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‘On The War Path’
A Cop on Cops Policing Cops
© 2016 James LaFond
“Okay, some folks—maybe most—think cops should not cut cops breaks. But I think it should be. If you are going to work with a man, and maintain a positive—perhaps ass-saving relationship—you need to cut each other some slack—so long as you do not cross the line.
“We had this one older cop, some kind of American Indian—Cherokee, I don’t know what—whatever is polite to say. He looked Indian, and when he was off duty would sometimes get tanked up. Look, I know it’s not proper these days to even mention he is an Indian without making some kind of apology. But you can’t tell me that people aren’t made different. I’ve only known three Indians and none of them could handle their liquor. Likewise, I’m a fucking Mick, and my temperature goes from zero to a hundred in a heartbeat, and I’m also an asshole when I get drunk. Look, let’s not pretend that a bunch of hot-headed Indians and Irish are going to be graduating from MIT…
“…We’d come in for our shift and the Sergeant would say, ‘Look, guys, Old Joe is on the warpath’—that’s what we called, not like he scalped anybody, but what we called it when he got out of control—‘his old lady has been burning up the phone. Take care of it. Just make sure I don’t see him in handcuffs.’
“So we go calm him down, done deal. We have a relationship, a trust, an understanding, which you do not have with some joker that just dropped out of the sky. We can calm him down, have a basis for it. He is a known quantity.
"When I was a rookie, my FTO [Field Training Officer] grabbed me at the beginning of the shift and said, ‘Squib, You’re about to meet Mister Mike, the Desk Officer’s father. He gets drunk and crazy as a jay bird. We don’t want to kick his ass or lock him up.’
“So, sure enough, we get to his house and his wife tells us he’s outback and tearing up the alley. Sure enough he’s naked as a jaybird, kicking a trash can and talking about kicking the shit out of everybody and everything. Honestly, if we don’t know him, we’re going to trip him and cuff him and take him in. Because, if we don’t do it, we know we’ll be back out here in twenty minutes doing it anyway. But with someone you know, and you can call their son over to sit with him, we can say, ‘Hey, Mister Mike, can I get you a cup of coffee? How about we sit down and talk about the old days?’
“It’s a professional courtesy—a courtesy I think should be given—so long as you don’t cross the line. The general rule of police work is that you use the minimum amount of force necessary—which is not always an easy thing to judge when you are dealing with an unknown quantity. But when you know its Mister Mike, and Mister Mike just wants to drink some black coffee and talk about how fucked up the war was, then you can use the minimum. We generally do extend the same courtesy to regular low-level pain-in-the ass basket cases as well—so long as he’s not a guy that is known to be a danger. The guy who you know is going to take a swing at you, he’s got to hit the floor.”
-Anonymous Maryland Municipal Police Officer
This monologue is an example of a class of law enforcers, trained to operate in a top down fashion, applying social force to the individual in a strictly hierarchal context, doing what class-identified antagonists tend to do when faced with the prospect of using force against their own kind, adopting courtesy as a buffer and trying to operate as horizontally as possible through negotiation.
Consider the medieval setting, where knights would rape women, ride down children, murder serfs, and butcher Muslims without a thought to their humanity. However, when fighting other knights they granted quarter and accepted ransom. As soon as combat ceases to be horizontal and becomes hierarchal or heretical you will see more extreme uses of force, such as the French knights of the Hundred Years War cutting the fingers off of English longbow men and the longbow men butchering the knights rather than holding them for ransom.
"My Eyes Can't See Around Corners"     ‹   harm city   ›     Penny and Mike
let the world fend for itself
black & pale
by the wine dark sea
orphan nation
B    Jan 17, 2016

The key phrase is "a known quantity."

A cop rightly assumes any interaction with a stranger can end up in a lethal confrontation. I don't care what a badass you are (and most cops are not,) a scrawny teenager can stab you in the neck with a screwdriver, and that's the end of you.

The key to getting slack and not getting arrested, having your ass kicked or even getting a traffic ticket is to quickly become a known quantity. This conflicts with the key to not getting sentenced to prison time if you are, indeed, guilty of something (or could be reasonably construed as being guilty.) To become a known quantity, you have to talk to the cop, calmly, casually, without demonstrating fear, anger or arrogance. To avoid getting sentenced to prison, you have to not talk to the cop at all.

A known quantity=someone like the cop on some level, or someone like someone the cop knows/likes. Someone who is not batshit crazy, not a criminal, not upset at the cop, nor potential prey.

Supposedly, cops just randomly beat the shit out of black males for no reason AT ALL, 'nomesayin, so this probably wouldn't work for those innocent black males on they way to they physics class 'n' shit.
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