Confessions of a Corporal: Cynicism, Copblock, and a kind word

Stop the Cop Haters is made up of a collection of people throughout the United States. Some of us have regular jobs in the public sector and want to show support of officers, others are current law enforcement or retired law enforcement officers.

Our goal is simple, to show people the many kind and wonderful things that police officers do everyday. Lately with social media and hate groups like Copblock, police have gotten a bad rap. Sure there have been some incidents of bad behavior, but by in large, the majority of officers are good people. If you have a bad visit at the dentist or doctor, do you hate all doctors and wish them dead? Of course not, only a sociopath would think that mentality is acceptable.

Officers are people just like you. People with families and children. They are somebody’s son, daughter, brother, sister or friend.  No one should hate another simply for the color or their skin or the color of their uniform.  Always remember there is a human being behind that badge who loves and bleeds like you.

That was the paragraph I penned a few days ago for the About us section of the webpage.  It is a truth I hope everyone understands but sometimes I do not actually believe myself.  They inform you in the academy that people will look at you differently, treat you differently and you will have a hard time maintaining the friendships you used to have.  At the time I did not quite understand it.

After nearly a decade policing, I have come to the realization that it does not matter how well I do my job, someone is always going to hate me.  This is not a regular type of hate, it’s a seething, rabid and disgusting hate that only someone inflicted with evil could have.  How else to you explain it?  They don’t really know me.   They don’t know who my favorite sports teams are,  my favorite food,  my family or financial status.  They do not know that I pride myself on being a good father and husband.  They do not know the many things I have done in my community on my days off to help the citizens of my jurisdiction.  Nope,  all they know, is that I wear blue and have a badge.

They will make all kinds of excuses as to why,  from previous confrontations, to family members being arrested or to enforcing marijuana laws.  They always have an excuse,  and not a single excuse points to them.  It’s always someone else’s fault as to why.  Reading through Copblock posts is like reading Charlie Sheen’s hate mail.  If all they want is accountability, then why does our Facebook page get death threats whenever we mention Copblock.   The truth always comes out.  It is there right now if one wishes to look for it,  but this isn’t about Copblock.

This is about being cynical after months of being on the defensive with Michael Brown, Eric Garner and other high-profile incidents.  I was starting to believe that maybe the public was viewing us like the pathetic members of Copblock do.  I had even considered moving on into a job in the private sector.  A person can only put up with so much before they decide to take leave of their situation.   That’s exactly whats happening.  Good Officers are leaving the career because anti-police people and the media are making them out to be the bad guy.  I was contemplating being one of them.

Then something happened.   I went to eat at one of my favorite places while on duty.  It was a Friday night and the place was fairly busy.  I would normally grab something small and avoid crowds at all costs,  but I was really hungry.  I find my place to sit,  no spots available with my back to the wall, dang it.   I sit down and look around.  I can feel everyone’s eyes on me.   In my mind, they are thinking,  “great,  a damn cop just ruined our meal.”  Then it happened.  God gives you what you need, not what you want.

As the other tables around me began to leave to pay their bills,  almost every person within a 40 foot radius of my table,  stopped at my table and offered beautiful words of encouragement.

“Thank you for serving our community.”

“Please be safe out there.”

“I appreciate what you do for us.”

“Police are getting a bad rap,  there are many of us who support you, don’t forget that. “

I was practically dumbfounded.  Reading Copblock’s page for our Facebook page, sorting through hate mail, seeing comments on news stories, and 10 years on the job, had made me cynical and made me believe that no one cared.  That one meal showed me it was the furthest thing from the truth. There are many, many, many more good people out there than bad,  The bad ones just make the most noise,  the good ones salute you in silence. Those kind words were all I needed to rejuvenate my resolve to continue helping and serving others.  Its something we should all remember.

I will now go out of my way to let other officers know I appreciate them and their sacrifices are not in vain.  Remember,  sometimes all it takes is a kind word to inspire others.

If you are one of the cop-haters, copblockers, or just all around bad guys who can’t judge a man on his merits, but instead, on his career choice,  well then I feel sorry for you.  Hate is an awful thing.   A strangers kind word will always mean more than your hate filled rant.

