Home / Badge Abuse / Alarming Survey Shows 1 in 5 Cops “Angry,” Support “More Physical & Aggressive Policing”

Alarming Survey Shows 1 in 5 Cops “Angry,” Support “More Physical & Aggressive Policing”

As video recordings of police encounters have risen exponentially over recent years, we’ve witnessed a wide range of behaviors in cops. While some do act nobly — such as saving a life or de-escalating a situation — far too many cops behave in inexplicable, even barbaric, ways that result in rights violations, brutality or death.

An interesting report is providing quantifiable insight into this phenomenon. The Pew Research Center conducted a survey of “7,917 sworn police and sheriff’s officers in 54 departments with at least 100 officers.”

The results, while predictable, provide rather troubling data for the law enforcement profession.

About one-in-five police officers nationally (21%) say their job nearly always or often makes them feel angry and frustrated – feelings that are linked to more negative views toward the public. These frequently angry, frustrated officers also are more likely than their colleagues to support more physical or aggressive policing methods…

Cops who feel angry and frustrated:

  • “are twice as likely as all other police to say officers have reason to distrust most people”
  • “have become more callous toward people since taking this job”
  • “are more likely to have physically struggled or fought with a suspect in the past month”

The mental states of these officers have real effects on the public, which they are sworn to ‘protect and serve.’ But how can angry, frustrated cops protect and serve a community when, according to the survey, almost half of them don’t even believe the people share their values and beliefs?

Angry, frustrated cops are also “roughly twice as likely as those who are not frequently angry or frustrated to agree that police have reason to be distrustful of most citizens.”

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Naturally, this suspicious, negative view of the public transforms into more aggressive behavior that is the cause of so many unnecessary tragedies. Indeed, angry and frustrated cops are “significantly more likely than their colleagues to favor the use of aggressive tactics in dealing with some citizens.”

About seven-in-ten officers (71%) who are frequently angry and frustrated agree that aggressive tactics are more useful than a courteous approach in some parts of their community. By contrast, about half of officers who are not frequently angry or frustrated say the same (48%).

Frequently angry and frustrated officers also are more likely than other police to agree that some people can only be brought to reason the hard, physical way (56%), a view shared by 37% of officers who are not frequently angry or frustrated.

Pew Research notes that those in the law enforcement profession experience much more frustration than those in other professions, finding that “29% of the public but 51% of officers say their job nearly always or often makes them feel frustrated.”

If you’re always feeling angry and frustrated with your job, seek another line of work — especially when that job means you can injure and kill people with the backing of the state.

Granted, some of the things cops have to deal with can certainly be disheartening. Witnessing some of society’s worst undoubtedly weighs on the mind, but perhaps enforcing unjust laws is an even bigger burden. Namely, the War on Drugs.

The War on Drugs is a war on people.

Many of the “crimes” that put people in handcuffs are simply the possession of a substance arbitrarily deemed illegal by the state. In fact, in 2016, drug cases represented the largest percentage of federal offenses – at 31.6 percent of 67,742 federal criminal cases. Not to mention the countless thousands of ‘drug offenders’ in state or local prisons.

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There always has and always will be demand for psychoactive drugs. Prohibition is obviously a failure that has never brought a single benefit — except to the police state and the prison-industrial complex.

The drug war’s roots in racism, suppression of dissent and corporate profiteering are well documented. It has now morphed into an extremely lucrative extortion racket known as civil asset forfeiture, or policing for profit.

With all of this awareness among the populace, countless police officers surely recognize the futility and brutality of the war on drugs. Even knowing this, some are still compelled to “just do their job.” This pitting of morals against duty can certainly cause mental issues.

Lawmakers have an opportunity here to ease the frustration that pervades police forces. Abolish unjust laws.

  • Marten

    What can you expect from a Police State ?????????????????

  • Annaleigh

    Well if their “values” include being violent, brutal a-holes, then no, a lot of people don’t share their values, so I guess they’d be kinda right!

