For me I think of this one guy that I used to walk to school with in middle school and for the first few years of high school. He was someone that I was very good friends with in elementary school, from my neighborhood, but as I matured, we went our own different ways. He couldn't read while I was buried in books. He used to torture bugs. A few times he dropped acid on the way into school. I stopped walking to school with him after a while. I was hanging with a different crowd. What is he doing now? He is the chief of police in my home state not too far from where I grew up. I assume and hope he turned his life around, but from my experience with cops, this is not necessarily true. This isn't exactly a profession that attracts the most intelligent and for some it may attract the most sadistic among us.
I have not lead a life of crime. My life has been quite boring, but I did speed a lot when I was younger and I did get a lot of speeding tickets. I was a nervous driver. But after awhile, I started to get pulled over and told I was speeding when obviously I was not. When cars were passing me. I was an easy target for cops who had quotas. I'd challenge them in court and lose. Who was the judge going to believe, the college kids with long hair or the cops which she knew. Of course, I lost. I was once given a ticket on Cape Cod for driving 70 MPH up a hill from a stop with my K car. For those who don't remember K cars, they were a crappy four cylinder car that could barely get to 70 MPH on a flat surface, never climbing an incline. Again, I was an easy target, an out-of-stater with a bad driving record. I just payed the fine rather than challenging the ticket because it was less expensive than taking a day out of work and school to go to court ... and then to probably lose. I ended up getting an attitude of "why not speed," I am going to get a ticket anyway.
That was a long time ago, but my attitude hasn't changed. Not about speeding, no, I don't speed much anymore especially since I bought a Prius. My Prius doesn't use gas if I drive around 35 MPH so I chug along these dirt roads going real slow. My attitude about cops hasn't changed. They are dicks, power-seeking douche bags out to financially-rape the tax payers. Cops are not a source for good in the world. Cops are there to maintain the status quo ... to keep the poor down and keep the wealthy ... wealthy. They are not there to keep our roads safe, but to raise revenue. I don't call a cop unless I absolutely have to. It is my experience that having a cop present usually makes any experience worse.
I say all this as a white guy in Vermont. Since I moved to Vermont, I have noticed that the cops are a lot nicer and seem to harass the tax payers much less than a lot of other places in this country. Occasionally, I do get pulled over for bullshit like my headlight is burnt out or my license plate is obstructed. While Vermont's meth and heroin problem is still out of control, you can rest assured, our headlights are just fine.
I know plenty of people from around this country and some of them are not white. I hear their complaints about cops, I usually believe them but I know most white people don't. But now that we have had so much coming out these days from dash board cams to iPhone videos, can anyone really not believe me or them when we say that cops are dicks? I know the immediate response we get is that "my brother is a cop and he is a good cop" but let's face it, the dick cops have relatives that think they are good cops too. Do you really know that the cop you know is one of the good ones? Isn't it about time to admit that we don't have have a crime problem, but a cop problem?
How much more evidence do you need than this?
Exhibit A: A Staten Island man, Eric Garner, being choked to death by the NYPD. Mr. Garner's crime: selling cigarettes.
Exhibit B; When a bunch of black kids show up at a pool party in a white suburb in Texas, this what happens:
Exhibit C: Here is what happens when you run from a cop in Charleston, South Carolina.
Exhibit D: Here is what happens to you when you peacefully protest at UC Davis. That's right, that is pepper spray.
I could go on, it is very easy to do here from my back porch in Vermont. Just type "police brutality" in your search engine. It is fun!
I could imagine that being a police officer is a difficult job. I could also imagine that it can take a toll on you psychologically. I am not sure what the solution is to this problem. I think we might want to start the solution by stop the recruiting cops from the bottom of the pile. If we simply picking the best of the sadists and sociopaths that we can find, I can see why we are where we are.