What I've learned over my career, and what has frustrated me as a life-long progressively inclined citizen, is that despite all common sense and evidence to the contrary, well-meaning liberal types are stubbornly attached to this outdated narrative of white officers maliciously and illegally harassing innocent black men "doing nothing." As you just articulated, police work is a thinking person's game. Unfortunately the critics are often so blinded by ideology that to educate themselves on very basic police procedures which may illustrate, like you stated, that for professionals it's not all about race.It's too easy to be for "police accountability," whatever that means. Good intentions aren't enough. Hell, even I'm for police accountability at some very large level. But any "accountability" needs to result in better, not worse, policing. That may sound obvious, but it's not.
The real harm from this refusal to engage maturely with the subject matter is the effect this political pressure has on departments, and by extension the most vulnerable communities. I see officers putting blinders on and avoiding perfectly justified stops (not even grey area sophisticated, I'm talking straight probably cause) for fear of allegations of racism. It's more trouble to deal with the subsequent complaints that now accompanies meaningful proactive police work than to do the bare minimum. And of course, the crime rate sky rockets because the suspects are emboldened by de-policing and ideological cover. So once again, it's folks in the poor and predominately black neighborhoods, where the well-meaning liberal types don't have to live, that suffer.
I'm curious to see how things are going to work out in NYC with potentially two new levels of "accountability" that will just happen to coincide with a new mayor and new police chief who will have to reap what Bloomberg and Kelly sowed. It is not inevitable that crime will go up! But next year the NYPD will have to choose to do right and continue to improve and police (and stop stops for stops' sake!) or curl-up into a ball and disengage.
If you create a system where an officer can get banged or sued for doing his or her job, don't be surprised when officers say, "I want to get promoted. I want to keep my pension. I'm not getting out of this car unless someone calls 911." Individual actors still act rationally in irrational systems. So-called accountability can all too easily lead to bureaucratic paralysis (for exactly how, see "the Anticorruption Project and the Pathologies of Bureaucracy" in Chapters 10 and 11 of Anechiarico and Jacobs's The Pursuit of Absolute Integrity.)