I don’t always feel that way today. I know there are still many police officers who are decent people who are trying to do the right things — and many of those still believe in police as the “good guys” — but the police culture is coming to be dominated by thugs in the service of an increasingly coercive state.
I was reminded of the difference between how I grew up and how today’s kids are growing up when I heard from someone who read Wednesday’s item about the “lemonade bust” in Iowa. Michael wrote:
“I told my daughter (age 7) about the story on your blog and the lemonade stand. She became upset and wondered if the same thing would happen to her when she noticed a police officer drive by her own unlicensed lemonade stand. She was lucky. He didn’t come back, but now she must spend a lifetime looking over her shoulder for the long arm of the law.”
At some point, the people serving as police officers have to ask themselves whether it’s ethical to continue to serve a state that uses force to act as they’re required to act. The excuse that, “I was just following orders,” doesn’t work for ex-Nazis and it shouldn’t work for cops who are terrorizing families today.
I hate it that kids are learning to be scared of police officers, but it’s the realistic thing to learn.