Why Cops Hate You

(If You Have To Ask, Get Out Of The Way)
 

Have you ever been stopped by a traffic cop and, while he was writing a ticket or giving you a warning, you got the
feeling he would just love to yank you out of the car, right through the window, and smash your face into the front
fender? Have you ever had a noisy little spat with someone, and a cop cruising by calls, everything all right over
there? Did you maybe sense that he really hoped everything was not all right, that he wanted one of you to answer,
No, officer, this idiotís bothering me? That all he was looking for was an excuse to launch himself from the cruiser
and play a drum solo on your skull with his nightstick?

Did you ever call the cops to report a crime maybe someone stole something from your car or broke into your home
and the cops act as if it were your fault? That they were sorry the crook didnít rip you off for more? That instead of
looking for the culprit, theyíd rather give you a shot in the chops for bothering them with this bullshit in the first place?
If youíve picked up on this attitude from your local sworn protectors, itís not just paranoia. They actually donít like
you. In fact cops donít just dislike you, they hate your guts! Incidentally, for a number of very good reasons.

First of all, civilians are so goddamn stupid. They leave things lying around, just begging thieves to steal them. They
park cars in high crime areas and leave portable TVs, cameras, wallets, purses, coats, luggage, grocery bags and
briefcases in plain view on the seat. Oh, sure, maybe theyíll remember to close all the windows and lock the doors,
but do you know how easy it is to bust a car window? How fast can it be done? A ten year old can do it in less than
six seconds! And a poor cop has another Larceny from Auto on his hands. Another crime to write a report on, waste
another half hour on. Another crime to make him look bad.

Meanwhile the asshole who left the family heirlooms on the backseat in the first place is raising hell about where
were the cops when the car was being looted. Heís planning to write irate letters to the mayor and the police
commissioner complaining about what a lousy police force you have here; they canít even keep my car from getting
ripped off! What were they drinking coffee somewhere? And the cops are
saying to themselves. Lemme tell ya, fuckhead, we were seven blocks away, taking
another stupid report from another jerkoff civilian about his fucking car being
broken into because he left his shit on the back seat too!

These civilians canít figure out that maybe they shouldnít leave stuff lying around un-attended where anybody can
just pick it up and boogie. Maybe they should put the shit in the trunk, where no one but Superman is gonna see it.
Maybe they should do that before they get to wherever theyíre going just in case some riffraff is hanging around
watching them while the car is being secured.

Another thing that drives cops wild is the ďsurely this doesnít apply to meĒ syndrome, which never fails to reveal itself
at scenes of sniper or barricade incidents. Thereís always some asshole
walking down the street (or jogging or driving) who thinks the police cars blocking off the area, the ropes marked police line:
Do Not Cross, the cops crouched behind cars pointing revolvers, carbines, shotguns and bazookas at some
building has nothing whatsoever to do with him so he weasels around the barricades or slithers under the restraining ropes
 and blithely continues on
his way, right into the field of fire.

The result is that some cop risks his ass (or hers donít forget, the cops include women now) to go after the cretin
and drag him, usually under protest, back to safety. All of these cops, including the one who risking his ass,
devoutly hope that the sniper will get off one miraculous shot and drill the idiot right between the horns, which would
have two immediate effects. The quiche-for-brains civilian would be dispatched to his just reward and every cop on
the scene would instantaneously be licensed to kill the scumbag doing the sniping. Whereupon the cops would
destroy the whole fucking building, sniper and all, in about 30 seconds, which is what they wanted to do in the first
place, except the brass wouldnít let them because the motherfucker had not killed anybody yet.

An allied phenomenon is the ďmy isnít this amusing behaviorĒ exhibited, usually by Yuppies or other members of high
society, at some emergency scenes. For example, a group of trendy types will be strolling down the street when a
squad car with its lights flashing and siren on screeches up to a building. Theyíll watch the cops yank out their guns
and run up to the door, flatten themselves against a wall, and peep into the place cautiously. Now, if you think about
it, something serious could be happening here. Cops usually donít pull their revolvers to get a cup of coffee. Any
five-year-old ghetto kid can tell you these cops are ready to cap somebody. But do our society friends perceive
this? Do they stay out of the cops way? Of course not! They think itís vastly amusing. And, of course, since theyíre
not involved in the funny little game the cops are playing, they think nothing can happen to them!

