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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A US cop made an Irish "Blue Lives Matter" shirt that accidentally said "Black Lives Matter"

This is one of my personal favorite bits of Schadenfreude in the world.

This photo was taken by Karen Reshkin at the 2016 Milwaukee Irish Fest, and depicts a somewhat Irish-inspired riff on the standard Blue Lives Matter fascist fashion chic. Except no one explained to this idiot cop how translations work, especially when it comes to idioms.

A blogger named the Geeky Gaeilgeoir breaks this hilariously ironic failure with eloquent detail, and a much firmer grasp of the Irish language than I have. But essentially, this mean translated individual word of "Blue Lives Matter" without considering context or grammar. "Gorm" is indeed "blue." But "chónaí" means "lives" with a short "i," as in, "I live here." And "ábhar" means "matter," yes, but in the noun form — like a subject matter, or a material, as opposed to the verb of "mattering."

The syntax is all wrong, too. And that helps with the absurdity. Essentially, this shirt doesn't say anything.

But the real chef-kiss moment is with the word "Blue." "Gorm" is, technically, correct…in a certain context:

When color is used to describe a person in Irish, it typically refers to hair color. For example An bhean rua: The red-haired woman.

There are exceptions, of course: For example, Na fir bhuí (“The orange/yellow men”) is used to refer to members of the Orange Order because of the color of their sashes. But “blue/gorm” would not be used to refer to police officers as a group. That’s an American thing.

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Florida driver caught by cops for using James Bond-style license plate

A driver from Orange County Florida was dinged by the cops for using a very slick-looking device to obscure his license plate while using a toll road. It would have been the perfect crime, except for one thing: when the driver worked his license plate magic, he failed to notice that there was a police car rolling right up on his back bumper. Read the rest