There are no bad cops
It has become us against them from the American cop’s point of view. Not “service”; not “community”; not “honor.” It is an occupation where they are allowed to wield fatal force, and we have to stay out of their way.
Is it a question of race? Without a doubt. But that’s not all.
Is it class? Certainly. American cops have become the enforcers of a proto-fascist/neoliberal mentality in this country directed at the lumpen poor and working class. But that’s not all.
American cops have the belief that no amount of force, for any reason, should cause a cop to face the “justice” system.
I say this not simply because the police “union” of Ferguson has shown itself so intoxicated that it suggests it could enforce a boycott of the NFL. Nor do I need to canvas all the absurd incidents of police violence in this country.
Let me give you an example, entirely divorced of class, violence, second-guessing, etc.
Last February an incident occurred near Dallas involving a policeman. Sgt. Nick Pitofsky was an officer of the Crandall, Texas police department. He was, like many policeman, a gun nut. He even posted the review of a rifle he planned to give to his wife for her protection on YouTube. That video has been removed, in light of what happened a week later, but you can see a portion of it here.
The next record we have of him is that he used that gun to kill his wife and himself in their home.
Incidentally, his wife of three years, Vanessa, worked to raise money for policemen injured in the line of duty.
I bring this up, not to paint with a broad brush an entire profession just because one of its members was a cold-blooded murderer. One who killed, not in the line of duty, but because he decided to. And was too much of a coward to accept the consequences for it.
No, I bring this up to show you what the reaction of the Crandall Police Department was to this heinous crime. I set forth its press release in full:
“It is with a heavy heart we regret to inform the public that Nick Pitofsky and his wife, Vanessa, were found deceased in their Dallas apartment on 2/26 by the Dallas Police Department. Dallas PD is investigating the incident as a possible murder-suicide. No other information has been confirmed by DPD at this time. Nick Pitofsky was a Patrol Sergeant for the Crandall Police Department and has been employed with the city for two years. Nick was well respected by his peers and will be deeply missed by the city and department as a whole. Nick was an energetic and jovial person who got along with everyone. Nick was an extremely dedicated Police Officer for the City of Crandall and its citizens. Sergeant Nick Pitofsky will be deeply missed by his fellow Officers. The Crandall Police Department would also like to send our condolences to the family of both Nick and Vanessa Pitofsky.”
I have highlighted the part that ought to give a rational person pause. This is the law enforcement agency that hired him. They are charged with preventing or at least apprehending felons of the sort that Sgt.Pitofsky proved himself to be. But the police department instead gives him an encomium. He is, according to them, the greatest guy that ever committed cold-blooded murder on an innocent, defenseless loved one, who ever existed.
Remember this when you read how police are protected after deadly force. They simply don’t recognize, ever, that one of their own can possibly be one of the people they are charged with protecting us from. That the cavalier use of deadly force, under any circumstance, is a criminal act, if a police officer is the actor. It is a professional courtesy: One murder (at least) gets you a mulligan. The fact that they all have lockers together means that each one of them is theirs and they will protect him. Even when it is clear as day that he is a criminal.
If I am wrong in this portrait, please give me an example when police have voluntarily found out and apprehended a criminal in their midst.