• Beau Steward

The Good Cop Myth

There are good people in the world, and there are bad people in the world. In policing, one should expect all of them to be good upstanding citizens, and it's crazy that we have the notion of a 'bad cop'. There should just be...'cop'. One might assume that if there are 'bad cops' that there are then 'good cops' but I'm going to drop something on you:

So long as there are bad cops protected by fraternal orders, there's no such thing as a good cop.

Again, there are good people. But if you are, generally, a good person and participate in protecting your brethren who do harm to the community, you are doing bad cop behavior. You are culpable. You are contributing to the problem that everyone wants solved.

How do we get good cops, then? It's simple: Clean your house.

I've seen many cops claim to be good cops and complain about how the bad ones make them look bad. They say things "We're out there, I promise!" but it doesn't matter if you also allow the bad ones to be out there.

If there are more good cops than bad cops, what happens when all the good cops who feel they can't change things from within decide not to be a cop anymore? The first gut reaction might be that it leaves all the bad cops in place. But if there are as many good cops as they say, how can the bad cops do any policing at all if there's so few left?

Not long ago there were cops noted as protesting against the outcries calling for defunding, even abolishing police. If there are good cops out there, this is the wrong thing to protest. Want to end the outcries of ending your job? Transform your job into something people want.

One of the common fears I hear about good people wanting to be good cops is fear of losing their job if they do try to make their brethren be better. And it happens, good people report bad cops and they ultimately lose their jobs. But now, as noted by the cops protesting the wrong thing, good people, and all cops in general, should be in fear of losing their jobs for being bad cops. The people won't stand for it. While my opinion is that it's a bad idea to abolish the police, I can see why the people want it.

The reality is people just want to remove the bad cops. But think about that for a minute: I'm saying there's no such thing as good cops, that it's a myth. If we just remove the bad cops, isn't that the same as abolishing the police?

Cops should assume they will lose their jobs regardless of what they do. Because at the rate things are happening, it just might happen, and the fraternal order will no longer be there to protect them. When they accept that their jobs are due to be taken away, turn that into something dangerous against bad cops.

Cops are suppose to be good. They're suppose to be the good guys. One should assume 'good' when mentioning 'cop'. There should never be a qualification of 'good cop' because that implies the existence of 'bad cop'. And if we have 'bad cops' then the cops are bad. They're not the good guys.

Clean your house. Earn our trust. Weed out the bad people. Learn how to be servants to the people you have sworn to serve and protect.

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©2020 by Beau Steward.