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blue girl

Avedon Carol's one point that Cynthia McKinney could have been instinctively reacting as a woman, instead of a black woman is a good one. There have been a few times that I should've punched a couple of guys right in the kisser, but chose the polite route instead. Lucky for me, it worked.

Just in case Chris the Cop is reading....do you guys hate when you have to direct traffic? I've always wondered about that. I promise I won't bash Bush for awhile* on Mannion's blog if you answer!


*Can't guarantee how long. But it will be a noticeable period of time.

Adorable Girlfriend

Is it a bad thing that I wish a cop would beat Malkin?

I think it would improve their status with the Democrats for sure.

Cryptic Ned

For a person who's been to a few demonstrations and marches, the sight of a cop is always slightly unnerving.

The exact feeling was hard for me to pin down, but being near a cop who is observing you is, in a way, like being near a suspicious-looking dog, or a schizophrenic person talking to the air. You start having the following thought:

"I am doing nothing wrong, but at any moment this person might get the wrong idea into his head and suddenly attack me, because it's in his nature to do so."

It doesn't make us feel more safe when the cop is in riot gear for no discernable reason (e.g. at a peace vigil), either.

Chrys

Chris, thanks to Lance, I've read and enjoyed your "cop stories". We could use more like you around here.

Awhile back, I was stopped by a local cop for doing 21 mph in a 20 mph school zone. Yep, he said I was going 1 mph over the speed limit! First time I've been stopped in 30 years of driving. After taking my license and registration from me, the officer returned to his patrol car and sat there for an hour and 10 minutes. When he finally decided to stroll back to my car, he handed me a speeding ticket and told me to watch myself because broads like me are menaces on the road. Jerk! Sadly, though, that cop's attitude is typical around here.

Holdie Lewie

The day I turned 23, in the summer of 1986, I moved to Baltimore, where I lived for a year before moving back to Texas. I got there on a Friday afternoon, and on Saturday, I grabbed the Sun, ignoring the front page and turning to the classifieds, and jumped in my car to look for an apartment. I had a map but absolutely no idea where I was, if you know what I mean.

I ended up driving past Memorial Stadium shortly before an Orioles game was about to start. The traffic was absolute madness. I was merely trying to cross from one side of the city to the other, and here I was, stuck in stadium traffic and feeling overwhelmed. Eventually I got to the front of a line of cars at an interesection, and I wanted to go straight instead of turning right, but a cop was standing in front of me, motioning me to go right. I rolled down the window. "But I want to go straight!" The cop blasted his whistle and motioned more emphatically for me to turn right. So I tried going straight -- in other words, I headed straight for the cop, who pounded the roof of the car as hard as he could and screamed something at me. I was scared and boiling with rage. I turned right. Screwed me up, but I eventually figured out how to get to where I was going.

Hours later, I got back to the hotel, still shaking my head at what an asshole that cop was. I looked at the front page of the paper. A cop had been killed the day before -- run over in front of Memorial Stadium.

jonst

Hey Lance, what was your take, if any, on the movie Q&A? I thought it was good movie. Covered some of the stuff your post touched on.

Shakespeare's Sister

As I recall, my granddad said the best thing about being a cop was other cops, and the worst thing about being a cop was other cops.

harry near indy

i recommend that you read asap, if you haven't before now, blue blood by edward conlin. it's the life and times of a harvard grad who ends up as a narcotics detective in the south bronx, and it's one of the best books i've read in the last five years.

it's one of the best because conlin has a great story and great prose.

coturnix

Growing up in Yugoslavia I knew tons of cops through the equestrian world. Most of them became cops because the mounted police had the best horses in the country. Of course, in March 1991 when we had the first big demonstrations against Milosevic, the mounted police was sent to beat up on demonstrators. Instead, demonstrators beat up the horses, pulled the riders off and beat them up, too. I saw a couple of friends in uniform on TV.

The very next day, I saw several of them. Their vet was telling me about all of the injuries the horses sustained (I was in vet school at the time so we were both buddies and professionally collegial). The guys were worried that the horses would be out of comission for too long and will not be back in shape for the Balkan Championships. At least two of them, including a Major who commanded the biggest unit defending the state TV building, quit the police force on that day. They told me, and the others around the stables, how conflicted they were the previous day between following orders and doing what they were trained and hired to do on one hand, and joining the demonstrators on the other hand. Many left the country as soon as they could. It was on that day that Milosevic realized he could not trust the state police any more, so he built a parallel police force out of refugees from Croatia and Bosnia, young, unsophisticated, and bloodthirsty. He equipped them with military grade weaponry, including airplanes, tanks and submarines. The new force had camouflage uniforms, the old cops had light blue, so it was easy to spot the difference. For the next few months I was still there, I avoided the camouflage and said "Good morning" to every cop in blue. I do not know what is the atmosphere there now, though, 15 years and many more demonstrations later.

More locally, I can see the regional differences, even microgeographical. Cops in Cary, NC, had a bad rep for a while and they are now the nicest cops in the area (although Cary still issues speed tickets if you go 5mph over the limit). Chapel Hill cops are mostly OK. Raleigh cops are mostly bastards. I have no idea what makes the difference.

harry near indy

coturnix, it's probably the culture of their peers in the department that makes the difference.

i used to be a reporter for newspapers in indiana. i used to deal with a lot of different cops for stories.

i found that the indiana state police troopers were the most professional -- that is, they weren't thugs in uniform.

most of the rest were like that.

for some other cops, though, i sensed that they gloried in having a uniform, a firearm, and the legal sanction to enforce authority.

they could've been just as happy beating up jews during the 1930s in germany or beating up blacks during the 1960s in dixie.

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