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Thread: Frank Serpico on Police

  1. #1
    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Frank Serpico on Police

    Some of you remember this guy who exposed police corruption, he has some interesting words and the past and the present.

    http://www.politico.com/magazine/sto...ol-112160.html

    "Police make up a peculiar subculture in society. More often than not they have their own moral code of behavior, an “us against them” attitude, enforced by a Blue Wall of Silence. It’s their version of the Mafia’s omerta. Speak out, and you’re no longer “one of us.” You’re one of “them.” And as James Fyfe, a nationally recognized expert on the use of force, wrote in his 1993 book about this issue, Above The Law, officers who break the code sometimes won’t be helped in emergency situations, as I wasn't."

    "Today the combination of an excess of deadly force and near-total lack of accountability is more dangerous than ever: Most cops today can pull out their weapons and fire without fear that anything will happen to them, even if they shoot someone wrongfully. All a police officer has to say is that he believes his life was in danger, and he’s typically absolved. What do you think that does to their psychology as they patrol the streets—this sense of invulnerability? The famous old saying still applies: Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

    "As for Barack Obama and his attorney general, Eric Holder, they’re giving speeches now, after Ferguson. But it’s 20 years too late. It’s the same old problem of political power talking, and it doesn’t matter that both the president and his attorney general are African-American. Corruption is color blind. Money and power corrupt, and they are color blind too."
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    Thanks. Good article. I'm sure that the engineer for the 1730 will be along shortly. All Aboard!
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    Regular Member Maverick9's Avatar
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    "Today the combination of an excess of deadly force and near-total lack of accountability is more dangerous than ever: Most cops today can pull out their weapons and fire without fear that anything will happen to them, even if they shoot someone wrongfully."
    This kind of information and over-entitlement spreads through the ranks quickly. Add to it the use of PEDs and you have something worse than the most dangerous gang or cult or organization because it's backed by rule of law and if there is a backlash, the firepower and entitlement skyrockets to counter the 'threat'.

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    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    Interesting read given the source!
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    Regular Member Rusty Young Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    Some of you remember this guy who exposed police corruption, he has some interesting words and the past and the present.

    http://www.politico.com/magazine/sto...ol-112160.html
    SNIP...
    Thanks for the link WalkingWolf, it was a good read. I'd like to believe there may still be a few good apples left among the rotten barrels; hopefully some of the recommendations explicitly listed out by Mr. Serpico will be heeded.
    I carry to defend my loved ones; Desensitizing and educating are secondary & tertiary reasons. Anything else is unintended.

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    Regular Member Maverick9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty Young Man View Post
    Thanks for the link WalkingWolf, it was a good read. I'd like to believe there may still be a few good apples left among the rotten barrels; hopefully some of the recommendations explicitly listed out by Mr. Serpico will be heeded.
    I hate to say it but your comment shows a rather complete lack of understanding of how the power pyramid and structure of the typical LE hierarchy works. No diss to RYM, because it might not be obvious to the layperson or to those who work in smaller departments with more autonomy. But the smaller departments also have a quick and more pervasive 'absolute power corruption' as we've seen in many places.

    The control is typically an 'old boys network' type and might emanate from the middle of the pyramid. The ethics and ethos and dogma are transmitted up and down from this power base.
    The 'good apples' among the rank and file, or the 'street cop' might have some limited life span, but if they're smart they get out. Same thing is reportedly happening (or happened) with the FBI making a pretty good organization pretty much crape to work in.

    The very top issues orders which can't conflict with the power base but their concerns are directed upward. They don't want any stain or tarnish to stick to them and their aspirations are political.

    The Blue Line is below the powerbase and protects them both from the public and the PTB directly above and way above. Thus they can't dare let it falter.

    So, no, there is, in effect no 'good apples' in the barrel to any significant degree, at least in the larger organizations.

    You can also see the end result from the whole cart going bad in Portland and in New Orleans, among other places where they had to disband whole agencies.
    Last edited by Maverick9; 10-25-2014 at 09:09 PM.

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    Regular Member SFCRetired's Avatar
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    Frank Serpico's tale is, today, even more frightening. The question is, "What can we, the citizenry, do about it?" Reporting corrupt or out-of-control police officers to their superiors very frequently results in absolutely nothing being done. I've also seen some cases where the news media won't touch a negative story about any police officer.

    Again, what can we, as citizens, do to change this entire subset of society?
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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SFCRetired View Post
    Frank Serpico's tale is, today, even more frightening. The question is, "What can we, the citizenry, do about it?" Reporting corrupt or out-of-control police officers to their superiors very frequently results in absolutely nothing being done. I've also seen some cases where the news media won't touch a negative story about any police officer.

    Again, what can we, as citizens, do to change this entire subset of society?
    First is record, record, record! Youtube is our greatest weapon, and has reversed charges in some cases where the police officer ends up in the pokey.

    Second is we must stop defending rouge police officers and making excuses for them because we do not like the type of person injured.

    Third we must get through to the people who suffer the most at the hands of police for their votes. Blacks and Hispanics make up a third of our population, if we could get half of them to support Rand Paul for POTUS maybe we could actually see some action to make change. Same goes for any politician that respects our rights, though their are few. We need to get the message out that either this crrapp stops, or they are out of business.

    The last option is revolt, and that would not be pretty.
    It is well that war is so terrible – otherwise we would grow too fond of it.
    Robert E. Lee
    The patriot volunteer, fighting for country and his rights, makes the most reliable soldier on earth.
    Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson
    What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate.
    President Donald Trump

  9. #9
    Regular Member Rusty Young Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maverick9 View Post
    I hate to say it but your comment shows a rather complete lack of understanding of how the power pyramid and structure of the typical LE hierarchy works. No diss to RYM, because it might not be obvious to the layperson or to those who work in smaller departments with more autonomy. But the smaller departments also have a quick and more pervasive 'absolute power corruption' as we've seen in many places.

    The control is typically an 'old boys network' type and might emanate from the middle of the pyramid.
    SNIP...

    So, no, there is, in effect no 'good apples' in the barrel to any significant degree, at least in the larger organizations.
    That's why I said "I'd like to believe". No offense taken.

    Quote Originally Posted by SFCRetired View Post
    Frank Serpico's tale is, today, even more frightening. The question is, "What can we, the citizenry, do about it?" Reporting corrupt or out-of-control police officers to their superiors very frequently results in absolutely nothing being done. I've also seen some cases where the news media won't touch a negative story about any police officer.

    Again, what can we, as citizens, do to change this entire subset of society?
    Continue to encounters you come across, get names and badge numbers, file complaints, try to bring attention to the issue; these are all options which must be exhausted if the final defense is to be seen as justified.
    As in any case of resisting tyranny, the system must prove itself to be wholly inadequate and incapable of reform to justify doing away with it altogether.

    Whether it already has is another matter, and is an opinion which I'd rather not divulge here.

    Add.
    WalkingWolf goes into more depth than I, and explicitly references politicians, which I should have done instead of merely hinting at it. As I once told some of my peers: all the other options must be exhausted to justify the use of the nuclear option in the eyes of posterity.
    Last edited by Rusty Young Man; 10-25-2014 at 09:28 PM. Reason: Addendum
    I carry to defend my loved ones; Desensitizing and educating are secondary & tertiary reasons. Anything else is unintended.

    “Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.” - Frederic Bastiat

    "When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle." - Edmund Burke

  10. #10
    Regular Member Eeyore's Avatar
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    worthy of a bump

    I just found this article independently. I figured I couldn't have been the first on this board to see it, and a search proved I wasn't. A very good (but depressing) article, worth reading and sharing.
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