Cops and Robbers
The World of a Street Cop.
There is a factor that most people do not seem to get about cops and the people they deal with on a day to day basis. It is called the criminal milieu.
Did you ever stop to think about the fact that cops do not hang out with cops all day long. They most assuredly do not hang out in offices or country clubs or schools or other such “nice” places. Now there are some that do but we are not talking about those kind of cops, we are talking about street cops. They hang out on the street all day long or all night long. And they do not hang out in nice neighborhoods they hang out where criminals are hanging out. That is just what they do. Now if it has never occurred to you let me let you in on a secret: Criminals are criminals.
If we take a look at what that means we can understand the world of a street cop a little better. This is not written from any particular point of view, certainly not the cops and not the robbers either. Many would say something like “you are who you associate with” and this has a lot of credence. So what of the cop who “associates” with criminals all workday long?
Just for fun? Or does this have truth to it?
How about you?
Have you ever lived in the criminal milieu?
The environment influences us.
If we take a wonderful walk in nature everyday this has a calming and positive affect on our mood. If we do not then that has an influence on our mood also. Taking a walk in a horribly rundown neighborhood will also influence us. And again not taking that walk will also influence us. Living in the day to day of the negative aspects of life has a price to pay. Just think about when was the last time you heard the “F” word. Chances are very good that if you read this that you do not hear that word very often. Now just think about being on the street. You will be called that with a “er” on the end and with it interjected three times in a foul mouth improper English sentence. And this does not happen once a week but rather several times a day. How would that influence you?
Just so you know, the criminal world is filled with violence. For just a ton of social and psychological reasons violence is the answer for many in the criminal world. Happy, joyous and free people are generally not criminals. Criminals learn violence from a very early age. We are not talking about white collar crime or things like tax evasion here. Criminals that frequent our streets do things like robbery and home invasions and have or can get their hands on weapons.
People on the streets kill and are killed daily. For you the reader that is just as foreign a thought to you as it can get. People on the street actually inject themselves with drugs and engage in prostitution and drug dealing. People on the street do not like cops.
A wonderful environment.
Death and dying in a land where life is cheap.
Between 100 and 150 cops are killed each year in the line of duty. Thousands of citizens are killed each year by gunfire and many of those by gunfire by cops. Just for a second put yourself in that mindset. Now get out of there quickly. To kill or be killed is something most who read this will never even fathom outside of their TV set. To draw a weapon in violence is something foreign to the average citizen yet part of the life of a street cop. Now let us not get this wrong. Many many local law enforcement officers never ever use or draw their weapon for their entire career. And let us be certain that the average criminal does not go around shooting people as it serves little to no purpose. But these people look exactly the same as people who do kill others. In some gangs shooting a person is a prerequisite for full membership. That is bizarre.
So when we speak of a street cop that is what we are talking about. Someone who deals in that kind of garbage every day.
Just something nice to lift our spirits as we examine such a dark subject.
Violence begets violence.
Now examine a shooting
We just cannot immediately grasp the mindset of a cop or a criminal. Let us pause here to reflect that many people who are not criminals act like them. Just watch a pro basketball game and you will see the culture of gang signs and clothing. It is hard to say who copies who and that is disturbing. But now go back to the street scene. How is a cop supposed to distinguish between a “wannabe” and a real violent criminal? Is he to guess? Is he just held to the standard of knowing automatically? When a person he is in contact with acts aggressively what is he to think? Is he supposed to engage the fellow as though he is a peace loving gentle giant? Or should he assume the worst? Probably someplace in the middle.
When is a line crossed going either direction? We know that all the way to our Supreme Court and President the question is asked and pondered and decisions made as best as can be made.
Hardcore criminals are not Judges, attorneys* or picked for jury duty. Jury members are generally not involved with the criminal milieu, they are not part of that world and do not well understand it. Now cops, attorneys and judges deal with it all day long and probably have a reasonable perspective including both sides.
It is just a fact that the average person just does not understand what is going on in the streets. Now the criminal may from their perspective and the cop may from his perspective, but I would bet a dollar to a dime those would differ.
Now when we hear about these shootings let us give some pause and actually think about what we really do not know about. A film or a witness standing alone means almost nothing. And certainly a news report is not really helpful. And a talking head has no idea unless they have been there and done that.
*ha ha we can all get a chuckle there.
Are you a thief?
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