26.Jan { On the Wall: Views from a Social Media Gadlfy } – “Smoked Pork” – by Gabriel Owens

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F*** Tha Police! – N.W.A.

“I’m a mother f***ing cop killer!” – Body Count

“They hate us, we hate them!” – Black Flag, “Police Story”

By Gabriel Owens

I’ll start this off by saying I don’t have a high opinion of the police.  Maybe that’s funny coming from a military member, but there’s a world of institutional differences in my experience, despite being not dissimilar fields. Military seems to run the gamut of the types of people we get,  while cops seem to draw a hell of a lot of bullies and thugs that now can get arrested for the stuff they did in high school, so they chose a career where it’s essentially legal and they’re doing the arresting.

I know, I know, “They’re not ALL like that!” you say.  Well, of course not.  But you can’t tell me it’s a few bad apples, which any field will get.  My perspective is a disturbing large amount of rotting fruit in the bowl of law enforcement.

Just how long they’ve gotten away with a lot of non-role model behavior is uncertain; we can only go by historical records.  But there’s a hell of a lot of documented evidence of crappy, even murderous behavior before the age of video and the new age of immediate information dissemination.  Ask any person of color, or homosexual, or a trans person who lived before the 80s how it was.  Hell, ask anyone who lived below the poverty line for that matter.

So, in the last few decades, the power of the people emerged through technology.  Handheld camcorders became a thing in the 80s.  This led to one of our first “busts” of the police being less than officer friendly by the common folk with the Rodney King video.  It shocked middle America, but was business as usual for a lot of folks, especially those of color, the LGBT community, and the punk rockers of the 80s in LA.  And then all the trouble that ensued afterwards, most of the country didn’t get it.  Yeah, the acquittal was bullcrap, but do you gotta riot over it?  Understanding the backstory to the city and its relations with its police force is important.

Over time, we got cameras everywhere.  Everyone has a video recorder in their pocket.  They started making dash cams mandatory for cop cars.

And more and more bad behavior comes out.  Instead of making them watch their behavior, they got irritated and started illegally turning off their dash cams and illegally threatening to arrest citizens attempting to record them.  Security footage goes missing.  Ect.

Even when stuff like beating a mentally disabled homeless man to death comes out, they get a nice paid vacation and still get acquitted.  It’s frustrating when there’s undeniable visual evidence of wrong doing, but the institutionalized system that errs on the side of the cops is still in place.

It’s a slow hill to climb, brothers and sisters.  But keep fighting the good fights.  Keep those videos going viral.  Pull out them cell phones when you see some stuff that don’t look right with your local po po.  Police the police.  At some point, they’ll have to give in and realize there’s no getting around they’re on Candid Camera.

And they’ll have to, you know, behave like the honorable protectors of the peace we pay them for.

–        Gabe out

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