Mark Twain said that, and it can be applied to almost all of police activity, and especially to police reports, which are notoriously vague in cases where the police committed crimes or misconduct, and most often when their case is thin, and relies on the officers on-the-stand fabrications. They are only elaborate when the officers involved–most often under the supervision of a supervisor with an agenda–concoct more eleborate matching reports, juggle the fact, manipulate the statistics.
Police manipulate, lie in, and hide reports all the time
My theory is that it takes a coward to cover up the actions of another coward. The police generally perceive themselves as “brave,” and have convinced the media, and thus, the public at large ( particularly the middle to upper class, property owning public) of their heroics. Whole organizations, and groups and memorial “task forces” are dedicated to the idea that cops who die are heroes regardless of how dirty, unethical, or plain wrong they were in things they did during their careers.
Here is an example of one such officer, Gerald Vick of Saint Paul, Minnesota. Now I have nothing personal against this officer, and as much as I am grieved for his family, I cannot imagine the collective grief of so many other non-police families that have suffered throughout time; how many have been made sad, broken, and destroyed over the fact that so many of their fathers, brothers, sons (and occasionally female family mmebers) are victims of police misconduct. These people don’t likely have fat pensions, or a network of “support” when one of theirs/ours is killed.
So, why do we continue as a society to elevate the pain and suffering of the police, over the pain and suffering of others, and especially the poor, and the mentally ill who are routinely murdered by police? Or those who have been violated- those who have been set-up by police? I don’t have any clear answers to that except that “The opposite of courage in our society is not cowardice, it is conformity.”
You can read the official story by following the link, but notice that the “official story” ALWAYS differs from eyewitness accounts, and later confirmations of p0lice misconduct. In this case, the official story says this hero and his cohorts use language that could be called “defamation” if used by you or me.
“The two men apparently were talking with bar patrons, possibly in an attempt to set up a robbery”
That was the police pretext that led to Vick getting his drunk ass shot to death. “POSSIBLY” set up a robbery? What a rancid specualtion that is. The guys either did, or didn’t rob someone, and in such a case, the police had no business intervening. After all, Vick was supposed to be chasing prostitutes at that hour, not meddling with bar patrons.
This police meddling, and societies tolerance for it, led to the death of Vick, and later, one of the suspects was convicted to life in prison, while the other walked free, an innocent man, but slandered for life in official reports.
What is most important to remember, however, is that Vick was shitfaced–absolutely, unquestionably drunk, and likely disorderly himself. He had a blood alcohol level of .20.
Here is a statement by the chief of police. This statement contains the essence of what normal humans call “lies and disinformation, so be warned- propaganda ahead:
“Sgt. Vick was on duty at the time of his death. There have been questions about that and I want to clear that up right now,” said Harrington. “Sgt. Vick started at 11:00. Earlier in the afternoon he began tracking down a lead on some prostitution issues he was working on. He called to his unit commander to ask for permission to continue after the end of his shift, and was granted permission to continue the investigation on an overtime basis.”
I would love to see the paperwork on that mess. I would love to see the timestamp of such “permission” to stay on the clock, but I am certain that will never come forward, and if it does, it will be of the touched-up-a-bit nature.
The public defender who spoke for the defendants noted that “Gill says neither the police department nor the county attorney’ office informed the public defender’s office of Vick’s high blood alcohol concentration.”
Which is one more way of saying “police lie, through ommission,” all the time, and only with proper legal attantion can we as a society, bring their lies to the surface.
Now, cowardice isn’t always apparent, nor is it always obvious, but one thing is for sure: the police department had the opportunity to reign in drunken cops, the opportunity to talk to the public about the issue of out of control cops, and they missed a great opportunity to tell “the children” about the dangers of drinking too much, especially when you are a hot-head, in a position of authority, carrying a gun.
But they didn’t do that. Instead, they turned the guy into a hero, and later, using classic police diversionary tactics, linked the mans name with “ending sex slavery”., which he was questionably at best involved in.
That, is classic cowardice–rather than confronting the real issue, they diverted the public eye to some noble sounding b.s., and recently linked themselves with another group of people who spout questionable data, and B.S.
Gee, did I miss something? The night he got himself shot to death, he was pursuing robbers, right? That’s what the official report says. Why didn’t they link themselves to an anti-Halliburton group, or a Blackwater investigation? Or an anti-torture campaign? In the very least, why didn’t they publicize something about the “dangers of drinking and carrying handguns” so a the little kids out there don’t get the wrong message?
Cops lead citizens in instances of drunkeness and alcoholism, two-to-one, but instead, they seek to focus the kids, and the community, on sex slavery. Apparently, that’s what the kids need to know about from a police perspective. Gee, disinformation is so confusing…
Maybe next time you are stopped, harassed, abused, or assaulted by police, look into the records–you might find a DWI or two against that cop, and maybe he/she is drunk as they harass you. But good luck: no one beats the cops when it comes to covering up their bad behavior, and their personell files are sealed from the public, and even from journalists.
That, and the fact that they are one of the most secretive social forces in America, seems pretty cowardly to me.