Today I started caring…

This post is a response to “Today I Stopped Caring“, an article written by a police lieutenant from Wisconsin. While it is well-written, with a clearly mocking undertone that belies its false front of genuineness, it is from a predictably selfish point of view that lacks any type of big-picture perspective. The Lt. spends the entire article whining about the public not liking the police, but never once addresses the legitimate issues the public has with the police – instead he dismisses them with mocking and sarcasm. Perhaps I can enlighten him a little. Please read his post first, because my post will not be in proper context without it.

 

Today I started caring about the state of America’s law enforcement system. I started caring about the plight of minorities, particularly black Americans, and how they are treated at the hands of police. I started caring today because a once noble profession has become corrupt, untrustworthy, and immune from the laws it enforces on the public.

I started caring today because a 12-year-old boy was shot to death by police over an airsoft gun. I started caring because he was black, and given what I’ve learned through other recent events, this cop will walk free like the rest. I know this kind of stuff will not stop any time soon, because US police forces kill a black person once every 28 hours.

Police uses of tasers in the US have killed over 500 people in the past decade. That’s many times the number of US citizens killed by terrorism in the same period. Police in the US conduct an average of 20,000 no-knock SWAT raids per year, many of which are massive failures…

botched police raids

These massive failures result in injury to innocents and even loss of life, but rarely, if ever, is there a conviction for the officers responsible.

Baby hit by flashbang grenade, no charges to involved officers

Baby hit by flashbang grenade – no charges to involved officers

Seven year old shot in the head during SWAT raid on wrong house – no conviction of officers involved

Yet the police want the public to sympathize with them because their job is “dangerous” and “high-stress”, but being a cop isn’t even on the top ten list of dangerous jobs in the US. In fact, it’s far more dangerous to be a garbageman, fisherman, or truck driver. I can’t recall ever hearing about a garbageman getting away with murder by claiming job stress as a defense. Nevertheless, cops must take their imaginary stress out on animals, because a cop kills a dog every 98 minutes. Whatever residual stress is left after the dog killing surely must have been relieved by the 5,000+ lives they’ve taken nationwide since 9/11; that’s more dead US citizens than have been killed in the Iraq war. By comparison, the UK police force killed exactly 0 people last year and fired a total of THREE shots – the entire police force. That’s fewer shots in the entire nation, in a year, than Darren Wilson put into Mike Brown in a couple of minutes.

I started caring because the US has the highest incarceration rate in the world. In fact, the US contains 25% of the entire world’s prison population. Not surprisingly, the police themselves are largely immune from becoming part of those statistics because they are not held to the same standards for the same crimes as the rest of the population:

I started caring because Illinois just made it a felony to record the police. What more clear indication is needed that the corrupt police state does not want its actions exposed?

Only a government that lives like cockroaches in the darkness would pass a law criminalizing the act of turning on the light.

I started caring because this:

cops of old

Has turned into this:

new cops

Police_Swat_Drill

Today I started caring because a video of a cop from a department that I’ve never heard of, shows him screwing up and forgetting his oath of honor, and yet not a single fellow cop steps up to condemn him. Instead, they take to the internet and police forums to write whiny articles that make them come across as having a persecution complex. Woe is you. We get it. You have the hardest job in the world, doing whatever you please above the law, rarely being held accountable for your actions, and never losing the support of your “brothers in blue.”

I have some suggestions for you, Lt. Furseth. They will help to alleviate your persecution complex…

Stop making excuses for police misconduct. Stop saying it’s because the job is stressful or because they need to make it home at night. They signed up for a dangerous job. If they can’t handle it, they need a different job. Stop rationalizing why minor crimes need to be escalated to street-side executions. Condemn the bad cops and the public will once again respect you. Stand with the people you serve instead of some “brothers in blue” bullshit and people won’t lump you in with the bad cops. Go out and demand change. Demand that you and your fellow officers be held to the same standard of law that you enforce on others, and all your complaints will be solved. Do nothing, continue whining and making excuses, and I have no sympathy for how the public trashes and disrespects you.

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17 comments

  1. Matt · December 10, 2014

    👌

    Like

  2. Patti Cepin · December 10, 2014

    You proved his point.

