Tina K. Russell

April 26, 2008

Give Props to Cops

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tina Russell @ 10:31 pm

Disabled During ’68 Columbia Melee, a Former Officer Feels Pain, Not Rage – New York Times

Had Mr. Gucciardi been on campus a day earlier, he might have tales to tell of some of the things many former students remember most vividly: police officers indiscriminately hitting bystanders with nightsticks, or chasing students and beating them. As it was, 15 minutes after he arrived, he left on a stretcher, with students even then screaming obscenities in his face.

“They were calling us pigs and saying I should die and so forth,” recalled Mr. Gucciardi, who was a father of three young children at the time. He doesn’t recall those last insults with rage, but amazement. “I just felt they were very stupid,” he says, “for kids that are so smart and brilliant to be acting in this manner.”

Oh, dammit, I’m blogging too much, today. However! You, my dears, must be informed of this.

I go to a college. It is a nice college, the University of Oregon. But! I’m always hearing nasty things about the police and seeing anti-police posters and such and it makes me angry.

First of all, Eugene, Oregon is a pretty safe community, all things considered. We might like the police a little bit more if we were aware of their role in keeping down the crime that, thanks to them, we (being middle-class, educated liberals) do not experience. It’s kind of like vaccines… because they get rid of measles and rubella and other such grisly afflictions, we think they may be unnecessary, or even malicious, because we have no experience with what they get rid of. As soon as parents become “enlightened” (read: decide to put everybody else’s kids in danger as well as their own) and eschew the vaccines, suddenly–whoa!–kids start getting sick and dying from debilitating Gold Rush-era diseases. Who’da thunk?!

I am angry whenever I hear about police brutality, which is a particular problem in Oregon. I simply do not think calling cops “pigs” or saying “$%@# the po-lice” is a particularly good way of elevating the dialogue. The cops that cause problems are the ones that look down on the people they are sworn to serve and protect, the ones who mistake their role as custodians and caretakers of society and think that they are demigods dressed in blue. In order to fix the problems with police in America–including the pervasive, systemic problems, which do exist–we need to elevate the dialogue and get them to respect us, and we won’t do that by calling them “pigs.”

Thank a cop today. Respect cops; they put themselves in danger every day so that we can be safe. When you have a problem with your local police force, make your case forcefully, earnestly, and respectfully to the local community. Police have an important role in society, and by engaging with them and communicating, we can curb both the violent excesses of problem cops and the brutal excesses of the overall system.

1 Comment »

  1. good post on props to cops…if all citizens would cooperate more with police there would be less crime nationally!

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    Comment by chaplain rick — April 27, 2008 @ 10:22 am

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