Our Police

Sunday, June 14, 2020 – Our Police

There are fundamentally two ways you can experience the police in America: as the people you call when there’s a problem, the nice man in uniform who pats a toddler’s head and has an easy smile for the old lady as she buys her coffee. For others, the police are the people who are called on them. They are the ominous knock on the door, the sudden flashlight in the face, the barked orders. Depending on who you are, the sight of an officer can produce either a warm sense of safety and contentment or a plummeting feeling of terror. ~ Chris Hayes, A Colony in a Nation

You may have heard the talk of diversity, sensitivity training, and body cameras. These are all fine and applicable, but they understate the task and allow the citizens of this country to pretend that there is real distance between their own attitudes and those of the ones appointed to protect them. The truth is that the police reflect America in all of its will and fear, and whatever we might make of this country’s criminal justice policy, it cannot be said that it was imposed by a repressive minority. The abuses that have followed from these policies – the sprawling carceral state, the random detention of black people, the torture of suspects – are the product of democratic will. And so to challenge the police is to challenge the American people who send them into the ghettos armed with the same self-generated fears that compelled the people who think they are white to flee the cities and into the Dream. The problem with the police is not that they are fascist pigs but that our country is ruled by majoritarian pigs. ~ Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me

A primary purpose of the police is to enforce the delusions of those with lots of green paper. ~ Derrick Jensen

The encounter did not leave behind with Chief Inspector Heat that satisfactory sense of superiority the members of the police force get from the unofficial but intimate side of their intercourse with the criminal classes, by which the vanity of power is soothed, and the vulgar love of domination over our fellow creatures is flattered as worthily as it deserves. ~ Joseph Conrad, Secret Agent

Many of us are under the delusion that the police exist solely to deal with crime and keep us safe. That is to ignore the major focus of many of today’s top cops on managing reputation, both of their force and, by default, their careers. ~ Heather Brooke

The police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence. ~ Robert Peel

You gotta love the cops. They start the night ready to shoot someone’s eyes off and at the same time ready to carry a child with a grandmother’s tenderness. Ready to shatter and ready to soothe at the touch of a trigger, a good cop is an amazing animal. ~ Marc Parent

Trenton cops wore more hats than I could name. They were arbitrators, social workers, peacekeepers, baby-sitters and law enforcers. The job was boring, terrifying, disgusting, exhausting and often made no sense at all. The pay was abysmal, the hours inhuman, the department budget was a joke, the uniforms were short in the crotch. And year after year, the Trenton cops held the city together. ~ Janet Evanovich, Three to Get Deadly

Lila harbored an unspoken belief that motherhood was the best possible rehearsal for a prospective police officer. Mothers were naturals for law enforcement, because toddlers, like criminals, were often belligerent and destructive. If you could get through those early years without losing your cool or blowing your top, you might be able to deal with grown-up crime. The key was to not react, to stay adult. ~ Stephen King, Sleeping Beauties

Every few months, white people trot out a new title in a series called Cops Keep Killing People. Each new release has the latest tragic scene on the cover. It sure seems to be the same book recycled over and over, but please don’t form a judgment until you read all five hundred pages. Maybe this time the story will end differently and the cop will be the hero! ~ D .L. Hughley, How Not to Get Shot: And Other Advice from White People

Touring a segregated America – forever being stopped and harassed by white cops hurt you most ‘cos you don’t realize the damage. You hold it in. You feel empty, like someone reached in and pulled out your guts. You feel hurt and dirty, less than a person. ~ B. B. King

In a Toyota, the cops don’t think about stopping you so much. ~ Chuck Berry

I think our police are excellent, probably because I have not done anything that has occasioned being beaten up by these good men. ~ Clement Freud

