Basically, goes the tired old sociological argument, because I was a cop, I can't see police objectively. This is called "going native." Like all sociology majors, I learned this in college (in my case as a Princeton sophomore in Professor Howard Taylor's most excellent "Introductory Research Methods in African American Studies"--the class that made me a sociologist!).
While going native certainly is a possibility. Given the sum of my book and writing, to say I did so is a bit absurd.
The reviewer writes:
This raises the possibility that [Moskos] was not privy to some of the more sensitive issues and events that may have happened. He states categorically that he witnessed no instances of illegal police behavior while on the Baltimore Police Department which suggests that he failed to encounter them either because he was shielded from such events or he did not define them as illegal because he had adopted the police view that such activities were necessary to get the job done.Actually, I stated categorically I saw no instances of police corruption. I wrote a bit about illegal behavior: "High-arrest officers push the boundaries of consent searches and turn pickets inside-out. Illegal (and legal) searches are almost always motivated by a desire to find drugs." So much for a thorough reading.
I did write this (p. 78):
I policed what is arguably the worst shift in the worst district in Baltimore and saw no police corruption. ... Incidents do happen, but the police culture is not corrupt. Though overall police integrity is very high, some will never be convinced. But out of personal virtue, internal investigation stings, or monetary calculations, the majority--the vast majority--of police officers are clean.Sometimes reality causes cognitive dissonance to people with strong prejudices. I guess the idea that most cops are clean (cleaner than professors, I like to add) is just too shocking for some in academe. Rather than face up to one's own anti-police biases, I guess it's easier just to bash ethnography.