    Like

    • thewhiteboardpig · December 10, 2014

      Do please elaborate.

      Like

    • thewhiteboardpig · December 10, 2014

      His point was that he’s giving up like a whiny child throwing a temper tantrum because he feels no matter what the police do the public will be dissatisfied.

      My counter point is that the public has a mountain of completely legitimate reasons to be dissatisfied, of which he addressed exactly NONE. And also the reason the public lumps all cops together into one detested group is because the cops THEMSELVES have joined together into one wall of blue that excuses the bad apples and rationalizes away their behavior.

      So, no, I didn’t prove his point. I countered his whiny rant with the reality that he chose to avoid.

      Like

      • me · December 11, 2014

        Yes you countered his whiney rant with your own.

        Like

      • thewhiteboardpig · December 11, 2014

        I’d love for you to elaborate and maybe even offer a counter argument that has some substance.

        Like

    • Matt · December 11, 2014

      no substance available to counter with.. facts elude some folks.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Eric Lafferty · December 11, 2014

    Very well written post. Although I do not agree with everything, I do think you bring to light some interesting points. It is apparent from the incidents in Ferguson and other parts of the country that there is a growing animosity towards police. Is it warranted? Yes and no. In a 24 media cycle, news syndicates are looking to increase ratings and they do that by creating fear, creating smoke and mirrors and reporting on everything bad. The media doesn’t report on good things. They focus on the ugly, trying to play on people’s emotions. They choose what facts to share and which to not share. They introduce bias in a way that makes finding the truth impossible and where innocent people are found guilty and guilty people are found innocent despite solid evidence that proves otherwise, so when they are acquitted or found guilty, the media labels it as corruption or a good ole boys club. They call for citizen reviews of incidents when citizens don’t even understand the law. This ignorance is the problem! Case law clearly defines when an officer can use deadly force, but how many times has the media talked about those cases? How often do they report on the death of an officer? They don’t because they know it will make their reporting moot. They label it as living outside of the law, when in fact police are acting within the law. I agree that there are bad police officers that need to be dealt with, but the media is painting a very false reality of the profession. For every bad cop out there, there are thousands of good ones.

    I don’t know anything about the two incidents you mentioned in your post. Please amend and include citations. As for the citation for police misconduct, I question the validity of it. It says on their website “This report is the result of data captured from January 2010 through December 2010 by the NPMSRP consisting of reports that meet credibility criteria which have been gathered from multiple media sources throughout the United States.” They fail to outline their credibility criteria and the media is not known for providing accurate statistics. I would be interested to see a legitimate statistical report from a reputable entity.

    As for your comment about the top ten most dangerous jobs really? So I guess being in the military on the ground isn’t dangerous because it didn’t make the labor statistics top ten fatalities by occupation. Statistics don’t always paint a true picture.

    Like

    • thewhiteboardpig · December 11, 2014

      Eric, that’s a good call about included citations for the two pictured incidents – the post has been updated with links to relevant news articles.

      While I do see where you’re coming from on the public ignorance issue, that same public ignorance is also arguably why Eric Garner’s and Mike Brown’s killers walked without indictments. After all, juries are just normal memebers of the public who, if not properly guided (or intentionally misguided) by a prosecuter, aren’t going reach proper conclusions. Is there media bias and does the media control all national conversations? Absolutely. However, the issue isn’t whether the ratio of good cops to bad cops is 10:1 or 100,000:1. The issue is that when an incident with a bad cop does surface, more often than not, they aren’t held accountable. Even more damning for the police force itself, is that they all rally to cover and hide the corruption, or at the very least rationalize it and dismiss it (oh, his job is so stressful or oh, you wouldn’t do any better). This is even more relevant when a Lt. is writing a rant piece about the public not liking the police, yet never once calls for an end to police corruption or immunity from the law. He instead spent the entire time basically telling the public to shut up and stop complaining about pregnant women getting beaten and unarmed black guys getting shot to death all across the country, because being a cop is hard so they should be allowed to screw up and kill people without being questioned.

      And, yes, being in the US military at current time is actually a lot less dangerous than many jobs at home. The fatality rate is very low.

