AS261: Interview with a Chicago Police Officer

A listener named Elizabeth reached out to me offering her perspective on Black Lives Matter vs Blue Lives Matter and the police violence that has been dominating the media lately. Elizabeth talks about having to keep her liberal opinions to herself on the force due to bullying and intimidation, among many other things. She’s able to offer a police officer’s perspective on the problems and what we might do to solve them.

36 thoughts on “AS261: Interview with a Chicago Police Officer”

  1. I apologize for not having heard the whole episode yet, so this might come up later, but just about halfway in, your guest noted that she could see herself feeling threatened with a suspect in Alton Sterling’s position, and that someone like that could still pose a threat, thus justifying use of lethal force. I appreciate her candor, but I’m also wondering if we need to consider the perspective of someone who is being assaulted by police officers.

    Like your guest, I’m also from Chicago, and a few years ago, a story broke about Chicago officers using an old warehouse to literally torture people in their custody. This particular warehouse was reportedly used for decades. I’m sure it’d be redundant to list the high-profile incidents of police killing unarmed black people, or even the most recent shooting of a behavioral specialist in Florida (lying on his back with his arms up).

    Is it entirely unreasonable for black people approached by police to feel that their lives are just as threatened as those police officers feel? Do people have a right to self defense if they are about to be unlawfully killed by a police officer?

    Just to be clear, I’m not constructing an argument that there should be more violence directed at police, nor am I arguing that it is unreasonable for police to detain anyone for any reason. I just think it has to be mentioned that people doing absolutely nothing wrong, people who were polite and compliant no less, have been detained, assaulted, tortured, and killed by law enforcement officers.

    Again, apologies if any of this comes up later in the episode.

    1. I finished listening to the episode and found a few more things concerning. Mostly, what stood out was the officer’s anxiety about being filmed on her worst day.

      When the guest described the incident in which she had chewed up fish spat in her face, I was reminded of the video that was released a few weeks ago of two police officers in Salt Lake City throwing a handcuffed woman to the ground in front of her 9 year old daughter and hitting her repeatedly, calling her a “little bitch” and a “cunt” because she allegedly spat on an officer (off screen). There are particular details that make this more egregious (i.e., officers had to wake her up, in her home, to arrest her for being “drunk in public”), but what stood out for me was the viciousness of the officer’s response to someone who wasn’t threatening him so much as disrespecting him.

      I agree with your guest that a video which showed her hitting a woman in custody, who has one hand handcuffed to a bed, wouldn’t necessarily convey the context that she was frustrated, that she had been thoughtful and empathetic all day, and that she was in pain after having been spat on, but had she assaulted the woman, “angry police officer hits restrained woman” would not be a false narrative.

      As to whether the police are paid enough for us to reasonably “expect perfection,” I also think it’s important to remember that “having a bad day” is a pretty euphemistic way to describe violent assault, false imprisonment, and the kind of escalation that means someone goes to jail instead of getting to go home. It does suck that police are given so much responsibility, and that they bear the brunt of dealing with huge social issues and economic disparity. That’s not fair to them, and it’s incredible that they can do their jobs as well as they do.

      We understand that they’re human and that they have bad days, but when the consequence of your “bad day” is somebody losing their freedom, having their rights violated, or getting injured/killed, it’s difficult not to focus on that result.

      Moreover, as I wrote in a comment on a previous episode, Black Lives Matter began as a response to the fact that people who kill black people (either police or self-appointed vigilantes) were not being held accountable for their actions. It may be more accurate to say we’re not asking them to be perfect, but we expect them to obey the law, and when they don’t, to be held accountable.

      All that said, I think it was very brave of your guest to reach out and respond so candidly to your questions. It is discouraging to hear how difficult it is for someone to be liberal/empathetic/aware in this particular culture, and I’m glad there are officers like your guest.

      1. Some guy,
        My biggest fear is not being filmed. What I said, or tried to say anyway, is that films can be taken out of context. I support body camera. I support people’s right to record interactions with police. I was just trying to say is that I wish that people could have access to the whole story. I absolutely do want cops to be accountable. It risks citizen’s lives that we are sworn to protect. It also risks “blue” lives that they claim to value when there is zero police accountability. So I am 100 % with you.

