Indeed, many BPD supervisors who were trained under the prior enforcement paradigm continue to encourage officers to prioritize short-term suppression, including aggressive use of stops, frisks, and misdemeanor arrests.That's something a bit sad and desperate about this report's (and city leaders) constant attempt to blame today's problems on 16 years ago.
The report goes on:
A flyer celebrating loitering arrests was posted in several BPD districts. The flyer depicted three officers from one of BPD’s specialized units known as Violent Crime Impact Division, or VCID, leading a handcuffed man wearing a hoodie along a city sidewalk towards a police transport van, with the text “VCID: Striking fear into loiters [sic] City-wide.”
People, this is not a motivational poster. It is not celebrating loitering lock ups. It is... a joke. It is making fun of -- mocking even -- a specialized unit for making bullshit loitering locks up.
I find it funny. Do you have to be a cop to get it? I don't know. But couldn't they find anybody with a clue to read a draft and red-flag this? "It's obviously a joke," my liberal-with-a-sense-of-humor wife spells out for the humorously challenged, "because it's using the template of the fake corporate motivational poster." Get it?
But if the DOJ observes don't get this basic level of police culture (or humor), I question a lot of their observations. (I don't know how much you can learn in "dozens" of ride along in "all the districts." Because that means about 3 ride-alongs per district. Does it even equal one complete shift? I don't know.)
Chapter Three of Cop in the Hood does start with a "motivational" speech at roll call:
All right you maggots, let’s lock people up! They don’t pay you to stand around. I want production! I want lockups! Unlike the citizens of the Eastern District, you are required to work for your government check.The sergeant even made a little sign out of the last sentence and put it up in our sector cubical. Personally, I thought it was funny. In the end, he was told to take it down. Seems like nobody can take a joke.
Update: Over on twitter, I was trying to explain to a Sun reporter who also didn't get the joke. David Simon, who speaks Police and Journalistic, stepped in to help translate:
The office poster we're talking about is actually a subtle and appropriate critique of bad policing.
Everything I know about cop humor says that poster is there as sarcasm, to which cops are entitled.
Poster not motivational, but a critique of weak arrests; station house humor to which cops are entitled.
Every profession uses humor to critique lesser standards, affirm for better.
Cop humor. And in the context of stationhouse ball-busting, rather funny. Not affirmation.
The snark about bad journalism that used to be on the walls of The Sun was affirmation for better.
One Xmas, Homicide unit pasted wings on morgue photos of dead gangsters & hung on tree.
For attorney: "Anyone can convict the guilty. For an innocent man, you need a great lawyer." Cynicism serving ethic.
Fuck that much self-righteousness. Every profession is entitled to its own interior wit. Especially the tough ones.