I’m a cop. If you don’t want to get hurt, don’t challenge me.
It’s not the police, but the people they stop, who can prevent a detention from turning into a tragedy. By Sunil Dutta August 19
Sunil Dutta, a professor of homeland security at Colorado Tech University, has been an officer with the Los Angeles Police Department for 17 years. The views presented here are his own and do not represent the LAPD or CTU.
Even though it might sound harsh and impolitic, here is the bottom line: if you don’t want to get shot, tased, pepper-sprayed, struck with a baton or thrown to the ground, just do what I tell you. Don’t argue with me, don’t call me names, don’t tell me that I can’t stop you, don’t say I’m a racist pig, don’t threaten that you’ll sue me and take away my badge. Don’t scream at me that you pay my salary, and don’t even think of aggressively walking towards me.
Policing by consent
Compare and contrast that with Kottke’s post discussing the core principles of the original Bobbies:
At the heart of the Metropolitan Police’s charter were a set of rules either written by Peel or drawn up at some later date by the two founding Commissioners: The Nine Principles of Policing. They are as follows:
1. To prevent crime and disorder, as an alternative to their repression by military force and severity of legal punishment.
2. To recognise always that the power of the police to fulfil their functions and duties is dependent on public approval of their existence, actions and behaviour, and on their ability to secure and maintain public respect.
3. To recognise always that to secure and maintain the respect and approval of the public means also the securing of the willing co-operation of the public in the task of securing observance of laws.
http://www.popehat.com/2014/08/19/sunil-dutta-tells-it-like-it-is-about-american-policing/The money quote from Ken:
[Dutta’s] core message is this:
Even though it might sound harsh and impolitic, here is the bottom line: if you don’t want to get shot, tased, pepper-sprayed, struck with a baton or thrown to the ground, just do what I tell you.
The outrageous thing is not that he says it. The outrageous thing is that we accept it.
Would we accept
“if you don’t want to get shot, just do what the EPA regulator tells you”?
Would we yield to
“if you don’t want your kid tased, do what the Deputy Superintendent of Education tells you”?
Would we accept
“if you don’t want to get tear gassed, just do what your Congressman tells you?” No.
Our culture of individualism and liberty would not permit it.
Yet somehow, through generations of law-and-order rhetoric and near-deification of law enforcement, we have convinced ourselves that cops are different, and that it is perfectly acceptable for them to be able to order us about, at their discretion, on pain of violence.
It’s not acceptable. It is servile and grotesque.