It is a well-worn truth that cops grow callous – a cliché so tattered that it is even common on television. All cops face things every day that are so gruesome, brutal, and bizarre that no normal human being could deal with them on a daily basis and stay sane. And so they learn not to feel, to grow and maintain a poker-faced whimsy toward all the surprising things their fellow humans find to do to each other. All cops practice not-feeling, and it may be that Miami cops are better at it than others, since they have so many opportunities to learn. ~ Jeff Lindsay, Dexter Is Delicious

We make violent cops, we make violent criminals, and no wonder we have shootouts in slums all of the time. ~ Jose Padilha

If you think people are inherently good, you get rid of the police for twenty-four hours – see what happens. ~ Sylvester Stallone

There are only two people in your life you should lie to… the police and your girlfriend. ~ Jack Nicholson

I had a dream about you. I stood on my roof and called your name until my neighbors called the cops. Your name was Police, so at first I was happy to see a car with your name written on the side show up. Everything was great until I got handcuffed and shoved in the backseat. Love wasn’t normally this brutal. ~ Jarod Kintz

I’m not against the police; I’m just afraid of them. ~ Alfred Hitchcock

The atom bombs are piling up in the factories, the police are prowling through the cities, the lies are streaming from the loudspeakers, but the earth is still going round the sun. ~ George Orwell

There are not enough jails, not enough police, and not enough courts to enforce a law not supported by the people. ~ Hubert H. Humphrey

A functioning police state needs no police. ~ William S. Burroughs

A decent government with an effective, but not gratuitously violent, police force and a fair court system are essential. This deters and incapacitates psychopaths, bullies and hotheads – and if it earns the confidence of the people, they don’t have to become violent in self-defense. ~ Steven Pinker

To insure the adoration of a theorem for any length of time, faith is not enough – a police force is needed as well. ~ Albert Camus

My belief, for what it is worth, is that city dwellers cannot understand the world. Insulated from reality by complex and expert systems of provision and police, baffled by fashion and spectacle, city dwellers can distinguish neither the sources of their existence nor the consequences. ~ James Buchan

People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf. ~ George Orwell

Whether the mask is labeled fascism, democracy, or dictatorship of the proletariat, our great adversary remains the apparatus – the bureaucracy, the police, or the military. Not the one facing us across the frontier of the battle lines, which is not so much our enemy as our brothers’ enemy, but the one that calls itself our protector and makes us its slaves. No matter what the circumstances, the worst betrayal will always be to subordinate ourselves to this apparatus and to trample underfoot, in its service, all human values in ourselves and in others. ~ Simone Weil

Police business is a hell of a problem. It’s a good deal like politics. It asks for the highest type of men, and there’s nothing in it to attract the highest type of men. So we have to work with what we get. ~ Raymond Chandler

There is something about the state putting the power to bully into the hands of subnormal, sadistic apes that makes my blood boil. ~ Gore Vidal, Death in the Fifth Position

If you want to know who protects you from the people that take without asking, it is the police. If you want to know who protects you from the police, it is the people who take without asking. And very often they are the same people. ~ Jonathan Foer, Everything Is Illuminated

It puzzled K, at least it puzzled him looking at it from the policemen’s point of view, that they had made him go into the room and left him alone there, where he had ten different ways of killing himself. At the same time, though, he asked himself, this time looking at it from his own point of view, what reason he could have to do so. Because those two were sitting there in the next room and had taken his breakfast, perhaps? ~ Franz Kafka, The Trial

Let me be clear about this. I don’t have a drug problem. I have a police problem. ~ Keith Richards

I think it’s too bad that everybody’s decided to turn on drugs. I don’t think drugs are the problem. Crime is the problem. Cops are the problem. Money’s the problem. But drugs are just drugs. ~ Jerry Garcia

A recent police study found that you’re much more likely to get shot by a fat cop if you run. ~ Dennis Miller

It’s official. Highway patrolmen are not susceptible to the Jedi Mind Trick. ~ Stephen Colbert

Elvis was the only man from Northeast Mississippi who could shake his hips and still be loved by rednecks, cops, and hippies. ~ Jimmy Buffett