Do not talk to cops and never, ever believe them
If you take only one thing away from this essay, I hope it’s this: do not talk to cops.
But if you only take two things away, I hope the second one is that it’s possible to imagine a different world where unarmed black people, indigenous people, poor people, disabled people, and people of color are not routinely gunned down by unaccountable police officers. It doesn’t have to be this way.
If you take only three things away from this essay, I hope the third is this: you and your community don’t need bastards to thrive.
Let me tell you what probably won’t solve the problem of bastard cops
- Increased “bias” training. A quarterly or even monthly training session is not capable of covering over years of trauma-based camaraderie in police forces.
- Tougher laws. Cops do not follow the law and will not hold each other accountable to the law.
- More community policing programs. Many of the cops pepper-spraying journalists were probably the nice school cop a month ago.
Instead of wasting time with minor tweaks, I recommend exploring the following ideas:
- No more qualified immunity. Police officers should be personally liable for all decisions they make in the line of duty.
- No more civil asset forfeiture. You lose more cash and property to unaccountable civil asset forfeiture than to all burglaries combined.
- Break the power of police unions. Police unions make it nearly impossible to fire bad cops.
- Require malpractice insurance. If doctors have to have it, police ought to have it.
- Defund, demilitarize, and disarm cops. Cities are not safer when unaccountable bullies have a monopoly on state violence and the equipment to execute that monopoly.
One final idea: consider abolishing the police.
The above page has been paraphrased. If you want to know how this insider came to these conclusions read the complete story: