Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Dave Cohen over at Decline of the Empire published this piece yesterday.

Now, what I think is that not that more folks are getting arrested by the police, but the system is now so self-referential and the records keeping so detailed is that every arrest is detailed in extreme.

I got thrown in a couple of jails in my wild and wooly youth.  Good luck finding any record of those encounters.  The folks at Muscle Shoals tossed me in theirs after the bar fight and released me the next morning (you get back to your base straightaway boy, you give us a call when you get back there and you put your First Sergeant on the phone).  Or a little town in Southern Colorado, Fruita (I tossed that damn weed in the snow last get outta here and don't let me see you again).

No the difference now is the cops.  Where they used to be peoples friends and fathers and neighbors first and took a hand in the alternate mercies and punishments that are part and parcel of being an adult.  They now are just cops, nothing else.  They are an arm of the state.

I really miss the old way, where they would deal with you as an adult to a kid.  Now they just arrest.

I know that the world has changed.  I realize we probably can't go back.  But I do miss it.


Oldfool said...

I have been abused in very minor ways by the police since I was a kid. Falsely accused in most cases, harrassed for being young in others and sometimes by downright incompetence.
It's been a long time since I trusted one (over 60 years).
I think that cops of all forms are a good example of PP (pathological personalities) people described by Kurt Vonnegut.
It used to be said that when there was trouble that you wouldn't call a "hippy" instead a "cop". Now I would call a hippy or a crook. The results will be about the same.

Craig Cavanaugh said...

I lost my trust in the police and the "judicial" system when I was 17. A cop falsely accused me of speeding, and the "judge" told me verbatim: "You're a 17 year old kid, you have no witnesses, and it's your word against the officer's. Pay the fine." My disgust was cemented later that year when a couple county cops busted me and a bunch of my friends drinking beer around a fire on the beach. They read us the riot act, "confiscated" our beer, and let us go. We passed them on the beach a little while later, drinking our beer in the cop car...