Just a small tidbit from the Bayou Renaissance Man...
There's the issue of police themselves. We expect them to be paragons of virtue; but then we send them into situations where their daily interactions are usually with the dregs of society, where they're exposed to violence, threats, lies, filth and the worst that people have to offer. Is it any wonder that they become hardened and cynical, viewing most people (including the 'good guys') as potential law-breakers, regarding everyone as a potential threat until proven otherwise?It gets nothing but better from here. I really believe that he's touched on the issue that is driving much of the trouble between police and the communities they serve.
There's also the problem of police becoming primarily fund-raising machines for themselves and their localities. I've experienced this myself in Nashville, TN, where I live. Last year I was stopped and issued a ticket for speeding, without the Metro PD officer providing any proof at all that I had, indeed, been speeding. When I protested, he informed me that he wasn't required to do so. He agreed that I could take the matter to court if I wished, but pointed out (rather smugly, I thought) that even if I won, I'd still be required to pay more in court costs than the fine he was issuing me. I was basically in a no-win situation. I thought very seriously about fighting the ticket in court, as a matter of principle; but that would have meant going into town, waiting a full day (possibly longer) for the case to come up, having to come back again if the officer couldn't be there, and all sorts of bureaucratic hassles (as well as having to pay the aforementioned court costs whether I won or lost). It wasn't worth the trouble.
I only hope that the powers that be get it together soon. The cop that was assasinated in Houston is the canary in the coal mine.
Everyone knows that I believe that society is breaking down. IF I'm right (and this is one time that I pray I'm not) then we're about to see this one off becoming a common occurrence.