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I Hate our Heroes

Cops. Police officers. Whatever you call them, they have a simple, if difficult duty: to protect our town. But what happens when our supposed heroes disgrace themselves with profanities and unnecessary actions instead of completing their jobs with civility and honor? The men and women who are supposed to be idols become loathed.

Take, for example, the experience of my friend Stephen. He’s from out of town and was visiting me, and we were out after the 10:00 curfew. We were unfortunately detained by a cop, who brought us home. On the way however, the cop informed Stephen that “If you ever come back to this town I will rip your f****** head off.”

What kind of behavior is this for the supposed saviors of society? They are supposed to protect and prevent, not degrade and insult! Now, I know that while Stephen and I may have deserved the stern talking-tos we later received from our parents, I believe that the cop was completely out of line in his threat. And not only was this not an exception, but it is the norm in my town.

Of course, I certainly do appreciate the work these people do in protecting the place in which I live, and I’m not expecting a “pretty please let me put you in handcuffs” every time an arrest is made. But really, is it too much to ask for some simple respect? One may argue that a criminal deserves no respect, or that stupid teenagers out past curfew deserve whatever threats are made against them. But in the case of my friend Zach, a judge came to find the opposite to be true.

It was summer, and Zach and three friends were hanging out in a large dirt area behind my house. It was night, and the four teens, bored and cold, decided to build a fire. They managed to start a meager fire before police arrived, angry and fuming. While the officers’ anger may have been justified, their subsequent actions were not.

The officers chased the teens, yelling, and slapped them roughly into handcuffs. Each teen was forced onto his or her knees as the officers screamed belligerent profanities at them. The teens were finally forced into the police cars and brought home, but not after enduring uncalled for humiliation. Mercifully, after reviewing the actions of the officers, the judge assigned to their case dropped all charges against Zach and his friends.

Personally, I find the actions of these officers indescribably offensive. I remember, as a child, looking up to our officers in blue—now I can’t help but cringe every time a police car comes into view. Shouldn’t the members of a society revere their police officers, rather than fear them? Of course, therein lies the argument that one who has done nothing wrong has nothing to fear; however, I believe that people deserve at least common courtesy so long as they are compliant with the police.

It greatly disappoints me that such actions have become acceptable among police officers in my town. And while I will someday teach my children to respect cops, I know that never again will I be able to look a cop in the eye and feel admiration.





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freedom-writer said...
Dec. 1, 2009 at 4:34 pm
This reminds me of the cops at the University of Florida who tasered that college student for trying to ask a question at an open mic forum. The problem is not that all cops are bad it's just the bad ones that you hear about.
 
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