The cops sure are working hard to craft a victimhood narrative

If the cops want to argue that a large part of the public mistrusts and actively hates the police, I’d have no problem agreeing. My impression of cops has nose-dived from “well-meaning but flawed civic servants” to “overpaid bullying racist thugs with way too much fondness for violence” in the last decade or two, so I feel it’s true from personal experience, not to mention all the incidents of cops flat-out murdering people.

But when you’re reduced to claiming that the public is also a master of devious sleight-of-hand, trying in numerous sneaky ways to attack the police, my belief is greatly strained. I don’t believe that service workers are trying to poison cops, or intentionally making them wait at McDonalds, or slipping tampons into their frappucino. That’s just silly.

You want to tell me that some protesters have thrown rocks at cops in riot gear at demonstrations, I’ll believe you. You even have video of that sort of thing. But I’ll also tell you that cops have been using tear gas, sometimes firing it nearly point blank into people’s faces, and that if the worst you can say is this dubious claim that a Starbucks barista put a tampon on your drink, I’m not going to be impressed.

We already know your reputation has hit rock bottom, and that you’re still digging.


  1. Rowan vet-tech says

    Yeah, my husband showed me an article about the tampon and I laughed because, sure, someone is just, in public, going to drop their pants, pull out a tampon, stick it in the drink and then proceed to bleed all over the place. Sure. Totally plausible.

  2. microraptor says

    Meanwhile, my friends in Portland have been reporting that after promising they wouldn’t, police are deploying sonic weapons (LRADs). These things are capable of causing permanent hearing lose quickly.

  3. says

    If the cops fire tear gas at you, that’s fine. If you throw the tear gas canister back at them, that’s assault with a deadly weapon.

    They’d be a parody of themselves if their thuggery wasn’t so serious and deadly.

  4. flange says

    My views on cops were influenced over 50 years ago, when I was in college. I worked summers and part time during the year as a sales person for a tire and appliance store in Hamilton, Ohio, now an exurb of Cincinnati. There was a trainee who worked there who had been a cop in Cincinnati. He talked with me frequently, matter-of-factly, and proudly about being a cop. How he and others would regularly beat up black people (he used another term) and be regularly involved in shootings. He was later fired for some shady bookkeeping, and went back to being a cop in Cincinnati.
    I have never forgotten those causal, detached comments. I never believed he was just “one bad apple.” Or that anything has substantially changed in the intervening 50 years. Maybe they’re about to.

  5. unclefrogy says

    it is hard to find a hard-boiled detective story from the 30’s that does not show the cops as corrupt and incompetent.
    there were movements for police reform from then as well and may have even had some temporary success only to fall back to the same old shit only different because of “tough on crime”, racism and the ignorance and indifference of the middle class population.
    a change now? anything more then temporary change I will be pleasantly surprised.
    I wont be here to know about anything long term anyway, but I can hope at least.
    uncle frogy

  6. says

    @#8, unclefrogy:

    There won’t even be a change now. Years ago, in the early GWB era, there was a very cynical SimCity-style game I played, where your success was measured in pacification of the populace. If you dropped all the way to 0%, it was game over with a torch-bearing mob, but one of the options in the box that popped up was “leave office and put your son/nephew/crony in charge”, which would reset the pacification meter to its starting position without making any other changes at all. That’s very clearly what is about to happen in the US — the Republican establishment is backing away from Trump; either he’s going to take the fall or he’s going to be voted out of office. Either way, we’re going to be told that we need to trust the new administration and give them some breathing space, and as soon as the protests halt for even a moment measures will be taken to make them as difficult as possible to resume, and all the reforms which have been promised will be squelched. (Pence’s history as governor of Indiana shows that he’s definitely pro-jackbooted-thug, and as for Biden, the current state of affairs was actually his idea — the Biden Crime Bill overfunded the cops and okayed all the militarization — so he’s never going to take any steps to fix it.)

  7. blf says

    Calling all cops! Your food isn’t being poisoned by anyone, despite your claims:

    Some good news, finally, for cops: you can go back to eating at Shake Shack without worry.

    Last week, after drinking some weird tasting shakes, three New York officers alleged they had been poisoned with bleach. The claims were formally investigated and quickly dismissed by the NYPD’s own chief of detectives after video footage showed that the drinks had not been tampered with by employees. Subsequent New York Post reporting has shown the officers checked into the hospital [during a pandemic –blf] even though they weren’t sick and, importantly, that Shake Shack could not have known they were cops because they pre-ordered through the Shake Shack app.

    Before the investigation into the alleged poisoning was concluded the New York police union issued a lengthy statement condemning how persecuted cops are in America. The Police Benevolent Association of the City of New York (NYCPBA) put out a statement on twitter: Three of our brothers in blue were intentionally poisoned … under attack by vicious criminals who dislike us simply because of the uniform we wear, it said, in a since deleted tweet […] nor did it stop the officers from taking free food and drink vouchers from the Shake Shack in question.

    After a number of incidents in the last couple years — including a cop claiming McDonalds staff took a bite out of his McChicken sandwich, then being placed on administrative leave after remembering it was he who bit it; and the Kansas officer who resigned after writing “Pig” on his own coffee cup and blaming it on McDonalds staff — people might reasonably have suspicions and want to wait for a verdict to be reached before concluding that cops have it hard in America. […]

    Just yesterday, the LA police union jumped the gun, after an off-duty, plain clothes LA cop allegedly found a tampon in his frappucino. Many of us who have used tampons have already concluded that whilst disgusting looking, whatever was in that drink doesn’t look like any tampon we’ve ever seen […]

    [… I]t doesn’t matter what the investigation finds, the LA Police Protective League has already condemned it as a disgusting assault on a police officer was carried out by someone with hatred in their heart and who lacks human decency, calling for employees to be sacked, in a statement to Fox News. Since that statement was released, [Target] reviewed its CCTV footage, finding no wrongdoing […]

    […] Whenever these claims are made, they are given ample time across Fox News; and shared by right-wing pundits […] who continue to repeat them after they have been shown to be false, without issuing corrections. Even yesterday, in Fox News’ reporting on tampon-gate, the since-debunked bleach poisoning claims were reiterated. Meanwhile, the officers who shot Breonna Taylor have still not been charged, and police unions are yet to jump to any conclusions about that.


  8. Frederic Bourgault-Christie says

    Once again, conservatives prove that personal responsibility is something they believe is for black people.

    The cops have lost the trust of the public. Is that unfair? Maybe. In some cases not fully informed? Sure. Extrapolating from what could be viewed as a small number of cases? I can stipulate to all that. Does not matter. Something went wrong and cops need to fix it.