Sad truth is there are some bad cops

Posted 19 December 2014 at 12:00 am


The recent media focus on protests in Ferguson, MO to Staten Island, NY and across America is a topic long overdue. Sadly, it has taken the protests of thousands of people to draw attention to a serious social problem.

The problem is not simply defined as a racial element in law enforcement, although that is clearly a notable point that cannot be ignored. The problem goes deeper into the psyche of those who are entrusted to uphold the law.

No one will deny the need for law enforcement or police protection. High praise and honor is deserved for the men and women who patrol and protect our neighborhoods; who investigate crimes and seek out those who threaten our well-being and property; who help bring the guilty to a place of justice.

Yet, there is a serious problem in the realm of law enforcement. A problem with policies and philosophies within the agencies themselves and as a public delusion. The problem is the assumption that once someone puts on that uniform and badge that they become inscrutable. They can do no wrong. They are immune to prosecution or repercussions for questionable actions and the results that occur.

That has been the status quo. According to the police unions, their public relations departments, and most every Grand Jury, the police can do no wrong. The police never abuse their power or the people they are confronting. Their actions are always defended and justified.

Why does it seem so impossible to expect the police department and public officials to make a better effort to spot and weed out the bad apples among their ranks? Stop covering up for them and hold them responsible for their actions? What kind of example is being set when the ones we trust to uphold the law abuse and break the law without being held accountable?

Be honest with reality. There are bad cops. Period. Egotistical, arrogant and yes, sometimes sadistic minds who enjoy the power and authority of their job title. This problem exists in our jail and prison systems as well. Ignore that if you wish, but it is a sad truth.

There do exist some in authority that enjoy, yes, enjoy provoking a fight, an opportunity for violence, and go home and are so proud of themselves. Never with any fear of answering for the wrongs they have committed.

I make an appeal to you all and to the good people in law enforcement. Stop looking the other way, making excuses, and ignoring a serious problem.

Ask yourself, honestly, was Eric Garner provoking or threatening the five police officers that surrounded him? Did Officer Daniel Pantaleo act in response to a physical threat or was he just being a “take charge” kind of guy? If you can’t discern that he applied an illegal and unnecessary choke hold then maybe you think along the lines of the CIA it was only ‘enhanced’ restraint.


Jay Rothmund