    2. You are 100% correct. People who do everything that they are ordered to do still get shot!. That is awful. I am sickened. I wish that I know how to respond. Just sad for this mess.

    3. Some guy,
      I completely believe that cops torture, arrest, and kill innocent people for no reason. I hope I didn’t come across as saying, “Nope, that never happens.” It does happen and it makes me super sick. I was just trying to give the same exact advice that I give to my kids which is to just do what the officer says so odds improve of them returning to me alive. It is no guarantee, as we all saw in Miami last week, hopefully it improves chances though. Sad that is where the bar needs to move to.

      1. Thanks for taking the time to respond. You definitely didn’t come across as blanketly defending abusive police, and I could hear the empathy in your voice when you were offering advice.

  2. As a Canadian I know if I were driving through the states and happened to be pulled over I would treat the police the same as I would any random person with a gun and licence to use it. I would comply with any demand , make no sudden moves and feel relief when it was all over. I feel it;s different with the cops here mainly because of the lack of firearms, a cop walking up on me has a near zero expectation I’m armed, in America I’d imagine they must suspect everyone of being armed and are consequently much more on edge.

    As far as the risks a police officer faces I feel they are somewhat overstated, police ranks 15th on the list of dangerous jobs , well behind logger, garbageman, roofer and my own job of construction worker. What chances should they be willing to take before firing their weapon, a 10%, 1%,<1% chance of harm. As a trained professional should their fear of a suspicious reach for a wallet be enough to take a life or should they have to wait and see an actual weapon. Or should we just start praising our local garbageman or logger as the truest of heroes, putting their life on the line for our comfort.

  3. I listened very closely to this interview with much interest not knowing what to expect, but I still was quite surprised by the officer’s statements, particularly after hearing her personal stories of obvious bigotry by her fellow officers. Though I surly can’t put myself in the position of an officer faced with a life or death situation, I also can’t put myself in the place of a black person that has to worry about being murdered due to my skin color. I’m really quite sick of ppl (this officer included) pretending race isn’t really a factor. After all the videos released on social media, how can anyone boil our country’s police problem down to fucking training? White ppl have cameras. Where are all the videos of white autistic men with toys being targeted by cops with bad aim? The white 12 year old children with pellet guns being murdered? (My brother and his friend shot the shit out of each other when they were in junior high and it was considered boys being boys, btw,they’re white) The white ppl being drug out of their cars by cops for being “disrespectful? Every white guy I’ve ever dated (and my husband), I’ve personally seen be a dick to a cop (ranging from being kind of ‘disrespectful’ to full on cussing out), and zero of them have even gotten a ticket, let alone been arrested. Talk training all you want, talk ‘fearing for my life’ all you want, the police treat white ppl better than brown or black ppl, the few studies we have show that to be fact. I was incredibly bothered by the officer’s opinions of how Black Lives Matter proponents ‘should’ act. All I could think during her statements was ‘are you fucking kidding me’? how dare you put the responsibility of acting properly on the ppl you’re oppressing and, oh yeah, murdering? I’m a white woman married to a white man with our white children living in a small Texas town, I’ll NEVER have to worry about this shit. AND I’M FUCKING PISSED!!! Of course black ppl are mad, it’s on the OFFICERS to fix this, to speak nicely and use the politically correct language, to make the fucking effort! The police fucked themselves by covering up the many times they’ve murdered ppl, regular citizens didn’t do that. The police get to murder children, or at least put them in choke holds and body slam them for not obeying in class, regular citizens can’t do that. Your guest kind of acknowledged the ‘blue shield’ (when it directly affected her) but then put it on Black Lives Matter to create the bridge between officers and citizens. To me, that’s like telling women ‘hey gals, we’d here in the business world take you more seriously if you’d prove to us that you won’t freak out once month’. Why is it up to the opressed to disprove bullshit stereotypes? Why not just tell the cops to stop being such pussies every time they see a black man? I really thought I’d have a better understanding after listening to this interview, but frankly it just pissed me off. It was kind of like listening to another woman tell me why she’s religious, she gave me so many examples pointing to why she shouldn’t be a part of it, then basically said ‘well, I’m better for it’. WHAT THE FUCK??????

