What in Harvey Keitel Hell Is This?

[Content Note: Police misconduct; violence; privilege.]

Actual Headline: "I'm a cop. If you don't want to get hurt, don't challenge me."

Actual Subhead: "It's not the police, but the people they stop, who can prevent a detention from turning into a tragedy."

Actual Opening Paragraphs:
A teenager is fatally shot by a police officer; the police are accused of being bloodthirsty, trigger-happy murderers; riots erupt. This, we are led to believe, is the way of things in America.

It is also a terrible calumny; cops are not murderers. No officer goes out in the field wishing to shoot anyone, armed or unarmed. And while they're unlikely to defend it quite as loudly during a time of national angst like this one, people who work in law enforcement know they are legally vested with the authority to detain suspects — an authority that must sometimes be enforced. Regardless of what happened with Mike Brown, in the overwhelming majority of cases it is not the cops, but the people they stop, who can prevent detentions from turning into tragedies.

Working the street, I can't even count how many times I withstood curses, screaming tantrums, aggressive and menacing encroachments on my safety zone, and outright challenges to my authority.
Substitute "authority" to "boundaries," and that's a sentence that pretty much any marginalized person in the United States could say, too.

And, if you're from certain marginalized communities, you can count primary among the violators of your boundaries the police.

Actual Paragraph So Terrific the WaPo Made It an All-Caps Pull-Quote:
Even though it might sound harsh and impolitic, here is the bottom line: if you don't want to get shot, tased, pepper-sprayed, struck with a baton or thrown to the ground, just do what I tell you. Don't argue with me, don't call me names, don't tell me that I can't stop you, don't say I'm a racist pig, don't threaten that you'll sue me and take away my badge. Don't scream at me that you pay my salary, and don't even think of aggressively walking towards me. Most field stops are complete in minutes. How difficult is it to cooperate for that long?
Consider that advice in the wake of a series of police shootings of black men in which the men were either holding their hands up, prostrate on the ground, or not even given enough time to comply.

Every single thing about this article is terrible—and highlights everything that's wrong with the current dominant police culture in the US.

Note that the author of the piece, Sunil Dutta, is "a professor of homeland security at Colorado Tech University" and "has been an officer with the Los Angeles Police Department for 17 years," where he has "worked as an internal affairs investigator."

Yeah. No wonder we've got a problem.

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