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Police 3: Solidarity and Identity

June 6, 2020 pm30 2:09 pm

I’m writing about a little about police, as part of the larger conversation that is taking place. I wrote about why the police are such a welcoming home for “bad apples.” I wrote a tiny bit about the history of modern police departments. And today I’ll write about two more things:

1. In Buffalo, police were clearing a square, a cop came upon a senior citizen, and shoved the old man out of his way. The man fell, began bleeding, bleeding from his ears, was hospitalized, and is now in serious condition. The cop was suspended. And 57 Buffalo police officers who were part of that unit (Emergency Response Team) resigned from the unit, and asked to be deployed to other units.

I am less concerned with the casual brutality of the POS who assaulted a senior citizen. I am more concerned about the culture that led all of his colleagues to rally to his defense. No one who shares that culture should be allowed armed on our streets. But evidence suggests the ENTIRE PD shares that culture.

Here’s the video:

Here’s the link to the story about the unit resigning.

2. You know, in the classic cartoons, before going out and robbing and stealing, criminals put on a mask (not N-95)? That’s to hide their identities, so they can get away with doing bad stuff without getting caught.

New York City:NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 01: Following a night of often violent protests, police stand by as demonstrations continue against the death of George Floyd while in police custody on June 01, 2020 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Thousands of protesters took to the streets throughout the city on Sunday to express their anger over police brutality after Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin was filmed kneeling on George Floyd's neck before he was later pronounced dead at a local hospital. Floyd's death, the most recent in a series of deaths of black Americans at the hands of the police, has set off days and nights of protests across the country. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Police in Philly are putting electrical tape over their badge numbers to hide their identity 

Chicago: Chicago police launched an investigation into an officer for ...

DC:Some law enforcement officers at protests have no badges and some ...

Best orders officers to show badge numbers, as Durkan rejects 50 ...

Random? No way. Orders from above? At least in some cases, yes.

How come so many cops do that? Not one or two. Not one department, or two departments. It is a general feature of police culture. Is it tolerated? Allowed? Encouraged? Promoted? Doesn’t matter. It happens. It is part of the culture.

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Neither issue, police standing in solidarity with brutality, or police hiding their identities, neither is an issue of “one bad apple” – they both point to structural, cultural problems with modern US police departments.


5 Comments leave one →
  1. Abigail Shure permalink
    June 6, 2020 pm30 8:24 pm 8:24 pm

    The contrast between police officers and teachers is remarkable. Teachers are not allowed to mask their identities at work. Society would like teachers held accountable. Why are police officers allowed so much more latitude?

    • June 7, 2020 am30 12:03 am 12:03 am

      I don’t think there is any similarity between the two jobs.

      The role of the police is to protect property and maintain “order” – even when the “order” is oppressive. And the means? Violence.

      • Abigail Shure permalink
        June 7, 2020 am30 7:14 am 7:14 am

        Police officers also perform functions such as responding to automobile accidents and other emergencies. Police and teachers are public servants compensated by tax payers to provide community services.

        • June 7, 2020 am30 8:41 am 8:41 am

          Both paid by the public, I get. But emergency response is not a specifically police function.

  2. John Wallstrop permalink
    June 7, 2020 am30 10:26 am 10:26 am

    The thin blue line is very strong, stronger than even race identity. People thought integrated racially representative police forces would improve brutality statistics but it hasn’t mainly because of the strength of the thin blue line.

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