    1. I agree so much with what you’ve said. I was applauded by the suggestions she made about how the people should do anything at all to make sure they don’t escalate the cops into killing them and THEN they can later find a way to stop the cops from just generally being astonishingly racist and brutal. Especially considering she was telling us most of the cops she works with are the believing Alex jones is for real types. How on earth am I ever going to convince a general bigot to not be a bigot when it’s clearly entrenched in, at least, the Chicago PD? It’s weirdly like she is intentionally not seeing the problem, as if all people involved with the police are equally at risk so everyone should be super nice and statulike during their encounters so they don’t get murdered for being mad, frustrated or just totally compliant. I’m a white woman in MS and I can do and say whatever I want to cops, at anytime! My husband is black and he cannot!!! I am terrified of him being pulled over and killed. How the fuck is that the same? I don’t have to de-escalate, my husband has to feel terror in the exact same situation in which I could spit in the cop’s face and, at the most, maybe get a ticket. My husband could die for just being black while driving near a cop.

      It was interesting to hear all of this out of the mouth of a cop, but terrifying all the same. She clearly feels cops can kill people if they feel threatened.

      Oh ya, and say they actually need to use a gun, why do they have to murder the person, why not shot their arm or leg? Or shoot fucking tranquizer darts like they do with animals? If a tiger can safely be shot and fall asleep in a few seconds how can a person not be?

      My teenaged son hates and is terrier by the cops. I want to tell him not all cops are bad, don’t paint with so broad a brush, but I also don’t want him to mistakenly believe cops won’t hurt him. What do I teach him? When did a cop’s life become more valuable than an ordinary person’s?

      1. Amanda,
        Thank you for your thoughtful and detailed comment. I completely feel you about your son being afraid of police, I am afraid of some police too. I am really terrified of my sons interacting with the police as well. Both of my sons have autism and I am terrified of what could happen to them during a pice encounter. I am not sure what to tell them about police. I do not think cops shod get instant respect. I have tried to role play with them so that if they ever get stopped by police they carry a card with then that states that they have autism and to call me if there is ever a problem. I have told them that if they get lost ever to find a mom and her children and ask her for help. I literally believe that their odds are better with an unknown lady with a baby than the police.

      2. I, for one, do not believe that a cops life is of more value than another person’s. As a parent I think that your fear is completely reasonable and that sucks. I want things to change. Things need to change. I think that one of the first steps is for the police departments to first acknowledge that racism is a problem. Sorry to be all Oprah-y, but you can’t fix what you don’t acknowledge and I do not see many departments acknowledging that there is a problem with racist cops.

    2. First of all, thank you for your comment. I enjoy hearing other views. I in no way tried to “put it on black Lives matter”. One of the things that I say pretty early is that there are racist cops in large numbers who say that black Lives Matter is a terrorist group. I do not think that at all and say so. I think that black Lives Matter is a necessary group and I understand why people are mad. I am mad at what’s going on. What I said was that empathy for all parties needs to happen to make changes. I did not say that black Lives Matter should be the ones to change.
      In know way did I imply that I was “better for it”, I am not terribly sure what that means. What I said was that the job is difficult to begin with, but that working with/for ass holes is the hardest part of the job. I went on to acknowledge that I am much more afraid of coworkers than of the public. All this said, if I leave the chances are high that my shoes will be filled by a right wing, conservative , gun nut. This makes the problem worse. I apologize if I wasn’t clear. I said that everyone brings a certain energy to a situation and I found most of the time if I entered into interaction by staying calm and objectively empathizing with the subject at hand, that many situations had peaceful endings even when there was hostility present when I arrived.
      I can’t speak for everyone. I do acknowledge that racism in the department is a huge problem from where I am standing. Thomas asked me what I thought the solution to that was. I told him that some empathy training for police is a good place to start. Accountability for people who are racist. Accountability for police officers who shoot unarmed men lying on the ground with their hands up. I want those people off the job and prosecuted for many reasons. They misrepresent me, I feel ashamed to wear the same uniform as they do. They also make it much more likely that I could be shot because of the (completely justified) anger that many people have afterwards. I am sorry that I angered you, it was certainly not my intention, as a matter of fact my hope was to start a dialogue without anger.
      Thank you for your comment. I am happy to speak more with everyone so that we can all work to find solutions to this issue.

