On March 23, 2005, I lost a good friend. He was a rookie Police Officer. He’d been on the job about a year.
I helped Pete build up the courage to ask out his future wife who is one of my best friends. Pete was a good guy. A moral man who would have been a good Cop. I’m not sure if that would have helped or hindered his career. I would have hoped that he’d have risen through the ranks and tackled the hard questions of Policing in modern day America. I would hope that he’d have done some good and, perhaps, even gone on to bring change and accountability to the Police force of Louisville/Jefferson County, Kentucky.
However, his life was cut short. I would blame this on poor training. Pete wasn’t equipped, yet, to be out there on his own and survive. He wasn’t trained to survive. Like most officers, he was trained to respond and to “shoot first.” However, he wasn’t equipped to deal with a mentally ill 16 year old with a death wish. Because of that, he died. The Louisville Metro Police Department failed Pete massively.
I have an Uncle who is a career Cop. Another Uncle has been a Sheriff of a small locality right outside of Louisville proper.
I’ve spent 3 years in Afghanistan training Afghan National Police forces and working with amazing people who happen to be Police. Some of them decry the State of the Police forces in America. Some of them…well, they are part of the problem.
By no means do I hate Police. What I absolutely abhor is the corruption inherent in our American Police forces.
I was asked by Afghan Police constantly how they could combat the corruption that is rife within their Police Forces. I never had a good answer. Cops who fight corruption die. They are killed by fellow Officers. They are allowed to be placed into dangerous situations that lead to their deaths so as to rid the corrupt Cops of the rat. A good Cop who tries to do something about corruption is ostracized. They’re run off the job. They are bullied. This is American Policing.
I have spent a good deal of time researching American Police. What I have found is rampant corruption and Cops who believe that they are above the law. The problem is that the US Courts have given them qualified immunity. This, in fact, does place them above the law.
This must change or America can not be a nation of laws or a nation of Liberty.