Sorry…. Very long post.
This has been around a long time. I don’t agree with everything but I do with a lot of it…….
WHY COPS HATE YOU
If you have to ask, get out of the way By Chuck Milland
Have you ever been stopped by a traffic cop and, while he was writing a ticket or giving you a warning, you got the feeling that he would just love to yank you out of the car, right through the window, and smash your face into the front fender? Have you ever had a noisy spat with someone, and a cop cruising by calls, “Everything all right over there?” Did you maybe sense that he really hoped everything was not all right, that he wanted you to answer “No, officer, the idiot’s bothering me”? That all he was looking for was an excuse to launch himself from the cruiser and play a drum solo your skull with his nightstick?
Did you ever call the cops to report a crime – maybe someone stole some- thing from your car or broke into your home – and the cop acts as if it were your fault? That they were sorry the crook did not rip you off for more? That instead of looking for the culprit, they would rather give you a shot in the chops for bothering them with your garbage in the first place? If you have picked up in this attitude from your local sworn protector’s, it’s not just paranoia. They actually don’t like you. In fact, the cops don’t just dislike you, they hate your guts! Incidentally for a number of very good reasons.
First of all, civilians are so stupid. They leave things lying around, just begging thieves to steal them. They park cars in high crime areas and leave portable TV’s, cameras, wallets, purses, coats, luggage, grocery bags and briefcases in plain view on the seat. Oh, sure, maybe they will remember to close all the windows and lock the doors, but do you know how easy it is to bust a car window? How fast it can be done? A 10 year old can do it in less than 6 seconds! And a poor cop has another Larceny from Auto on his hands. Another crime to write a report on, waste another half hour on. Another crime to make him look bad.
Meanwhile, the knuckle head that left the family heirlooms on the back seat in the first place is raising hell about where were the cops when his car was being looted. He’s planning to write irate letters to the mayor and the police commissioner complaining about what a lousy police force you have here; they can’t even keep my car from getting ripped off! What. were they off drinking coffee somewhere?
And the cops are saying to themselves, Lemme tell ya, wing nut, we were seven blocks away, taking another stupid report from another civilian about his car being broken into because he left his stuff on the back seat, too! These civilians can’t figure out that maybe they shouldn’t leave stuff lying around unattended where anybody can just pick it up and boogie. Maybe they should put the stuff in the trunk, where no one but Superman is gonna see it. Maybe they should do that before they get to where ever they’re going, just in case some riffraff is hanging around watching them while the car is being secured.
Another thing that drives cops wild is the “surely this doesn’t apply to me” syndrome, which never fails to reveal itself at scenes of sniper or barricade incidents. There’s always someone walking down the street (or jogging or driving) who thinks the police cars blocking off the area, the ropes marked Police Line: Do Not Cross, the cops crouched behind cars pointing revolvers and carbines and shotguns and bazookas at some building, all of this has nothing to do whatsoever with him – so he weasels around the barricades or slithers under the restraining ropes and blithely continues into the field of fire.
The result is that some cop risks his life (or hers – don’t forget, the cops include women now) to go after the cretin and drag him, usually under protest, back to safety. All of these cops, including the one risking his butt, devoutly hope that the sniper will get off one miraculous shot and drill the idiot right between the horns, which would have two immediate effects; The quiche-for-brains civilian would be dispatched to the next world, and every cop on the scene would instantaneously be licensed to kill the scum bag doing the sniping. Whereupon the cops would destroy the building, sniper and all, in about 30 seconds, which is what they wanted to do in the first place, except the brass wouldn’t let them because the bad guy hadn’t killed any- one yet.
An allied phenomenon is the “my isn’t this amusing” behavior exhibited, usually by yuppies or other member of higher society, at some emergency scenes. For example, a group of trendy types be strolling down the street when a squad car with flashing lights and siren screeches up to a building. They’ll watch the cops yank out their guns and run up to the door, flatten themselves against the wall, and peep into a place cautiously. Now, if you think about it, something serious could be happening here. Cops usually don’t pull their revolvers to go get a cup of coffee. They usually don’t hug the sides of buildings just before dropping in to say hello. Any 5 year old ghetto kid can tell you these cops are ready to cap somebody. But do our society friends perceive this? Do they stay out if the cop’s way? Of course not! They think it is vastly amusing. And, of course, since their not involved in the funny little game the cops are playing, they think nothing can happen to them!