  • anarchyst

    steroid use is a big problem in almost all police departments. You know, damn well that police “bulk up” with the “help” of steroids. In addition, steroid use increases aggressive behavior in almost all cases. I recommend that periodic and random drug testing take place. Any police officer that tests positive for steroids be summarily fired and put on a publicly available “blacklist”, and should NEVER be able to work in law enforcement…

    • Ed

      To bad we signed Union contracts that don’t allow drug testing for cops, except when in an accident!

      • Anonymous

        It is RANDOM drug tests that are “unconstitutional” for cops to take. Hmm…We got it! MANDATORY drug tests before they start every shift!!!

        • Ed

          They get an award if they only test for cannabis!

  • doucyet

    Yea………and every survey/poll said Hillary was shoe in! No doubt the “poll” was taken in large cities with high crime rates. When fighting in the jungles you adopt their tactics.

    • 174thandvyse

      Really? The pigs — oops! I mean, ah, “cops” — are the first ones to start trouble in that, ahem, “jungle”. I can see that you’ve never walked through the slums in your entire life…without a gun, that is. Your attitude MATCHES the shit attitude that most of the cops have toward the public. One day, the public is gonna say, “Enough”, and then they will…!!!

      Whatcha gonna do then?

      • doucyet

        “Cops are the first ones to start trouble in that, ahem, “jungle”.

        No, not at all. You see, when the police officer sees suspicions activity, he investigates it. Or, when he witnesses a crime he, he takes action. So, he doesn’t “start” trouble.
        Now, unless you’re one those selling dope on the street, you don’t have a problem with the police investigating suspicious activity.

        I carry all the time, in the jungle, at church, in the mall. You just never know when some idiot is gunna go ape shit crazy.
        Most cops don’t have a shit attitude, until you project your shit attitude on them. Then, they’re more than happy to return the favor!

        “Whatcha gonna do then?”

        I’m not going to do anything, I am the public. But I’m sure the police will shoot back.

        • 174thandvyse

          Y’know, your post sounds like every other post that I have ever read, from every other pro-cop apologist. The ONLY “suspicious activity” that a cop looks for…indeed, that every cop TARGETS…is people…y’know, liberated, multicultural, TRUE Americans, who smoke the TRUE God’s gift to mankind, reefer. A nice, EASY bust that most COWARDLY pigs — oops! I meant, ah, “cops” — will make so that their safety isn’t put at risk. Such scumbags!

          Revolution is coming! Are you prepared for it?

          • doucyet

            Move to Colorado if you’re scared about getting busted for your refer.

            Ooooooo the refer revolution.

            I’m prepared for just about anything, how about you?

          • 174thandvyse

            Why should I move to Colorado? I, ahem, WE…can make it legal everywhere. I’m not “scared” — I’m disgusted with these COWARDLY pigs! Why don’t they go after real criminals for a change? I’ll tell you why…it’s because they are too frightened for their own safety. Sure, they act “tough” when they’re in a Black neighborhood…when they have 10 guys!

            As far as Colorado is concerned, YOUR “president” (spelled with a lower-case “p” on purpose) has installed a bible-thumping, RACIST (try to argue about this one re: “Beauregard” Sessions), REDNECK who NEVER smoked a joint in his entire, ignorant life. Apparently, so-called “conservatives” like Sessions, Pence and Orrin Hatch no longer believe in “States Rights”. Like Sen. Kerry, they were “for it” before they were “against it”. That’s probably because nowadays, Liberated, TRUE Americans DO believe in it, so these bible-thumpers hafta go out of their way to show us how much they hate us.

            “Ooooooo the refer revolution”

            You think it’s “funny”, don’t you? Well, the Revolution will begin in the slums of the Blacks and Puerto Ricans, and let me tell you, those guys play for keeps! That’s why people of your complexion are too scared to walk through their blocks. If those areas scare you people that much, then I don’t know how you can be “prepared for just about anything”.

