My thoughts on cops
With the shootings and following riots in Ferguson MO, and again in Baltimore MD, I know that there are a wide variety of opinion on the plight of cops in modern America. One group, led by Al Sharpton and Eric Holder believes that the cops are “out of control” groups of racist “kill squads” broken off from the Ku Klux Klan with a sole purpose of killing off defenseless black youths that are simply trying to get a let up. Some think that the cops are innocent heroes that are trying to stop thugs from committing crimes. I’d like to think that neither are true.
To start, I grew up in a small town in rural Alabama. Like the Tater Salad stories told by Ron White, I too had some run-in’s with the cops in my youth. I believed that cops (in Alabama) were looking for trouble and would use any excuse to rough-up any youth they came across. Like the people in “Camp A” I would look for any reason to make the cops at fault.
It was later on in my life, after I got a little more mature, married, and eventually had some youths of my own before my opinions changed towards the cops. As a nurse, I took an ER job in Charity hospital of New Orleans where the worst trauma, meanest thugs and toughest cops all came together. I learned a lot. I was forcefully educated to the mental health issues, crime, punishment, the very broken justice system, and the cops that are tasked with keeping order in America.
When I became a nurse, I wanted to help people who are sick and cure their illness. For those I couldn’t help, I wanted to minister to the dying, and help them to have a peaceful end. Then came hospital administrators, the mentally ill, greedy family members, incompetent doctors, government regulations, and a slew of hurdles to complicate my job. My career goal became a daily battle. In the ER, I learned that the life of a cop is amazingly similar to that of a nurse. All you want to do is help people, but instead, you are constantly screwed with by a bunch of other people who no nothing about what you actually do. They think that they know your job… and they all want to tell you how to do your job, but they have no idea.
My only goal became simply, to get through my shift with the least amount of bad crap happening. I believe that a cops life is exactly the same. Instead of helping people… does anyone actually think that they like filling out reports, and talking to lawyers, and getting beat up by thugs? I don’t like it and I’m pretty sure that cops don’t like it either.
When in the ER, I can quickly spot the troubled people, the ones there only as an attempt to get narcotics. I have learned to quickly assess for these on the fly. Cops are no different, they learn cues to spot trouble makers in their profession. Chris Rock did a SNL skit on How not to get your ass kicked by the police. This is a humorous explanation to avoid what the cops are looking for. Some people can’t figure this out, but it’s simple.
Today I got pulled over by a cop for “not coming to a complete stop at a stop sign.” I made a rolling stop in a rural area. There were no other cars and, I admit that broke the law. My wife was angry when the blue lights came on. I said to her, “hey I slowed down.” She responded, “when the cops are beating you, they will say, do you want me to stop or just slow down?” But much to my shgrin, I got off with a simple warning. I explain this by my first statement, that cops want no more then to get through their day without having some hassle. And yes, giving a ticket is an issue. They have to fill out a form, call it in, appear in court, talk with the lawyer, it can go on and on. Anyone can have a brush with the law and anyone can get past this brush without hassle because, the cops are normal people who also hates hassle. The first rule is to never, ever argue with a cop. If it’s clear that you were innocent and the cop simply saw it wrong, then don’t admit wrong doing. Simply smile, be as nice and courteous as possible. The cop never ever wants to hear any negativity or hostility. Accept the ticket and be pleasant and make no threatening comments or gestures. Talk to him like you were talking with your best friend. If you have anything to argue at all, then later on, get a lawyer and do all of your arguing with the judge. Just like nurses, they have a job to do and it’s to help the innocent and protect them from harm. If you are accosted by a cop, your best bet is to appear innocent and not harmful. Keep in mind if there is any question and you are an ass, they will assume guilt and will allow the lawyers to sort it out. A smile and a nice attitude is always easier to deal with even if your guilty.