I wasn’t sure how to start this, so I’ll just jump right in.
My father was a cop. He was a good cop! He was a great cop. He taught me about defending people, he taught me about being honest, he taught me about helping people. I always thought it was funny how he stood differently in the uniform, how he did his damnedest to do his job right. He died a good man, and a good cop. I’m one of the first people who gets a twinge when I hear ‘all cops are bad’.
I was raised around cops. I went to the barbecues, I went to the functions, I was friends with their kids. I knew all their nicknames and the radio slang and the badge numbers, and they were always nice to me. I understand the desire to defend cops. But you have to stop.
I watched when a handful of cops attempted to frame my dad for mishandling evidence, because he was getting old and was trying to draw out his service with desk work so he could slow down and not be as stressed when he retired. My father had to retire early, because the cops he’d worked with for years were hounding him. He’d always been stressed, hadn’t gone to the doctor enough, and a few weeks after he retired his heart caught up with him, and he was dead.
My father was a good cop. They are out there, and they do their best.
But I tell you this with the knowledge of someone who has lived and played among and around cops for their whole life.
Cops are a different breed. The uniform goes on, and they aren’t your dad anymore. For some of them, the power that comes with it is easy to put to the side. But most of them are not that strong, and most of them are not that good, and most of them will sell you the second they get the chance. For a long time, I would have been the first person to jump to a police officer’s defense, but I know better now.
Know your rights, comply as best you can, fight back as safely as you can, do not trust them.
And whenever you can, make sure the world knows they’re rotten. Make sure everyone knows, and this goes out especially to my fellow white people- don’t say ‘well….’ no. No. They’re not good. I’m too far away to really DO anything, but I can spread the word, the information, and give my own experience to try and tell you all, that when people are screaming this loudly, YOU ARE AT FAULT for trying to yell louder than them, for trying to ignore them. To deny that black people are being gunned down intentionally is to deny that you can see what’s unfolding in front of you. No good cop would be standing in those lines and firing gas cans into a crowd of peaceful innocents. A good cop would be one of the folks standing with the people.
Don’t let cops think they’re right. Don’t give them ANY back up. Don’t defend them.
If they’re standing anywhere other than with you, they don’t deserve it.