professional courtesy I agree, but it should be noted that courtesy extends in both directions. We become incensed if our doctors ask us if we have guns in our home, we get upset when teachers try to tell us how to parent our children. I become really frustrated when a cop stops me and asks "where are you going? What are you doing there? Where are you coming from?" I become even more upset when they get an attitude after I tell them its none of their damn business.

This is of course a rare occurrence. I haven't had a ticket in 5 years, the extent of my police experience is positive, the incidences referred to above have occurred at random DUI checkpoints

Sorry for any spelling errors, sent this from a smartphone.
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Old 06-06-2011, 03:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkWVU02 View Post
Hey man don't take things so personally...as a public employee you're always going to be under scrutiny and the bad apples will ALWAYS spoil the bunch...I'm a teacher and all I do is take crap from people...it's the teacher's faults these kids are failing...meanwhile parenting has disappeared...I find it funny when people criticize...if our jobs were so easy they'd do them...then again many of them don't have the education or requirements to do so...all you can do is go to work everyday and do your best...keep your head up
Its kind of hard to not take some things personally, a little. I've been a member of XDTalk for a long while now. This has been a great place to go to for various reasons. XDTalk is my gun family! Hell, I haven't shot my XD in about 4 years now, but I still feel this is the place to be.

When the bad crap comes from out on the street, no big deal. But to get some of it here... I guess that is when it stings.

Damn, your a teacher? Why in the hell would you do that? Talk about under appreciated! Its like my job but with kids!

My mom was a tenured special education teacher. Talk about a rough time. But she loved her job and ate the BS. Griping helped a lot though.

It takes a special person to do what you do so my hat is off to you!
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Old 06-06-2011, 03:39 PM   #7
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Well put....Well put.


No one remembers the good, No one forgets the bad..........
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Old 06-06-2011, 03:55 PM   #8
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The only thing I can say is I believe most don't "like" to rag on LEO in general. I can rag with the best of them in some of these threads, but I also have plenty of LEO relatives that I still like (usually!). We are mainly responding to the stories of the bad ones, which you hear more of than the good stories, since the "bad" stories get the ratings.

With the rise of the internet and handy video phones, there was bound to also be a rise in the reported cases. So while things may not look or feel different from "cop on the street" perspective, things do kind of appear escalating to the general public when we see these things in the news all the time.

I'd say keep taking pride in your work, because we do appreciate the good ones! But also don't expect us to give the bad seeds any slack either.
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Old 06-06-2011, 04:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 03RangerXLT View Post
Its kind of hard to not take some things personally, a little. I've been a member of XDTalk for a long while now. This has been a great place to go to for various reasons. XDTalk is my gun family! Hell, I haven't shot my XD in about 4 years now, but I still feel this is the place to be.

When the bad crap comes from out on the street, no big deal. But to get some of it here... I guess that is when it stings.

Damn, your a teacher? Why in the hell would you do that? Talk about under appreciated! Its like my job but with kids!

My mom was a tenured special education teacher. Talk about a rough time. But she loved her job and ate the BS. Griping helped a lot though.

It takes a special person to do what you do so my hat is off to you!

Haha thanks man. I'm actually a special ed teacher in the ghetto...most of my kids live in projects. The BS is worth it...I recently had two kids come back to thank me for inspiring and pushing them...both are in college now!
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Old 06-06-2011, 04:58 PM   #10
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I think most people are generally sympathetic (or at least ambivalent) to LE, and I think are even forgiving when cops screw up as long as they come clean about it when they do. In my experience, what really gets myself and other people fired up about a "double standard" with LE is when somebody (or several somebodies) go overboard or screw up big-time, and then the wagons get circled. Nothing erodes public confidence in the police more than cover-ups, roadblocks, and internal investigations that lead to white-washes. If police agencies want public support, transparency in all things is crucial.
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