BE INSPIRATION

quit

Authored by:

Admin S (formerly Nightrider)

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9 thoughts on “Confessions of a Corporal: Cynicism, Copblock, and a kind word

  1. After reading a few entries on this blog after a friend shared one, I feel compelled to write to respond to this.

    I am someone that, at first glance, you would probably consider a “cop-hater.” I believe that many aspects of modern police work are fundamentally immoral. Saying that that makes me an “all around bad guy” is ridiculous, though, and my views are probably quite a bit more nuanced than you realize. Let me explain why…

    I am a hardcore libertarian. An anarcho-capitalist, if you will. I am also devout Christian and an unwavering moral absolutist. I believe that people have an absolute right to life, liberty, and property. I believe to my very core that the use of violence is immoral UNLESS it is in direct defense of life, liberty, or property. Because of this, I believe that laws against “victimless crimes” are fundamentally immoral. To me and my rigidly logical moral code, snatching someone into the back of a police car and throwing them into a cage for something like drugs or an illegal concealed weapon is literally no different than kidnapping someone. I also view taxation as no different than theft, because no matter how ostensibly noble a person or group’s reason is for taking people’s money and property against their will, it’s STILL theft.

    Because of this, I believe that the actions of police are grossly immoral. Criminal, even. On a daily basis they are expected to (and do) enforce myriad laws against victimless crimes, all while being funded by the wholesale act of theft that we call taxes. Modern police work isn’t merely some policy that I disagree with; it’s literally unjustifiable criminal violence in my eyes. No matter how calm, professional, or by-the-book an officer may be, his job STILL entails violating people’s rights to life, liberty, and property on a regular basis.

    You want to know what would make me an “all around bad guy”? Believing all of the things that I just told you and NOT speaking out against the modern law enforcement profession. I can’t NOT point out that police work is immoral. I can’t NOT try to convince people that I’m right about this. I can’t NOT tell people that no matter how good of a person and friend their cop buddy may be, a large part of his job still involves doing things that are immoral.

    Now, that said, I actually know different three cops from various departments in the Southern Oregon/Northern California region where I live who I consider to be friends. I hang out with each of them from time to time. Two of them I’ve known since before they were cops. One I’ve been friends with since high school. They actually tend to agree with me on a lot of things and they all lean libertarian to varying degrees, so we’ll occasionally have a civil debate on things police-related, but for the most part we just talk about and do other stuff when we hang out. My point is that just because I view someone’s profession as fundamentally immoral that doesn’t mean that I hate them. If I hated and refused to associate everyone whose views were different than mine, I wouldn’t have very many friends and I’d stand zero chance at ever changing the world. I may HATE much of what constitutes police work, but that doesn’t mean that I hate the people who do it. I actually WANT them to wake up, see the truth, and change. My views are more nuanced than I think you assume they are.

    Does that really make me a “bad guy”? I can and SHOULD judge people based on their choice of career, but that doesn’t mean that I have to hate them. You’re painting people with beliefs that are opposed to your own with just as broad a brush as you accuse them of using, and while I’m sure it isn’t intentional, at the end of the day it kind of comes off like you’re saying that people are “all around bad guys” if they have deeply held moral convictions about the immorality of violating people’s rights to life, liberty, and property. Can you see why saying something like that MIGHT not help your cause very much?

    I’ll grant it to you that there a lot of anti-Cop people who aren’t as interested in civil discourse as I am. There are also a lot of idiots who are anti-cop, often for the wrong reasons. (As someone who carries a handgun at all times and has a fair bit of training in defensive shooting, I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve had to explain to simpletons that cops DO sometimes have just cause to shoot people and that “just wounding” a guy in the arm or leg who is charging with a knife is a retarded idea and actually how defensive shooting works.) On the same token, I’ve also read a LOT of angry, violent, poorly written comments from cops that are absolutely horrifying.

    All that I’m asking here is that you try to remember that there are also a LOT of very thoughtful people like myself who hold these views. Don’t be so quick to write us off as idiots or “all around bad guys”; doing so will only hurt your cause.

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    • David, there is a big difference between your opinion that you hold which you intelligently articulate and the opinion of the majority of cop haters. One only needs to read a comment section of copblock and you can see that most of those people couldn’t even really tell you why they hate police beyond their own criminal record.

      I respect your opinion and actually agree with some of it. Here’s my problem with it though. Just because you don’t like taxes, or a certain law, or the way government is run, doesn’t make your opinion the predominant one. Many people are content to pay taxes for their roads, fire service, police service etc.. The taxation system was set up long before you and I were born and will be around long after were gone. Do you really honestly believe that without any services and people just doing their own thing that people will make the right decisions? Look at all the evil in world and try telling me you don’t need police.