  4. To Some Guy,
    I hope that you do not think that I was condoning what happened to Alton Sterling. I was 100% not. I simply said that I honestly didn’t know enough facts to judge. I admitted that it looked horrible and the presence of 2 officers there made it seem even more unjustified. Ultimately , I wasn’t there so I really don’t know.
    I feel very sad for any lost life, that man had a family who loved him. I hate when police , the right-wing media, or anyone else says terrible things about someone who lost their life. I am not sure if this addresses your comment entirely, but I am happy to answer.other questions or reply to comments.

    1. I think I see where you’re coming from here. I apologize for implying that you might be okay with what happened, and I think you made it clear during the interview that you were speaking hypothetically.

  5. I really don’t think that cops should shoot someine because they feel threatened. I wish that people who feel that’shooting to mame’ is not in the use of force model.

    1. Elizabeth,

      Thanks for your response. I’m not on a keyboard right now so this will be short.

      Overall, you came across as a person that I would probably be friends with (which doesn’t happen much living where I do) and then I felt so uncomfortable when you said some things, like I’ve already expressed. Ugh I hate typing on a screen. I’ll have to write more later. I just wanted to let you know I appreciate the chance to talk to you. And I definitely see the point of if its not you (an empathetic progressive) in that position it would be a right wing nutter. Oh I have so much to say and ask!! Thanks for talking.

      1. Sure! I appreciate the opportunity! I think the only way we can help this situation is to talk about it and listen to each other. Thank you again.

      2. I really am happy to answer questions. Maybe we could organize a Google hangout or something. I feel like people are raising some great points and I get distracted typing then forget. So I apologize if I don’t get to them all.

  6. The one issue that I didn’t hear addressed (and, I admit I was working while listening, so maybe it was) is the lack of consequences for cops that shoot to kill.

    There have been quite a few shootings of unarmed persons lately, and in nearly every single case, the officer was found innocent by the internal review board.

    Much of the outcry right now is that the “internal review board” is just a good ol’ boys network consisting of a bunch of cops telling other cops that what they did was just fine. Why is the policing system of the police other fellow police officers?? It makes no sense!

    This, I believe, is one of the main issues that people are so upset about.

    1. Hi Scott,
      Several shootings happened fter we recorded the episode. In Chicago they are introducing a new system of police review. Unions tend to murky the waters, I am not excusing anything by saying that, it just seems to be a barrier that I don’t have an answer for.

    2. I’ve been trying to think of the proper words with which to respond to Elizabeth’s response to my statement, and damn if you didn’t nearly do it! One of the main issues I had with Elizabeth was the fact that she couldn’t find the courage to confront her fellow officers, yet had the balls, so to speak, to give advice to members of the black lives matter movement and their supporters about how they should interact/speak with police. I assume/hope that Elizabeth is reading all of the comments and comments on comments (daunting as it must be) so I can simply put my thoughts here. As I mentioned before, police messed up the trust we are supposed to have in them by falling behind the blue shield, by lying and covering up their fellow officers actions. I’m not only speaking of those directly involved in such instances, but all the others who will always assume a cop did the right thing at the time without actually looking at the evidence. The assumption that the officer is right because they are the ones with their life on the line at that moment is just simply bullshit at this point. Not factually (we’ve all heard the list of the most dangerous jobs and cop isn’t in the top ten, though electrition is and no one gives a shit about regulations), but not realistically either. We’ve come to the point that a citizen has to be far more worried that an officer of the state will kill them than the opposite, because if you kill a cop you’re DONE, but if a cop kills you there are just no consequences, you’re bad and the cop was good, you’re the predator and cops are the prey. As someone who’s been thru the bullshit of religion I recognize authoritarian bullshit when I see it. We know cops are just regular ppl, but we’re supposed to have some sort of reverence for them sight unseen, fuck that. I’m really truly over it. This is not a problem that’s creeped up in the last month or so, but a systematic issue that we’ve seen on video for a few years, which means of course it was an issue long before we had the ability to instantly see how citizens (those of color in particular) were really being treated by the cops. Some officers (like Elizabeth) do truly go into the job with altruistic intentions, but the job doesn’t let them keep true. Hey Catholic priest (insert name here), I know you saw another priest molest a child, but you didn’t see what you think you saw and if you tell anyone what you saw you’ll hurt the church and then all of humanity is at risk. (sound familiar?) If Elizabeth, a woman with a state issued badge and gun, doesn’t feel safe speaking her mind, what fucking hope do the rest of us have?

