The events of the last decade have caused many changes in law enforcement. The perceptions of what a police officer does, or should do, have mutated. As a law enforcement officer, I have had to listen to hundreds of caustic remarks about what I do. The remarks that cops are always so nasty when they pull a person over do not recognize the courteous and professional officer. The prevailing attitude that the cops were wrong when responding to a riot does not acknowledge our duty to protect life and property. The public has a common misperception. The police officer must have done something wrong if a criminal is injured while resisting arrest or by assaulting the officer. This only feeds the cynicism felt by most law enforcement officers toward the public.
New York City--the Million Youth March--were the police to blame? It is too easy to answer yes.
However, what about the other side of the story? Khallid Abdul Muhammad has a reputation for strong rhetoric against Jews, Whites, Pope John Paul II, and South African President Nelson Mandela. It is alleged that Muhammad made inflammatory remarks to which the police responded. The media, of course, did what was expected and attacked the police. Was each one of the three thousand cops at the rally wrong? Was Khallid Abdul Muhammad wrong for advocating violence? Was the public provided enough information to determine who was actually at fault? No. Public consensus is however, blaming "The Police". However, who are "The Police"? They are an element of society similar to Hispanics, Jews, Blacks and Whites. Law enforcement officers suffer the consequences of the knee jerk reaction that faults the police in any given situation.
In some incidents, individual cops are wrong. We all remember Rodney King and the New...