There was once a generation of Americans who looked up to the police and saw them as everyday heroes. They believed police helped enforce the law that protected us, that they faced horrifying thugs and unthinkable crimes to keep us law-abiding citizens safely out of danger. Movies and media glorified the police and showed them putting the mafia lords away, saving the innocent boy or the by-standing grandma from the bad guys. The public depended on police. They needed the police to feel safe. There was once a generation of Americans who looked up to the police, and then they died.
From them came a generation of Americans who witnessed the horror of ignorant and arrogant men who power tripped on their weapons and the law they used to protect themselves. They wondered what happened to the neighborhood policeman who waved hello from their cars, and where these fat, greedy and entitled cowards came from. It began with racism against minorities, then spread to the youth who were confused, and when the youth grew up, they taught their children to hate the police. America came to hate law enforcement, protesting the injustice and corruption that had become woven into the fabric of it all. The government didn’t change the system, however, not even when law enforcement became separate from society. No one except for the offspring of law enforcement wanted any part in it, widening the divide between Americans and their police. Americans hated in fear as law enforcement believed more and more that they were elite and a part of a community of “better”, entitled Americans. Police passed their wisdom and morals to their children, and it became a familial duty to be a part of law enforcement.
Above is an children’s book that only children of a family line of police would receive. Instilling the importance of fulfilling this honorable duty and taking the wisdom that the family line has collected for generations starts from an early age. Books like these tell a story of being lucky to be from a family of law enforcers, helping our country and following in the footsteps of the generations before you.
With each generation, police grow more and more conniving, understanding how to twist and frame the law to benefit themselves and continue the system as it is. They create long standing partnerships with drug lords, mafia members, huge corporations and the government to maintain their power, offering protection, money and other incentives. The public becomes the target for crimes big and small, and with the use of drones and hyper-surveillance, no one is safe except those protected by the police, and that’s not you.
I was originally going to explore a different topic, one related to technology or design, but the LAPD shooting really struck a chord in me and I began thinking about the future of law enforcement in the United States. Many parts of my story feel like they’re already happening (and I apologize if this sounds like a cop movie that’s already been made, I’m not very familiar with this topic so just going with it!), and that scares me. When will the government take a stand and change our system that encourages the bad behavior that American police have been exhibiting for years?