      1. Hi Desiree,
        I understand why you see my failure to report other co-workers for racist comments, actions, etc as cowardly. Unfortunately the people that I might report such actions to are cops. So a report is not likely to change anything accept to make it more isolating and hellish for me and other members of the department who do things right. This is the hipocrisy of Blue Lives Matter. My life matters not one bit to *many* of my coworkers. I completely agree that of course the racism in police departments was a huge problem long before everyone had access to a cameras. I hope that I conveyed that message, but maybe I didn’t.

        I certainly was not trying to say that people should have ‘reverence’ for cops. Again, I was trying to say that complying with an officers instructions increases the chances of things going in a better direction. That in no way is meant to imply that it is a citizen’s responsibility to ‘revere’ the police. I don’t revere the police. What I kept saying was that some empathy for another person’s perspective would be a move forward for everyone. For police to have empathy and for the public to have empathy for the police. I can’t change the system except to do my best to treat people that I encounter equally. That is what I can do right now today. I wish that I was in a position to offer you more. I hear you when you say that it isn’t enough. I don’t know what I can say that would be enough. I do the best I can. I feel pretty harshly judged by you, Desiree. I was hoping to inspire empathy for all people with this conversation, but it seems that I fell short.

        I think that I wasn’t very clear about some parts of the interview concerning Black Lives Matter. My point was supposed to be that many people feel that they have to choose a side, either black lives matter or police lives matter. It is my position that both are true. I am saddened and outraged when unarmed people are shot by the police. It makes the public hate the police (including me). I absolutely am sickened by so many tragic instances of people losing their lives at the hands of the police who are sworn to protect and serve the lives that they took. I am also profoundly sad that officers lost their lives actually protecting and serving Black Lives Matter protesters in Dallas. Cops who were there doing the right thing. My point was (supposed to be, anyway) that I didn’t see a lot of cops very outraged(in my limited social media interactions) about the people who were killed by police. Quite the opposite, I saw cops making disparaging comments about the victims. That disgusted me to my core. The opposite side to this coin is that not many people that I(again, in my limited social media interactions) know that are outraged about the police shootings seemed to be very outraged when police officers are killed, some even claiming that the cops ‘had it coming’. Those officers did not ‘have it coming’. Maybe you were, I was simply commenting that my social media contacts seemed to be lined up on one side or the other rather than seeing all the events as tragic. Again, I was referencing my contacts on social media, not that everyone said those kinds of things, or that the Black Lives Matter movement endorsed that ideology because they certainly did not.

        The division that I see is, from my perspective and in my opinion, a big part of the problem. I don’t think that this is a one-sided issue. I believe that people can see all of these events as tragic without ‘picking a side’.

        Finally, I know that it is very difficult for people to understand the use of force model. Hell, it is hard for me to understand the use of force model! But one of the takeaways from this I hope will be that police(and military) can not ‘shoot to mame’. We can’t aim for legs, arms, or other body parts. Any, and I do mean any, firearms course teaches to shoot at center mass. There are a million reasons for this, but this is not unique to police. The point of shooting is to neutralize a threat to your own life or the lives of others. That is the only time that shots should ever be fired. I totally know that this has not been the case. I 100% believe that deadly force is applied to easily. So I am not attempting to justify any shootings, I am simply pointing out that police cannot ‘aim for an arm or leg’. Tom and Cecil from Cognitive Dissonance just did a show on the firearms training that they completed and they touched very briefly on this.

        The last thing that I want to share is a video of a civilian who undergoes use of force training. The gentleman in the video is an outspoken advocate against police brutality and has organized several high profile marches in response to the many instances of police shooting black men. I am in no way attempting to justify any killing at all just to be clear.

