A cop being killed in the line of duty, just like soldiers in our armed forces, has always given me serious pause. Their death was very likely a result of their doing something to protect me, and all of us, and to make where we live a better and safer place.
The newspaper articles and TV news coverage always talk about what a great cop they were, how many people they helped, how well liked they were, and multitudes of other platitudes.
What I wonder though, and what is ignored by the media, is how corrupt was he. Did he make a little money on the side letting the local drug dealer know when a sting was coming up? Did she over-reach with forfeiture of ‘criminal’ assets and take a few nice things home for herself? Was he a drug dealer himself? Did she sometimes smoke some of the pot confiscated in a drug bust?
Or did he not do any of these things himself but held to the blue code of silence and watched as others did?
An estimated 30% of cops are in the first group and nearly all of the rest are in the blue code of silence group. Only an estimated 1/10 of 1 % aren’t in either group.
When a cop is killed in our state I often see the funeral parade. The coffee café I spend many of my mornings in is not far from our state capital and the parades start in front of here. As I write this there’s a parade of an estimated 800 police cars lining up to honor a cop killed this past weekend.
What group was this cop in? Was he part of the 30%? The 69.9% who kept silent? Or was he part of the 1/10 of 1%, the 1 in 1,000 who didn’t keep silent?
Very likely we’ll never know.
A former prostitute I interviewed told me about a cop she knew. I remember his funeral about 8 or 9 years ago. Like the cop being honored today he was killed in the line of duty and the accolades of what a great cop he was filled all of the local media. There was a story of his saving someone’s life and another of his finding a young child who’d wandered away from home. He had put in considerable time coaching a softball team for underprivileged kids. There were pictures of his wife and kids at his funeral on the front page of the paper. The following May he was inducted into the police memorial in Washington DC.
Her experience with him wasn’t so good though. He and some other cops had setup a sting in a local hotel and busted 4 girls for prostitution. As best she could tell she was number 5, but they made her an offer. If she’d give them each a freebie, they’d let her go. Compared to having an arrest for prostitution on her record and paying a fine that would have required servicing the same number of clients anyway, this was an OK deal from her standpoint.
But that wasn’t the end. Occasionally he or one of the others would stop by her apartment with the same ‘offer’.
She said all of the media attention he got and everyone talking about what a great cop and person and husband and father he was made her ill. “If he’d paid me like any other client I would have liked him, but he didn’t. He raped me.” She said. Several months after his funeral she found out that another girl had a similar relationship with him from a different sting and apparently a different group of other cops.
Interestingly she said that after his death neither one of them ever heard from any of the other cops again.