It’s rare online that a cop leaves the comfort of their internet echo chamber. Mostly, they hang out on sites where other cops can slap each other on the ass and tell themselves what a great job they’re doing. It’s the internet equivalent of a cop bar. It’s rare, because when they do come down among the common people, they tend to show just a little bit too much of their true colors. Case in point? A recent Facebook discussion started by KVUE concerning a U.S. Magistrate’s reaffirmation that filming the police is a protected, 1st Amendment right. The ruling is one step along the legal way being taken by Antonio Buehler against the Austin, Texas police department (APD). After his illegal arrest and falsified charges at the hands of the APD, Buehler founded the Peaceful Streets Project in Austin. Their mission is to film police performing their public duties, to encourage transparency, and accountability. Needless to say, some cops still don’t want to be filmed.
In the aforementioned Facebook discussion, a detective with the Travis County (Texas) Sheriff’s Office, one Marc Taub, decided he would let us citizens know exactly where our place is. He forgot that he was woefully out numbered and surrounded by many of the unhappy citizens he and his fellows failed over the years. In the first screen-capture, Jim Rank recounts how APD failed him in his time of need. Detective Taub’s reply (highlighted) mocked Mr. Rank, saying since he was a cop hater, it’s good that the police didn’t help him. Taub added, “Law Enforcement is a lucrative business based on your taxes. So like the service or not, payment is still accepted.”
Two thoughts occur to me. One, Mr. Rank probably had no issues with police until he need them. Something echoed ad nauseam by cops and their doe-eyed supporters when arguing with anti-cop people is, “You talk big, but who will be the first ones you call when you’re robbed?” Mr. Rank’s experience tells us that may be futile. It may be better just to call the insurance company and by-pass the cops. His mention of Warren v. District of Columbia is in reference to the findings in that case that police are under no specific legal duty to provide protection to the public. So Det. Taub is correct. If you don’t like the way he does his job, he doesn’t care. He still gets paid with your taxes.
Two, Det. Taub’s comment sounds oddly like a mafia protection racket. If you don’t support his police department, heap praises on him and his confederates, and blindly follow all his commands, you don’t deserve his attention, protection, or services. That, my friends, is a downright scary thing for a cop to say. His idea of policing is nothing more than extortion.
In the second screen-capture, Det. Taub is telling Mr. Rank to not bother the police in the future. He should call Mr. Buehler instead.
Frankly, having Antonio’s camera crew show up would probably be a better solution than the APD showing up only to shoot a few dogs. Taub’s sarcasm is dripping with contempt for the lowly, un-serviced citizens. Citizen’s who frankly have valid complaints. Taub is unfazed and would rather label them miscreants and malcontents than admit the police failed in their duties. I included the second screen-capture because it contains some spur-of-the-moment brilliance, wherein I encapsulate a philosophy that is gaining ground among the un-serviced citizenry.
If I'm being robbed or assaulted, I have a gun. If I'm burglarized, I have video of my belongs to prove to my insurance company what was stolen. If my neighbors are loud, I go talk to them politely. If there's a stray running the neighborhood, I catch it and care for it until I find the owner. I have no reason to call a cop. Nope. No use for cops at all. If cops were paid on an "as used" basis, I'd save a ton on taxes.
The only time I’ve needed a cop is when I was told I had to have one. Insurance companies usually don’t pay auto accident claims without a police report. I would have preferred to just take the other drivers information, snap some pictures of the scene and damages, and filed the claim, but they had to have some official-looking form, filled out in ballpoint pen, complete with misspellings and grammatical errors, written by a high school graduate who got solid Cs in English.
Det. Taub’s attitude is not unique. He simply chose to leave his comfort zone and let the disenfranchised public get the best of him. I’m sure when he returned to the safety of his comrades’ echo chamber, he got plenty of support for soiling himself among the masses. I’ll remind Det. Taub, police in general, and anyone who cares to listen, of the lesson I learned long ago. If everywhere you go, you are treated with contempt and disrespect, it’s not everyone else who has the problem. It’s you. This is true for anyone in uniform or out. Respect isn’t given to the badge. It’s given to the person, badge or not, based on their actions. Simply repeating a lie doesn’t make it a truth. Repeating a lie to yourself is just mental illness.
Keep chasing the odd, little happy.
Lest you think I’m complaining for the sake of complaining, I do have a few ideas that would provide solutions to the growing problem of policing in America. I invite you to read those ideas here and leave feedback.