Friday, April 24, 2009

To serve and protect

I fucking hate cops. I mean, I'm sure there are some good ones in the bunch. The state trooper that pulled me over for speeding on the Turnpike last fall was a nice enough guy (which made me even angrier, because I couldn't get mad at him though I think hiding your car behind bushes beside an empty stretch of highway is pretty fucking sneaky), and Officer Curtis Smith of the Pitt Police was certainly a sweet dude whenever he did security for WPTS dances and concerts. But cops in general--even the idea of cops at this point--can suck my veiny dick.

My most recent personal run-in was with Jess around midnight a few weeks ago, just before she started her new job at Susquehanna Bank. She wanted to know where the building was in Lititz, so we drove there and checked the place out, then turned around in the parking lot and started on our way home when we passed a patrol car. He followed us for blocks, until we were almost out of the town when he finally flashed his lights and pulled us over... for driving too slow. Jess was keeping her speed down to about 5 or 10 mph below the speed limit just so he wouldn't have an excuse to pull us over, and he did anyway. He probably thought we were high, pulling out of a darkened parking lot after we smoked some weed or whatever, so I guess I can see where he's coming from. I just can't believe we got nailed by the po-po for doing 25 in a 35 zone.

But that's not what has me riled up tonight. It's a video I saw online from just a few days ago, of a man at an outdoor music festival getting hassled by the cops. As you'll see, the man is naked and refusing to put his tie-dyed robe back on, tossing it into the air as the cops insist he get clothed. Finally, frustrated by his refusal, the cops do what any level-headed humans would do in the situation: they tackle him to the ground, kick him in the face, knee-drop him in the ribs, and repeatedly taser him in the chest and the back of the neck. Three huge beefcake pigs versus a fat naked hippie. There definitely wasn't a better way to take care of that problem.

I know, I know. Being naked is a crime. This guy was breaking the law. It was the cops' duty to brutalize him in front of a screaming crowd, to make an example of what happens when you don't listen to what you're told! If you find yourself agreeing with that statement, than buddy, we've got a different set of priorities. Pigs is pigs, as they say. They were just doing what God and four years of high school football intended for them to do. The problem, really, isn't the cops at all, but the law itself. The cops just get the brunt of it, because they are a shining example of why these laws are so stupid, of what violence and stupidity they inevitably breed.

Why the hell is being naked a crime? Holy shit. We're still that puritanical in this day and age? Yes, we are, I know. We can't even show certain fingers when they are extended. Blur it out! Someone might get ideas about things we can't have them thinking about! Words can damage young minds forever! First it's "booger" and then it's "crap," then it's "fuck" and suddenly little Johnny is on the street corner giving blow jobs for coke. And naked, nonetheless! How dare he subject the general public to the sight of something EVERY ONE OF US HAS? Let's be scared of our genitals! Maybe we can get sexual education out of our schools completely! Then when our kids fool around with each other like we know damn well they will (because we all did, no matter how many times we go to church a week) and they get chlamydia, they can pass it on to all of their friends because they don't know why the hell it burns like razors when they pee!

But I digress.

What the cops in this video do just smacks of pointless brutality to me.  If we take for granted that he was doing something horrible (which I still refuse to, but for the sake of argument), they couldn't have used their meaty cop hands to hold him still for the ten seconds it would take to cuff him and then calmly carry him out of the fairgrounds?  Was it really necessary to tazer him repeatedly?  To kick him in the face and ribs? To take down a guy who was just enjoying being naked? If he were brandishing a loaded shotgun, I would have no problem with their actions. If something dangerous really were going on. But I'm in the minority apparently. Check out the comments that follow the video. 90% of them are in favor of exactly how the police responded. Another 5% just make fun of the guy's dick size, leaving a miniscule amount of plain old good-hearted realists that don't see what the big fucking deal was, or why the guy had to be stomped into the ground to end it all. One commenter actually suggests an idea that I would have loved to see take place: what if the rest of the crowd, instead of standing by and screaming at a bunch of holier-than-thou, costumed meatheads who were busy getting their rocks off to shocking the shit out a disrobed hippie, had all started getting naked too? Hundreds of people suddenly nude! What would the police have done then? Called in an air strike? Nuke the whole motherfucker? No price is too big to pay to keep our priggish standards of decency! Think of the children!

I, for one, would much rather my child see a naked man dancing to a Grateful Dead tribute band than be subjected to the brutalizing and electrocution of a fellow human being right before their eyes. Call me crazy, but I think that kind of dehumazing violence is a lot more affecting on a child's psyche than a penis is. But that's not what the rest of America believes. Especially not our boys in blue, as is made blatantly evident in a similar story from September. Only in this one, the guy dies.

If you can read that story without your blood boiling, you should probably just kill yourself. Or consider a job in law enforcement. There's still room at the trough.

1 comment:

  1. yea i fucking hate cops too, and i made the same point about most of people's distaste for watchmen. But this is America, where it's ok to spy on people in the name of national security, but something extremely natural like nudity is frowned upon. Common sense has ceased to exist more and more in this country.