This writing only applies to cops in the United States. In other countries, the police culture may be better (or worse).
Why I Don’t Trust Police
I’ve had a police officer yell in my face after refusing to provide him my phone number. I was being completely calm and respectful. I don’t even normally carry a phone. Phones are addictive, distracting surveillance devices with non-free bootloaders, non-free modem operating systems and proprietary hardware. But that wasn’t any of his business. The same cop handcuffed me behind my back for no reason, then tried to bully and intimidate me by threatening a misdemeanor charge over a fender bender where nobody was hurt and I wasn’t even driving.
He then pretended to be my friend saying we got off on the wrong foot and lectured me about giving information to the police. I just agreed with him so he would leave me alone and because there was nothing to gain out of challenging him. After that, he reminded me how well-liked he was. This could’ve just been him boasting or a veiled threat. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and say it was boasting.
Besides that instance, I’ve caught cops in outright lies before. Cops have put words in my mouth and twisted what I’ve said. I’ve witnessed cops misrepresent reality numerous times to extract information from people. They’ve harassed people I know and put undue stress on their families. They obtained a no-knock warrant to bust down the door of someone I know looking for someone else that didn’t even live there. Then they refused to repair the damage to the door and never apologized for it. Every time I’ve personally seen or heard someone report an incident to the police, the police either couldn’t help or didn’t care to. And finally, in every encounter with a police officer, even if I’m just walking in the park, I feel like I’m being treated as a potential criminal. Every conversation feels like an interrogation, like I’m always under suspicion. So those are my personal reasons for not trusting police.
Why You Shouldn’t Trust Police
Here’s a non-comprehensive list of 20 reasons you shouldn’t trust police either (in no particular order):
- Police defend each others’ bad behavior, almost without exception. The ones who don’t end up getting fired or worse.
- Police plant evidence.
- Police union contracts arbitrarily restrict investigating officer misconduct.
- 72% of police agree poorly performing officers are not held accountable for their actions.
- More than half of police say their job has made them more callous.
- Police steal more from the innocent than do thieves.
- Police mistake everyday objects for guns.
- Police can search your home without your knowledge or consent if they suspect terrorism. You can be put on a terror watch list for almost anything and it’s nearly impossible to clear your name.
- Instead of listening to protesters calling for police reform, police instead promote the myth that there’s a “war on police”.
- Local police departments use powerful surveillance technology to invade your privacy without a warrant.
- Police lying on the witness stand is so rampant it has a name: “testilying”
- Police training is severely inadequate. They receive less hours of training than barbers.
- Police can and will lie to you, especially if you’re ignorant of the law. But if you lie to them, you’ll be arrested.
- Police have spent 40 years blowing trillions of dollars ruining people’s lives over drugs and causing the prison population to explode. All the while drug use rates have remained constant.
- Police have been lying to children about drugs since the early 80’s. The D.A.R.E. program even encourages children to snitch on their parents.
- Police infringe upon citizens’ freedom to explore their own consciousness through psychedelics.
- Two 1990’s studies showed police commit domestic violence at significantly higher rates than the national average. The stats may have changed since, but it’s still cause for concern.
- Police officers launder evidence through illegal government surveillance to fight the failed war on drugs.
- Police departments partner with scAmazon’s corporate mass surveillance network to circumvent your 4th amendment rights.
- America has a long history of racist policing.
Rethinking the Role of Policing in Society
I do believe in the institution of policing. But in practice, perverse incentives lead to a toxic police culture and a society where people (rightfully) do not trust the police. We need major police reform here in America. Perhaps I’ll explore possible solutions in a future journal entry.
1: The Price a Cop Paid for Crossing the Blue Line
2: Shooting of Kathryn Johnston
3: Police Union Contracts
4: Pew Research: Behind the Badge
5: Civil Asset Forfeiture
6: The Awful Truth: Don’t Shoot, It’s Only a Wallet
7: Militarization of Police
8: Bogus “War on Police”
9: Police Surveillance Technology
10: Stop the Police Surveillance State
11: Lying is a Fundamental Part of American Police Culture
12: The Problem With Police Training in the US
13: Ways Police Can Lie to You
14: The War on Drugs
15: D.A.R.E. Use of Children as Informants
16: Legalize Psychedelics
17: Do 40% of Police Families Experience Domestic Violence?
18: Parallel Construction
19: Cancel Ring
20: What 100 Years of History Tells Us About Racism in Policing