About . . . . . . Classes . . . . . . Books . . . . . . Vita . . . . . . . Links. . . . . . Blog

by Peter Moskos

November 13, 2014

But Dan Aykroyd was on a mission from God

Actor and Cubs fan Bill Murray on the subject of police, from Rolling Stone:
I remember Danny Aykroyd saying a long time ago, "I embrace the police," and I thought that was the funniest thing ever. It was so nuts, because he's such a crazy person. But when you're a teenager, the police are only going to get you in trouble. But now I see police, and at the top of their game, they're there to serve and protect. It's like, where's a cop when you need one? Well, you are going to need a cop sometime. You need a cop, and you need safety, and you need order. There can't just be chaos.


David Woycechowsky said...

I have called them twice*:

One heroic response (and bad follow-up investigation): drunk man with a handgun chasing down a woman friend. I called police, made sure my doors were locked and hid in my bathroom. The man readily surrendered to police, and I don't think the drunk guy ever faced serious charges. I was never contacted, even though I was probably the only third party who saw the man point the gun at the woman.** If the guy (a neighbor) went to prison then he didn't go for long.

One horrible response: Someone trying to break into my apartment in the middle of the night when I was in it. When the two officers showed up 90 minutes later, I decided not to invite them in. One of the two officers did not take kindly to that, but the sensible one eventually pulled the hothead back to the squad. I think that situation would have played out much worse (for them, or me, or both) if it happened recently instead of 25 years ago.

My wife has called twice and gotten good results -- basically enhanced protection / enforcement against a peeping tom, and then, years later, a drugdealer.

BOTTOM LINE: Murray is correct. Thanks for blogging what he said.

* Other than reporting thefts / property damage after the fact -- which really shouldn't be handled by police anyway.

** The woman was the real hero, but that is a long story, not worth telling here.

David Woycechowsky said...

PS: when I was mugged I didn't call police. They came anyway, but I didn't stick around to chat with them.

Anonymous said...

You get it so wrong almost all the time. Cop-haters (as you call them) don't hate the idea of policing; we hate the sucky policing that we get. We hate the bullies who are police. We hate the racists who are police. We hate the criminals who are police. We hate (well, maybe not hate, but want them to get treatment) the dysfunctional unfit mental cases who are police. Unfortunately that's easily 10 to 25 percent of the this country's cops. Complain about it and you're a cop hater. Stand up for your rights and you may get a beat down or an arrest.

PCM said...

Got news for you. Police hate those cops, too. The objective question is, do you stereotype all cops based on the actions of the bad (or good) cops? Of course not. The more subjective question is how do you make policing better.

Anthony said...

A) No one person can speak to the motivations of all cop haters. Lotta players in that game.

B) The police misconduct rate actually hovers around 1%, according to the Cato Institute.

As to the actual subject: Dan Aykroyd was not only a police supporter but a reservist in Hanrahan, Louisiana for a long time. No idea what he did or when he found time to do it, though.

Anonymous said...

Citing Cato (without even an actual cite) does nothing for your credibility. If the Cato Institute published a study that water was wet, I might have to start doubting it.

PCM said...

Anonymous blog comments don't have much credibility either, I can't help but point out.

The Cato Institute actually does some pretty good research. Yes, they're ideological -- they're not going to release a study saying that massive federal regulation is the effective solution -- but they don't make shit up. I trust Cato's research (unlike, say, the Heritage Foundation).

And I also buy the 1% misconduct rate, if misconduct is defined as criminal or pretty serious. It's larger if we're talk about rude and half-assed police work. But even just one-percent means 400 bad cops in NYC. 400 aggressively bad people. They can do a lot of damage.

Anthony said...

You're absolutely right to be skeptical there, so here's a cite:


As to Cato's credibility problem: I highly doubt that Murray Rothbard's brainchild is going to be apologetic to police.

PCM: 1% is derived from the number of officers implicated in a "credible" complaint of criminal misconduct, not policy violations.

PCM said...

Thanks. And good point about Cato's take on police... I seem to have missed that CATO study that came out in favor of police. Regardless, I think the research they do put out is basically sound. And, yeah, 1% regarding criminal misconduct rings true.