Sunday, May 24, 2015

They're SUPPOSED to do that

There's been a flood of "Cops Are People, Too" memes and sentiments (sentimemes?) lately, in response to the explosion of bad-cops-killing-American-citizens news this year. The viral "good cop" stuff tends to have headlines like this puke-inducing one on MSN, and photos like the one on the left here, accompanied by sappy explanations that Officer Suchandso was called to the scene of a thisandthat and actually helped the citizens involved, instead of murdering them. And boy howdy, ain't that awesome?

Actually, it ain't. It's fucking lame. When police officers are called to a scene and do not kill people, that's not supposed to be news. It's not exceptional. It's not remarkable. It's how police are supposed to respond to citizens. Even citizens who might be shouting, or running, or shaking a fist, or selling single cigarettes without being licensed tobacco dealers.

Just a tiny bit of critical thinking will be enough to realize that the equivalents to "good cop doesn't kill anyone" stories are things like This Mom Did Not Bathe Her Baby in Acid and This Teacher Did Not Inject Her Third-Graders With AIDS-Laced Heroin. Worse yet, the "good cop sentimemes" are blatant distractions to take people's eyes off the actual issue, which is too many bad cops killing too many citizens, especially Black citizens. That's the only focus that matters.

If cops are pissed that only their negative actions—and only their murderous colleagues—are getting coverage and discussion, then there's a way to fix that: work really hard to keep those blue guns and tasers and nightsticks holstered.

But otherwise, unless they seriously want citizens to say "Thank you for not killing me today," cops and the people who post "good cop doesn't kill" memes should expect to see no coverage for a job that's only being done the way everyone expects it to be. No news is the best news, for all of us.

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