          • doucyet

            No, I don’t think it’s funny, I think it’s damn funny! “They play for keeps”………now that’s even funnier! Revolution, don’t be stupid, you sound so stupid when you talk about such foolishness. The government keeps you fools plump with EBT cards and you keep yourself stupid with dope and dropping out of school. You could no more organize a revolution than a successful hotdog sale. The only way you could have a successful hotdog sale would if you stole the buns and the hotdogs. At the first signs of your “revolution” when 10-15 of you get together with your stolen .32 caliber pistols and 87 rounds between you all………you’ll be crushed by overwhelming fire power that you have never seen the likes of. So go smoke yourself another bowl and figure out where your going to steal those hotdogs from so you can have a fund raiser for your revolution…………

          • 174thandvyse

            Hey, I’ve come to a conclusion…you are an ill-mannered ass! Keep on laughing “white boy”, as you sit in your house in some GATED community. Let me tell you about preparedness and FEAR. You, and your kind, FEAR us folks of the ghetto, and that’s a fact! That’s why you whine about “law and order”, and that’s why you love the pigs! You want them to protect you because without them, my kind would be Marauding through your neighborhoods…and that still may happen! You people (yes, I said, “you people”) are too scared to walk through our areas, but we ain’t afraid to go through yours. That gives us the edge, and for all your talk about the 2nd Amendment, and being “pro-gun” and all that shit, if you come to the ghetto, you will learn what the term “Gun Country” really means! We don’t just “show them off”, we use them!

            So, keep on laughing…I have white skin, so I can straddle (You like that? “Straddle”?) both sides. Back in my gang-banging days, in the WONDERFUL 1970s (a decade you probably hated), I hung out with both White gangs and Black & Latin gangs, and the Black gangs, from my experiences, were MUCH tougher than the White ones. I mean, like, NO CONTEST. So, go ahead, underestimate those people, if you dare!

          • doucyet

            You are laughable!

          • 174thandvyse

            ….and you are ignorant!

            As Lt. Colombo would say, “one more thing” — the fact that you call pot-smokers “stupid” just PROVES beyond a shadow of a doubt that you never, EVER smoked a joint in your entire life! And please, don’t try to say that you “used to smoke pot, but then you grew up” because that is a load of shit. The only ones who stopped are the weak-willed screw-ups who had to become “born-again” in order to be, ahem, “saved” — from themselves. Is that you, chump?

          • doucyet

            Stupid ass……….

        • G’ma G

          “Most cops don’t have a shit attitude, until you project your shit attitude on them.” This has been my experience. The problem remains the rotten apples in the barrel that don’t give a crap about civility.

          • doucyet

            There are a few of those out there, no doubt about it! Hopefully those will get weeded out…

        • Anonymous

          Really? “You see, when the police officer sees suspicions activity, he investigates it.” So, if you are black and in the “wrong area” you are “suspicious.” If you are Muslim and in the “wrong area” (which, by the way, can be anyplace, anytime you are out, according to a friend of ours) you are “involved in terrorism.”

          • doucyet

            Not necessarily.

          • Anonymous

            Not necessarily? Not necessarily what?

          • doucyet

            Everything from So………..to terrorism.

          • Anonymous

            Really, so our friend just “made it up?” Try again…since she has shown us documentation of what she said happened. 22 cops and one of them actually DID say “if you weren’t Muslim, we wouldn’t be stopping you!”

          • doucyet

            22 out of 2 million. Is that whats scaring you?

          • Anonymous

            22 cops showing up for 1 person who is not even resisting in any way. It seems extremely excessive to us. WHY do they need TWENTY TWO cops to show up to a NON-CRIME WHEN NO BODY IS RESISTING????? What is next? Send out the bomb squad, just “in case” there is a bomb? Swat team, just “in case” there is a barricaded suspect? How about MARTIAL LAW, just “in case” there is a riot?

