Sunday, September 10, 2017

Is Carl Winslow the Only Decent Cop?

I've been thinking about Carl Winslow. Yes, that Carl Winslow. TV dad/cop, on the sitcom Family Matters. I guess I was thinking about him with one question in mind: "Is Carl Winslow the only decent cop?"

If anything I guess it comes to mind because it was a prompt for a blog post. But it also came about after I thought about what happened to Bill de Blasio after he spoke out against the death of Eric Garner. Later de Blasio went to give a eulogy for a couple of cops in New York that were killed while sitting in their patrol car, and as he did this, the law enforcement officers in attendance turned their backs on him.

The disrespect for de Blasio does not bother me. What does bother me, is the fact that cops felt so disrespected that de Blasio had an opinion regarding the death of Eric Garner. As if to say, they had a right to kill him, and no one had a right to question why or how they did it, or to have an opinion regarding the incident, whatsoever. As I've mentioned before, this is typical cop mentality, you're not allowed to have an opinion about incidents involving them.

If you're a civilian trying to flex your rights when an officer stops you to question you, you don't really have rights, especially if you are a person of color. There will be cops who say that they do respect when civilians know their rights and use them respectfully, but there are others who don't care about your rights, and even if you are respectful, they will try to antagonize you. Keeping your cool is difficult in these situations. You just can't have a rational discussion with someone who is in law enforcement, because they shut down and don't want to listen to your opinions. I know this as someone who had friends in law enforcement, but they are no longer friends with me, because I expressed that there were unjustified deaths at the hands of cops. After that, I was labeled a cop hater. I was labeled a cop hater because I had an opinion about incidents that had occurred, such as the death of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, etc.

I had a friend who got into a discussion with a person at a wedding, who happened to be a cop. My friend gave his opinion regarding the way cops treated people in Salinas. The guy wasn't having it, he tried to argue his side, by essentially saying that my friend didn't understand. This sounds like a general argument: "I put my life on the line, therefore you don't understand nor have the right to question the way I, or other officers do things." The cop left with his girlfriend, because of this argument he ended up having with my friend. Later my friend told me that it turned out this cop worked in the same town my friend lived in. This officer then made it pretty well known to mutual friends that he didn't like him. He even tried to fuck with my friend at one point. Apparently an officer (not the same one that argued with my friend) showed up at the place my friend worked at, and tried to have his car towed and impounded, because it had been parked there for a while. My friend had been having car trouble so he left his car in the parking lot for a few days. The manager at the business, told the officer that it wasn't a problem, because it belonged to an employee. The officer eventually left. But my friend was sure that that other cop he argued with had tracked his car down, and had this other officer try to get it towed. Do you see how crazy that is? Because this person had a different opinion than yours, you tried to have his car towed or find some way to hurt him, because you didn't like that he spoke to you about the way cops behaved in his hometown. You took the time to track down his car and then try to get it towed. That means you were following him and watching him! Wow. My friend was then labeled a cop hater too.

That mentality about them putting their lives on the line makes it difficult for me to sympathize with them. Because here's the thing, when a cop loses his/her life in the line of duty, we the public are expected to be respectful and post our condolences. And you see it on social media all the time, people doing just that. But I have yet to ever see cops, pay their respects to someone they killed. They usually shrug their shoulders and say they were just doing thier jobs. I don't ever see any sympathy for someone they killed, even if it was a "justifiable kill." The only cop I ever saw feel bad for doing this was Carl Winslow. There was an episode where Carl is in a lousy mood because it's the anniversary of the day he ended up killing a young man, who had robbed a store with a toy gun. Carl is in a foul mood because he regrets doing it, especially not knowing that the kid wasn't using a real gun. Toward the end of the episode he goes to pay his condolences at the place of the shooting, and he even interacts with the mother of the kid, letting her know he felt bad about the whole thing. In good old TV fashion, things get wrapped up, with the mother forgiving Carl, and cut to 90's commercials about McDonald's kids meals.

But holy shit! Carl, the Chicago cop, felt remorseful about what he had done, went to pay his respects, and even apologized to the mother! Holy fucken shit! But of course, this was a fictional cop, and I've yet to hear of cops involved in similar incidents doing the same. Possibly, because going to the family and apologizing, means they admit they did something wrong, and the family might sue the police department or city. I don't know. But other times, it's as if the cops just don't give a fuck whether the kid was holding a plastic toy gun or not. Or if the black guy in the passenger seat admitted he had a gun in his car, but is shot nonetheless in front of his kid. No apologies. The response is, "I feared for my life." Or no response, which tends to mean, "fuck what you think, I was just doing my job. I'm in the right. I'm always right."

Fuck you Carl Winslow, you fictional fuck, for making me think there were some decent cops out there who were willing to admit they did something wrong, and actually listen, instead of turning their back on civilians for having an opinion.


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