While the ghetto kid is hiding behind a car waiting for the shooting to start, Muffy and Chip and Biffy are continuing their stroll, right up to the officers, tittering among themselves about how silly the cops look, all scrunched up against the wall, trying to look in through the doors without stopping bullets with their foreheads.
What the cops are hoping at that point is for a homicidal holdup man to come busting out the door with a sawed off shotgun. They’re hoping he has it loaded with elephant shot, and that he immediately identifies our socialites as serious threats to his personal well being. They’re hoping he has just enough ammunition to blast the crap out of the gigglers, but not enough to return fire when the cops open up on him.
Of course, if that actually happens, the poor cops will be in a world of trouble for not protecting the “innocent bystanders”. The brass wouldn’t even want to hear that the knuckle heads probably didn’t have enough sense to come in out if the acid rain. Somebody ought to tell all the quiche eaters out there to stand back when they encounter someone with a gun in his hand, whether he happens to be wearing a badge or a ski mask.
Civilians also aggravate cops in a number of other ways. One of their favorite games is “officer can you tell me?” A cop knows he has been selected to play they game whenever someone approaches and utters the magic words. Now, it’s ok if they continue with “how to get to so and so street” or “where is such and such place located?” After all cops are supposed to be familiar with the area in which they work. But it eats out the lining of their stomachs when some wing- nut ask, “Where can I catch the number 54 bus?” or “Where can I find a telephone?”
Cops look forward to their last day before retirement, when they can safely give these people the answer they have been choking back for 20 to 25 years: ” No maggot, I can’t tell ya where the 54 bus runs! What does this look like, an MTA uniform? Go ask a bus driver! And no, dog breathe, I don’t know where ya can find a phone, except where ever your eyes spy one! Take your head out of your butt and look for one.”
And cops just love to find a guy parking his car in a crosswalk next to a fire- hydrant at a bus stop posted with a sign “Don’t Even Think About Stopping, Standing or Parking Here. Cars Towed Away, Forfeited To The Government, And Sold at Public Auction,” and the jerk asks, ” Officer, may I park here a minute?”
“What, are ya nuts? Of course ya can park here! As long as ya like! Leave it there all day! Ya don’t see anything that says ya can’t, do ya? You’re welcome See ya later.” The cop then drives around the corner and calls a tow truck to remove the vehicle. Later, in traffic court, the idiot will be whining to the judge, “But, Your Honor, I asked the officer if I could park there, and he said I could! No, I don’t know which officer, but I did ask! Honest! No, wait. Judge, I can’t afford $500! This isn’t fair! I am not creating a disturbance! I’ve got rights! Get your hands off of me! Where are you taking me? What do you mean, ten days for contempt of court? What did I do? Wait, wait………..” If you should happen to see a cop humming contentedly and smiling to himself for no apparent reason, he may have won this game.
Wildly unrealistic civilian expectations also contribute to a cop’s distaste for the general citizenry. An officer can be running his ass off all day or night handling call after call and writing volumes of police reports, but every- body thinks their problem is the only thing he has to work on. The policeman may have a few worries too. Ever think of that? The sergeant is on him because he’s been late for roll call a few days: he’s been battling like a badger with his wife, who’s just about to leave him because he never takes her anywhere and doesn’t spend enough time at home and the kids need braces and the station wagon needs a major engine overhaul and where are we going to get the money to pay for all that and we haven’t had a real vacation in years and all you do is hang around with other cops and you’ve been drinking too much lately and I could’ve married that wonderful guy I was going with when I met you and lived happily ever after and why don’t you get a regular job with regular days off and no night shifts and decent pay and a chance for advancement and no one throwing bottles or taking potshots at you?
