Saturday, May 11, 2013

Good Cop/Bad Cop

The other day, I was cruising down the highway when I saw a sheriff run a stop sign and merge into oncoming traffic. I quickly slammed on my brakes to avoid hitting him.

As he shot across the highway, I noticed his lights weren't flashing, the siren wasn't blaring, and the man wasn't even in uniform.

Seriously?

Just because you enforce the law doesn't mean you're above it. Last time I checked, stop signs were designed to facilitate traffic and help prevent accidents. Just because another officer won't pull you over doesn't mean that your actions won't lead to negative consequences.

Thankfully, there wasn't an accident and no one was harmed... this time.

I guess he deserves the benefit of the doubt. Maybe there was an emergency. Even so, why didn't he at least put his lights on? Why didn't he use his horn? Why didn't he yield to traffic? Regardless, it was a reckless move for a trained officer of the law.

Although the situation was benign, there is no reason for an officer to take advantage of his/her power. Just because cops can get away with traffic laws doesn't mean they should.

Have these guys ever watched Spider-Man? They could learn a thing or two from Uncle Ben.

I'm not preaching that cops are bad; to say so would be prejudiced. I'm sure there are more good cops who do honest work than bad cops who abuse their authority.

As with any job, however, nobody cares until someone messes up. Based on what the media feeds us, the public is mostly interested in cases of abused power, hypocrisy, and corruption. I know my interest piques when I hear about our law enforcers bullying bystanders, driving drunk, and beating up teenage girls.

While this negative media attention may fuel people's anti-cop beliefs, it helps keep a check on the dark side of law enforcement.

And as Officer Reckless has demonstrated, the dark side can be very tempting.