I’ve been thinking a lot about cops lately, and the problems many of us have with them. Aside from the multiple unpunished murders of unarmed civilians, I learned recently that in many places, cops are legally allowed to have sex with prostitutes before arresting them. This is, I am told, done in the name of “gathering evidence.” When you read the article, you’ll note that the cop who pointed out to the press that this is legal and “by the book” lost his job–while the one who fucks prostitutes while being paid by taxpayers did not.
Let’s look at that. Prostitution is a crime. Paying a prostitute for sex is a crime. So this means it’s okay for a cop to commit a crime in order to stop a “more serious” crime. How serious could the crime be if cops are legally allowed to commit it? How long does it take for a cop to find a prostitute, have sex with her, then arrest and book her for the crime of engaging in sex with him? How might that time be better allocated into things that actually help citizens?
Honestly, unless you have a spouse who cheats with pros, I defy anyone to explain to me a way in which their life has been adversely affected by prostitution. Aside from sex trafficking, abusive pimps, and other bi-products of the black market–I don’t even know why prostitution is illegal in the first place.
The NYPD went on a half-assed work stoppage recently. It seems their widdle fewwings were hurt when the mayor said he has given his son tips on how not to be shot by police. This petulant tantrum of a work stoppage came in the form of–and I’m not kidding–only making arrests that were “necessary.” Arrests went down 66%, leading some to conclude that well over half of all arrests made by the NYPD are total bullshit. Couple this with stop and frisk stats, and you’ve got a pretty ugly picture being painted. Remember, this work stoppage was intended to be a “screw you” to the mayor–and a tacit admission that the city budget relies heavily on fines levied on these bullshit “crimes” that cops have since admitted are Not Necessary.
I realize that the typical stereotype of any cop on the job more than say 5 years is that they’re angry, racist, drunk, and if they’re still married–that the marriage is hanging on by a thread. I bet there are things we can do to make things easier on cops that don’t involve giving them a free pass to beat or kill civilians, or to get busy with hookers as part of the work day. I don’t know what though. I confess, I’m ignorant of how most cops live each day. I’m also ignorant of the rules they follow in order to get the job done.
But I shouldn’t be.
I think citizens should be able to get a copy of current police codes of conduct. I want to know what they’re told during training, and what the specific rules of their jobs are. After all, cops are paid via tax dollars which come from citizens–even citizens who have at some point, broken a law. See, if you work, you pay taxes. That should give you a say in how you’re governed and under what rules. Then we can know for sure whether using minority mug shots for target practice is something every cop supports. I bet it isn’t.
Why don’t we have access to a list of the rules cops are expected to follow? Some will no doubt argue that if we know the rules, criminals will find ways around them. Like maybe prostitutes will stop having sex with clients if they know one might be a cop, or something. But see, that would mean that cops rely on citizens not knowing the law in order to catch them committing crimes. How is that fair? How can there be secret laws and rules that citizens aren’t aware of that can be used against us?
I’ll ask again–why can’t citizens have–for the asking–a copy of the rules that all police follow. Like the Freedom of Information Act, all we should have to do is ask, and we should be sent a copy of the rules governing cops in our city, county, and state. This should be current and unabridged.
What I don’t know is how to go about making this happen.
Open to suggestions.