How every police officer becomes complicit in a terrible system

An anonymous writer on Medium — identifying themself only as Officer A. Cab — has written an impassioned but scathing piece about the complicity of modern policing. This writer, claiming to be an ex-cop, shares his own shameful experiences being silenced for speaking against the "bad apple" officers, and eventually just going along with things he knew were inherently problematic. "American policing is a thick blue tumor strangling the life from our communities," he writes, "and if you don’t believe it when the poor and the marginalized say it, if you don’t believe it when you see cops across the country shooting journalists with less-lethal bullets and caustic chemicals, maybe you’ll believe it when you hear it straight from the pig’s mouth."

That's just in the intro. It gets way more in-depth, with numerous moments of quotable perfection (and a particularly disgraceful anecdote about some pay-to-play homeless abuse). I'll leave you with this passage, which has really sat with me:

Your community was not made safer by police violence; a sick member of your community was killed because it was cheaper than treating them. Are you extremely confident you’ll never get sick one day too?

Wrestle with this for a minute: if all of someone’s material needs were met and all the members of their community were fed, clothed, housed, and dignified, why would they need to join a gang? Why would they need to risk their lives selling drugs or breaking into buildings? If mental healthcare was free and was not stigmatized, how many lives would that save?

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Howard Stern and the Village People both fell for a satire article about the cop from the Village People

The Hard Times is a satire site in the vein of The Onion, but with content focused more on hipsters, punk rock, and video game culture. And it is a national fucking treasure that I will defend until my dying day (because I feel personally attacked by every article, and it's great).

Case in point: on June 7th, the Hard Times ran a piece with the headline, "Village People Kick Out Police Officer." Which is funny. Because the country is in the midst of a massive(ly long overdue) revolt against police officers. And also the Village People.

But apparently the Village People did not find it so amusing. Their PR rep reached out to Hard Times founder Matt Saincome, threatening legal action for what, in their interpretation, was clearly a defamatory smear piece and not, ya know, satire. "No one can kick the cop out (sic) Village People because he's an owner of Village People," wrote the PR rep. That'll learn 'em!

Saincome responded in the only reasonable way: "Prepare for the most scorched earth encounter you have ever had, motherfucker. You will rue the day you began this lifelong blood feud."

Somehow, Howard Stern's co-host Robin Quiver got wind of this, and tried to get Howard Stern all riled up about it. Another staffer did eventually chime in to mention that it was probably from a satire site, although Robin Quiver continued to insist that it was just, "hanging out with the rest of the news." Read the rest

Creator of the Punisher is organizing a Black Lives Matter benefit to reclaim the skull symbol from police

Writer Gerry Conway has been vocal for years about the misappropriation of the Punisher, a vigilante murderer superhero he created in 1974 when he wrote Amazing Spider-Man #129:

It's disturbing whenever I see authority figures embracing Punisher iconography because the Punisher represents a failure of the Justice system. He's supposed to indict the collapse of social moral authority and the reality some people can't depend on institutions like the police or the military to act in a just and capable way. […] Whether you think the Punisher is justified or not, whether you admire his code of ethics, he is an outlaw. He is a criminal. Police should not be embracing a criminal as their symbol.

Unfortunately, Conway's insistence on what's plainly obvious for anyone who's actually familiar with the Punisher has not stopped the character from becoming a symbol of fascism, proudly worn by law enforcement agents who probably shouldn't be boasting about their love of fascism.

Now, with protests against police brutality raging across the country, Conway is taking another approach:

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