          • doucyet

            I think the article is about a survey or poll taken that “indicates” the propensity for violence among LEOs. I don’t know where the 22 came into play because I can’t read anything (the articles) on this site now without shutting down my adblocker, which I refuse to do. So……….see ya around.

          • Anonymous

            Well, then, you went off topic. You talked about police investigating things that were “suspicious.” That is a very vague term. What exactly is “suspicious”? A black kid in a white neighborhood? It couldn’t be that he actually LIVES there, could it? However, cops will be much more likely to find him “suspicious” than if he was in a “black neighborhood.” We brought this up. We brought up that Muslims are much more likely to be profiled as “terrorists” than other people are. This is what happened to our friend. She was labeled a “terrorist.” Why? Did she have a bomb? No. Did she have a stockpile of weapons on her? No. Did she tell someone she was going to “blow something up”? No. She had just arrived at the location, and was almost IMMEDIATELY swarmed by cops. She was NOT committing a crime. She never resisted. Yet, as time went on, more and more cops kept showing up. One of them even said to her “The ONLY reason we are stopping you is because you are Muslim. If you weren’t Muslim, we would not be stopping you.” That, in and of itself, is a prima facie statement of profiling. Even though what the cops did was completely illegal, the department completely exonnerated all the cops involved.

          • doucyet

            I won’t be able to respond to any comments now that I can’t access the articles for clarity. Have a good one.

  • GadF1y

    Not alarming to me. I would have put that number at 4 in 5.

  • 174thandvyse

    This article doesn’t surprise me at all. When these young cops, especially White ones who come from prejudiced families, are placed in ghetto areas, or any area in which the majority of its residents may have different values from these cops, they treat the people there like they’re the “enemy”. That’s one great reason why there is so much conflict between the police and the people.

    As Lt. Colombo would say, “One more thing…”, in my opinion, prejudiced people STINK.

    • G’ma G

      Insigthful, thank you.

      • 174thandvyse

        After seeing your profile, I must conclude that you think that you are being, “funny”, huh? The cops project a SHIT attitude without any provocation from us liberated, TRUE Americans. Ask other people besides white, so-called “conservatives”, and you might actually learn something.

        • G’ma G

          I am with you sir. My background is in psychology. You nailed it and others need to know this.

          I have a profile???

          • 174thandvyse

            As they said in Star Trek III, “ahh…forgive”. I mistook your reply for sarcasm. Of course not all cops are lousy, but the so-called “good ones” tolerate a lot of bull from the stinkers, and so does this “justice” system. This Drug War is sickening!

  • Brett Rapley

    What reason does any cop have to dis-trust any member of the public, when they are going about their business and not doing anything wrong. It does not give any cop the right just to assume that someone is up to something because they think that is the case, and you then wonder why the public kicks off like it does !

    Mandatory drug testing should be done on cops, whether they like it or not, because they are more damn aggressive than members of the public. I have watched many video’s on The Free Thought Project and I am so appalled at the way people are treated by police.

    As for cops thinking/feeling that more aggressive take downs should be allowed, that is bullshit. If you treat people with at least some respect, they will give you the same back, treat them like shit and you will get the same back, it stands to reason when you think about it.

  • Sandydog

    “sworn to ‘protect and serve.’” Maybe. According to the retired cops across the street, we are all either Cops or Crooks.

  • Anonymous

    “say their job nearly always or often makes them feel angry and frustrated” If they feel so angry and frustrated, they need to find another job.

    “Frequently angry and frustrated officers also are more likely than other police to agree that some people can only be brought to reason the hard, physical way (56%), a view shared by 37% of officers who are not frequently angry or frustrated.” So according to this, if a police officer causes us to feel angry or frustrated, then we, too, should be able to beat the shit out of them. What is right for the goose is also right for the gander.

    Ultimately, this is nothing more than a justification for vigilante justice. And the officer becomes judge, jury and executioner.

  • Newtronic

    A bunch of armed, no-neck, skinheads in matching uniforms show aggression and anyone is surprised?