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Policing isn’t Working for Cops Either


Policing isn’t Working for Cops Either

Kazu Haga

“It’s okay mommy…. It’s okay, I’m right here with you…”

Those were the words of four-year-old Dae’Anna, consoling her mother Lavish Reynolds after she witnessed the police shoot and kill her boyfriend Philando Castile.

Those words are now scarred into the psyche of America, much like words that came before it: “Hands up, don’t shoot.” “I can’t breath.” “It’s not real.”


Very enlightening article and strategy, Mr. Haga... particularly this approach which is reminiscent of the Councils on Truth and Reconciliation in South Africa and Chicago's new approach to conflict resolution (Restorative Justice):

"Individual accountability requires healing, and a space for the perpetrator of the harm to feel remorse for their actions. I’ve learned over time that people can’t empathize with the pain that they caused until their own pain and story has been honored. So, can we build a movement that honors the pain of the officers, creates spaces to help them see the pain that they cause, and — following the example of former Baltimore officer Michael Wood — allows them to defect from a system that doesn’t serve them either?"

I love what you relate about the SOUL of the brutal executioner or executioner of "the law," and would add that the same invisible reverberations of a form of psychological blow-back impact all those drone pilots who sit at consoles while determining which innocent will live or die (like so many moving electronic bits on a computer game screen).

Many term it Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and it must impact cops (placed into lethal contexts) as well as soldiers... added to survivors of violent events and crimes.

Rome's Papal hierarchy gained possession of enough books about genuine spirituality to understand the cathartic power of Confession. When embraced on a group level, it probably could do much to diffuse the walls of tension and guilt that hold up the walls of force.

The result of the current climate of denial is so many hardened people... nor is it any accident that these hardened people identify so much with guns and require so much in the way of alcohol to live with themselves.


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"...to know that no human being is immune to the fear, guilt and shame that comes with the taking of another’s life."
evidence indicates otherwise


"...The system of policing is one that relies on violence, fear, repression and a colonizer mentality. But the individuals who are employed to enforce that mentality are human beings with a human psyche, just like any other. It’s silly to assume that these men and women aren’t impacted by the violence they witness and participate in every day. No human being can participate in the levels of heightened violence that police are engaged in without being affected by it..."
But look at who the job APPEALS TO....There are reasons people who become ops become cops, and reason why people who DON'T become cops don't become cops...Its a very self selective process....I would be INCAPABLE of doing ANY sort of police work and there are REASONS for that...And reasons why some people are downright EAGER to 'serve and protect' from the time they're kids


An important perspective on the problem of our time, and I'm so glad to see someone else noticed the 4yo in the back seat. I would only quibble with this observation:

The tragedy in Dallas is a response from a people within a community that has lived with that fear and violence for generations.

The tragedy in Dallas was a response from a single person within a community that was doing good work at healing the fear and violence of generations, breaking the cycle. His disappointment that the protest did not become violent, that the police had come without their riot gear, and his own frustrated militarism, turned that accomplishment on its head. I pray that (and it seems that is mostly happening) the community will join in the mutual compassion to pick up where they left off, before terror and vengeance took over.


Cannabis users have been excluded from public service for decades, while users of alcohol, and steroids, are deemed acceptable.

This is the war

Cannabis is implicated by the prohibitionists in every social ill. It is important to note the harms caused by the prohibition.

I find your observations clear and valid, thanks for making them.

How many thousands of moral and competent individuals are restricted from serving and protecting their communities because of this baseless prohibition?


Or arm everyone.


it would be nice to have a united party of the 99%. The 1% have exacerbated racism since they took over in the 16th century with the introduction of banking. We're enslaved in an unsustainable inhumane International corporate monetary system. I think the solutions will come from the streets on local levels and go up the ladder. I don't think top down solutions will work, top down is all violent. Bottom up grass roots local is peaceful and in masses goes beyond party politics or what the 1% can manage. Drop out of their system and unite as 99%. Check out movement4bernie dot org, it goes beyond Bernie, it unifies. We gotta do something on a mass scale as a human race with peaceful positive and effective impact. Check out movement4bernie dot org, one united party of the 99%.


You can't force me.


This is another excuse for brutality and murder by cops. The UK and Europe, Australia, deal with being a "cop" differently. The training is on on focused on the "de" in escalation of an event, common sense, etc. Carrying a firearm requires special training for months and then is not a guarantee. This our lives (the cop) matter more than the citizen is BS. That is a military mindset and has no place in civilian law enforcement. Cops shou8ld be held accountable, not outside the law. The city and county should not pay for their criminal conduct. Cleared over and over to excessive force, shooting, sexual harassment, harassment, etc, should be a firable offense the third time. In fact, a second shooting in less than two years, termination automatically.

