Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Former Cop On Brutality

Former Seattle police chief Norm Stamper tells us why cops abuse us:

So, why did I abuse the very people I'd been hired to serve?

Not to get too psychological, I did it because the power of my position went straight to my head; because other cops I'd come to admire did it; and because I thought I could get away with it. Which I did--until a principled prosecutor slapped me upside the head and demanded to know whether the U.S. Constitution meant anything to me.

It comes down to this: real cops, those with a conscience, those who honor the law, must step up and take control of the cop culture.

It's nice to read one reason for police brutality straight from the horse's mouth, but Mr. Stamper's last sentence is a bit pie-in-the-sky. Shouldn't the cops with a conscience have taken control of cop culture by now? The police as a whole won't "honor the law" unless there is a system in place that: a) gives them incentive to do so, and b) doles out quick and harsh punishment when they don't.

Also, don't miss this first in a two part series on the costs of police brutality. It makes a point that has the potential to get through even the thickest ditto-head skull: police brutality is ultimately expensive to taxpayers.