Police State/Civil Liberties

Good Cops/Bad Cops? No Cops!!

I generally agree with this on an abstract level though I have generally found it best to assess police officers and/or claims of police brutality on an individual or situational basis.

It’s possible for a cop to become an ex-cop, and for an ex-cop to criticize many cop behaviors or functions. People have all kinds of reasons for becoming police officers. Some really do think they will have the chance to help others and fight bad people.  Some want to drive fast and carry guns. Some really believe in the “law and order” ideology. Some view it as an opportunity to participate in crime and get away with it. For most, it’s just a job.

There were Vietnam and Iraq War vets who later joined antiwar protests, and there are former cops who participate in anti-police brutality protests.

Image may contain: one or more people, text that says 'The "good/bad cop" question can be disposed of decisively. We need only consider the following: i. Every cop has agreed, as part of his job, is to enforce laws; all of them. ii. Many of the laws are manifestly unjust, or even cruel and wicked. iii. Therefore, every cop has agreed to act as an enforcer of laws that are manifestly unjust, or even cruel and wicked. There are no good cops.'

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  1. Every society has ‘cops’ (that is, people entrusted to enforce order) on some level. Anarchist societies, assuming there ever are any successful ones in the future would be no different.

    • Anarchists have a range of opinions on the issue of how to deal with common crime. This is one set of ideas: https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/scott-of-the-insurgency-culture-collective-the-anarchist-response-to-crime

      I lean toward the view that most police problems we have today are rooted in overcriminalization where every issue is considered a criminal justice issue as opposed to a social problem or a civil matter. In most of these “police brutality” cases, the problem usually starts with some petty offense or accusation of such, like selling “loosies,” possessing drugs, drinking in public, sleeping in public, some petty traffic violation, etc. And then the situation escalates. George Floyd was apparently accused of check forgery, which in some countries is a civil offense like not paying the phone bill. Calling out people with guns as a response to a problem should be reserved for situations where genuine violence is involved like murders, assaults, home invasions, armed robberies, etc.

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