        1. Just to be clear, I wasn’t giving advice to Black Lives Matter. What I said to Thomas was that if I was personal friends with or related to a person(including my 2 children), who are rightly frightened by what has happened,my advice is to comply with instructions as to improve the chances of that encounter not going south. That is not a justification for deplorable behavior at the hands of police. Should that have to happen? Absolutely not! It is a sad state of affairs that this is where we are. I said it from a place of concern for human life, not an attempt to blame bad police behavior on citizens. I acknowledged that Thomas was correct that it really seemed like victim blaming. I have tried to expand on exactly what I meant. I am sorry that you find me to be a cowardly victim blamer. You are entitled to your view and I appreciate your honesty.

      2. Also, I don’t say that a cop is right because they have their lives on the line. I can only assume that you meant that I believe that because it is in the same paragraph that you refer to me as cowardly and having balls.

        1. What exactly was your purpose in going on the podcast? You’re one of the good ones and some of your coworkers are assholes, super, got it. You offer no solutions and aren’t changing things from the inside. What was the point?

          1. Aso I said, I do the best I can. I do offer what I think suggestions on ways we can improve things. I went on the show with Thomas to establish a dialogue so that we can start thinking about this issue from all sides rather than us versus them. It surprises me that you listen to Thomas’s show. Thomas has always stated that the point is to talk about issues and he encourages people to consider different views. It doesn’t seem like you are interested in anything but blame rather than an honest appraisal of the problem. Your view isn’t helping, for as lite as you think I am doing toakesha things better I would like to know what you are doing? Typing behind a screen name and being rude doesn’t seem to be very brave, but what would I know, right?

  7. One thing that I don’t hear addressed is the “bad apple” cops. We know that 5 or 10% of cops are responsible for a large part of the problems, whether they be racist or sexist or authoritarian behavior, or even just plain incompetence. The problem is that there doesn’t seem to be a way to get these “bad apple” cops out. Even the retaliation that Elizabeth described happening to her (car defaced, rendered temporarily undrivable, covered with bumper stickers in retaliation for stating an unpopular opinion) would have been COMPLETELY unacceptable in any normal employment in the USA. Only in law enforcement can employees harrass coworkers and the public with impunity. This is a culture of threat. This action was done to Elizabeth to send her the message: “get in line, don’t challenge, or else.”
    One individual such as Elizabeth can’t change this problem. This “culture of threat” is why cops cover for each other. The ones who wish they could change the system have a constant potential threat from their coworkers that their lives will be hell if they take any action to report a problem.
    In effect, almost all law enforcement agencies are managed by the employees, not the leadership.
    I think this might be because of police unions, but it is certainly made worse by lack of citizen oversight. Maybe citizen oversight of contrsct negotiations could make a difference too. For example, most police who kill are not subjected to the same isolation and evidence collection that ordinary citizens are. They are allowed to go home, wash, corroborate their alibies, and confer with other witnesses (cops) instead of being taken into custody and their statements taken and evidence collected and processed.

    1. Sezit,
      I really do not buy into the ‘bad apple’ narrative. I think that the profession draws some seriously messed up people to the job. I honestly think that there are a disproportionate number of conservative, right-wing assholes who occupy this job. If we are going to use the apples analogy I would say that 25% are truly ‘bad’, 50% are ‘bad friendly'(does that make sense?), and 25% are the apples that everyone is hoping for. Way more than ‘a few’ bad apples anyway.
      I 100% agree that oversight should come from the outside. This sort of happened in Chicago a few years ago when federal agent Jodi Weiss was appointed as superintendent. I know that you probably mean internal review board needs to become external review board, which I totally agree with.