      We will never agree on the drug problem with the exception of marijuana maybe. I’ve seen what meth does to people. It is horrendous. So let me ask you this, say we don’t pay taxes. What is your plan for that addict? Let him do whatever he wants until he finally kills someone or himself?

      Again as I stated, I respect your intelligent response and thank you for that, but the fact remains, copblock is a joke, they are tin foil hat wearers who promote violence. They are not for accountability. I have no problem with accountability, its just won’t come from an angry group of felons. In fact we have a citizens review board for accountability, and I can’t ever recall them screaming fuck the police at me. Hell, that phrase alone should show the hate and prove their false narrative. Check out our screen capture album on Facebook or visit civilians against copblock on Facebook

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  2. “One only needs to read a comment section of copblock and you can see that most of those people couldn’t even really tell you why they hate police beyond their own criminal record.”

    I could say the same thing about the comment section on Police One. I’ve read PLENTY of utterly horrifying comments on there. Violent, hateful comments from people who have little respect for people’s rights and view the people they’re ostensibly charged with protecting as being subhuman. Personally, I think a horrifying comment from an actual police officer is FAR more disturbing than a horrifying comment from some random person (who is very possibly using an anonymous troll profile) on CopBlock. Both comments may be promoting violence and hate, but only one interacts with people on a potentially violent basis day in and day out. Which do you think is more likely to actually do something terrible?

    Also, I know plenty of people who hate the police with fiery vitriol who don’t any criminal record whatsoever. When you constantly accuse people of disliking cops just because of their own criminal actions (something that cops and their most ardent supporters seem to do regularly), it becomes increasingly difficult to take you seriously. It lowers the level of discourse. Seriously, pretty much every time I try I write a coherent, well written post arguing for drug legalization on a news article or something, people start jumping down my throat and accusing me of being an addict. In reality, I’ve never touched a drug in my life. I’ve never even drank. Can you see why that kind of behavior can get exasperating and make people stop taking you seriously? Personally, I stick with sarcastically pointing out how stupid accusing me of being an addict makes someone look, but I can’t totally blame those who grow frustrated and vitriolic in light of this kind of behavior. Assuming that anger and vitriol directed towards cops is indicative of a criminal record is folly.

    “Just because you don’t like taxes, or a certain law, or the way government is run, doesn’t make your opinion the predominant one.”

    It doesn’t matter. Just because on opinion isn’t the predominant one that doesn’t make it wrong. At one point, the predominant opinion in America was that it was OK to enslave black people. At another, the predominant opinion was that alcohol should be prohibited. Another time most of the population was OK with throwing American citizens and legal immigrants into internment camps. Tyranny of the majority is just that… Tyranny.

    “Many people are content to pay taxes for their roads, fire service, police service etc.”

    Right… Most people are content paying for them. So why do we need a government to provide them? Why can’t they be provided privately and competitively just like every other service in the world is?

    “Do you really honestly believe that without any services and people just doing their own thing that people will make the right decisions? Look at all the evil in world and try telling me you don’t need police.”

    Neither me nor any of the other anarchists involved in organizations like “Cop Block” think we don’t need police. What we really want to see is a voluntary society with privatized police/defense. As an anarchist, I don’t want society to be free from RULES, I want it to be free from RULERS. In a truly free society with an unfettered free market, competing private police agencies would without doubt spring. People could subscribe to them just as you currently do insurance. The result would be that the “laws” that were enforced would fall more in line the the idea of natural law; the rights to life, liberty, and property. With competing agencies, you likely wouldn’t see people getting arrested for victimless crimes, because if one private police agency started arresting people for smoking weed, another could step in and stop them from hurting it’s customers. There would be far more accountability and checks and balances under a voluntary system like this.

    “So let me ask you this, say we don’t pay taxes. What is your plan for that addict? Let him do whatever he wants until he finally kills someone or himself?”

    To some extent, yes. I don’t need to have a plan for that addict. Why should I need to have a plan for someone else’s life? Until he actually hurts or tries to hurt someone, there’s nothing you can do about him. Should angry alcoholics be arrested before they’ve actually assaulted anyone? Should Anheuser-Busch be raided because their product MIGHT be imbibed by someone who ends up hurting someone? Where do you draw the line on this kind of thing?

