Saturday, January 10, 2015

Adventures with Neo, Part 1:The Cops

  I have a co-worker, whom I have mentioned before, and whom I have nicknamed 'Neo'. He is a nice guy, a 20 year military veteran with a wife and  2 kids.  He is the GOP black sheep from a  family of staunch Democrats and he is convinced that, although the GOP may have temporarily have lost their way, they remain the  last best hope for our republic.  He foams at the mouth with opposition at Mr. Obama and thinks Mr Bush could do no wrong.    In many ways he represents the  dyed in the wool law and order Republican base who never saw a foreign entanglement they didn't like ( unless a Democrat was doing it).  Conversations with him regarding the  topics of the day are always a  strange mix of pain and pleasure as his convoluted logic manifests itself.   I thought it would be interesting to recreate, to the best of my recollection some of our  interchanges here.
  The latest topic was on the Christopher Dorner case, which is admittedly old news, but I think is relevant because of the peek it gives us into cop culture.  We now join the conversation already in progress.

 MSA:  Ok, take that guy out in California, the guy that they say killed those  cops
 NEO: Yeah?
MSA: He kills a cop or two or three, whatever the number was, and they stopped the entire state of California looking for this guy.  They even killed some people accidentally that they thought were him.
NEO: So?
MSA: So?  If  he had killed just  some guy on the street, if he had killed you or me, how much effort and money and manpower would they have expended looking for  him?
NEO: I don't get your point.
MSA: My point is they wouldn't have.  But remember they had him caught in that cabin out in the middle of nowhere? They  cleared all the schools out for miles around!  I mean, c'mon, he is surrounded by not only every cop in the  state of California, but by  tons and tons of media. He was surrounded! There is  absolutely no way that he is  getting out of that cabin, and hoofing it 20 miles to the nearest school!
NEO:  He was a dangerous man, Mike. I  don't understand you. You  just think peopel can run around  nilly-willy and kill cops with no  consequences.
MSA:  Umm, no I don't, and nothing I said  would even indicate that, but whatever. Don't you think that's overkill?
NEO: What you don't get Mike, is that  cops have a dangerous job. They put their lives on the line every single day.
MSA: If that's true, then  why do most cops never discharge their weapon during their entire career?
NEO: Look, if you went on a ride-along you'd understand  how hard it is to deal with the  worst our society has to offer, and how they deserve our respect.
MSA: People that burn down cabins to get their man don't deserve a whole lot of respect.
NEO: Their lives were threatened, Mike!
MSA: By one guy in cabin?
NEO: Yes!
MSA: How?
NEO ( frustrated pause )  Mike, somebody had to look at the situation and make a judgment call on the appropriate response. Whoever that was, he made the call to evacuate those schools, and if he's wrong, it's on his head.
MSA: So that WASN'T overkill?
NEO: I don't think so.
MSA: Evacuating  thousands of schoolkids  that were literally  miles and miles away while you had the guy cornered wasn't too much? Who pays for that? 
NEO: Would you be happier if the cops were all dead?
MSA: Nobody said that.
NEo: Have you had their training? Do you know what it's like to live in fear of your life?
MSA: Sure,everything I deal with a cop.
NEO: It's simple. Obey the rules, do whatever the policeman asks you to, and you have nothing to fear.
MSA:  UNLESS I'm some  85 year old woman lying in my bed when the cops execute a  no-knock warrant at the wrong house and kill  me in my bed. UNLESS I'm a 12 year old  with a BB gun in a park.
NEO:  You just want cops to die, Mike, and I don't understand it!  They are there to protect you!

 See what I'm dealing with?


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