On occasion, thankfully, when the wall goes up, the shit goes down. Such is the case in Ferguson,
So now, since the 2/3 majority black population of Ferguson has rebelled against their almost all-white police force and city leaders, the cops decide to flex nuts and harass journalists, and anyone who might have the temerity to, you know, document for posterity what these apes are doing to protect and serve the public. Someone might want to remind them that that is, in fact, their job.
The increase in use of force, lack of accountability, and more dangerous toys deployed by paramilitarized police forces -- even suburban and rural ones; this is no longer strictly the realm of urban forces -- continues unabated. The typical excuse given, for the ramping-up in general and the use of force in particular, is the timeworn "dangerous job" excuse, even though job-related police fatalities have been on the decline for many years, reaching a record low in 2013. In fact, many other occupations, from farming to construction work, typically have far higher rates of occupational fatality.
(Not to mention the rather obvious fact that, if you feel your job is simply too dangerous, maybe you should find another line of work. One thing law enforcement has in common with every other occupation in America is that no one forces you to do it. Hokay? Seriously. Are we tired yet of hearing these mewling excuses, the plaints that since the job is too hard and a few people are dangerous assholes, the solution is to treat everyone -- or at least minorities -- like they're dangerous assholes? Whatever happened to the idea that those who would sacrifice liberty for safety deserve neither? I would suggest that those who would sacrifice the liberty of others for their own safety deserve a swift kick in the nuts.)
Look, I know a fair number of police personally, and I literally (yes, I know what that word means) work less than twenty feet from law enforcement personnel. So I know, and I think many of you know, first-hand that most cops are fine, good people, members of the community, etc. There's just a few of them who are punks and assholes who use their toys and authoritah to push taxpayers around.
And there are punks and assholes in any line of work. But only in law enforcement -- or more broadly, criminal and administrative justice -- can punks and assholes not only get away with, but earn a solid buck being themselves, almost always without recourse. If your plumber is a pushy dickhead, you never use him again, and tell anyone who'll listen about his attitude. If you get shitty food and service at a restaurant, you can turn around and fuck them up via Yelp. But a bad cop can get away with a hell of a lot before anyone can actually do anything about it.
I suggest that at least part of the problem is not only the inordinate amount of deference we are all conditioned to grant unconditionally to the police (another element of paramilitarization -- I mean, you wouldn't question a soldier in uniform, would you?), but the increasing profitability of the law enforcement racket, from shithole towns shaking down passersthrough to the private prison industry. Even though crime rates, especially violent crime rates, have steadily declined, the force gets multiplied, corrupt authorities feed the machine with hapless souls in exchange for kickbacks, and the wheels keep turning. It's just another racket, like the finance, higher education, and health care rackets that run this country. Except no one can force you to go to college or to the hospital.
When you have a fuckton of money to be made, and almost zero accountability, you really can just about get away with murder. Ten bucks says that whenever the cop that shot Mike Brown like a dog in the street is finally identified, he walks away scot-free. And there'll be countless internet commenter douchebags to bark their hate and loathing, not aware that, but for their skin color, they could quite easily be the next dead dog.