“On my honor, I will never betray my badge, my integrity, my character or the public trust. I will always have the courage to hold myself and others accountable for our actions. I will always uphold the constitution, my community, and the agency I serve.” That is the Law Enforcement Oath of Honor as published by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). Certainly, that vow was inscribed to instill values in law enforcement officials, and to insinuate trust and reliance in police to the public. But, anyone with an inkling of insight recognizes that oath, and any indistinguishable pledge recited by law enforcement officials around the globe, is a load of malarkey! Our world operates in accordance to a hierarchy that empowers a few and proscribes the masses. This system of ranking people in a pecking order was established at the brink of human civilization and it has been perpetuated throughout history, and its existence is the prime culprit in the assassination of humanity. In that statement, I’m not referring to humanity as in the totality of humans, I’m alluding to humanity in the sense of benevolence or the quality of being humane. People become haughty after being vested with power and authority. And, it’s perceptible that most law enforcement officials surmise they are above the law after receiving a badge and/or a title. Personally, I believe any authorization endowed in police (by whomever) to enforce the law is undoubtedly superficial. Authority, when pertaining to the power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience, is utterly a notion. A person can only be controlled if they capitulate to dictation. Furthermore, civilians don’t take an oath promising to obey the law and respect the people assigned to enforce it, and even if we did, it’s evident promises can be broken.
Policing was developed in America during the mid to late 1800s for several purposes. The first centralized, municipal police forces were founded in America’s major cities per the bidding of corrupt politicians, criminal business owners, amoral employers of immigrant workers, and generally disreputable people who had interests or assets invested in nefarious activities. During the 1800s, life was dismal and toilsome for mostly everybody, but it was substantially burdensome for anyone who wasn’t involved in organized crime. Of course, this goes without the need to mention the racism, sexism, and the profuse discriminatory practices exercised by Americans during that time, all obtrusive issues of which are still ongoing. With disgruntled laborers and disenfranchised foreign immigrants constantly protesting, rioting, and striking, cities were in a sustained term of disarray. There were also several petty crimes, hooliganism, public drunkenness, and other malicious activities that prompted people with investments in mercantile interests to endorse the development of centralized, bureaucratic policing organizations. Public and social disorder was bad for business and it reflected poorly on political and economic elites (people who were responsible for maintaining order and keeping the peace), so policing was developed to keep immigrants, poor people, political opposers, and rival mobs in check. Before there were established, government-controlled police institutions, volunteers, guys attempting to elude military service, and captured criminals and wrongdoers would act as watchmen to warn authoritative figures of impending danger. However, that was a defective, insufficient, and ineffective system. Interested parties believed the imminent plights situated against their interests necessitated the creation of an organized unit of dedicated officers with the lawful authority to use force and inflict harm to maintain order. The use of those legitimized police gangs was meant to delude the public and provide a legal means of dominance through intimidation and sheer violence.
In the south, a form of policing was established in the early 1700s with a solitary motive – to further subjugate slaves. The “Slave Patrol” was a band of vigilante antagonists that served the purpose of judge, jury, and executioner of African-American slaves in the southern United States. Their functions included, but weren’t limited to – hunting down, capturing, and returning runaways slaves to their masters, and overtly terrorizing, raping, and torturing slaves to deter revolts, discourage disobedience, and maintain a state of sovereignty. After slavery was abolished and slaves were emancipated, slave patrols evolved into modern policing organizations. However, their purpose and practices remained true to their origin. The terrorizing, harassment, rape, torture, and murder of blacks in America persisted throughout the 19th and well into the 20th centuries as southern police officers set out with the intent to forcefully control freed slaves and violently enforce Jim Crow (segregation) laws. There are many people who are highly knowledgeable of America’s iniquitous past, yet a lot of these people are brisk to blame blacks for their own social and economic impediments. History provides the narrative about the factual events that have taken place to sculpt the current conditions of the world we live in, and the perceptions we have about the people we exist with. Centuries of extraneous falsifications, discrimination, detestation, and other manifestations of misrepresentation have precipitated the misinterpretations that we all harbor with regard to one another. I believe the disparities between people and the things around them are bound to evoke comparisons, which will highlight the advantages and disadvantages amongst contrasting subjects. However, I also believe that anyone who assumes they should hold dominion over another person because of race, sex, or social status is a plain ole ignoramus.
A civilian can be formally defined as a person who is not on active duty with a military, police, or firefighting organization. And, in America, this is where the dilemma between authoritarianism and freedom begins. The categorization of citizens by occupation is a form separatism that, indisputably, promotes an unjustified sense of supremacy in people with high-ranking vocational positions in society. Valuing one person above another, or the inverse, as a consequence of a person’s occupation is not only unconstitutional, it’s unethical. Everyone deserves an equivalent amount of respect, and no one person should ever be regarded higher than anyone else because of their job title. The idea that police should be praised for their public service seems preposterous when we’re being incessantly bombarded with reports, videos, and eye-witness accounts of their misfeasance, and their flagrant disregard of other people’s civil rights. The fact of the matter is, police officers were never public servants! Again, history delineates the genesis of policing was elicited by elitists yearning social, political, and economic preeminence, and it also indicates how those elitists exploited policing’s legal means of regulation to, in a sense, legitimize organized crime. Police officers are supposed to have honor, dignity, respect, and nobility, and they should induce the desire to possess those qualities in other people, but they don’t. Not only do most police officers lack ownership of those qualities, they don’t evince them to anyone else. Society wants people to believe police are prestigious authoritarians, law enforcement par excellence, incapable of iniquity, but I know better than that. That’s why whenever someone approaches me inquiring about my feelings toward cops – I reply, simply, “FUCK THE POLICE!”.