Now that Ferguson has died down to a dull roar

…this is probably worth noting-

How will the world seem to you, a new cop just out of the Academy?

First, you will quickly find that the public doesn’t like you. People do not like being told what to do. They particularly do not like being punished—e.g., given a ticker—for misbehavior. Successful people of middle age do not take well to orders from a kid of twenty. They have no choice.

Next, you discover that being a cop affects your social life. People are nervous around you even when you are not in uniform. When and where does your authority stop? They aren’t sure. You probably are not either. What if someone at a party lights up a joint? Your neighbor parks in front of a fire plug? Your off-duty life comes to consist mostly of other cops. It is more comfortable that way.

Just as the public doesn’t like you, you will not much like the public. Cops do not see humanity at its best. The young woman hiking her skirt up at traffic stops.

Couples screaming obscenities at each other on domestic-violence calls. “Why don’t you catch real criminals?” The lies. The excuses. The lame attempts at manipulation. The threats (“I know the mayor.”)

As a real cop on real streets, you learn never to smile, to maintain an implied aggressiveness. When riding with a reporter, you will joke and tell stories. With the public, you will learn to be wooden-faced and authoritarian. You can’t lose your dominance or you are useless.

A few months on the streets will take the bloom off your dewy rose of morn. You will see the baby’s brains on the windshield. You will see the paramedics at the crash scene working hard on the guy who went through the windshield, pumping his chest, trying to intubate him with red gunch pouring from his mouth and no hope at all. You will find a guy lying on the sidewalk with his brains swelling like pink lips from the groove made by a nine-millimeter round, still breathing but with nowhere to go.

After a few scenes like this, you will learn to turn off. It will cease to bother you because if it didn’t, you would go crazy. And then you will wonder whether there is something wrong with you.

You will learn things that you don’t want to learn.

Full, very thoughtful article here. It doesn’t justify everything, but may cause a few to draw back and take a breath- I hope.

That said, I think we may be only months away from open warfare on our own streets.

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