Mr. Blunt and Cranky has always followed a two-career path: Music and/or the humble Microchip. One or both of the two have helped keep body and soul together since the 1970’s, and although the musical side is preferred from the standpoint of personal satisfaction, the IT Biz has most often provided the bulk of the family income. C’est le guerre. And as you’d expect, some of those manifold IT gigs have been more rewarding than others.
One of the best of those IT gigs has been working for Law Enforcement (yeah, I am sometimes surprised by that, too). On the first day on the job, the marching orders were given, and were simple: “Make sure the right people (guilty ones) go to jail, and the wrong people (innocent ones) don’t go to jail”. Said orders coming from a 30+ – year veteran cop who started off as a patrolman and worked his way up. And the criteria for who belonged in jail was simple: evidence and a conviction. A good attitude, and something an IT geek can help with.
In the course of that employ, a LOT of cops have been met and worked with. Ditto prosectors. Ditto-ditto other types of lawyers and support personnel, the vast majority of whom are on board with those same marching orders. Good cops, you’d call them.
A fair few crap cops have also been met, and they have provided some of the best opportunities to effect change. You see, if we improve the quality of, say DNA analysis, lab analysis, cameras and reporting software, it becomes harder for rogue cops to get away with their fascist, abusive, un-American bulls***. Because of efforts by this writer and thousands of others in and out of IT, many innocent people have been freed and lots of guilty motherf***ers (including some bad cops and their bosses)have been jailed.
It’s a nice warm fuzzy, sure, but the more important reward for your humble correspondent has been seeing how many good, honest, justice-loving people there are in Law Enforcement at local, State and Federal levels. From the blanket 70’s – era labeling of “Pigs” this and “Pigs” that, living in the belly of the beast has been a revelatory experience, one that showed that unique individuals exist everywhere, even in groups we love to heave stereotypes at.
Bad cops suck, and they need to be treated as the corrupt/disrespectful/murdering/lying filth that they are. Lock the f***ers up and throw away the key. Both because they deserve censure and punishment, and because of the pain they cause to good cops, and the damage they cause to the fabric of society.
Some good cops out bad cops, and get punished for doing the right thing. (Serpico is but one example of many.) Other good cops try to avoid bad cops, or even cover for them, to save their own skins or out of a misguided sense of loyalty. Some good cops quit in disgust at the way bad cops have perverted the institutions of justice. All of these are tragedies that hurt us all, by damaging the rule of law that our nation was founded upon. And all of them are the fault of bad cops.
Today in America, there are a lot of stories about bad cops in the media. Other bad cops and numbnuts among Right-Wing, Teavangelical, “Republicans” are trying to shut the discussion down before we can clean up the mess and sweep out the garbage from the Law Enforcement community (a cleanup that is already long overdue).
Some on the Left and Right Wingtips would like you believe that all cops are bad. This is also bulls***. There are good and bad people in blue uniforms, like there are in every occupation. The good need rewarded and the bad need spanked. It does no good to punish the innocent along with the guilty: all it does is encourage lawless behavior.
Remember those marching orders? The bad cops (guilty ones) need punished, and the good cops (innocent ones) need to not be punished. Hammer the bad cops and praise the good cops. That, friends is true justice: the same justice for the police as for the rest of us.
Mr. Blunt and Cranky