Home / Badge Abuse / Tarantino was Correct When he Said He “Utterly Rejects” the “Bad Apple” Argument in Policing

Tarantino was Correct When he Said He “Utterly Rejects” the “Bad Apple” Argument in Policing


Quentin Tarantino made headlines last week when he was interviewed by Entertainment Weekly and Howard Stern. During those interviews, Tarantino stuck to his guns about hs recent comments about police by saying he “completely rejects” the “bad apples” argument that only a small number of police officers behave inappropriately on the job.

Is Tarantino right? Are there any good cops left?

Here is a quick two-question quiz for you to try on anyone you know in law enforcement, to see if he is one of those rare, possibly mythical creatures known as a “good cop.” These are people you know and feel comfortable asking – we at The Free Thought Project do not advise speaking to police officers if not necessary:

1) Have you ever witnessed a fellow officer committing a crime?
2) If so, what did you do about it?

The honest answers, for almost every cop in the country, are “yes” and “nothing.” There are a few—very, very few—former cops who can say “yes” and “I reported it.” And that’s why they are former cops: because they “betrayed” the Bullies in Blue, because they still had some affinity for truth and justice. And if, as a cop, your loyalty to your fellow gang members—no matter what they do—doesn’t outrank silly things like principles, then you’re toast. If you’re lucky, you’ll merely be fired.

Is there any cop in the country who can honestly say that he has never witnessed a fellow officer committing a crime? Frankly, no. The seriousness of the crimes may vary, but absolutely all cops break the law (just as almost everyone else does). For example, how often do you see cops driving the speed limit? And how often do you see state troopers doing 20 over the limit? While speeding may be a relatively trivial offense, it does show the mentality of the badge-wearers. If they catch you doing it, they will turn on those red and blue lights (which, as everyone knows, means “stop or we will hurt you”), and then they will rob you by way of a “citation.” Meanwhile, when they speed, or drive like idiotic maniacs, they know that no one is going to ticket them.

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For an example of the mentality of the Bullies in Blue, check out this rare exception, where a cop did ticket another cop:

So the cop who was caught and ticketed for speeding posted a comment condemning and insulting the cop who ticketed him, saying, “Thanks for showing absolutely no regard to a fellow Officer (me) when he properly identifying (sic) himself.” The speeder even confessed, “I’ll admit I was traveling a lot faster than what you wrote me for.” He then brags about the fact that he has “NEVER, EVER written a cop a ticket.” And note the caption above the comment:

“This was recently posted on Martin County Sheriff’s Office Forum. This should never happen. The victim? A veteran cop from PBSO.”

So this badge-wearing criminal views himself as a victim for having been ticketed for breaking the law—even while admitting that he was shown lenience. This attitude is not at all unique among badge-wearers. And it certainly isn’t limited to speeding tickets.

Pick any story—of which there are hundreds—where video eventually surfaced showing cops abusing or murdering unarmed people, and then lying about it in their reports, often arresting the victim of the abuse (if he lived long enough to be arrested) based on purely fabricated charges. In almost every case, other cops are either joining in, or standing around watching. So where are the “good cops” who try to stop it? Or at least report it? And for all the times police abuse is caught on film and exposed, how often does it happen without them getting caught? Planting evidence? Lying under oath? And when a major conspiracy is exposed, relating to cops running their own organized crime operation—like the narcotics division of the Philadelphia police department getting caught dealing drugs and running an extortion racket—are we really expected to believe that none of the other cops knew about it? So where are the “good cops” arresting the criminal cops for their crimes? (Cue the crickets.)

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In case some people still want to imagine that police abuse is a matter of “isolated incidents” committed by an occasional “bad apple,” go watch ten or twenty police abuse videos, keeping an eye on the other cops on the scene. Do they do anything to stop it? Just as importantly, do they look at all shocked and surprised to see it happening? Or do they look like they are watching some run-of-the-mill, routine daily event in the life of an American “law enforcer”? If they look that way (as they almost always do), it’s because that’s the reality of the situation: all cops are criminals, all cops know that all other cops are criminals, and almost never does the mythical “good cop” magically appear and do something about it.

