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When the foundations of law and order break down, we are left with anarchy. 

Police officers, Chicago police officers in particular, have one of the toughest jobs in the world. I wish we lived in a city where we could all walk the streets without the fear of getting gunned down, but I've become fearful. Fear magnifies the problem, encouraging more and more of us to take the law into our own hands, making the jobs of those who are paid to maintain the peace ever more difficult.

It's become an increasingly dangerous spiral. I feel as if we're circling the drain with greater rapidity and I see no resolution.

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I hear from some good cops that they'd welcome more transparency and bad apples being held accountable. That includes bad supervisors who are enablers of problems.

Some of them would welcome body cameras as a protection for everyone.

Understandable. It must be hard for the good cops when they see the improvements that are needed but lack supervisors to implement. 

I spoke to an officer once about body cams. He told me that the younger officers are ok with it but older officers are more reluctant to embrace the technology. He said the same thing is true about computers in their squad cars.

The day is rapidly approaching when all public activity will be subject to surveillance. I hope to take delivery of one these babies in the near future.

I'm glad they have that sentiment but in my experience most police will only confide these things in private. In public I hear a lot more "rah rah police can do no wrong", including from my police officer friends on Facebook.

Which to me speaks to part of the problem: this insular hyper masculine culture than shuns admitting to any weakness and this "you dont worry about us, we worry about you" and "we will fix our own problems internally, don't worry about it" mentality.

And it's easy to understand why they (police who agree with the BLM issue areas) are afraid to more publicly speak out when you hear about the cases of retaliation that occur when one breaks the blue wall of silence code.

The Van Dyke as a 0.1% bad apple theory doesn't fly.  What about the other officers on the scene who lied in the police reports to protect him?  What about Jon Burge and his "midnight crew"?  What about the disgraced SOS unit?  What about the tens of millions of tax dollars the city spends every year in civil cases when CPD officers get caught doing something horrible?  There are too many examples to think that it's just 0.1% and far too many repeat offenders who are not weeded out.


In addition to the horrible misconduct itself, this creates a situation where the public can reasonably distrust even the good officers.  After all, unless the officer is your family or personal friend, you have no way of knowing whether he's part of the X% of bad officers.


V.W. said it best.  Police are government employees with all of the plusses and minuses that go along with that.  (I say this as a South Side Irish person with 90% of his family employed by the government, including numerous police officers.)  We are in the midst of a long overdue push for accountability, and the X% are pushing back because accountability would suck for them.

Thanks Maurice. I think it's convenient for many people to equivocate and say well there's a few bad apples in every profession, but the reality is there's systemic and cultural issues and a certain mindset/paradigm specific to policing in this country that allow those bad apples to persist.

Dallas Police Bicycle Patrol Officer Patrick Zamarripa, 32, served his country only to die in the United States while protecting the people here.

One of the good ones.

The farmer and the cowman should be friends.

It's a tragedy that they were targeted by a lunatic in Dallas or that someone so brazen would shoot them in a car point blank in NYC but the few apples ruin the bunch is the game and unless they can police themselves it will continue.

You don't need to use lethal force on an unarmed teenager, a guy selling cigarettes for a dollar.

Also maybe instead of hanging out by the life guard station at North ave you could patrol the lake on foot, I know it's hot under the vest and all but when a group of sagging pants are drinking 40 oz then tossing them in the air to bust on the concrete or in the lake as I ride by...?

For many of us, the foundations of law and order are pretty broken at the moment - change can only come through difficulty and struggle.

Cops have a difficult and sometimes dangerous job, but many other jobs are significantly more dangerous, contribute just as much or more to society, aren't compensated as well, are completely invisible to us in our day to day lives, and also don't tend to come with a hyper-masculine and aggressive but somehow socially acceptable desire to exercise complete control over the behavior and even lives of other people:

It's not about good cops or bad cops, which is one of the problems - it's about a larger structural issue of racism and the elevation of some lives over others. 

Yes, I can see that grounds maintenance workers die at similar rates as police officers and yet where are the cries for saluting the lawn mower man?


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