RawStory is saying that Maher did a segment on police brutality tonight (Friday). In it he said:
“We need to stop saying most cops are good like we know that to be true,” Maher said. “I hope that’s true, but I need some evidence—unlike cops.”
I think that the most troubling thing about this is how few of these incidents come to light through police body cams. With so many interactions recorded on body cam, how is it that the majority of brutality incidents reach the public eye through the video taken by some witness pulling out a cell phone?
I don’t think that the majority of cops have committed unnecessary and illegal violence. I think the majority have certainly committed unnecessary violence, though, and I think that the ratio of bystander videos to body cam videos in these situations shows that law enforcement as an institution is engaged in a massive coverup. What does it mean to be a “good cop” when so many of these incidents are covered up by cops? Can you still be a “good cop” while ignoring the problems too big to change by yourself? How would that square with arresting a murderer when you know you don’t have the skills to prosecute them?
The definition of “good cop” is going to vary from person to person, but from testilying to state certification boards to allowing corrupt cops to resign to avoid investigation & punishment so they can hop over to a job in the next jurisdiction, I think there’s more than enough evidence that a huge percentage of cops are corruptly ignoring the problems in their own departments even if they are decent and trying to do good when they go out on the streets. Some of those cops *might* be good if we didn’t ask them to work in corrupt agencies. But how many? It’s impossible to tell.
So, yeah: maybe most cops are good, but at this point they’re going to need to step up with some evidence.