Police and Bias

George Floyd

Despite the statistics that show that police are not systematically killing black men. The myth persists. I was a cop for thirty years. Are cops biased? Most definitely. They don’t like shitheads. Race doesn’t enter into the equation.

Actually that is to broad. Cops and shitheads can and do get along. Let me explain.

Shitheads are felons, wife beaters, dopers and predators. They make life miserable for everybody that they come in contact with. When shitheads aren’t actively engaged in their chosen criminal activity, both sides, cops and crooks can interact peacefully.

In fact, some shitheads are of higher moral character than police chiefs, assorted politicians and so called upstanding members of society. For example:

On the left is Snoop Dogg a former gang banger with multiple arrests. He is unrepentant doper. He is also a multi-millionaire rapper. On the right is Michael Shaw the police Chief of Webster, Massachusetts.

I have more respect for Snoop Dogg, than Shaw. Snoop Dog makes no bones about who he is. Shaw is an opportunist whose only value seems to be expediency. In the photo, Shaw has adopted the meme of a group, BLM. BLM calls for the destruction of almost everything Shaw has sworn to protect. If, in this context, scum bag rolls off my tongue, it isn’t directed at Snoop Dogg.

It is possible to express outrage and disapproval of the actions of the Minneapolis officers involved in Floyd’s death without sacrificing one’s scruples.

My very first arrest was a guy named Rudy. When dispatch announced that there was a municipal warrant for his arrest, the radio traffic went wild. I had cops coming from all over the city to back me up. Rudy was a bad ass.

Their reaction put Rudy’s statement to me into context. He had just said, “I don’t fuck with cops.” He didn’t. I took him to jail, collected his fine and gave him a ride back to his car. I dealt with Rudy multiple times over the years and he was as good as his word. He didn’t fuck with cops.

One night three guys, all armed, jumped him. They all went to the hospital. An overbearing, particularly stupid cop was handling the report.

As a Sergeant I was looking on. Rudy eased up to me and said, “Sarge, you know me. I don’t fuck with cops…but I’m fixing to start.”

I rescued the idiot cop by calming Rudy down and taking over the interview. Rudy had many faults, but taking on the police wasn’t one of them.

There was another guy, Gilbert. Gilbert used to beat his wife. If she wasn’t available, he would tear up the local “cut and shoot bar.” Invariably we would get the call. Gilbert would wait until a sufficient number of officers were present. It was an ego thing. Then the fight was on. Gilbert didn’t kick, bite or spit. He didn’t use sharp or blunt objects nor did he throw things. He never tried to take an officer’s gun or nightstick.

In recognition of that fact, the cops didn’t wield nightsticks, blackjacks or Mace. A TASER was still ten years in the future. Occasionally we may have run him into a Buick, wall or pool table. It would take two or three officers to subdue Gilbert.

Once he was cuffed, one officer could transport and book him. Since the District Attorney wouldn’t prosecute a resisting arrest or aggravated assault on a peace officer charge, we never bothered to file those charges. It was Gilbert and Saturday night.

When I was working narcotics, cops and crooks sought a middle ground before the dust had even settled. That was recognition of a mutual interest. The narcs wanted to “flip” the crook. That is to get him to cooperate. The crook was motivated to avoid jail or at least, “get his time down to something he could do.”

On more that one occasion a crook, after a “buy bust,” would throw out a request. Mostly it was case of one- ups-man-ship and bragging rights. Some where in the cop/dope dealer rule book it says that neither side can complete the transaction without a cold beer.

When the bust goes down everybody goes on the ground. Rarely does the crook spill his beer. Often the crook is handcuffed in front. Here comes the challenge. The crook says, “Can I finish my beer?” All of his previous experience with police says the answer is no. Now comes the one-ups-man-ship, “Sure, you need a butt too?” Now both sides have got bragging rights.

A variation on the theme is: “Oh man, I haven’t eaten all day and it’s too late to get dinner at county.” The mark of a committed felon. Not only does he have the meal times down but also the menu. One-ups-man-ship, a stop at the “Micky D’s” drive thru. Your tax dollars at work.

Don’t get me wrong. These guys aren’t my friend. I’m not going to have them over to the house for Sunday dinner. I don’t want my sister dating one. If they jump squirrley, I’d kill them on the down stroke of a dying heart beat. But it’s the behavior more than the person.