    2. Elizabeth, first of all you need to realize that your passive aggressiveness is just as rude as you claim I’m being, we in the south do that best dear. Second of all, I am not hiding behind a keyboard, this is simply the only way I can communicate with you. If you’d like to pay for my flight to see you or at least teach me how to use Skype then I suppose we can communicate in the way you’d clearly prefer, although it’s interesting you chose to go on an atheist podcast where you knew there was almost no chance of anyone in your life who didn’t support you, let alone your coworkers, hearing you say your so very brave words (see how we do it better?). Thirdly, and most importantly, we’re supposed to see you as better than the alternative right wing nut that would take your place, why? You know your fellow officers are racist and I’m assuming from your description also homophobic and sexist, yet you don’t go to broader forms of media where you know you’d be heard by local ppl who could actually make change, via protests or at the very least voting. Do you not think that your racist coworkers aren’t letting their personal feelings affect their jobs? Are they the special snowflakes that happen to be racist but arrest ppl of different races at the same rate for equal reasons? I’ll answer for you, NO THEY FUCKING DON’T. Are you screaming from the rooftops, hey these cops are racist!? No. I get it, you’d lose your job. So where is the line? Will you cover up unjust searches to save your job? Will you cover up police brutality to save your job? Will you cover up a cop murdering someone to save your job? Where’s the line for you? It seems to me that you went on an atheist podcast so you could get some needed validation assuming us listeners would say, oh poor liberal, such a good cop trying to save us all and she has to deal with those assholes! I’m sorry, I don’t see you that way, I see you as part of the problem. You’re the God wanting praise for the good you do while blaming the devil for the bad, but you could try to change the bad, or at least say fuck this shit and try to get a job with the aspca (that’s not a dig, just a reference to the early part of the interview when you explained why you wanted to be a cop initially). Would you be OK with a priest who doesn’t molest children but refuses to turn in a pedophile? Again I’ll answer for you, fuck no! You’re willing to speak publicly, so fucking speak PUBLICLY! Of course quiting not just a job but a career is far easier said than done, but you already know by the very virtue of the ppl surrounding you that justice is not being served, that a fellow officer you personally know has at least roughed up a black man simply because they could, so how are you helping? You’re already knee deep in the shit whether you admit it to yourself or not, so find a new career and be the real hero ex cop who goes anywhere ppl will listen and call out these racist mother fuckers! Until you’re doing that, in my non hero regular ol bitch opinion, you are part of the problem, particularly because you know better.

  8. Tom, please speak to Michael A Wood. He is an ex Baltimore cop and Black Lives Activist. It would give you a different opinion. Though it would be interesting if he and Elizabeth were both on the show.

  9. You wouldn’t have to be scrutinized by the cameras if we could trust you guys to know our rights and to not hurt us. If a police officer’s “bad day” or “mistake” or “getting scared” didn’t result in someone getting shot or beaten.

    People who want to do the job would be people who have self control, and want to help others. Fear of surveillance shouldn’t make someone feel threatened unless they are a person who may do something wrong. It’s not about “catching your worst day.” It’s about catching abuse, because sometimes that’s the only way to get justice (and sometimes not even that). My uncle was a cop. A good one. He reported a cop who sexually assaulted a woman at a traffic stop. The harassment he endured from his fellow cops resulted in him quitting. He’s done well for himself in the military.

    And the whole, “they provoke” the cops? Not an excuse and honestly, shouldn’t even be brought up as it is victim blaming. Your job is to keep the peace and protect citizens. You should be able to handle it. As someone who works in the medical field (OT who has worked with the mentally ill, dementia patients, DCF kids/families, and much more), I have been not just been provoked – I’ve been repeatedly assaulted and threatened. Strangled, groped, stalked, molested, punched, pts purposely trying to break our backs with transfers, and more. Never hit back or hurt my patients. And keep in mind, we can’t use chemical (sedatives) or more typical restraints (velcro seat belts, mittens, a w/c or bed with one side against the wall… I’m not even talking about handcuffs here. That would be unthinkable) without doctor orders. If we can deescalate those kinds of situations without harming anyone and with no weapons/chemical agents (pepper spray, etc) – I see no excuse for the cops. (Obviously not when cops are hunted down and killed – that’s different and completely inexcusable.) But when it comes to traffic stops or other stops where so many of these Black men, mentally ill persons, and others are killed? No sympathy. If we can do it, so can you.

  10. So I have no new comments or ideas (that havent already been said) but I’d just like to say that although I agree people should always behave when dealing with cops (following their orders etc) I find it really horrifying that the reasoning is kinda “…or else you get shot” – cause such is the american culture.

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