It's really something else, this whole "Thin Blue Line" business. It's a very despicable form of corruption, that cops feel they should cover up for each other when one of them breaks the law, brutalizes or kills a citizen, plants evidence, or otherwise misbehaves. It's an incredible amount of trust that society places in cops. I recognize that their jobs can be incredibly dangerous. But why do cops feel free to award themselves immunity from prosecution for their own misdeeds, and why do we allow it? This a society based on the rule of law, a society where we all (in theory) decide just where the lines are through our elected representatives. It is intolerable to me that the very people who enforce our laws feel themselves to be above them. Why do we let them get away with it? Is it an expression of our gratitude because they protect us from those would prey on us? Then what about when the shepherd is actually a wolf? Should the imposter still have impunity because of his costume?
Is it even possible to eradicate this kind of groupthink sociopathic behavior? I am not sure. But for instance, in the military, which is inarguably a more intense environment than your average city police force, there is no shortage of whistleblowing by troops when their fellow soldiers go wrong. Most of the military abuse scandals, whether overblown as they often are or genuinely horrifying, only came to light because someone in the military snitched. The media would never have found out and neither would have the chain of command. Wasn't the extent of the abuse at Abu Ghraib in Rumsfeld's hands for many months before the media caught wind of the story? Don't get me wrong, I have every respect and admiration for the police. I'm not a cop-hater. I'm just thinking in terms of someone who both supports the police and recognizes that they can do something wrong. I just don't see the same kind of culture of critical thought and willingness to point out something is wrong in America's police forces. The Thin Blue Line, the Blue Wall of Silence...these terms didn't come about in a vacuum. What can be done?
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