Sunday, February 3, 2019

Trust broken.


 This week while I was on my way to work, there was a sudden urgent message over the radio about an early morning shooting in a mall and they were asking people to avoid the area. I was thinking to myself that it was probably another gang shooting, unfortunately Ottawa has become a very modern city and lucky us, we now have our very own drug gangs fighting for territory.

 I learned this weekend it was actually a confrontation between a police officer and an indigenous person. Yesterday there were native protests, seems a little fast to jump to conclusions but to be honest I no longer blame them. I was raised a good Catholic boy, in a good family and I believed in the rule and the fairness of law... then I grew up.

 In Canada, fortunately you can't just apply to be a police officer or get voted in, you have to take college and university courses, training etc. I can just imagine how hard the job must be so I don't want to take anything away from that fact. I was a person who always believed that the police were good and the ones saying otherwise were just scum looking for a way out. That belief is completely broken now, with video cameras and cell phones we have witnessed the police completely lying about a situation and the wild, crazy, almost unbelievable version of the person charged turns out to be true. Even for the gay community in Canada, we have just gone through a court hearing where a man confessed to being a serial killer, he killed and chopped up at least eight men that he admitted to. The police kept denying that there was a gay serial killer, I guess because we gays are such a flaky bunch that we will just disappear from our family, friends, pets and careers without saying a word to go off somewhere and have sex in a secret place... for years?

 I like when I'm taught a lesson in judgment, I often do it automatically but much less so now thankfully. For example, I remember some indigenous women saying that the cops in their area will let them go if they have sex with them, some said the cops almost force themselves on the women. At the time I was outraged, I remember thinking that these women were probably picked up driving drunk, selling drugs or selling themselves and were desperately trying to get off. I had a "ya right" attitude, there was no way I would believe such a crazy story for one second. A few weeks later, some female police officers said that they were often sexually harassed, sexually assaulted and raped on the job by male coworkers. Now I don't know what to believe anymore but my mind is wide open, if you rape your coworker on a stake out, what would you do to a woman that society looks down on.

 Closer to home a teenaged boy was badly beaten by a group of cops, he suffered many injuries. They said he resisted arrest and it took a group to get him down to cuff him. The kid told a different story however; he said that as soon as the cops showed up, he lay on the ground and gave up. He said the police then jumped out and attacked him for no reason. Sure.... ya right... as if... like cops are going to just start beating some skinny kid for no reason. Turns out that one of the stores had a camera facing the parking lot, they gave the film to the media. What we see next is this skinny kid ( who did just steal) walking out into a parking lot late at night, suddenly a bunch of cop cars appear. The kid is startled but knows he is caught. Before anyone even steps out of the cars, he lies face down on the ground with his hands behind his head. A smart move I thought, no use making a bad situation worse. Then we see a group of police pour out of their cars, run over and just start kicking and punching this kid.

 My trust is broken, I know there are plenty of good officers but we don't know which one is going to show up in a time of crisis. There are many more stories like these examples sadly. I have had neighbours that pull out their gun and start shooting at everything that moves, I certainly wouldn't want them as a cop! My mind is wide open about the incident last week, I hope it's not racially motivated, I will have a lot of empathy for the cop if he was placed into a dangerous situation but sadly I'm just not so sure anymore.

14 comments:

Richard said...

Many of us have had out trust broken. Growing up, I was taught to always obey and trust a policeman but that was a different time and place.

Michael said...

In what you write, Canada sounds like the USA.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

The problem is that police culture is an over-militarized toxic stew of sexism, racism and every other ism mixed in with a sense of power and invulnerability to control. The pressure inside any culture like that is to conform or suffer for it, so it's a wonder there are any decent, conscientious cops at all.

Bob Slatten said...

I had a whole thing ready to say and then I read Debra's and all I can say now is, Word.

Old Lurker said...

I have direct experience with not trusting the police. It is remarkable to see how their treatment of you suddenly shifts when they realize you are not homeless but rather a person with a middle-class occupation.

I have been trying to reconcile myself with cop culture recently, and I just can't do it. The sheepdog narrative is so toxic to me. Since moving to Lurkville I have never had a good experience with a cop. At best I have had ones that have not gone catastrophically bad.

(I probably should not be writing this way about cops in public forums like this.)

mistress maddie said...

I have a good friend Gavin, who is a police officer here. He told me like any other profession you have your model employees and the bad seeds. It's is getting unfortunate though that the bad ones, give the whole profession a bad name. When he joined the force he had it tough for a while because he told them all he was gay. The few bad seeds were typical teasers at first, but he has held his own. One officer was found out letting guys go if they blew him. He is long gone-fired. And he was the one teasing my friend about being a gay cop.

Karma.

anne marie in philly said...

cops suck. I don't trust any of them.

John Gray said...

In any profession there are bad apples
I've worked with a few believe me
But nurses often work with the police in many emergency situations
And I always have to say thank god for them

Leanna said...

It's like that everywhere you go. Some cops have said that they have an adrenalin rush when called to a scene and the only way to get rid of it is to beat someone to a pulp or rape an innocent girl. Police have to go back to school. That's all there is about that. They need to go back to classes.

Ur-spo said...

It is both comforting and disturbing to read problems like this happen in Canada to relieve us Yanks there isn't any greener grass north of the border or anywhere else.

Harry Hamid said...

I believe that a lot of decent people become cops for the right reasons but that the nature of the system itself produces bad cops. "Us vs them" cops that can't help but spit out police beatings and supremacist b.s. out the other end.

And I'm in a state where I suspect we put up with that sort of thing in the name of law and order more than I picture Canada doing.

Mike said...

Unchallenged authority always leads to abuse. Catholic priests come to mind. Rape culture too. It's not about sex, it's about power. No gods, no masters.

Sixpence Notthewiser said...

The fact that cops need to get an education is encouraging. The problem is that the Police is sectarian and hierarchal and abuse of power runs rampant.
Oh, I'm sure there's very good cops and absolutely corrupt ones, like in every profession. But when you are serving justice, there's no wiggle room to being a bad apple....

Sooo-this-is-me said...

Seems I'm not the only one who feels this way by looking at the comments. Maybe as we age we actually don't get cynical, we just get more aware.