By Gary Z McGee
“Freedom is the right to tell people what they don’t want to hear.” ~George Orwell
Overreaching, power-hungry, ill-trained, hyperviolent cops are a menace to society. There’s no way around this. Not even cop apologists can deny the fact that cops overreach in their duty, they have way too much power, they are ill-trained, and they are hyperviolent.
If cops did not overreach, and if they weren’t ill-trained, and if they weren’t hyperviolent, then, perhaps with enough checks and balances, they could be a benefit to society. But those are some giant, full-size, capital-I Ifs.
As it stands, cops do overreach. They are ill-trained. And they are trained to be hyperviolent. That’s the bottom line. In order to dig ourselves out from underneath this bottom line—indeed, in order to transform the “menace of cops” into the “benefits of policing”—we must at least take care of the following seven reasons why cops are a menace to society.
1.) Cops are ill-trained:
“The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.” ~Einstein
We cannot fix the problem of police incompetence by attempting to solve it at the same level of thinking we were at when we created it. That means a complete overhaul of our policing system. Starting with academies and basic training. No more bigoted, prejudice thinking. No more unvetted psychopaths with guns. We need a police force that we can trust, not fear.
We fear the police not just because they are hyperviolent, but mainly because they are incompetent and ill-trained to handle human interactions. They lack a basic sense of psychology and sociology. They are trained to focus on violent detainment rather than nonviolent detachment. They are trained to use a criminal-justice approach when they should be trained to use a public-health approach.
If this weren’t bad enough, cops don’t have critical thinking skills. They are trained to think in black and white. And they purposefully don’t allow people with above average IQs to become officers. This is a travesty. Police need to be held to a higher standard.
2.) Cops seek quotas and enforce outdated/bad laws:
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” ~Martin Luther King Jr.
Quota-junkie cops are a menace to society because they will go out of their way (overreach) to find criminality. This tends to create criminals where none would have existed otherwise. This is yet another blatant travesty of modern-day policing.
If police brutality, extortion, and overreach of power weren’t enough, unscrupulous police officials have also been manipulating the deeply flawed federal and state civil asset forfeiture laws that give them permission to seize, keep, or sell any property allegedly involved in a crime.
The solution is simple. Cops need to be more like firefighters. They need to react to violence rather than seek it out. Just as a firefighter reacts to a fire rather than seek it out. You don’t see firefighters out patrolling the streets looking for fires. There’s a fire, and then they respond.
The same should apply to cops. They don’t need to be out patrolling the streets looking for violence. If there’s violence, then they should respond. Simple.
A firefighter defends the public from fire. That’s their job. Police should defend people and property from violence. That should be their job. But the current system of policing overreaches. Which leads to extortion, civil asset forfeiture, and quota-junkie cops who oppress their communities through the enforcement of petty, arbitrary laws.
3.) Cops are dangerous and hyperviolent:
“He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man.” ~Samuel Johnson
The modern-day cop is militarized and over glamorized. They are judge, jury, and executioner in the streets. I mean, why in the hell do cops have tanks? It’s the height of insanity. And yet here we are, a brainwashed public convinced that it’s somehow okay. It’s not.
The militarization of the police is the greatest tragedy of justice besides rampant racism and the failed war on drugs.
Police do not need tanks, AKs, and bazookas. We have a military for that. And the military is not in place to police a nation, but to protect it. A militarized police force is an egregious afront to a peaceful nation. It’s the government’s underhanded way of saying it is willing to go to war with its own citizens.
Should we go as far as to disarm the police? Perhaps not. But we should at least de-tank them. Leave militarization to the military. And to all those fretful cops whining “I fear for my life,” you should be fired. If you can’t handle the heat, get out of the fucking kitchen.
4.) Cops are trained to be offense-minded rather than defense-minded:
“Morality does not mean ‘follow divine commandments.’ It means ‘reduce suffering.’” ~Yuval Noah Harari
Offense-minded cops violently push arbitrary laws upon others who have not given their consent. Such policing cannot be considered peaceful. It is violent and immoral as per the Non-aggression Principle and the Golden Rule. Such policing holds violence in a higher regard than individual consent. Therefore, such policing must be considered unhealthy, irresponsible, immoral, and unjust.