So once again, feel free to try these two questions on any cop you know—whether in person, on internet chat boards, where ever—and see if you can get honest answers:

1) Have you ever witnessed a fellow officer committing a crime?
2) If so, what did you do about it?

Robert Higgs, an American economic historian and economist, sums up the current problem with police in America.

The whole Good Cop / Bad Cop question can be disposed of much more decisively. We need not enumerate what proportion of cops appears to be good or listen to someone’s anecdote about his uncle Charlie, an allegedly good cop.

We need only consider the following:

(1) A cop’s job is to enforce the laws, all of them;
(2) Many of the laws are manifestly unjust, and some are even cruel and wicked;
(3) Therefore every cop has to agree to act as an enforcer for laws that are manifestly unjust or even cruel and wicked.

There are no good cops.

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  • Crumpets.

  • Man he is one ugly fuck

  • I’m more interested in his take on Islamic jihad in regards to “bad apples.”

  • I too reject the bad apple theory. The good apples can out the bad apple but they do not. So they are all bad.

  • I do know good cops, i believe there are a lot left. However the system doesn’t allow them to do anything about the bad ones.

  • Yes there are

  • SMH

  • I too reject that argument for the reasons summarized here. 1. The argument considers the issue from a functional perspective: a) few players behave badly, b) most behave well. 2. The argument misses a structural view, which suggest the organization and charters of police departments play key roles in the situation as it is now; 3) the leadership of police departments often fail to appropriately deal with poor apples, as it were, not to mention to systemically assess the actual performances of officers, their superiors, management, etc; 4) the argument does not identify the impact of constraints imposed by political leaders upon PDs; and 5) the argument does not address active roles for community stakeholders. Of course, I could go on…..

  • There are many great cops but the few bad apples bring the rest down. As far as the NYPD, they are not paid enough and only attract the bottom of the barrel.

  • The worst person to be around is the one who complains about everything and appreciates nothing.

  • “Surround yourself with the dreamers and the doers, the believers and the thinkers, but most of all, surround yourself with those who see greatness within you, even when you don’t see it yourself.”

  • He’s right the system has a circle the wagons mentality of protecting cops regardless of what they do. In my opinion that’s where the majority of the mistrust comes from. When cops are not reprimanded or punished for their crimes what kind of message does that send to other police officers and to the public, that police officers are above the law and can do whatever they want.

  • If you cannot do your job without breaking the law or violating someone’s rights it’s time for a new job you’re not cut out to be in a position of authority

  • All I can say I dont encourage any one to be a cop right now cause we sure hate you guys! What a shame!

  • Any good cops “left”? Was there EVER a time when swearing to uphold unjust laws, and collecting a paycheck by threat of force was acceptable behavior?

  • Stop saying “are yhere any good cops left”

    That implies that cops can be good


  • The evidence suggests he’s correct.

  • Yes plenty of good cops

  • It isn’t the percentage. It is that the bad police are not held accountable.

  • Up here in Canada I would say that most cops are good. Then again cops in the USA kill more people every day than we do every year .

  • If the good cop is the one watching the bad cop do dirt, and says nothing, then no, there are no good cops..

  • These comments make me cringe at the thought of our future. Not all cops are bad, just like all teachers don’t bang their students, not all guns owners are homicidal maniacs, not all Muslims are jihadists, not all priests are pedophiles, etc… but the bad ones make the news!
    Have you seen the bullshit cops have to put up with? Hoodlums looking for a reason to riot, white trash looking for a pay day, criminals looking to kill a cop after being pulled over…
    There are more good cops than bad cops, it’s just that some of them have a power trip, and all of them combined haven’t done as much damage or killed as many people as politicians. But by all means, let mass media control your mind…

    • get your head out of your ass i know cops here in Canada that have retired and never ONCE drew their firearm, your cops are totally out of control you cant be a good cop if you have to cover up for the bad one`s. American cops alone kill more people every year then the free world combined

    • and which Canadian city is most like Chicago? or Baltimore? or DC?

