But, every year, police kill many more people than are killed in the line of duty. Many more, but we don't know exactly how many because no one is keeping that statistic.
Since the beginning of the "war on drugs", which by any measure was lost long ago, police have become more militaristic, more aggressive, and much less flexible when it comes to dealing with the public in general, and tense situations in particular. The conduct of the New Orleans P.D. in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the recent Keystone Cops episode in Boston following the Marathon Bombing are good examples.
One of the more troubling trends in police departments across the nation is their tendency to rally round their own bad apples. It appears that in the Miami area (Opa-Locka, to be precise), we have a police sergeant who is about to be fired for the ninth (yes, that's right, the ninth) time.
Now, considering that police unions are relatively strong, you might assume that he was not fired for minor infractions. You'd be right. The list includes:
- busting the skull of a handcuffed suspect
- beating juveniles
- having dope and booze in his squad car
- ripping off suspects
- falsifying reports
- participating in an unauthorized chase where four people were killed
- calling in sick … from Cancun
Uh-huh. And who did the investigations? Other cops, of course.
It is any wonder that public trust of police officers is plummeting?