While the ghetto kid is hiding behind a car for the shooting to start, Muffy, Chip and Biffy are continuing their
stroll, right up to the officers, tittering among themselves about how silly the cops look, all scrunched up against the
wall, trying to look in through the door without stopping bullets with their foreheads.
What the cops are hoping at that point is for a homicidal holdup man to come busting out the door with a sawed off
shotgun. Theyíre hoping he has it loaded with elephant shot, and that he immediately identifies our socialites as
serious threats to his personal well being. Theyíre hoping he has just enough ammunition to blast the shit out of the
gigglers, but not enough to return fire when the cops open up on him.

Of course if that actually happens, the poor cops will be in a world of trouble for not protecting the innocent
bystanders. The brass wouldnít even want to hear that the shitheads probably didnít have enough sense to come in
out of acid rain. Somebody ought to tell all the quiche eaters out there to stand back when they encounter someone
with a gun in his hand, whether he happens to be wearing a badge or a ski mask.

Civilians also aggravate cops in a number of other ways. One of their favorite games is ďOfficer, can you tell me?Ē A
cop knows heís been selected to play this game whenever someone approaches and utters those magic words. Now,
itís okay if they continue with how to get to so and so street? Or where such and such a place is located? After all,
cops are supposed to be familiar with the area he works. But it eats the lining of their stomachs when some jerkoff
asks, ďWhere can I catch the number fifty-four bus?Ē Or, ďwhere can I find a telephone?Ē

Cops look forward to their last day before retirement, when they can safely give these douche bags the answer
theyíve been choking back for 20 years: No, maggot, I canít tell you where the fifty-four bus runs! What does this
look like an MTA uniform? Go ask a fucking bus driver! And, No dog breath, I donít know where you can find a
phone, except wherever your fucking eyes see one! Take your head out of your ass and look for one.

And cops just love to find a guy parking next his car in a crosswalk next to a fire hydrant at a bus stop posted with a
sign saying, Donít Even Think About Stopping, Standing, or Parking Here. Cars Towed Away, Forfeited to the
Government, and Sold at Public Auction. and the jerk asks, Officer, may I park here a minute?
What are you nuts? Of course ya can park here! As long as ya like! Leave it there all day! Ya donít see anything
that says ya canít do ya? Youíre welcome. See ya later. The cop then drives around the corner and calls for a tow
truck to remove the vehicle. Later, in traffic court, the idiot will be whining to the judge But, Your Honor, I asked the
 officer if I could park there, and he said I could! No, I donít know which officer, but I did ask! Honest! No, wait,
Judge, I canít afford five hundred dollars! This isnít fair! Iím not creating a disturbance! Iíve got rights! Get your
hands off me! Where are you taking me? What do you mean, ten days for contempt of court? What did I do? Wait,
wait,..... If you should happen to see a cop humming contentedly and smiling to himself for no apparent reason, he
may have won this game.

Wildly unrealistic civilian expectations also contribute to a copís distaste for the general citizenry. An officer can be
running his ass off all day or night handling call after call and writing volumes of police reports, but everybody
thinks their problem is the only thing he has to work on. The policeman may have a few worries, too. Ever think of
that? The sergeant is on him because heís been late for roll call a few days; heís been battling like a badger with his
wife, whoís just about to leave him because he never takes her anywhere and doesnít spend enough time at home
and the kids need braces and the station wagon needs a major engine overhaul and where are we gonna get the
money to pay for all that and we havenít had a real vacation for years and all you do is hang around with other cops
and youíve been drinking too much lately and I couldíve married that wonderful guy I was going with when I met
you and lived happily ever after and why donít you get a regular job with regular days off and no night shifts and
decent pay and a chance for advancement and no one throwing bottles or taking wild potshots at you?
Meanwhile, that sweet young thing he met on a call last month says her period is late. Internal Affairs is
investigating him on fucking up a disorderly last week; the captain is pissed at him for tagging a councilmanís car;
a burglarís tearing up the businesses on his post; and heís already handled two robberies, three family fights, a
stolen car, and half a dozen juvenile complaints today.

