The recent suspension of 72 cops in Philadelphia illustrates the double standard facing the American Police Officer. If you haven't heard the most recent assault on the thin blue line, here’s a brief synopsis. Apparently a so-called “watch-dog” group, referring to themselves as the Plainview Project (gimme a break), conducted a two year long investigation into local cops and their personal lives. What was their purpose? My guess is to make themselves feel good by “proving” local cops are racists and bigots. Because racism is a systemic problem in 21st century policing (insert sarcastic eye roll here). Apparently, it took these clowns more than two years of digging into the personal social networking accounts of thousands of municipal cops to find the proverbial smoking gun.
Once the team of do-gooders found what they were looking for they dropped this “bombshell” report to their respective police departments like the Philadelphia Police Department and demanded a full investigation. As a result 72 Philadelphia hired a local law firm to investigate and these free speaking cops were placed on administrative leave pending the outcome. Their crime? I’m so glad you asked. According to a NBC10 news report, the group claims several cops made comments on their personal accounts that was derogatory or showed some kind of bias toward particular groups of people within their community. One such post was a repost of a meme that read “Death to Islam”. Another was in reference to a service call where the cop said the subject they were dealing with should be “taken out back and put down like the rabid animal he is.” Oooo, tough stuff.
Even though the headline in the NBC10 news report refers only to the Philadelphia Police, the article mentions two unrelated posts from cops from other parts of the country. One from Phoenix and the other from St. Louis where a cop questions whether the confederate flag is really racists. NBC10 appears to be a hard hitting news outlet. Evidently linking the Philly cops with other cops identified by this watch-dog group from across the country really proves their racist cop argument.
I spoke about the constitutional restrictions on cops in my eBook: #Nationwide Police Strike and still haven’t found an answer to the question plaguing American cops: where is the line drawn? Where does the police officer end and the off-duty, normal, average citizen begin. As far as we can tell from the groups “investigation” the uncovered posts originated while the cops were off-duty and supposedly protected by the first amendment. When a cop is sitting on his back deck enjoying a cookout with his friends and family shouldn’t he be allowed to say whatever he wants about whomever he wants? This question is not rhetorical.
What amazes me is that people still want to do this job. Believe it or not, there are people, who despite the constant restriction on their constitutional rights and constant under-the-michroscope treatment, that want to take the police exam, spend six months in the police academy and want to wear the uniform. Who are these people? Who is the recent college grad who sees the Chicago Cop go to jail or the Furgeson cop relieved of duty for fulfilling their duty and says to themselves “Yeah...that’s for me?” They need to have their head examined. If I knew twenty years ago, what I know now I’m not sure I would’ve taken that exam.
Blog posts are written by Rob Disario and include opinion editorials about policing and private investigations. Other topics include tips and tricks to protect yourself, thoughts for today, new products and product reviews. Rob's opinions are his own which are protected by the first amendment to the Constitution of the United States and do not reflect any other entity, affiliation or person.