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Why I Hate Cops

by ch@nce Sunday, Aug. 06, 2000 at 1:21 AM
coh@sfo.com 415.346.3740 468 Turk St.

... when authority is multiplied by 9mm, the ultimate command and root product is DEATH, in English or Espa–ol.


by chance martin

I don hate cops. IÕve had friends who were cops in every town where IÕve ever lived. One pal oÕ mine Ñ Cuddles to his friends Ñ drove the meat wagon (picking up corpses) for the Chicago police department. Another was Ziggy, a ex-junkie who submitted an application to the police department early in his recovery for a goof. Six months later he was still clean, still unemployed, and the rest of the story was pure irony.

Both these guys nearly drank themselves to death, as cops, before they got sober. They would go to AA meetings in uniform (alcoholism in the Chicago police department was so rampant during the mid Ô80Õs that their union successfully negotiated permission for Chicago PD members to attend AA meetings during duty hours). IÕd joke that some poor slob would really, REALLY want to get clean to willingly park his ass between those two grim faces over bad coffee in a room that smelled like an ashtray. Funny thing Ñ the longer they spent in recovery, the grimmer they were. The politics of their job, they confided, was what they really couldnÕt stomach.

Today neither of them is a cop, by choice. I was happy that conscience figured largely among the intangibles they recovered Ñ and pissed Ôcause I had to find someone else to fix my parking tickets.

My perceptions, and interactions, with cops changed after an incident I witnessed a few weeks after I moved to LA. I was smoking a cigarette in front of my new LA residence on Rampart near 6th when I witnessed four cruisers roll up out of nowhere on three young Latinos in a VW bug. All eight officers popped out of their cruisers and had their weapons trained on the VW.

They began instructing the passengers (in the most imperative use of the English language IÕve ever heard) to crawl on their bellies out of the car and onto the summer-sticky, brick oven street. Problem was, the three suspectsÕ command of English didnÕt include the word "crawl," so they sat there sweating under gunpoint for an elastic moment that extruded into a quarter hour.

Another cruiser finally pulled up with someone who could provide a similarly oppressive monologue in Spanish over the cruiserÕs PA. The front-seat passengers made every earnest endeavor to slither from the car to the searing pavement, in obvious discomfort since they were wearing beach clothes.

Then came the guy in the back seatÕs turn. He began speaking very excitedly in the only language he knew, and IÕm thinking: this dudeÕs wacked and heÕs going to give all TEN cops the excuse theyÕre looking for to express-deliver a potential 160 steel-jacketed 9mm rounds right into the back seat of the VW. When four of the cops performed their well-rehearsed dance of duck-and-cover up to the car, I braced for the ugly, flat, slapping sounds of authority. And when authority is multiplied by 9mm, the ultimate command and root product is DEATH, in English or Espa–ol.

Amazingly, our amigo in the back seat was spared Ñ the point cop returned his weapon to his holster Ñ and I remembered to exhale. Two of the other three cops held the muzzles of their M-92s inches in front of the young manÕs eyes while the point cop dragged him from the back seat onto the pavement. Seems this dangerous suspect was in a hip cast, yÕsee. Then this heroic blue knight redrew his weapon to ensure the injured suspect hauled himself and his cast in a belly-crawl the required 20 feet from the vehicle (kinda like "injured suspect" was synonymous with "wounded animal").

The three suspects were then left shackled and face-down on the blistering street while the foiled marksmen turned most of their efforts to moving the five-block backup of Sunday afternoon traffic past the scene. Two cops spent the next half-hour tearing the interior out of the shiny custom bug, but their search produced no justification for their heavy-handed tactics.

When LAPDÕs finest finally, reluctantly released the VW and its passengers an hour later, the trio of victims positively beamed in sullen relief. From the sidewalk where I watched this state-sanctioned terrorist act, I listened and I never heard anything like an apology from any of the officers involved Ñ although IÕm certain MondayÕs roll call included remedial training in Spanish equivalents for the English word "crawl."

A few years later, as I watched much of Los Angeles burning during the Rodney King uprising, two thoughts dominated the few which managed to penetrate my shock. First, half of the people of Los Angeles were on the streets looking to settle the score on every injustice that they had ever endured. This debt was obviously of considerable scope Ñ the fires burned for days. (whole families were looting, Ma and Pa helping Baby Girl over the shards of the broken window and into the toy aisle of Thrifty Drug, fer chrisÕsake).

Second, WHERE WERE ALL THOSE HEROIC BLUE KNIGHTS, festooned with symbols and devices of humiliation, pain and death? Where was the death-whisper of those gun-muzzles, the steel-jacketed sounds of authority?

I left LA soon after, and never heard the official answers to these questions. I doubt they would hold water. The real answers probably burned in a canyon fire, or were buried in the Northridge quake. And sometimes, I find it entirely pleasing to believe that Mother Earth decided it was payback time, too.

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Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 19 posted about this article.
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Just Out Of the Wagon Devon (little girl) Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2002 at 5:34 AM
I HATE SEATTLE COPS!!! Marcus J. Huiseman Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2003 at 1:01 AM
fuck the police andy Monday, Dec. 01, 2003 at 3:18 AM
why good people hate cops mike Monday, Dec. 01, 2003 at 3:53 AM
why good people hate cops mike Monday, Dec. 01, 2003 at 4:00 AM
Get a new car DA Monday, Dec. 01, 2003 at 5:59 AM
I LOVE COPS I am a cop Friday, Dec. 05, 2003 at 12:46 AM
Cops are bad news me and only me Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2003 at 2:15 AM
Thats not the case c Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2003 at 2:51 PM
i bang cops ole ladies Cops are Faggots Friday, Dec. 19, 2003 at 3:12 PM
Potential line of the day fresca53738 Friday, Dec. 19, 2003 at 5:39 PM
I don't cry when cops die MaXiMiM Wednesday, May. 12, 2004 at 4:07 AM
Cops rule, thugs bleed Cops up, pachucos down Wednesday, May. 12, 2004 at 4:56 AM
I don't cry when cops die MaXiMiM Wednesday, May. 12, 2004 at 8:38 AM
Viva La Revolution MaXiMiM Wednesday, May. 12, 2004 at 9:21 AM
"cops suck" lucius Wednesday, May. 12, 2004 at 2:01 PM
AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted MaXiMiM Wednesday, May. 12, 2004 at 5:58 PM
Dr Seuss said it best lucius Thursday, May. 13, 2004 at 7:55 PM
cops eat shit cool dude Saturday, Jan. 08, 2005 at 11:09 PM
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