    Without arbitrary laws and a tax burden that deprives people of a huge chunk of their income, though, I actually do believe that it would be easier to deal with addicts. First off, the elimination of such laws would make it a lot easier for private citizens to help addicts. Secondly, more of the danger and death of the drug world stems from the black market and people overdosing than it does from crazed drug users assaulting people.

    “I have no problem with accountability, its just won’t come from an angry group of felons.”

    This again… Come on, man. Why are you SO convinced that cop-blockers are mostly felons? I should also add that when you can become a felon for as many reasons as you can in America, is it really appropriate to write off their anger at the cops? If they unjustly received a felony, they have every right to be mad! I cannot blame a peaceful, harmless person who got a felony over drug use for being mad at the cops.

    I have a perfectly criminal record and I don’t see that changing, but here’s a scenario for you… I live in Southern Oregon and grew up in Northern California, so I spend a lot of time visiting rural Northern California to go backpacking, visit friends, and do my filmmaking and photography work. I hold concealed carry permits for both Oregon and Utah, and I carry a gun everywhere I go. Oregon is alright. It respects my right to carry a gun and at least kind of would even if I didn’t have a permit. California, on the other hand, does NOT respect my right to carry a gun, and I may or may not let that stop me from carrying a gun there. For the purpose of this discussion, lets pretend that it’s definitely a “may not.”

    Lets say I get pulled over by a CHP for a minor traffic infraction in the town of 300-some people that I grew up in. Most everyone there knows and likes me, and none of them would give two shits about me carrying a gun. They’d probably be glad that I was. If the cop found out that I was carrying one, though, I would very likely be arrested and booked in the county jail, and even if I somehow avoided that I would DEFINITELY have my gun confiscated and be issued a citation. I didn’t harm anyone. No one’s rights to life, liberty, or property were affected by my actions in the slightest. And yet… I could end up with a misdemeanor or even a felony and be deprived of both liberty and property simply for exercising my God-given right to carry an inanimate object around on my hip.

    Could you really blame me for being mad at the government about that?

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    • What did you expect in California, its filled with liberals who hate guns. It’s not like that in the Midwest. Most officers I know are very pro 2nd amendment. Being mad at the government, sure I can understand that. I am too. And that’s where your wrong, we aren’t the government, your local officers do not work for Obama, bush or anyone else. I work for the citizens of my town.

      I seen a while lot of excuses in your reply but not much accountability on your side. Funny how that works.

      As for felons, yes, I know who the copblock founders are and almost everyone of them has a lengthy criminal history. You still didn’t reply to my question. Do most accountability groups run around saying fuck them. Doctors answer to someone, does their accountability groups say “fuck the doctors!”. Death to the piggies! Like I said before, I keep screen shots of them advocating violence on our Facebook page, you can see yourself, although I’m sure you’ll have an excuse.

      We don’t decide what laws are laws, that come from your elected officials and the rest of society. Maybe you are ahead of the curve with your ideas, i dont know, but it doesn’t change a damn thing of how things are right now so there is not point in arguing with you.

      Rarely does an addicts behavior only affect himself. They lie, cheat, rob, kill etc. That’s a fact and that why most of society won’t ever see your way of thinking. To many people have already been victims of crime perpetrated by selfish individuals.

      There are many good officers who go out everyday to protect and serve and go above and beyond. Who truly want to just help their fellow man. Yet that hate group tries to find fault with them and discount their service.

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  3. “What did you expect in California, its filled with liberals who hate guns.”

    You obviously don’t know much about Northern California. People there are VERY pro-gun and have been trying to secede and form their own state (Called “Jefferson”) for decades because they hate having their lives ran by liberals. It’s INSANE that people hundreds of miles away can foist anti-gun laws on these people. Should they just roll with the punches and accept it? You realize that this country was founded by people actively fighting their government, right? Peaceful civil disobedience is NOTHING compared to how America was founded, and yet you seem to be staunchly opposed to it.

    You say that you see a lot of “excuses” in my reply and that there’s, “Not much accountability on [my] side,” and yet here you are making excuses for the cop in my theoretical scenario. From what you’ve written here, I take it that you’re pretty pro-gun and OK with people like me carrying guns. Great! But then why would you say things like, “What did you expect in California?” if someone were to fall afoul of their draconian anti-gun laws? Why do you put NO blame on the cop who is enforcing that ridiculous law that no one in the area even wants? Do you think that cops should not be held accountable for enforcing unjust laws?

