I know there are still some good cops out there because I have had the privilege to meet many of them. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, even many of these virtual paragons of virtue seem to be silenced by the thin blue line … the blue shield or whatever else you want to call it that allows the bad cops to routinely cover up for each other. America needs good cops and that is probably truer now than it has been ever before in our history. The people are sadly lacking in faith in their government and moreover, lacking in faith in those who are tasked with upholding and supporting the Constitution, constitutional laws and making a stand against criminal activity, no matter where it comes from. The sad fact of the matter is that you my friends, are under more scrutiny now than you have ever been. The question is, what are you going to do about it?
Your supervisors are watching you but then again, that has always been the case. If some of the stories that I have heard from cops in my life are true, and since many of them came from close friends and family, I have no cause to doubt them, your supervisors are often the ones preventing you from doing your job properly. In some cases, your supervisors may be the very reasons that people are becoming increasingly hostile towards your presence and the cover-ups that are being uncovered in record numbers. Your buddies on the force are watching. You have to have someone to watch your back when you are patrolling our streets and dealing constantly with the dregs of society. Nobody would ever question the fact that you have to have your partner’s back and even the back of that cop in your squad who you really hate … because you are in the fray together. But I am going to let you in on a little secret. That buddy of yours who is asking you to cover his butt when he screws the pooch is not your buddy. That supervisor, who tells you to drop the politically charged truth when a suspect is well connected, is going to wash you out while he or she remains sitting pretty in their political office … now assured by the fact that they hold political sway over the politician(s) they just did a favor for. You my friend are the one that is going to pay for their benefit. Perhaps most important of all however, the public is watching you.
Closed circuit cameras are everywhere. The day is not far off when you will be able to conveniently “forget” to turn on your dashboard cam when you are pulling someone over. Citizens around the world and especially here in the US are armed with cameras. If some of us had our way, you would be equipped with the very same camera gear that the American military wears into combat. If and when you so much as wrote a ticket, you better have the video with it. But hey, you are one of the good guys right? You want me to let you in on another little secret here? If you are one of the good guys, that camera is going to cover your butt in everything but a firefight. You will still have to cover your partner’s back and your partner will still have to cover your back but when your partner screws the pooch, when your supervisor tells you to break the law, you are going to be covered and only those that are doing wrong will be made to pay the price.
When that guy comes at you with a crazed look in his eyes screaming epithets that would make a sailor blush with shame, very few people are going to argue that you were rightfully in fear for your life and fewer still will try to hold you to account for the actions of a crazed lunatic … and fewer still yet again will mourn his passing. When you tell the SWAT team you have had a suspect under surveillance for three years and then break into the wrong home with them, opening fire on an unarmed teenage girl or shooting a sleeping man sixteen times when you do not even have a warrant to cover a search of the premises, the person who fired those shots will be held to account while you and your partners who do their job will not be adversely affected. Why is this considered to be a bad thing?
You are one of the good guys so why do people hold you in such contempt or even hate you? In case you do not know, they hate you because yes, a sleeping man was shot sixteen times during an unwarranted … literally and figuratively … search of his home. Fortunately, if there is anything at all fortunate about being shot sixteen times, he did survive. What happened to the cops … oh wait, only one was a cop, the other was a Corrections Officer who had no lawful capacity to be performing the functions of a Law Enforcement Officer … but hey, he still had a badge and a gun so it is all good right … while you and I know that is crap, the fact is that he was nonetheless still protected by the thin blue shield. Your cohorts attempted to cover up this crime and none of the cops were punished and worse still, they are still working in their respective jobs and will never pay for the damage they have done.
The outrageous settlements that will be had by him and his lawyers are going to be paid for out of your taxes and out of mine. The officers involved received a paid vacation and we the people were told that everything was done in accordance with department policy. We the citizens do not see what you see. We see cops shooting an unarmed man while he was sleeping and getting a paid vacation for his efforts. We see unarmed teen-aged girls being shot at by cops in early morning raids and getting paid vacations and returning to work with no civil or criminal penalties ever coming about. Well partner, if you really are one of the good guys, surely you can see why so many people hold you in utter contempt and even hate you no? They have no way of knowing whether it was you or your partner that shot at that innocent little girl as she was so rudely awakened by cops at five-thirty in the morning busting down the wrong door and tossing flash bangs into her room … and then shooting at her as she exited!!!???
If you can honestly sit there and tell me with a straight face that all of that is well within departmental policy and fully acceptable … despite the fact that it was the totally wrong house that the person they had supposedly had under surveillance for a full three years … had never even lived in … then you either have to admit that departmental policy is seriously flawed or you are not one of the good guys. There is little doubt in my mind that Chris Dorner was a seriously flawed individual … for whatever reason, but therein lies the rub partner. You see, your compatriots decided … while being recorded on audio, while no shots were being fired, to take on the role of judge, jury and executioner. There is absolutely no evidence of gunfire on those recordings. There is evidence of cops being right at the windows … breaking out windows to give cops a clean shot … with no shots being fired.
Only after the cops are ordered to set the place on fire is a single shot heard, presumably as Chris Dorner took his own life, denying any of us the opportunity to know the truth about what happened. All we know is that with no shots being fired, a citizen, however right or wrong he was, however much he may have “just deserved to die”, was killed by law enforcement officers who decided they had the capacity, the will and the means to take the place of judge, jury and executioner. Had it been an ordinary citizen who had made the same call and done the same deeds, they would be held to legally account for their actions in a court of law. If you are one of the good guys, you know that nobody is above the law … and if anything, those that are sworn to uphold and defend the law should be held to a higher standard. If you cannot admit that, I got some bad news for you partner, you are NOT one of the good guys.
If you indeed one of the good guys, now is the time for you to stand up and make your voice heard. Now is the time for you to stand up and demand that your brothers who screw the pooch to need to be held to the same standard of accountability as the general populace. Where is my sympathy you ask? You have my sympathies. You have a very hard, very nasty and very unforgiving job. I cannot do your job and that my friend, is the reason I am not trying to do your job. You have however, volunteered to do that job. You make a daily choice to put on that badge or not. You chose to represent the law and you cannot represent the law if you hold yourself or your brothers and sisters on the force to be above the law.
Would you … COULD YOU HONESTLY look me in the eyes and tell me that any American soldier living 24/7 directly in harms way is under less stress than you? Yet we the people have no tolerance for soldiers even striking an enemy combatant and those soldiers who are protecting our freedoms are prosecuted to the full extent of military law. If you have served in the military, you know exactly what I am talking about.
If you are worried about losing your job for breaking the thin blue shield, do you not believe that for every agency that would fire you, two more would hire you? Yet if you stand idly by while your brothers and sisters of the badge continue to break the very law they are sworn to protect, when they willfully violate the rights of the citizens and hold themselves above the law, do not dare cry to me when you suffer the contempt and hatred of the citizenry. When you are willing to make a stand, you will have a good portion of the nation making that stand with you. If you just wish to take the easy road and step aside, do not be surprised when you suffer the same fate as “the bad guys”.
Mark Tipton is a Political Activist seeking to find common grounds to re-unite the Conservative base of the State of Texas and our federal Republic.