A Cop Asks Mike Brown

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Illustration: Manuel Aguilar

Dear Mike,

Your columns are witty to an extreme.  They’re informative, funny, and, believe it or not, they actually provide some valuable information.  You influence your audience to such a degree that they desire to be cool like you.  They want to be like Mike.  I know this personally, as I did some reconnaissance at the last Juggalo shindig in town, and half of them were dressed like your clown photo when you went “undercover.”   And, now you can’t buy a “shitty truck” in the whole Salt Lake Valley.  All you have to do is mention that you own one, and they’re gone!

Your followers, be they Juggalos, skaters, punkers, stoners, whatever—they don’t like cops.  If you ask them why, they’ll say they just don’t.  They’ll give the common tags of “assholes,” “dicks,” “arrogant pricks,” which maybe are true but not helpful to me.  I really want to get to the nitty gritty of WHAT they don’t like, and I’d like you to ask them.  I’d like you to mention some of the things cops do besides busting their ass into jail or writing them tickets.  Otherwise, you get the same lame-o responses.

Cops have no authority unless a crime is committed.  But, we handle the deaths of loved ones, resolve civil traffic disputes and keep the peace.  We don’t have any authority in those matters, but we still do it.  We just stand there while ex-spouses work out their shitty lives, or we intimidate tow truck drivers who shouldn’t have hooked your car.  You lose something?  We try to find it.  Your family member takes off and doesn’t want to be found?  We look for them anyway.  Give your cell number to some freak at a bar, we call the shit bag up and threaten to kick his ass if he calls you again.  We register the creepy sex offenders and make sure they live where they’re supposed to. 

There’s a grip of things we do which have nothing to do with crime.  Do you know that people actually call cops and ask them to scare their kids so they’ll listen?  WTF?  They demand we make children sit still for haircuts or force their neighbor to cut his tree because it blocks their view, and they get pissed and hate us when we tell them no.  When a civilian complains on a cop, do you know who reviews that complaint?  A civilian review board made up of non-cop citizens. They’re the ones who decide and dispense discipline on cops.  It makes the process trustworthy, and cops support it.  I don’t know of another profession that would allow this.  It’d be like doctors letting janitors decide if they committed malpractice, or allowing illiterates to edit this magazine.

I don’t want you to ask about bad or dirty cops.  Coppers hate criminal cops worse than you do, and they especially hate the weirded-out sex offender cops.  I want to know what they, or you, really don’t like about cops—leave the anarchists and constitutionalists out of it too.  I’d like to know what reasonable people think.

Ask your friends, your co-workers, your minions.  I want to know.  I’m hoping to become less ignorant so I can decrease my hate mail and increase my fans.  I want to be like Mike too!

I patiently await your response.
—The Cop

Dear Cop,
Man, this article takes me back to the days when I first started writing for SLUG around 10 years ago. This was back when I was 21 and just like most 21-year olds, I knew absolutely everything. So, I started a self-help column for the mag where readers could write in a problem and I would answer them. I fielded such problems like what to masturbate with and all sorts of other emotional problems that our fine readers face with grace and elegance.

Needless to say, I grew up a bit as life kicked me in the ass. I changed views, opinions and even a couple of morals along the way.  So, as I was pondering how to reply to your letter, I decided to take a survey and ask everyone who has ever read my articles why they hate/like cops. Then I ran out of survey paper and realized that idea was just fucking ridiculous. 

I’m surprised to think that you don’t have any idea why a disgruntled teenager or Juggalo hates cops. My best answer would be because those people already hate everything. I can vouch for that disgruntled teen—for I was he, once upon a time.  Spending my days dreaming of cheerleaders I’d never get to bone until they became MILFs, and listening to punk rock while skateboarding back when it was a lot more illegal, and a lot more fun in my opinion. I’d imagine you were once that disgruntled teen with a blatant disrespect for authority.

Such an upbringing obviously influenced me to hate cops, principals, teachers, scout leaders and Mormon bishops alike. So, Cop, at least take comfort that your hatred is shared.  It’s not just you, buddy.  That’s the simplest answer to your question.  The people that hate you personally just because you are a cop probably already hate everything—or they are criminals.

I mean you had to know that before you became a cop.  Every cop should know that.  People hating you should be the first thing they teach at doughnut school.  Followed by how to use a taser and when not to shoot your gun.  We don’t live in a communist regime.  You chose to be a cop, just like I chose to bartend.  You don’t hear me complaining about breaking up fights and getting stiffed by drunk people.  Why?  Because I CHOOSE to feed those unruly drunks. 

As for my personal view on cops these days, I don’t hate them.  Police Academy 1 through 6 are some of my favorite movies ever, and without cops, such fine cinema would be appreciated by no one.  And my brother-in-law is a cop.  He works in the sex offender unit and lightens up Sunday dinner at my mom’s with stories about rapists.  Plus he told me where all the registered sex offenders in my apartment building live, and he makes my sister happy, so I don’t hate him. 

As I’ve grown up I’ve learned not to hate the player, but hate the game.  Unless it’s Kobe Bryant: It’s ok to hate him because he rapes people. I wish my brother-in-law would arrest him, and frame Ron Artest for something while he’s at it, but I think it’s out of his jurisdiction. 

I hate the system.  I know that in a civilized society we need some form of authority to keep us humans in line.  I wish it wasn’t so, but it is. I realize this isn’t the actual cop’s fault.

I learned how fucked our legal system is when my ex-girlfriend hit me with her car and the city pressed charges against her.  Long story short?  I got subpoenaed to go to court even though I didn’t press charges.  I had to deal with all sorts of stupid shit because I called the cops.

So, the next time I got hit by a car, I didn’t even call the cops.  I didn’t want to deal with the legal system again.  Plus I was wasted, it was three-thirty in the morning and I didn’t get the license plate, so I didn’t think the cops would be able to do anything anyway. 

As for being like me, Cop, it’s overrated.  I have no dental plan, just spent all my money on a claw machine, and the Fucktards haven’t written a song in a while.  So don’t feel bad that you aren’t me. 

And Cop, please don’t read this last paragraph. Promise?  You have to pinkie promise. 

Last Paragraph:
Ok I’m totally kidding—I hate cops.  My favorite band is Millions of Dead Cops and my life actually rules.  I also hate priests, principals, drill sergeants and pickles.  Oh, I hate mushrooms too.  I can’t get past the texture, you know?

Photos:
Illustration: Manuel Aguilar