Doc's LAPD Story
Asked and Answered
My brother Doc recently retired from the LAPD. He and the city arrived at an amicable settlement. You see, Doc did one of those stunts you always see in movies and on TV where the hero grabs the suicidal jumper from over the ledge and pulls them to safety. In real life that means ripped elbow tendons and a dislocated shoulder, the sort of injuries that require surgery you can get in a heartbeat if you play for the Rams or the Lakers. California municipalities, on the other hand don’t really care if you miss two entire seasons. He therefore had been living in a dystopian limbo between principle & promise and disingenuous & underhanded reality. This had the unfortunate side effect of denaturing the proteins of his personality which are now just beginning to revert to their proper shape.
Over the past seven years or so, I have transformed myself, prior to and overlapping the Stoic journey that now engages me, by what I call my Martial Education. It could be thought of as an adjunct to my work in the American Right. If you need a shorthand, you might say that taking Republican politics seriously back in 2003 brought me to an ideological nullity in 2008. The beautiful side-effect of this was that I gained deeper understanding of a class of Americans I was clueless about. ‘Humanize’ is a popular expression. My understanding of and love for my brother gave me an enormous advantage.
Today I want to bracket some writing about Doc I wrote before the days of St. George but while the ascendancy of the meme of BLM was strident and millions of Americans felt that black Americans needed special re-education programs for their young male population.
Q: What do African-American cops think about the police brutality faced by many young African-Americans today?
A: I'm going to try and represent my brother's POV on this, as he is a black American police officer who has served on the LAPD about ten years now. I need to make a couple qualifications first to help you understand how and why he made that choice. Firstly, his best friend in high school was killed in basically a drive-by shooting although he was not affiliated with a gang of any sort. Secondly, when he just got married he lived in a neighborhood in which drug deals were going on in broad daylight. He told the dealers to get off his block, and basically went to the limit of what he could do as a private citizen. 'Doc', is basically a hard working high school graduate with some junior college who worked many years as a handler and then driver for FedEx. He is a fiercely loyal and reliable guy. He's one of the kinds of men for whom his word is bond - even though he always comes up with harebrained schemes. He has matured into one of the most interesting men I know, seriously. His best advice to me was "Don't tell people what you're going to do. Do something, then tell them what you did." He is a true man of action.
His attitude about policing has changed a bit over the years, and we talk about it regularly. He has always had a strong sense of responsibility for serving the black community, being the man who makes the difference rather than being the man who talks about making a difference. It goes without saying that he is extraordinarily brave - so he has a hard time with people who talk big but do little to actually save lives.
Doc, upon joining the force, was a bit older than the average recruit. So he never had any fantasies about power or glory. He is very workmanlike in his approach.
I think his biggest concern is what you would expect from somebody nominally 'conservative'. He very much understands the politics of city hall and how police are deployed to fight crime or tolerate crime in certain sections of the city. In particular, as he works downtown, his ability to protect people is compromised by the laws and policies that allow people to live on the street.
He also has difficulties with the political culture of 'black communities' and how often strict political ideology with no connection to reality interferes with police and people. It doesn't matter how much good police officers do, or whom is actually responsible for crime, everywhere there is a mentality that focuses attention on worst case police scenarios.
He has told me on many occasions that when you look at the overall system, you really have to work to get into jail. You have to have multiple arrests and a conviction before you get there. The system is simply too inefficient to do 'mass incarceration', but you will always have people who don't know what they're talking about spouting on about the 'Prison Industrial Complex'.
He basically loves doing his job, even though sometimes the internal politics of working for the City gets in the way of being a good cop. He says you basically decide if you are working for the people in the streets or if you are working for political promotions in the department.
As for the use of force, we've talked about it a lot. There's a lot to it that you can kind of understand if you've ever been the kind of man who breaks up fights that break out in pickup sports games. It's something you can't really understand unless you have been in enough scraps to have a sense of self-possession. But the bottom line is that as a sworn officer you have a legal obligation to be the good guy and win over the bad guy. Always. A lot of people don't recognize this. So a lot of that political antipathy against cops bleeds over into behavior that should never take place. Never. Like “don’t talk about my mama” never. Why people don't seem to recognize that and feel that their politics are that important on whichever rare occasions they have to deal with officers is just one of those problems that are ever present. It also speaks to how confrontational politics of 'black communities' are stupidly counterproductive. But you kind of deal with it like other absurdities in life. You wish people would stop and think clearly, but then you realize it's too much to expect.
To the extent that there is a real political culture of mistrust and suspicion and a racial double standard, well that's just reality. The job of policing must go on regardless. It comes down to individuals and cases. His job is to be a good cop, no matter how thankless that job is from certain perspectives. He knows what good he does and what a positive difference he makes. It's very simple, he's a good cop. Sometimes, as the picture shows, people give him props.
Next in this topic/thread I want to talk about free speech and the yuppie apocalypse, and why gangsta rap is not the answer. In other words, what is ‘toxicity’?