Now here he is, on another juvenile call, trying to explain to some bimbo, whoís the president of her neighborhood
improvement association, that the security of Western Civilization is not really threatened all that much by the kids
who hang on the corner by her house. Yes, officer, I know theyíre not there now. They always leave when you come
by. But after youíre gone, they come right back, donít you see, and continue their disturbance. Itís intolerable! Iím
so upset, I can barely sleep at night.

By now, the cops eyes have glazed over. What we need here, officer, she continues vehemently, is greater attention
to this matter by the police. You and some other other officers should hide and stake out that corner so those
renegades wouldnít see you. Then you could catch them in the act! Yes, maíam, weíd love to stake out that corner a
 few hours every night, since we donít have anything else to do, but Iíve got a better idea, heíd like to say. Hereís a
 box of fragmentation grenades the Department obtained from the Army just for situations like this. The next time you
 see those little fuckers out there, just lob a couple of these into the crowd and get down!

Or heís got an artsy-crafty type whoís moved into a tough, rundown neighborhood and decides itís gotta be cleaned
up. Ya know, Urban Pioneers. The cops see a lot of them now. Most of them are intelligent(?), talented,
hard-working, well paid folks with masochistic chromosomes interspersed among their other wise normal genes.
They have nice jobs, live in nice homes, and they somehow decided that it would be a marvelous idea to move into a
slum and get yoked, roped, looted, and pillaged on a regular basis. What else do you expect? Peace and harmony?
Itís like tossing a juicy little pig into a piranha tank.

Moving day: Here come the pioneers, dropping all their groovy gear from their Volvo station wagon, setting it on
the sidewalk so everyone can get a good look at the food processor, the microwave, the stereo system, the color
TV, the tape deck, etc. At the same time, the local burglars are appraising the goods unofficially and calculating
how much they can get for the TV down at the corner bar, how much the stereo will bring at Joeís garage, who might
want the tape deck at the barber shop, and maybe mama can use the microwave herself.
When the pioneers get ripped off, the cops figure they asked for it, and they got it. You want to poke your arm
through the bars of a tiger cage? Fuck you! Donít be amazed when he eats it for lunch! The cops regard it as naive
for trendies to move into crime zones and conduct their lives the same way they did up on Society Hill. In fact, they
canít fathom why anyone who didnít have to would move there at all, regardless of how they want to live or how
prepared they might be to adapt their behavior. Thatís probably because the cops are intimately acquainted with all
those petty but disturbing crimes and nasty little incidents that never make the newspapers but profoundly affect
the quality of life in a particular area.

Something else that causes premature aging among cops is the I donít know who to call, so Iíll call the police ploy.
Why, the cops ask themselves, do they get so many calls for things like water leaks, sick cases, bats in houses, and
the like things that have nothing whatsoever to do with law enforcement or the maintenance of public order? They
figure itís because civilians are getting more and more accustomed to having the government solve problems for
them, and the local P.D. is the only governmental agency that even answer the phone at 3:00 AM, let alone send
anybody.

So, when the call comes over the radio to go to such-and-such address for a water leak, the assigned officer rolls his
eyes, acknowledges, responds, surveys the problem, and tells the complainant, Yep, thatís a water leak all right! No
doubt about it. Ya probably ought to call a plumber! And it might not be a bad idea to turn off your main valve for a
while. Or, Yep, your Aunt Minnieís sick all right! Ya probably ought to get Ďer to a doctor tomorrow if she doesnít
 get any better by then. Or, Yep, thatís a bat all right! Mebbe ya ought to open the windows so it can fly outside again!
In the meantime our hero is wasting his time on this bullshit call, maybe someone is having a real problem out there,
like getting raped, robbed or killed.

Street cops would like to work the phones just once and catch a few of these idiotic complaints: A bat in your house?
No need to send an officer when I can tell ya what to do right here over the phone, pal! Close all your doors and
windows right away. Pour gasoline all over your furniture. Thatís it. Now set it on fire and get everybody outside!
Yeah, youíll get the little motherfucker for sure! Thatís okay, call us anytime.

