Sunday, December 30, 2012

Whatever happened to SERVE and Protect ?

I'm currently nursing some kinda bug, possibly a receding flu, not sure, but it has had me waking up feeling all kinds of fucked up in the mornings. Medicine has worked fine, until I wake up in the morning.

Anyhow, back to something about the cops. Mainly something a friend of mine told me she experienced in Salinas, CA. She's a single mom, and she was driving one evening when her car broke down in the middle of the road. From what she told me, it didn't seem like she was a on a busy street, especially since it was later in the evening on a weeknight. Apparently a couple of police officers rolled up, and told her she needed to get her car off the road as soon as possible. She asked them if they could help her push her car to the side of the road. To which they responded that if she didn't get her car off the road soon they would have it towed. They stood off to the side while she used her cell phone to frantically try to get a hold of someone to come help her with her car, while her son sat in the vehicle. Eventually she was able to get somebody to come help her, and the cops went on their way.

It's that type of shit that cops do, that provides head shaking moments, and what fuck is their problem-moments. I always thought cops were suppose to SERVE and protect. I can't find any reason why they wouldn't help her push her car to the side, instead of threatening to have her car towed. Was it department policy? Did their department warn them of the litigious nature of some citizens, and tell them not to aid people with car troubles, because the person with the car troubles might later try to blame and/or sue the department for their car troubles? Or was it that my friend wasn't attractive enough? If she would have been a woman that caught their eye, would they have been tripping over eachother to assist her? I don't want it to seem like I'm trying to make excuses for those cops, because I'm not, I'm just seriously trying to understand the douchebag nature of cops like this.

Another friend, one in San Jose, CA. A single mom as well, with her daughter in the car when she was pulled over by a cop. He asked to search her car, to which she didn't give her consent. So as a way of payback, the officer had her car towed. It sounds like he might not have liked confronting someone who knew her rights. The cop essentially left her on the side of the road, but another cop, an older one, who had arrived on the scene, offered to give her a ride to the nearest payphone. She made sure to let the older cop know that the younger cop who had basically harassed her, was a dick. My friend believes that the cop that pulled her over possibly ran her plates, and saw that she had a past criminal record. It was from over 10 years ago, she had since not been in trouble with the law. Not even for a speeding ticket as far as I know. The cop basically profiled her and thought he'd catch her fucking up. My friend could have easily allowed the cop to search her car and he wouldn't have found anything illegal, and she wouldn't have had her car impounded nor would she have ended up paying a fee to have her car released. But this wasn't about the fee, this was simply about a cop being wrong, pulling her over without a plausible reason he could give her, and wanting to search her car, just because he thought his badge gave him the power to do so if he pleased. My friend didn't mind paying the fee to get her car released from the impound, especially if it meant that the cop left angrily because he was unable to have his way with her civil rights. And ultimately that's what this is about, her rights, and the ignorance and many-a-times the chosen ignorance of cops toward a person's rights.

Just two instances I know of where SERVE is no longer a part of a cop's motto. And where the protect aspect should extend past the physical safety of people, but also into protecting their civil rights. Because denying a person her/his civil rights is just as much mental and emotional abuse, that cops need to be held accountable for.

I'd like to some day write a post of cops doing something positive, like maybe actually helping a person push her car to the side of the road. Or maybe something simple that makes those fuckers seem like they care and are civilized human beings, you know like helping an old lady cross the street. But in my experience, I've found that when cops seem like they're being nice or friendly, it's only because they're trying to gain your trust and confidence so you can give them information.

The above video is from the ACLU's "Flex Your Rights" skits, on how to maintain your rights when you're being harassed by cops.

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