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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    27

    Community Relations and Police Forces

    Gents,

    I have a genuine desire to avoid stirring the pot too severely with this thread. I'm very interested in the perspectives to be found on this site, in large part due to a contention made in a message received from an acquaintance after I'd posted a social media comment to the effect of "the LAPD 'unarmed' victim was reaching for a gun, the cop who fired was black, how is this racism or brutality? Most cops are reasonably good or better... etc." This is coming, so everyone's aware, from an active military, non-LE dude with a strong interest in going federal after college; all that is to preface that I'm not trying to bait or troll.

    So the quote is:
    The point is that it's about the system, the global picture that cannot be offset by individual "good" cops' lives or actions. Because ultimately they comprise a system/institution that is, ITSELF, corrupt. It would be like throwing hissy fits anytime a person of color says they hate white people, because "i'm a good white person! I do this, I know about that, etc!" It's not about you, it's about the system- & you sure as hell aren't going to be a part of the change/solution/whatever if you can't even SEE this in the first place.
    I'll hold back my (probably easily inferred) opinions until I get a response or so from you all. Appreciate any input you all have to offer, especially with how to respond to this. 1) Professional, diplomatic response? Sell your (future) profession short to preserve the friendship? 2) Full-blown logic battle, shut the other person down, burn bridges, make no progress or further affirm that person's belief that all LEO and LEO-prospects are dbol-laden violence fiends and devoid of morals or mental faculties? 3) Ignore it and move on?

    I guess most disturbing is that this attitude about law enforcement is so damned prevalent... and what happens when we hit the burgeoning point of ~500k LEOs to 400 million citizens, at least half of whom have a huge chip on their shoulders with regard to LE in general and assume that all LEOs are "hyper-violent, racist white pigs"?

    I've rambled, look forward to your responses.

    V/r,
    MAA

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    West of Ireland
    Posts
    645
    I've found that you cannot have a reasonable, intelligent, adult argument, debate or even a discussion based on logical premises with people who are extremist, illogical, childish and emotional.
    Those people, when faced with the pure, unemotional facts, resort to the ad hominem arguments ["you're a hater," "you're a racist"] the straw man argument [you argue for X, your opponent argues for Y as if Y were X], circular arguments ["Kennedy was a better President than Clinton because my college professor said so. And you can't argue against anyone who says Kennedy was better than Clinton."]
    If you haven't taken Logic and Critical Thinking in college, just do some simple on-line research about illogical reasoning. You will find that extremists resort to such illogical reasoning; you will never be able to argue with them. I would just ignore them. Don't waste your time.
    ESFLEA
    Life is what happens while you're planning other things.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Where I hang my hat.
    Posts
    1,696
    The media is driving the bus on this issue, despite the reality that the facts don't support the narrative.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Western Hemisphere
    Posts
    541
    People just don't understand policing. All they know is what's on the silver screen and the negative slant from the media, as Sandles stated. You just have to have been there and have experienced what I call the "9-1-1 dark side of society." There's nothing like it. Those people have likely never had to fight for their very lives; in the middle of the night, on a traffic stop; or among a room full of family members; or in the middle of the woods after a foot chase with zero breath left.
    Stay safe!

    FedAgent

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    27
    Quote Originally Posted by esflea View Post
    I've found that you cannot have a reasonable, intelligent, adult argument, debate or even a discussion based on logical premises with people who are extremist, illogical, childish and emotional. ...taken Logaic and Critical Thinking in college...
    Agreed. And I did actually take a really tough and well-taught community college Logic course. Professor was one of the first non-liberal people I ever encountered in academia. He more eloquently told me not to puss out at first sign of personal attacks, especially with regard to things like this (race, law and preservation of order, objective standards, political correctness...).

    Despite idolizing Pat McNamara, Paul Howe, and David Hume (high standards, objectivity, both physical and mental) for the last 10 years, I tend to get reclusive on these topics (race, political correctness, objective standards, sexism, etc.) when allegations are thrown for fear of not wanting to be accused of x negative trait. Obviously, on this individual level it doesn't matter. I've dropped it. Question for you all though; what happens when this extremism starts to pervade society? What should LEO's be doing to combat it, if anything?

    Seems like there's broad support from "Lew Rockwell" libertarian-right to anarchist-left to 187-gangster culture for anti-establishment views. Will this trend reverse, and am I just being a short sighted early-mid 20s wannabe, or is this genuinely a more hostile-to-police environment than years past?


    Quote Originally Posted by FedAgent View Post
    People just don't understand policing. All they know is what's on the silver screen and the negative slant from the media, as Sandles stated. You just have to have been there and have experienced what I call the "9-1-1 dark side of society." There's nothing like it. Those people have likely never had to fight for their very lives; in the middle of the night, on a traffic stop; or among a room full of family members; or in the middle of the woods after a foot chase with zero breath left.
    I've never done that in an LE context but I saw enough of street life growing up in Stockton, CA and had a few close encounters myself to recognize that what downsides exist due to policing are greatly outweighed by the stability they bring about.

    On the topic of that town, what do you think of this: Stockton selected for national study on police relations
    ?
    Being military, I'm used to "PR-bandaid" solutions abound, and it seems like a way to federally fund a program to make the Commissioner even more detached from his subordinates. Sending Yale and UCLA sociologists to study the streets of this town? (Of course, by means of statistical analysis of reports made by actual ground-pounding patrolmen, never by direct observation.) Am I being shortsighted or close-minded?

    Thanks for the comments thus far.
    -Chris

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Posts
    7,369
    You are asking about both personal relationships and macro level policing in society issues, and I'm going to focus on the former. You aren't going to change someone's perspective on core beliefs, at least not in the short term in a social media perspective. And as a prospective LEO and when on the job, you want to be careful what you throw around on social media because, regardless of how well reasoned, things can be taken out of context.

    Great to have a different perspective and a healthy debate, but things can get heated quickly and at the end of the day it won't be worth your time. You'll convince more of your friends that cops do make a difference by getting on the job and practicing what you would like to preach. And I encourage you to keep friends in your circle who may not be pro-police, provided they aren't doing anything criminal, because too many cops isolate themselves from any non-cops, which isn't healthy in the long run.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    6,371
    This is a pretty good article on citizens' perception of the police: Do Americans trust their cops to be fair and just? New poll contains surprises.. The headline is pretty off putting until you do the simple math, 2/3 of Americans do not believe it. Perhaps most telling is the general support of the population for the idea that their son or daughter would enter the profession. There are always trolls on social media, even among friends, and I am totally with nsedet's take. If this is your calling, then you are not required to defend your decision other than by your actions.

    The novelist Michael Connelly has a police detective character, Harry Bosch, whose motto is "Everyone matters or no one matters." I'm good with that, including the police. Most of us have and will retire having never fired our weapons off the range, but it is also true that some will have to and some will come end of watch doing their duty. http://www.nleomf.org/assets/pdfs/re...ies-Report.pdf.

    It's sometimes helpful to realize that we meet some of the people at their worst and that we absorb the angry voice of people with issues, but we don't meet with all the people and as noted, the majority are glad we are out there.
    ret.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    27
    Gentlemen, thank you for the responses that are both moderating (of opinion) and rather optimistic overall. I'll try to maintain as stiff an upper lip as I can and preserve professional composure in the event I encounter similar issues in future... clearly have a lot to learn, but look forward to finally starting my "rookie" years in the near future.

    Regards,
    MAA


 

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