Probably the most serious beef cops have with civilians relates to those situations in which the use of deadly force
becomes necessary to deal with some desperado who might have just robbed a bank, iced somebody, beat up his
kids, or wounded some cop, and now heís caught but wonít give up. Heís not going to be taken alive, heís going
to take some cops with him, and you better say your prayers, you pig bastards! Naturally, if the chumpís armed with
any kind of weapon, the cops are going to shoot the shit out of him so bad theyíll be able to open up his body later as
a lead mine. If heís not armed, and the cops arenít creative enough to find a weapon for him, theyíll beat him into
raw meat and hope he spends the next few weeks in traction. They view it as a learning experience for the asshole.
You fuck somebody up, you find out how it feels like to get fucked up. Donít like it? Donít do it again! Itís called Street
Justice, and civilians approve of it as much as cops do even if they donít admit it.

Remember how the audience cheered when Charles Bronson fucked up the bad guys in Death Wish? How they
scream with joy every time Clint Eastwoodís Dirty Harry makes his day by blowing up some rotten scumball with
his .44 magnum? What they applaud is the administration of street justice. The old eye for an eye concept, one of
mankindís most primal instincts. All of us have it, especially cops.

It severely offends and deeply hurts cops when they administer a dose of good old fashioned street justice only to
have some bleeding heart do-gooder happen upon the scene at the last minute, when the hairbag is at last getting
his just desserts, and start hollering about police brutality. Cops regard this as very serious business indeed. Brutality can
get them fired. Get fired from one police department and itís tough to get a job as a cop anywhere else ever again.
Brutality exposes the cop to civil liability as well. Also, his superior officers, the police department as an agency,
and maybe even the local government itself. Youíve seen those segments on 60 minutes, right? Some cops screw
up, gets sued along with everybody else in the department who had anything to do with him, and the city or county
ends up paying the plaintiff umpty-ump million dollars, raising taxes and hocking itís fire engines in the process.
What do you think happens to the cop who fucked up in the first place? Heís done for.

On many occasions when the cops are accused of excessive force, the apparent brutality is a misconception by
some observer who isnít acquainted with the realities of police work. For example, do you know how hard it is to
handcuff someone who really doesnít want to be handcuffed? Without hurting them? Itís almost impossible for one
cop to accomplish by himself unless he beats the hell out of a prisoner first which would also be viewed a brutality!
It frequently takes three or four cops to handcuff one son of a bitch whoís determined to battle them.
In situations like that, itís not unusual for the cops to hear someone in the crowd of onlookers comment on how
theyíre ganging up on the poor bastard and beating him unnecessarily. This makes them feel like telling the
complainer, Hey, motherfucker, you think you can handcuff this shithead by yourself without killing him first?
Címere! Youíre deputized! Now go ahead and do it!

The problem is that, in addition to being unfamiliar with how difficult it is in the real world to physically control
someone without beating his ass, last minute observers usually donít have the opportunity to see for themselves,
like they do in the movies and on TV, what a fucking monster the suspect might be. If they did, theyíd probably
holler at the cops to beat his ass some more. They might actually want to help!

The best thing for civilians to do if they think they see the cops rough up somebody too much is to keep their
mouths shut at the scene, and to make inquiries of the police brass later on. There might be ample justification for
the degree of force used that just was apparent at the time of arrest. If not, the brass will be very interested in the
complaint. If one of their cops went over the deep end, theyíll want to know about it.

Most of this comes down to common sense, a characteristic the cops feel most civilians lack. One of the elements of
common sense is thinking before opening oneís yap or taking other action. Just a brief moment of thought will often
prevent the utterance of something stupid or the commission of some idiotic act that will, among other things,
generate nothing but contempt from the average street cop. THINK and it might mean getting a warning instead of
a traffic ticket. Or getting sent on your way rather than be arrested. Or continuing on to your original destination
instead of to the hospital. It might mean getting real assistance instead of the run-around. The very least itíll get you
is a measure of respect cops seldom show civilians. Act like youíve got a little sense, and even if the cops donít love
you, they at least wonít hate you.