Not all police officers are bad. Most may be fine. I have recently been tremendously helped by a cop who never even asked for my identification but helped me with a flat tire situation by holding a light and then telling me where I could go and get free air. He saved me a great deal of money and time by simply acting like a good neighbor even though I was from another town.
I almost blurted out, “Thank you so much; this is like 9/11 never happened!” but I stopped at the thank you and kept my thoughts about the militarization of police to myself.
The problem is that you never know what you’re getting. A good policeman is someone who is paid full time to be “on call” as a good neighbor. A bad policeman is someone who can destroy your life and have enough chance to get away with it that he is probably not going to be deterred from bad behavior. When cops do things that would put the rest of us in jail immediately they get paid administrative leave.
So calling the police for help can be a gamble.
Kayla Conway called the Pevely, Missouri police department last week out of concern for the safety of her boyfriend, who had overdosed on anxiety medication. The couple recently lost a baby when Conway miscarried six months into her pregnancy, and she was on edge about her boyfriend’s health.
Police put the boyfriend in an ambulance, but an officer refused to let Conway ride along with him. His refusal soon became violent, according to Conway.
“He grabbed me by the back of my head and slammed me on the ground and dragged my head across the carpet and put me in handcuffs,” she said in a statement to local news.
Conway took pictures of herself showing her bruises and scrapes. She said the abuse, which happened last week, was without provocation. She has lingering migraines because of it.
But police didn’t stop there. Conway was eventually taken to the station, placed in a holding cell and charged with assault and resisting arrest.
Of course she was.
This is a rather minor incident compared to the father who called 911 only to have police kill his son. I’m sure also that plenty of people have called 911 and received needed help.
But how long before the odds make it not worth it? You are summoning people into your life who have immense power. It is a huge risk.