In a recent article at The Independent Political Report, James Gray perpetuates the fairy-tale of the police as heroes to be looked up to. He writes, “One of the most noble public servant positions in our society is a police officer. These men and women often have difficult jobs, and frequently do not get the credit and appreciation they deserve.” If police were these heroes, then stories of botched drug raids would not be a standard news story. People would be outraged every time they heard about an officer killing a family pet, or an innocent human being, because it would be so unusual. Instead, these stories are routine, because the image of police as heroic public servants is a myth.
I would like to first state that Judge Gray does give one good piece of advice for anyone who is ever stopped by police, “keep your hands in plain sight.” This should be done for your own safety, because the police often overreact when they are startled. I have first-hand experience in this. The only time I have ever had a gun drawn on me, it was from a police officer who was responding to a suspected robbery, but he was at the wrong house. If I had made any sudden movements I would likely have lost my life. On another occasion an officer stopped me for a seat belt violation, and when he approached my vehicle he had his hand on his weapon. I put my hands on the wheel for my own safety, because you never know what behavior to expect, although police tend to be on their best behavior when they know they’re being filmed.