St. Louis, MO — Officer Robert Howard is not one of those cops who rolls up to a party looking to smash some heads. No, according to this Berkeley cop, those officers have no business on the force and epitomize all that is wrong with police in America today.
Instead of treating everyone he comes across as a slave who needs to obey his every whim, Howard takes a novel approach — he treats them with respect.
In a video uploaded to Facebook over the weekend, Howard is recorded doing something that seems to have vacated modern policing which is interacting with the community and talking with people, instead of fishing for criminal activity through various means of legalized lying and threats.
According to the uploader, Spade Newcash, he and some friends and family were hanging out in front of his driveway when a cop pulled up. Spade had no idea whether or not this cop was about to throw them on the hood of his car or arrest them for doing nothing wrong. But what they go instead was a person who knows what it is like to be human.
When they realized that Howard was not your average cop looking to bust anyone they want for some petty low-level victimless crime, he began recording — and the resultant video does not disappoint.
“Here’s the sum,” starts Howard. “There’s good police out here. You gotta take your time to allow them to introduce they self to you. The real police are going to get out of the car and talk to you man to man.”
Howard then goes on to describe how the proverbial ‘bad cops’ tend to act and explains that good cops are, “not gonna talk to you from a window. They’re not gonna point at you and tell you what to do, or tell you to move it about. They’re going to say, ‘hey, how are you doing? I’m such and such, and this is what the problem is.'”
“It’s about communication and respect,” says Howard, hitting the nail on the head. “The REAL police gonna give you the respect.”
Howard then describes the basic problem of police in America of not showing respect to the ones they supposedly serve, leading to a vicious cycle of hate and violence. “If they (police) don’t give you respect….that’s where the problems come in. That’s why nobody listens to nobody and we stay fighting with each other.”
Howard then goes on to let the bad cops know what they can do.
“If they (police) don’t want to respect the citizens in their community, they need to find another nine to five.”
The conversation then goes on to note that respect is most assuredly a two-way street. The incident is then over and no one is ticketed, arrested, or killed.
This blue code of protecting officers, no matter their crimes, is what’s driving a wedge between the police and the policed.
To affect positive change, the good cops must come forward, like Howard, and shine light on the darkness within their ranks. They must not be afraid to do so either. The Free Thought Project frequently seeks out these brave men and women, who are willing to do what’s right regardless of the repercussions. But unfortunately, they are few and far between.
However, one officer, in particular, has shown what it means to be a good cop by calling out the bad. Last October, the Free Thought Project interviewed officer Billy Ray Fields who is challenging the other cops out there who may be on the fence about calling out the corruption within their ranks. He encourages officers to stand for what is right.
Fields and Howard would do well to join forces to make being a good cop the norm — instead of the exception. It would undoubtedly help bridge this divide which only leads to more senseless violence.