Healthy policing is an extension of healthy self-defense. Self-defense turned violent and overreaching is no longer about self-preservation. Similarly, policing turned violent and overreaching is no longer about protecting and serving. Violence should only ever be used in self-defense and never as a means toward enforcing one’s values, rules, or laws onto others, no matter how popular they are.
So, the solution is not more overreaching ill-trained offense-minded police with too much power, but more well-trained defense-minded police with checks and balances on their power.
Armed with solid, ethical, and intelligent training on how to deescalate hostile situations, the defense-minded cop is equipped to adapt and overcome with a defense-first, violence-as-last-resort mindset.
5.) The thin blue line:
“Hard times create strong men, strong men create good times, good times create weak men, weak men create hard times.” ~Stefan Molyneux
Sadly, police have become weak men creating hard times. They’ve become a violent, offense-minded menace to society. The new league of strong men will have to be those with the courage to police the police themselves.
Ideally, policing the police would look like defense-minded police checking offense-minded police. But since there is no defense-minded police training, policing the police must come from the citizenry.
Policing is no longer a matter of protecting and serving, but a matter of blind allegiance to law and order and obediently following the chain of command out of fear of the thin blue line. This weak form of policing has created hard times through aggressive overreach and oppressive extortion. And the checks and balances aren’t there because any potential defense-minded police (as exceedingly rare as they are) are fearful of the thin blue line enforced by offense-minded police who have the monopoly on violence.
Police will continue to be a menace to society as long as the thin blue line exists. It fosters an ‘us versus them’ mentality that further divides police from citizens while incentivizing police corruption.
6.) Qualified Immunity:
“Who could overturn with reason what the mob has once believed without reason?” ~Nietzsche
Created by the Supreme Court in 1982, qualified immunity grants immunity to government officials who violate constitutional and civil rights laws. It’s a “legal” loophole that police departments and crooked cops have been exploiting and abusing since its inception. This license to lawless conduct must be revoked. Until then, police will continue to act like the law does not apply to them.
In a world where those who get paid to enforce the law break the law instead, policing becomes null and void. It becomes a laughingstock. Indeed. It becomes a menace to society.
The fact that this is a systemic problem created by the supreme court reveals how corrupt the leviathan of the state has become. In such a world, in such a state, checks and balances must come from the people. We the people must police the police. When the state fails to regulate itself, the people must regulate the state.
7.) Cops are trained to escalate rather than de-escalate tense situations:
“The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.” ~George Orwell
Most cops have cartoons for brains. They enter the police force with delusions of justice that don’t match reality. Having been brainwashed by unrealistic TV shows and movies about “hero cops” fighting against “evil criminals,” and indoctrinated by a willfully ignorant culture that glamorizes cops as an ideal, the naïve cop enters the police force with outdated notions and parochial black and white thinking.
This naïve, brainwashed cop with cartoon for brains, is then ill-trained to instigate the populace by escalating rather than de-escalating social encounters. They are trained to harass citizens into “slipping up” so that they can discover a “crime.” Which usually creates a crime where none exists.
There is no psychological training for how to deal with power, so these cops never learn how to be responsible with the immense power they are given. This leads to the abuse of power. For, as Lord Acton stated, “power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” There is no other field of work where power comes so close to being absolute. In what other job does one have the power of judge, jury, and executioner? None.
Cartoon-in-the-brain thinking combined with ill-training compounded by power, creates a cop with the notion that they are an invulnerable cop first, and a vulnerable human second. All notions of compassion and humanity are buried beneath the heavy weight of having way too much power over others. The result? An abomination: Power-tripping cops who escalate rather than de-escalate because of their massive egos.
The only way out of the state re-enforced delusion that creates this menace to society, is for the menace to question itself. Cops must question their own willful ignorance. They must question the immense power they have been given. They must question the outdated law itself. They must outright fight against the thin blue line. They must question the entire justice system and weigh it against what it means to be a healthy and decent human being first and a cop second. In short: the naïve cop with cartoon for brains must die and be reborn as a cop that can actually handle the “heat” inside the “kitchen.”
About the Author:
Gary Z McGee, a former Navy Intelligence Specialist turned philosopher, is the author of Birthday Suit of God and The Looking Glass Man. His works are inspired by the great philosophers of the ages and his wide-awake view of the modern world.
This article (7 Reasons Why Cops Are a Menace to Society) was originally created and published by Self-inflicted Philosophy and is printed here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Gary Z McGee and self-inflictedphilosophy.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this statement of copyright.