Ask a Cop


Illustration: Sean Hennefer

Dear Cop,
About a month ago, I was sitting on the porch of my apartment with my brother when, across the street, we saw a woman briskly walking away from a shirtless guy, who eventually pulled her back down the sidewalk out of our sight in clear resistance. My first instinct was to run over there and see if she needed help, but my brother helped me reevaluate, and I called 911.

When two policemen arrived, they asked us what you would think—what they were wearing, the direction they went, etc. At one point, though, after asking me and my brother how the situation appeared, and after my brother had said something along the lines of “She definitely didn’t want to go with him,” one cop, who said he was 24 years old, said, “I don’t know, man, girls are pretty kinky these days.”

For me, this wasn’t a time to joke about this type of situation. Also, I imagine that even if this kid is concurrently enrolled in some sort of college program, he’s not exactly taking Women’s Movements 1010 or anything. My question: Is there any sort of pedagogical directive for the general police mentality to be mindful of women’s rights, feminism, etc.? Did that young officer just have bad timing with what he thought would be a quip? To what extent is the institution of the police, from what you can infer, pushing to be progressive about the trials that women face?

–Curious about being serious

Dear Seriously Curious,
Just as 5 percent of our population is born a douchebag (the wife-beater you described), the same is true for cops. Five percent of cops are going to be complete fucking idiots. You bring up the cop’s education—know that you only have to have a GED to be a cop. Granted, many people with college degrees now want to be cops, so it’s pretty difficult to get hired if you have no education, but a GED is the minimum education requirement.

The population of the USA—and the world, for that matter—has never shown much demand for highly educated law enforcement (not that more or higher education makes you a better cop—it doesn’t). Most federal jobs require a bachelor’s degree at least, but you’re not talking street-working law enforcement in many cases. Ask any FBI dude who actually works the street (uses his handcuffs) what he thinks about his federal co-workers, and he’ll tell you that 95 percent of them are office sittin’, hemorrhoid spoutin’ douchebags. So, you’re stuck with a lot of educated and uneducated delta bravos.

Yes, you ran into some misogynistic, immature asshole. Sometimes, a complaint from someone he serves is what’s needed to get cops to change, or, better yet, to look in the mirror. I have no idea where you live, but I know for sure that SLPD and WVPD use civilian review boards for all police complaints. Other agencies might as well. This guy sounds like a perfect candidate for your complaint.

Cops receive training constantly about these issues. Hopefully, nobody becomes a cop to degrade women or the weak. Here’s to hoping they took the job to protect and serve those who truly need it.

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