Friday, July 04, 2008

Still more crooked cops

For those of you keeping track, in the last three weeks, four Indianapolis police officers have been arrested. Two were arrested for stealing money and drugs from suspects (and possibly from the evidence locker) and selling the drugs on their own. One was arrested for selling firearms to convicted felons. And another was arrested for running a prostitution ring. This is not helping my already-slim confidence in the police. Police officers are a little scary; if they're corrupt, they're an enemy you can't defend against. Even if they're clearly in the wrong, they tend to win all the fights -- and even if they lose, they make fighting the fight not worth the trauma you'll suffer.

I'm already at the point where calling the cops is no longer an automatic response to crime; instead, I do some mental calculus to determine if it's the kind of crime they care about at all, if there's any chance they'll arrive in time, and if their presence will help or hurt. And I suspect I'm not alone in this reasoning. I imagine it was comforting for people of my parents' generation to believe that the police were generally the good guys, but my generation has no such comfort. We've got a pretty realistic appraisal of what police officers are: occasionally nice guys, occasionally bullies; sometimes honest, sometimes corrupt; rarely lifesavers, more often part of the problem. They're in my mental category of People To Avoid.

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