Via Tim Cushing at Techdirt, a pseudonymous cop who calls himself Deputy Matt explains at the Daily Caller how the evil forces of the media have turned the heads of not just the “normal criminal element” but good people, law-abiding people, from their adoration of the police.
I live and work more than 1900 miles west of Ferguson, but the effects of that case are still being felt here. Not a week goes by without someone I encounter mentioning it.
“Ferguson” has become the latest defense for committing crime, often invoked by people we arrest and their loved ones. Sadly, this feeling has not only infected the normal criminal element that I expect that behavior from, but even seems to be effecting middle class families as well.
Based on the required opening anecdote, offered to prove by one data point that the entire nation has gone nuts, Deputy Matt may misconstrue “the latest defense for committing crime” when what he means is contempt for cops. Or maybe they’re the same thing.
When we finally located the son, who is of mixed ethnicity (dad is white, mom is Hispanic), he instantly began cussing and yelling at us. He took a fighting stance and said he was not going to do anything we told him.
Luckily, we were able to calm him and get him into handcuffs without any blows being thrown.
We asked why he was so hostile towards us. His response? Ferguson. The cops could not be trusted because of what happened in Ferguson, Missouri. He told us that he wanted to kill all white cops because of what “they” had done to Michael Brown.
Some might wonder why Deputy Matt felt it necessary to note the son’s ethnicity, but sophisticated people recognize that it’s for the same reason cops say that some of their best friends are black. And why they never quite grasp why that doesn’t get them invited to parties at black people’s homes. Plus, you have to admire the “fighting stance,” just because it’s always cool to use some cop-jargon to explain the threat they faced, yet coolly, calmly dissipated without violence. Deputy Matt is a hero.
But is “cops cannot be trusted” a crime? Is that what Ferguson has done to us?
What has changed is the public’s perception of us, created by the reckless reporting by nearly every news outlet very early after the shooting of Michael Brown. The rush to be first with the story over the desire to be correct is having dire consequences nationwide, and quite honestly, has made my job more difficult and more dangerous.
And really, the primary reason for the existence of society is to make Deputy Matt’s job easier and safer. If only the media wouldn’t lie about stuff, like showing video of what was happening on the street.
The national media jumps all over a story where an 18-year-old criminal punk, who shot at a cop, is shot and killed. That criminal is made out to be some sort of victim by many outlets. That story is front page news all over the country.
Did you know that in just three days this week (October 7-9), six cops were shot in the line of duty, one of whom was killed?
But the problem isn’t the cops. The problem isn’t what happened in Ferguson. The problem is the media, the people, the fact that we don’t appreciate that the cops are the good guys. If only we would just do as they tell us, respect them, love them like they want to be loved.
Following what happened to Michael Brown in Ferguson, from the treatment of protesters, the manhandling of the media, and of course the dead teenager left in the road, America got a glimpse at the problems that have been there all along, but never made it onto their radar. Perhaps it was because they were too busy watching celebrities buying babies, or perhaps they just didn’t want to know about it. Stuff like this doesn’t make it any easier to sleep at night.
But Ferguson put it in our face, at least to some extent, and regular, law-abiding people were forced to smell the scent of abuse that rose from body of a dead young man in this suburb of St. Louis. As Deputy Matt tries to hard to explain, we should hold our noses because it’s just the death of a punk, the normal criminal element, unworthy of living. Why won’t we listen to him?
As Tim Cushing explains, there isn’t much disagreement that Deputy Matt’s thrust is true: cops haven’t changed. What has changed is that we are now able to see what they do for ourselves.
Putting more eyes on officer behavior and tactics — whether it’s by bloggers and journalists dedicated to this field or by the thousands of hours of amateur footage hosted at YouTube — has resulted in a shift in the public’s perception. But Deputy Matt is wrong to blame it on the public… or mass media… or Ferguson. The problem is Deputy Matt and the officers he’s decided to speak for. They haven’t changed.
The cop who always laid a few extra licks on an “uncooperative” arrestee still does so… only there’s a good chance the punches/baton swings/taser bursts have been captured on “tape.” The cop who always performed a little extracurricular searching during routine traffic stops continues to do so… only now he’s being served with civil rights lawsuits and the dashcam recording of his illegal efforts is splashed all over the news thanks to the plaintiff’s lawyer.
Tim ponders why Deputy Matt sees no problem on the cop side, instead blaming the media for ruining their good thing and maintaining the traditional police cultural view that they are the good guys, and therefore entitled to do whatever seems like a good idea at the moment.
But Deputy Matt’s complaint ignores even the slightest, most minimal bit of culpability on behalf of his fellow officers. This massive blind spot prevents him from seeing the truth directly in front of him: if the public — generally-speaking — no longer trusts police officers, it’s because — generally-speaking — police officers aren’t worthy of the public’s trust.
Of course, Deputy Matt knows better. And if you don’t like it, he’ll bust your skull, you scumbag mutt. Now shut up and do as you’re told.