A Source for Further Anecdotes, if Not Statistics

The CATO Institute has apparently opened a project on police misconduct, not limited to SWAT teams, which is attempting to aggregate news that may inform the longstanding debate we've had here. Some of the allegations are insignificant because they're trying to aggregate everything, and it's of no matter to us that a policeman got a DUI (say). It's true that this means he's breaking the laws he is sworn to enforce, but we aren't interested in whether policemen are saints. Of course they are not. A momentary lapse on the part of a single officer is not telling, and indeed may not even indicate that the one particular cop is generally unfit. Anyone can have a bad day.

We're not even really interested in cases of outright corruption, such as the case mentioned of stealing gasoline for personal use from the county depot. It may be true or false, but it doesn't affect our concern about whether the relationship between the police and the citizenry has become unhealthy. No one expects a society in which there is no corruption.

Still, there remain plenty of items that do apply to our question about the relationship between the police and the citizenry. Here's a very recent incident they're tracking. This was a mixed race marriage, so what the police saw was a large black man chasing a Latina. In the context of our culture's usual assumption that black men are violent and predatory toward women, that might have alarmed the police. The man then tried to shove past them when they got between him and her.

1 comment:

raven said...

Data point- here is an LAPD cop, writing for a conservative audience, about the Dorner screwup- the comments are not pleasant-he got the same response when he lambasted the Indiana Legislature for passing a law that said "yes, you do have the right to resist a LEO if he is engaged in an illegal assault"
The essence of this from a societal point ,is that the staunchest bulwark of police support, the ones who always could be counted upon, the conservatives, are coming to the same opinion of police as the ghetto dwellers- they are not to be trusted, dangerous to be around, and operate above the law.
The implications of this are enormous.