      Like

  4. katherinejlegry · December 11, 2014

    I think cops don’t stand up against their own because they’ll get their asses kicked by their own. Military people tend to shoot the mutineers and anyone that goes against loyalty in an army. So we are talking about keeping a warrior class and what it needs is better leadership so they aren’t trained and conditioned to fear and shoot the black community first.

    I agree that the cop letter spent too much time defending cops and really only displayed his distain for the public. His letter can only really be reviewed as an honest look at the problem.

    I like how you don’t hold back when you rant… no mincing of words for you… no mambie pambie about it.

    Like

  5. John · December 12, 2014

    If your going to include statistical information at least make it unbiased. Really, Policmisconduct.net, freethoughtproject.com? Get stats from peer-reviewed journal, .edu site, or a .gov site. Well written but poor choice of sources really just makes this post as opinionated as a Facebook post.

    Oh,and if your going to report on all of the bad cops do how about including some of the good. They’re not all bad people. It is most certainty a high-stress job and dangerous, whether Forbes says so or not.

    Here’s some of the good police offers do:
    http://www.greatfallstribune.com/story/news/local/2014/12/11/gifts-instead-tickets-shop-cop/20284817/
    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/alabama-woman-helen-johnson-feels-blessed-by-william-stacey-cops-good-deed/
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2014/12/10/inspiration-nation-cops-shock-drivers-with-gifts/20172117/

    I’m not saying they’re all perfect and they do make mistakes, but this idea that cops are going around targeting minorities and killing children for the fun of it is naive and irrational.

    Like

    • thewhiteboardpig · December 12, 2014

      John, unfortunately I don’t get paid to write so spending the countless hours required to dig through Google Scholar just so I can get sources from websites ending in .edu simply isn’t worth it for a small-time blog. If I was writing for Rolling Stone, you can be sure I’d put in more effort. However, all of the information is nonetheless legitimate. If you take the time to click through to the bottom of the citation pile, you’ll see freethoughtproject.com actually links to a Cato Institute study, which itself cites an actual research paper. The “real” sources are there, you just need to click through far enough to find them. If you have information from actual academic journals that refutes any of the sources I posted, I would love to see it.

      Also, the point of the post was not to harp on bad cops. It was a response to another article intended to address the point that the Lt. spent his whole paper complaining about but never bothered to find the source of: why the public hates the police. I’m not going to include irrelevant stories of good cops any more than the Lt. included stories of citizens that DO support the police. There are plenty of genuinely good cops in this country. I have interacted with some myself; I know they exist. That isn’t the issue. The issue is how the police force as a whole and people like the Lt. handle the bad ones and how they treat legitimate issues with policing in the country. Any number of good cops does not minimize the issues we face with how law enforcement is handled in this country, the same way that the number of good men in this country doesn’t serve to minimize rape issues, and the number of healthy people in Africa doesn’t mean Ebola isn’t a real threat.

      I also never claimed being a cop isn’t high-stress or dangerous – merely that there are far more dangerous jobs that most people would never see as such. Additionally, I never said cops are killing minorities and children for fun (the stress relief reference was obviously tongue-in-cheek), but there is absolutely an issue with the number of innocent people being killed by the police in this country and, even more of an issue, is the lack of accountability for these killings.

      Like

  6. Pingback: Response To Lt. “I stopped caring” Furseth And Why He Should Turn In His Badge | girl du jour
  7. James McPherson · December 13, 2014

    Excellent piece, and I didn’t find your tone whiny or your argument extreme. Those who choose to criticize the messenger while pretending that serious problems don’t exist are part of the problem. Of course, I’m less tactful than you are: http://jmcpherson.wordpress.com/2014/12/12/a-simple-question-regarding-race-and-fear/

    Like

    • thewhiteboardpig · December 13, 2014

      Thank you James. Sometimes what’s true isn’t always tactful and your piece is certainly full of truth.

      Liked by 1 person

      • James McPherson · December 13, 2014

        Thanks. I normally post things as soon as I write them (sometimes too hastily). I reflected on that one for a few days before posting it — even then against my wife’s recommendation. Of course, she’d say I’m not very good at following advice. 🙂

        Like

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