      Take off you hoser!

    • The RCMP harrassed Rick Simpson to leave Canada.

    • The problem is even when a cop commits a crime 90% of the time they’re dropped of any charge, that is the reason people are getting fed up

    • Dennis Atanoa, our judicial system is corrupt! You can’t blame that on the cops. HSBC launders billions in Mexican drug money and no one goes to jail. Obama and Holder sell guns to Mexican drug cartels and no one goes to jail. But if some dude is selling weed to potheads, he’s going to jail, or gets caught on the streets of NYC with a gun with 11 bullets , he’s going to jail.

    • Thomas Kehoe Sorry to say but it is rising here too , 1934 to 1994 there were 19 deaths by police -1995 to 2015 over 60 ! Don’t know what changed but something did .

    • A lot of issues listed requiring rectification Brandon Gabbard. Thanks.

    • I don’t believe there are more good cops than bad. The fact that over 40% of police families have domestic violence in the homes tell me right there that they are monsters at home AND on the job. The good cops arent good cops if theyre turning their heads to ignore their fellow officers’ heinous behavior. Seems like any bully can be a cop these days…we need tighter restrictions and mental health screenings for our police. They are out of control!

    • Why don’t all you guys go to the academy and show us how it’s done???

    • Brandon Gabbard, it seems that you’ve been through some para-military brainwashing while training to be a police officer. Everything you’ve said portrays a man who either A) can’t see that his own “brothers in blue” are complete criminals or B) sees the corruption and is trying to cover it up some more.

    • Not a cop, not trying to be. I wouldn’t want a job where everyone hates you for trying to keep law and order. Next time someone breaks the law and you are the victim, call Micheal Moore or Quentin Tarrantino to right your wrongs.

  • There are good cops, they are just intimidated into silence by the majority of bad ones. If they speak up, guess who gets left hanging by their supposed brothers in blue when they are needed? Who gets dead rats on their cars and in their lockers? Who gets threats of violence against their families. The good guys in the big, blue gang, that’s who.

    Support the good ones, against the bad. Unfortunately, it’s the bad ones that progress more quickly and easily in their careers. It’s a systemic problem.

  • ….we have a corrupt governBENT….and a corrupt legal system….so even if they are honest when they enter these corrupt systems they are either turned to the dark side or spat out broken and bewildered or end up directing traffic for the rest of their lives…it’s more the system and those that created it and profit from it that are the problem….having said that, these systems will never change unless the honest ones with in it stand up against their crooked peers and stage a revolution….and that just AIN’T going to happen..now is it?

  • The whole good cop/bad cop argument is a straw man. The job of the Police is to keep crime happening where its “supposed” to happen and enforce the law on those who can’t fight back. This leads to economic exploitation (look into Ferguson Fines or read The New Jim Crow by Alexander) and systematic oppression. We need to not have dumb conversations that avoid dealing with the issues.

    • The results are in , and you are now classified as a real D.A. so take your medals and enjoy yourself .

    • What a well thought out, reasoned, intelligent response! I love how you countered my points with counter arguments, proving me wrong. You are CLEARLY my intellectual superior due to your brilliant response.

    • exactly joel. attack the source. the same source that is responsible for every daily atrocity. the hierarchy, the representative democracy that misrepresents everybody, the oppression, the hypocrisy… it’s all connected. time for direct democracy/ anarchy. power will be mute.

  • The recruiting and training filters out the good

  • People should be required to take a civics course every year, so that they will actually learn the laws, so that they can not only abide by them properly, but to learn how they can participate in improving their neighborhood. It’s not just the duty of cops to enforce the law. It’s the duty of teachers to make sure citizens know what the law is, and how they are formative in how it is shaped to suit the needs of every kind of situation.