Police officers are not trained correctly. They are not an occupying force and that is the mindset. This is not a gun issue. This is definitely a race issue. A training issue. An Us versus Them issue. All this talk about change, unity, bringing the police under control, the violence under control is all BS. MLK preached it. LBJ wanted it. JFK believed in it. And guess what? It never happened and has gotten worse. The PDs act the same as they did in the 30's, 40's, 50's, etc. Race riots. I remember them vividly. Freedom marches. Montgomery. Little Rock. Dallas and Dealy Square. L.A. and RFK. I am 76 and can't believe the shit i have lived through, witnessed, and often can't believe. I will tell you what is really different now. Cops are given immunity for their misdeeds and the city pays the price. They can resign, keep their license, go to work for another PD, become Chief in a smaller city.

Hillary is the most recent example of being law breaker (even treason) and not chargeable. Wow. Snowden they want executed for doing the right thing. Manning is doing hard time for violating that trust, doing what was right. Betrayus got a slap on the wrist for treason and steady piece of ass. Impunity is absolute power corrupted absolutely. All those who exposed what the US was doing illegally nationally and globally have been bankrupted, ruined financially, jailed, doing prison time, their professions destroyed and yet Hillary (and all those others-- Cheney, Bush 2, C. Rice, Rumsfeld, Kagan, Kissenger, Albright, etc) is the DP choice for President. Someone whose history and scandal for personal gain can't even be documented in a single book. This is what we have come to. Crime pays, and pays well. Moral bankruptcy gets on front page as some hero on all MSM. LE (Lesser Evil) voitng has brought us to these two--LiarCorruptPerjuryWarLoverMoneyLaunerder/Crooked/Inept Hillary and Trump.

Wow. We have come a very long way. Voting for then LE for decades really worked well for all of nus 99 Percenters. Cops need to understand when they use excessive force, reach for their weapon out out fear or stupidity/fear/carelessness or worse, because they know they can shoot anyone with impunity. Well, they need to understand they are going to be held accountable. Pay restitution. Do time. Lose their license. The time for excusing any cop is long over. Was decades ago.


Disband the police.


The U.S is armed to the hilt. Castille and Sterling were armed. The Panthers were armed. MOVE was armed. Etc. etc. etc. Armament is a non-strategy. It's escalation. Escalation against organizations that regularly use chemical weapons, armor, tanks, and have access to weaponized lasers and drones. (I'm talking about the police, not the military)

We need de-escalation, not escalation.


Maybe so, but it works both ways.


No, it doesn't. Watch what happens as a result of the cop killings these past few days. It won't be a gentler police force.


That's why Jesus said turn the other cheek?


"Policing isn’t Working for Cops Either" - Well, poor babies! They suit up every day to terrorize the populace. Tough job. Isn't everybody that can murder innocent people and get away with it. How the hell does anybody find the balls to sympathize with a policeman, any policeman.

When cops aren't bullying or terrorizing people they're not doing their job. It isn't every sociopath gunman with a badge (cops call them "shields" - a reference to the Brotherhood of silence) that gets to act out his deepest, evil thoughts and get away with it.

What kind of sick son-of-a-bitch uses a chicken shit excuse to arrest Sandra Bland to terrorize her, murder her, make it look like a "suicide" and get away with it because other cops keep their mouths shut. You bleeding heart liberals sympathizing with police in the United States are living in lala-land. Wake the f up. Police "...serve and protect..." the establishment and the establishment protects them.

Now, stop getting your propaganda from teevee. Remember: For most people, a cop standing outside your car door at night is the closest you'll ever get to death. For others it's death.


Two people very close to me have suffered from PTSD, one for a lifetime since 1944. Both have seen and dealt with utterly horrible sights of maimed, mangled, burnt and dying people. Neither have gone out and beaten up people or have been violent as result. Both have managed to get on with their lives. Neither were USAians.

What is it about PTSD-affected USAian police officers that makes them go out of their way to beat up or kill people?

Sorry; this article is simply too huggy-fuzzy..


The article doesn't refer to it at all. The comments touch on it only obliquely. ...
The Ferguson effect and 'depolicing'. Said to be quite common in parts of Europe and Latin America. Places where the governments police don't go.
-- Though the government isn't there, that doesn't mean that those neighborhoods are violence free...
-- I saw seen stats that crime, assaults, robberies and murders, have gone up in Baltimore neighborhoods since Freddie Gray died. The articles attribute it to depolicing, even mention that neighborhood residents would like to see more police.... I think it might also be due to an increase in rebelliousness against the law and obeying the law...
-- So, are such neighborhoods better policed when it is 'La Cosa Nostra', the Crips, the Bloods, MS-13, etc., who have the majority of force in those neighborhoods? What do those neighborhoods want?
-- Those neighborhoods will have to make their solutions themselves, since they have told us suburbanites and wealthy urban enclave dwellers that they don't want us or our opinions.