Cop Blames Media Coverage for Distrust of Cops


Jason Keisling/Reason

The Daily Caller has a column by a cop writing under the name "Deputy Matt" who complains about how much harder his job has become since Ferguson, Missouri, became a national news story. The cop begins by telling a story about responding to a call about a belligerent teenage son in a "fairly nice complex" where they were "able to calm him and get him into handcuffs without any blows being thrown" but not before the teen refused to follow their orders. According to the cop, the teen, who he described as half-white and half-Hispanic, said he wouldn't listen to the cops because he didn't trust them because of "Ferguson." The cop says the parents apologized "profusely" for their son's comment.

Deputy Matt says he works 1,700 miles from Ferguson but that it's become the "latest defense for committing crime," presumably by people who would be committing crimes anyway, but that this time:

The same people who we used to count on for support, the good, law abiding general public, are now reluctant to trust us.

We, the local cops they have seen and contacted in the past, have not changed.  We have done nothing different.

What has changed is the public's perception of us, created by the reckless reporting by nearly every news outlet very early after the shooting of Michael Brown. The rush to be first with the story over the desire to be correct is having dire consequences nationwide, and quite honestly, has made my job more difficult and more dangerous.

Were Michael Brown the only person police shot since August, or in August, or if he were the only unarmed person shot that week or anywhere close to it, Deputy Matt's complaints, where they're accurate, might have some merit.

Reporting about Ferguson isn't what's caused the public's trust in the police. Increased attention to long-existing patterns and practices of police brutality, from California to New York island, thanks in part to the ubiquity of personal recording devices, has been eroding that trust for far longer than Ferguson's been in the news.

It's important to note, too, in the face of Deputy Matt's chicken little-ish depictions, that cops remain, at least according to Gallup, among the less distrusted institutions in society, polling a fairly steady 50-ish percent trust since Gallup started asking in the early 1990s.

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  1. Roaches hate the light.

    Or, police yourself or you’re inviting others to do it for you.

  2. We, the local cops they have seen and contacted in the past, have not changed. We have done nothing different.

    Same thugs as always.

    1. Hey, they didn’t choose the thug life; it chose them.

      But sincerely, fuck the police.

  3. You got one of them cop radios–call a waahmbulance.

  4. Or, Deputy Matt, you could gain the people’s trust back by arresting those among you who do illegal/brutal/violent things. Funny how that doesn’t seem to occur to you.

  5. We, the local cops they have seen and contacted in the past, have not changed. We have done nothing different.

    What has changed is the public’s perception of us, which has unfortunately grown more accurate.

  6. Waahhh!!! Where’s my hat tip? Waahhhh

  7. It’s good that something has woken more people up to the fact that you really shouldn’t trust cops. It’s too bad that the reason has to be “Ferguson” instead of the fact that cops have always lied as it suits them and have been developing worse and worse attitudes about “civilians” and their rights for years.

  8. It’s refreshing to read a Ferguson article about a cop who shot some person. As opposed to the usual Ferguson narrative of a racist white cop shooting a black man-child.

  9. I believe they are acting the same as always.Now though videos are showing up on line and TV every week.Fewer people are taking them at their word also.

  10. how much harder his job has become since Ferguson, Missouri, became a national news story.

    Is this person being coerced into his job?

    If not, then he can go fuck himself.

  11. “Belligerent teenager” calls for the po-po? WTF?

  12. Cops simulataneously need to be tough enough to do a job you POS civilians won’t, yet become thin skinned crybabies at a hint of criticism. They are noble knights protecting us, but their primary goal is for them to go home safe. They pat themselves on the back and whine about actually being responsible for their actions. Arguing these issues with a cop or cop-lover is futile. They just jump from one contradictory position to the next to parry any criticism.

  13. What exactly is the point of this article, since libertarians call for privately funded personal and property defense, with government taking the role of national defense? as opposed to politicians originating millions of oppressively aggressive laws forced upon all by tax funded police as well as numerous other tax funded, politician established alphabet agencies.

    Do libertarians now think that police enforced aggression is originated by the police, and can be easily resolved by anti-police sentiment. Or did you just forget that confiscating the population’s paychecks to fund police forces lawfully compelling self destructive, servile obedience to lawmaking politicians will not result in “freedom,” regardless of what anyone thinks of cops.

  14. Let’s see, cops are the “good guys,” right? What kind of “good guys” have video cameras that conveniently quit working at just the right moment, audio recorders that pick up everything except the “actual” drug buy and suddenly acquires new personal property that, miraculously, is exactly like some of that “seized” in a so-called raid?

    If cops want people to trust them they need to bust the lawbreakers among their own ranks. A thug and a crook with a gun and a badge is still a thug and a crook; he just does it legally.

  15. Great point Ed! Police training needs to be drastically changed. One officer who gets injured or killed by a dangerous person does not mean the proper response is to militarize and violate the free citizens of this nation.
    By preying on the public under the guise of “safety” the police have given away their integrity. Speed traps, Red light cameras and brutality have caused the public to distrust officers far more than any one incident.

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