Meanwhile, the sweet young thing he met on a call last month says her period is late. Internal Affairs is investigating him on messing up a disorderly last week; the captain is pissed off for tagging a councilman’s car; a burglar’s tearing up the businesses on his post; and he has handled two robberies, three family fights, a stolen auto, and a half dozen juvenile complaints today. Now, here he is, on another juvenile call, trying to explain to some bimbo, who’s president of her neighborhood improvement association, that the security of Western Civilization is not really threatened all that much by the kids who hang around on the corner by her house. “Yes officer, I know they are not here now. They always leave when you come buy. But after you’re gone, they come right back. Don’t you see, and continue their disturbance. It’s intolerable! I’m so upset, I can barely sleep at night!”
By now, the cop’s eyes have glazed over. “What we need here, officer,” she continues vehemently, “is greater attention to this matter by the police. You and some other officers should hide and stake out that corner so those rene- gades wouldn’t see you. Then you could catch them in the act!”
“Yes, ma’am, we’d love to stake out that corner a few hours every night, since we don’t have anything better to do, but I have a better idea,” he’d like to say. “Here’s a box of hand grenades the Department obtained from the Army just for situations like this. The next time you see one of those little cretins out there, just lob a couple of these into the crowd and get down!”
Or he’s got an artsy-craftsy type who’s moved into a tough, rundown neighborhood and decides it has to be cleaned up. You know, “urban pioneers”. The cops see a lot of them now. The cops call them volunteer victims. Most of them are intelligent, talented, hard working, well paid folks with a masochistic chromosome interspersed among their otherwise normal genes. They have nice jobs, live in nice homes, and have a lot of nice material possessions, and they somehow decide that it would be a marvelous idea to move into a slum and get yoked, roped, looted and pillaged on a regular basis. What else do they expect? Peace and harmony? It’s like tossing a juicy little pig into a piranha tank.
Moving day: Here comes the pioneers, dropping all their groovy gear from the Volvo station wagon, setting it on the sidewalk so everyone on the block can get a good look at the food processor, the microwave, the stereo system, the color TV, the tape deck, etc. At the same time, the local burglars are appraising the goods unofficially and calculating how much they can get for the TV down at the corner bar, how much the stereo will bring at Joe’s garage, who might want a tape deck at the barbershop, and maybe mama can use the microwave herself.
When the pioneers get ripped off, the cops figure they asked for it, and they got it. You want to poke your arm through the bars of the tiger cage? Don’t be amazed when he eats it for lunch! The cops regard it as naive for trendies to move into crime zones and conduct their lives the same way they did up on Society Hill. In fact, they can’t fathom why anyone who didn’t have to would want to move there at all, regardless of how they want to live or how prepared they might be to adapt their behavior. That’s probably because the cops are intimately aquatinted with all those petty but disturbing crimes and nasty little incidents that never make the newspapers but profoundly affect the quality of life in a particular area.
Something else that causes premature aging among cops is the “I don’t know who to call, so I’ll call the police” ploy. Why, the cops ask themselves, do they get so many calls for things like water leaks, sick cases, bats in houses, and the like – things that have nothing whatsoever to do with law enforcement or the maintenance of public order? They figure it’s because civilians are getting more and more accustomed to having the government solve their problems for them, and the local P.D. is the only government that’ll answer the phone at 3 am let alone send somebody.
So when the call comes over the radio to go to such-and-such an address for a water leak, the assigned officer rolls his eyes, acknowledges, responds, surveys the problem, and tells the complainant, “Yep, that’s a water leak all right! No doubt about it. Ya probably out to call a plumber! And it might not be a bad idea to turn off your main valve for a while.” Or, “Yep, your Aunt Minnie’s sick all right! Ya probably ought to get her to a doctor tomorrow if she does not get any better by then.” Or “Yep, that’s a bat all right! Maybe ya oughta open the windows so it can fly outside again!” In the meantime, while our hero is wasting time on this call, maybe someone is having a real problem out there, like getting raped, robbed, or killed. Street cops would like to work the phones just once and catch a few of these idiotic complaints. “A bat in the house? No need to send an officer when I can tell ya what to do right here on the phone, pal! Close all your windows and doors right away. Pour gasoline all over your furniture. That’s it. Now, set it on fire and get everybody outside! Yeah, you’ll get the bat for sure! That’s okay; call us anytime.”