    I see people on your side of the debate talk about how anti-cop people need to be “accountable” or take “responsibility” for their actions all the time. Generally, the people saying that mean that those who willingly break laws they feel are unjust need to accept any punishment that befalls them without complaint since the broke the law of their own volition. Is that what you’re saying here? If so… Why should someone have to just roll over and accept a punishment for committing a “crime” that never should have been illegal in the first place? If a peaceful person were to get arrested for carrying a gun—a right that I THINK you agree they have—why should they simply have to roll over and accept responsibility for exercising a right? Why do you refuse to hold the cop who is of his own volition helping to forcefully deprive someone of their rights accountable for HIS actions? When people stick their nose into YOUR business, they are the one who is in the wrong.

    “We don’t decide what laws are laws, that come from your elected officials and the rest of society.”

    Cops CHOOSE to enforce them. They could choose not to if they feel that the law is immoral. People often try to pin all culpability for bad laws on the politicians who enacted them, but that’s garbage. If you want to talk about dodging accountability, THIS is it. The people who enforce bad laws are responsible for enforcing them, PERIOD.

    “Rarely does an addicts behavior only affect himself. They lie, cheat, rob, kill etc.”

    Lying and cheating aren’t crimes in most instances, just bad behavior. Robbing and killing are and should be illegal, so… Why do drugs need to be illegal too? People are always going to be arrested for robbing and killing. Why not just wait until a drug user ACTUALLY hurts someone to arrest them instead of further destroying the lives of people who haven’t directly hurt anyone but themselves?

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    • Valid point, I personally wouldn’t enforce gun laws, and would find another occupation should our government repeal the 2nd amendment. That’s my opinion, doesn’t mean I am right, just like your opinion doesn’t make you right. You are the one on a high horse unwilling to conceed any other view points. I see you again ignored the section and question about copblock.

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      • “That’s my opinion, doesn’t mean I am right, just like your opinion doesn’t make you right. You are the one on a high horse unwilling to concede any other view points.”

        Of course I’m not going to concede to another viewpoint. We aren’t debating the merits of our favorite movies here. My beliefs aren’t merely my opinion, they’re the result of me searching for objective truth. I can give you a rationed, logical reason for why I believe everything that I believe. I firmly believe that my “opinions” are backed up by logic and the observable laws of nature, and I’m far from the only person who holds these beliefs to think that.

        Most people hold the opinions that they do because, “Oh, well meth is bad and dangerous, it should be illegal,” and, “Hmm, weed isn’t quite as bad, so I guess we can trust people with that one.” It’s all subjective. It’s all firmly rooted in emotion. Most people really can’t give you a reason for why they believe what they believe that’s any deeper than that. My reason for believing what I believe goes like this, though:

        1) Your mind is sovereign. No one else can occupy it, so no one has a right to control your thoughts.
        2) Your mind occupies your body. No other mind can occupy it, so your body is therefore sovereign. Therefore, your body belongs to YOU. You have a right to LIFE.
        3) If your body belongs to you, then it’s movements belong to you. In other words, your LABOR belongs to you, and you are free to do with it as you please. You have a right to LIBERTY.
        4) If you have a right to your labor, then whenever you mix your labor with an unappropriated piece of property, it becomes yours. When a caveman picked up a stick, he was mixing his labor with it. He still had a right to that labor, so he then owned the stick. This is because people have a right to PROPERTY.

        You can answer all sorts of ethical questions by applying this logic. So, no… I’m not just sitting here acting like my opinion is better then yours. I can give you a detailed and thorough explanation of why I actually think that my beliefs are right.

        Also, I didn’t really try to ignore your question, I just honestly don’t know what your “question” is. You mentioned in your second response that there was some question about CopBlock that I avoided, but I’ve gone back and re-read your initial post two more times now and there’s no question in it about CopBlock. You kind of asked a question about CopBlock in your second response, but it comes off sounding like a rhetorical question so I didn’t realize that you actually wanted me to answer it. Is this the question you want me to answer?

        “Do most accountability groups run around saying fuck them. [sic]”

        I’m not really sure how to answer this for you. A medical review board isn’t exactly comparable to CopBlock. The medical review board ACTUALLY has authority to do things, whereas CopBlockers are just activists from a wide array of backgrounds trying to call attention to an issue.

        Like

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