Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Kiss this

Yesterday, in the parking lot of the local Safeway, there was a car idling with a stocky guy sporting a flat-top haircut, a porn-star mustache and shades behind the steering wheel. A decal on the bumper read: "Sworn To Protect Your Ass, Not Kiss It." The words circled a stylized tin star emblazoned with "Deputy Sheriff."

OK, I get it. You're a cop and you resent being polite to people.

I know, I know. That's not what the decal explicitly says. But really, that's what it means.

Does anybody really believe that in the many interactions between police and the public, many perfectly polite, but others quite confrontational, that the overriding issue regarding behavior is the public's demand that armed, uniformed officers behave obsequiously? Or is it just possible that, when bad behavior is the order of the day, it's more often on the part of police officers throwing their weight around and demanding subservience from the public?

It should be clear that the power disparity between the average person and any uniformed law-enforcement officer -- backed by more cops and friendly relations with prosecutors and judges -- makes it unlikely that police officers are frequently confronted with demands for deferential treatment. Yes, they'll get some from the politically powerful and well-connected, but that's not going to be an everyday experience for most cops.

It's much more likely that members of the public will "yes, sir" and "no, sir" their way through any interaction with law-enforcement in order to prevent an escalation into -- potentially -- legal consequences or even violence.

Let's consider this... Deputy Flat-Top drives around for a month with his decal, and I drive around for a month with a bumpersticker that reads: "Hey Officer! Keep The Peace -- Don't Be An Asshole!" Let's see which one of us has the most negative interactions at the end of the experiment.

But before we give that experiment a try, I think I'll upgrade my life insurance.



Blogger MichaelK said...

Drat, decal link doesn't work...

July 1, 2008 11:33 AM  
Blogger J.D. Tuccille said...

Damn. Looks like I can't link directly to the decal. I've fixed the link to go to its index page.

July 1, 2008 11:38 AM  
Anonymous Brad Spangler said...

Sounds like that guy put the "jerk off" in "Don't be a jerk, officer."

July 2, 2008 7:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ok actually what it means..... Kissing someone's ass is beyond polite. Law Enforcement agencies have made serious change to policy at the advent of the "I will sue you if I think you are doing something I don't like" attitude of a lot of the general public. Officers almost to the point of not keeping themselves safe have to adjust their interaction with the general public to keep people from saying that they are being treated unfairly. Now this doesn't mean that there are some asshole cops. I'm just saying that there are also officers who are polite on an everyday basis. You shouldn't have to spell it out to someone passing by that you can't give direction while conducting a traffic stop because you are trying to pay attention to the people in the car in front of you so you can get to go home to your family tonight. The sticker is born out of the frustration that if you bark at that person during one of the more scarier parts of the job you will most likely get a complaint. And if you have the wrong kind of administrator you will probably receive a reprimand for it. People seem to like criticizing things that they have little or no knowledge of.

December 10, 2008 9:23 PM  
Anonymous Deputy F.O. said...

Hey, J.D.......Until you've walked a mile in a Deputies' boots, do the world a favor, and shut the hell up!! You will never know what it is ike to have to tip-toe around the public to keep some hippie like you from filing complaints on us on an everyday basis. You are exactly the kind of Police hater that makes our job so stressful, which translates into everyone else around us having a bad day, too. I guess if it weren't for retards like you, stupidity would be an endangered species.

I'll close by saying this......You don't like Law Enforcement?? Next time you're in trouble....Call a damn drug dealer!!!!!!!!!

Damn Hippie!!

July 26, 2009 10:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

fuck the police. how about you assholes just leave us all ghe fuck alone, then you won't need to kiss my ass. This article clearly explains how cops have ALL the power during any encounters they have with a citizen. The cop is basically a dominant top with a raging boner just waiting to rape the ass(rights) of any citizen that gets in their way and we citizens, in fear of being extorted for absorbent fines(the REAL highway robbery) and imprisonments, suck the cops cock subserviently like little bitches, all the while saying please and thank you. You want respect, EARN IT and no your badge means nothing to me and yes i'd rather live in anarchy with my own gun to defend myself then living under your sadistic tyranny. FUCK THE POLICE. You are no heroes and i'm glad everytime one of you dies.

October 27, 2009 11:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Less than %1 of the American population have what it takes to put on the uniform, look their kid in the face and KNOW it may be the last time. When you wake up in the morning look in the mirror and ask
"will I die for a complete stranger". If the answer is NO. Then you dont have it. Dont criticize us for a judgment call we made even if you were the one who screwed up to begin with. Callin our Sgt. and tring to find any way out of whatever you got yourself in is what we are talking about here.

November 23, 2009 6:37 PM  

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