Probably the most serious beef cops have with civilians relates to those situations in where the use of force becomes necessary to deal with some desperado who may have just robbed a bank, iced somebody, beat up his wife and kids, or wounded some cop and now he’s caught but won’t give up. He’s not going to be taken alive, he’s going to take some cop with him and you better say your prayers, you pig bastards! Naturally, if the chump’s armed with any kind of weapon, the cops are going to shot him up so bad they’ll be able to open his body as a lead mine. If he’s not armed, and the cops aren’t creative enough to find a weapon for him, they just beat him into raw meat and hope he spends the next few weeks in traction.
They view it as a learning experience for the poor soul. You mess somebody up, you find out what it feels like to be messed up. Don’t like it? Don’t do it again! It’s called “street justice” and civilians approve of it as much as cops do – even if they don’t admit it. Remember how the audience cheered when Charles Bronson beat up the bad guys in Death Wish? How they scream with joy everytime Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry makes his day by blowing up some rotten scumball with his 44 Magnum? What they applauded is the administration of street justice. The old eye for an eye concept, one of mankind’s most primal instincts. All of us have it, especially cops.
It severely offends and deeply hurts cops when they administer a dose of good old fashioned street justice only to have some bleeding heart do gooder happen upon the scene at the last minute, when the hairbag is at last getting his just deserts, and start hollering about police brutality. Cops regard that as very serious business indeed. Brutality can get them fired. Get fired from one police department, and it’s tough to get a job as a cop anywhere else ever again.
Brutality exposes the cop to civil liability as well. Also, his superior officers, the police department as an agency, and maybe even the local government itself. You’ve seen those segments on 60 minutes, right? Some cop screws up, gets sued along with everybody else in the department who ever had anything to do with him, and the city or county ends up paying the plaintiff umpteen million dollars, raising taxes and hocking it’s fire engines in the process. What do you think happens to the cop who messed up in the first place? He’s done for.
On many occasions when the cops are accused of excessive force, the apparent brutality is a misconception by some observer who isn’t acquainted with the realities of police work. For example, do you have any idea how hard it is to handcuff someone who really doesn’t want to be handcuffed? Without hurting them? It’s almost impossible for one cop to accomplish by himself unless he beats the hell out of the prisoner first – which would also be viewed as brutality! It frequently takes 3 or 4 cops to handcuff one person who is absolutely determined to battle them.
In situations like that, it’s not unusual for the cops to hear someone in the crowd of onlookers comment on how they are ganging up on the poor person and beating him unnecessarily. This makes them feel like telling the complainer “Hey, you think you can handcuff this guy by yourself without killing him first? C’mere! You’re deputized! Now, go ahead and do it!”
The problem with that, in addition to being unfamiliar with how difficult it is in the real world to physically control someone without beating him, last minute observers usually don’t have the opportunity to see for themselves, like they do on TV, what a monster the suspect might be. If they did, they’d probably holler at the cops to beat his butt some more. They might actually want to help!
The best thing for civilians to do if they think they see cops rough up somebody too much is to keep their mouths shut at the scene, and make inquires of the police brass later on. There might be ample justification for the degree of force used that just wasn’t apparent at the time of the arrest. If not, the brass will be very interested in the complaint. If one of their cops went over the deep end, they’ll want to know about it.
Most of this comes down to common sense, a characteristic the cops feel most civilians lack. One of the elements of common sense is thinking before opening one’s yap or taking other action. Just a brief moment of thought will often prevent the utterance of something stupid or the commission of some idiotic act that will, among other things, generate nothing but contempt from the average street cop. Think and it might mean getting a warning instead of a traffic ticket. Or getting sent on your way rather than being arrested. Or continuing on to your original destination instead of the hospital. It might mean getting some real assistance instead of the run around. The very least it’ll get you is a measure of respect cops seldom show civilians. Act like you’ve got just a little sense, and even if the cops don’t love you, they at least won’t hate you.
If you have made it this far, you are either a cop and getting a good chuckle out of it or a very curious person. In this era of buzz words and community policing, there are sections of this article that no longer hold true. But on the whole, it reflects the way street cops view some of the people they deal with on a regular basis.