  • all the “good cops” are drummed out of service or put in jail by their crony cop associates

  • Corruption with state power definitely needs to be taken seriously. It should to be taken on a case by case basis. A good question is are the cases of police corruption increasing or decreasing? I’m neither a cop hater nor a cop worshiper.

  • +1 Free Thought meme !! :p

    • And the cops paid to protect their interests.

  • This is exactly why Steve Avery is still in prison, cops protecting cops in face of principles, moral obligations and justice.

  • The police do not protect and serve us, they serve and protect their masters. It takes a certain kind of mentality to be a cop; they should be getting therapy and not a paycheck.

  • Tarantino for President !! Then he could work on that apple barrel ! Could you imagine the compost pile from getting rid of the bad apples there !!

  • One bad apple will soon rot the whole barrel. Police have tolerated bad apples for a long time

  • Are there any good Nazis?

  • Sounds like it’s out of control in the USA.

  • the numbers are going down

  • love this guy !

  • Ya there were some bad nazi apples. But the movement and institution itself is good.

  • Love Tarantino

  • Yes there are still good law enforcement officers. It maybe more the system which is corrupted.

  • When the polic have to have a party every time they do something they signed up to do , we have gone beyond asking questions like this, When you join an organisation like the polic it should be because you feel an inherent servitude towards doing whts right to protect the people in your city against those who do wrong. When you cross the line and become that which you swore to protect against the time for questions is over

  • I believe there are a few! Just let me there are a few doctors who still care and a few preachers who care and a few congressmen

  • More like no good liberals left since theyre all conservative minded. http://www.pewinternet.org/2012/03/12/main-findings-10/

  • There are no good cops, acab

  • If the cop remembers that his job is to bring people to justice, and not mete out justice for society.

  • Let spin one of last week’s stories. Odell Beckham was vilified for fighting while playing a truly violent sport. Tom Coughlin taken to task for allowing Beckham to play.

    There are several cases where specific officers have been called out for violent antisocial actions but rarely are they reprimanded, suspended or fired.

    Daniel Pantaleo, who killed Eric Garner, was one of those cops who failed his duty on several occasions. His commanders failed us too.

  • Good cops? Did that ever existed in America?

  • the Police is becoming the mafia. dont stab a brother in da back

  • Police, all police, are the physical embodiment of tyranny.

  • The whole damn barrel is rotten.

  • I don’t believe there are more good cops than bad. The fact that over 40% of police families have domestic violence in the homes tell me right there that they are monsters at home AND on the job. The good cops arent good cops if theyre turning their heads to ignore their fellow officers’ heinous behavior. Seems like any bully can be a cop these days…we need tighter restrictions and mental health screenings for our police. They are out of control!

  • If there were any good cops , more bad cops would be in jail .

  • No

  • All cops are bad, everyone. Because of the way they have all been trained, they have been desensitized to murdering us, they are auto responding, procedural unconscious government animals. Evil animals to be sure. They will lie to protect each other while they murder us and rationalize in order to justify continuing to have the right to murder us without being punished. They are all evil, and their families are not innocent bystanders, they are not, they encourage them to continue doing evil to us and our families.

  • I am sure that there are many GOOD cops left. Lots have been mind controlled.

  • Ta ranting should stick to movies. Of course there are good cops. Just like most people are good. Bad always stands out the most

  • Guy makes Great movies , but to quote Clint Eastwood “a guy like that out of keep his mouth shut”

  • Naaaa,even the few good ones has to turn bad to keep their jobs.

  • Trained in Israel, from the top down. figure it out. 500% increase in police violence since 2001….

  • No there aren’t

  • There are hundreds of police forces. I think it’s unlikely all of this applies across the board. Need to be careful of collectivism. But two points are true across the spectrum, they are ALL hired with intent that they enforce even evil laws. And they are ALL salaried stolen money.