good-cop-bad-cop

Police brutality has become so rampant in this country that many people now commend the officers who stand by and watch these violent attacks, simply for not participating in the crimes committed by their brothers in blue.

The lengths to which some people will go to praise police when they deserve no praise, even when they deserve total condemnation, is simply astonishing. No matter how egregious the misconduct, there are hoards who will desperately grasp for excuses to proclaim such actions to be “understandable,” if not outright heroic. And let’s not forget the fundraisers that have been set up for multiple cold-blooded killer cops.

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Then there are the incidents in which one or more cops are caught on video brutally victimizing some unarmed person who isn’t fighting back, while other officers just watch, push witnesses away or simply block their view. Police apologists will often resort to the bizarre argument of, “It’s just a few bad apples, I mean just look at those wonderful officers remaining calm!” It’s absurd when these individuals spout the line about “just a few bad apples,” as if the other officers passively observing misconduct without doing anything to stop it somehow earns them respect.

Refraining from brutalizing innocents, in and of itself, is not a sign of being brave and noble. In how many other professions do individuals receive praise simply for not doing damage? To some, all you need to do to be a “good cop” is to watch injustice happen without perpetrating it yourself.

And when the brutality is undeniable, some will attempt to excuse it by declaring that cops have one of the most dangerous jobs, which, statistically, is untrue. Some will claim that they need to maintain “control” of every situation by any means necessary and that they have to treat everyone they meet as a potential homicidal maniac.

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If anyone else behaved the same way, endangering or attacking innocents because of some baseless suspicious that they might have bad intentions, such people would be arrested and imprisoned for assault or endangerment. But when someone with a badge acts like a paranoid, trigger-happy thug, many will rush to fabricate excuses for why that’s okay.

Of course, when a cop does take positive action to try to prevent other officers from inflicting injustice, he will invariably be shunned, condemned, and threatened by his fellow gang members for his disloyalty to the gang. Many are even punished by their own police departments. In their eyes, to be a good cop you need to value the interests of everyone who wears the uniform above the interests of everyone else, above truth, above justice, and above the very laws they are paid to enforce.

Well, if that is what constitutes a good cop, then the world is in dire need of more “bad cops” – those willing to choose righteousness over gang loyalty. Unfortunately, that is unlikely to happen if a large segment of the general populace continues to make up excuses and justifications for the mistreatment their fellow citizens receive at the hands of agents of the state.

If the people don’t stop supporting the cops who silently watch their coworkers assault and kill innocent citizens and start shaming the cowards who let it happen, this epidemic is only going to continue to get worse.

Those of us who hold police accountable are often referred to as “cop haters” and “anti-cop.” However, police officers are human beings, they are our brothers and sisters, mothers, fathers, and sons and daughters. To blindly hate a person because of a badge is irresponsible and dangerous as people should always be given the chance to change. However, equally irresponsible and dangerous is to blindly apologize for criminals and psychopaths because of that same badge.

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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.

The solution to the divide being created in this country between police and the citizens is an easy one. Police need to stop agreeing to enforce cruel and unjust laws and become actual good cops.

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