Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.

Voltaire

The Tap Dancing Fiddler

“Its true.

“I am a killer.

“I am a trained killer.

“I am a professional killer.

“I work with many professionally trained killers.”    

-Anonymous American Law Enforcement Officer

More about this quote later….

With 5 simple words, “…the killers that we are”, The Mayor of Los Angeles effectively put the lives of 10,000 police officers in the city he governs in more danger than they have ever been in the history of law enforcement.  

What he failed to realize is that he put the people that live in the city in equal in danger.  

This danger will be a direct result from the actions at the top of the rank structure.  It will foster a police force that is systematically muted, stripped of certain absolutely necessary powers, actively unsupported and loudly shunned.   

Needless to say, this punch in the gut to the modern day American Cop has created a power vacuum on the streets.  Gangs, drug dealers, thieves and others of the such know and feel the current inaction by police.  They most likely will not be stopped by police anymore.  They know that their victims know police both cannot and will not do much. 

They.

The bad people. 

They know. 

They hold all the power now. 

The proof is in the current nationwide statistics. 

Thank you, Mr. Mayor. 

The mayor did not make a mistake when he uttered these words. It was a politically calculated statement on a perfect platform.  The statement was molded in such a way that it allowed just enough potential for misinterpretation.  What a perfect setup for the mayor to backdoor and wiggle away from his own words when the pressure came.  

He knew his police force would be angry.  He knew it was wrong.  This has been clearly shown on the days following his speech.  He has apologized profusely, while hidden in the back seat of his Suburban, every time he passed a police officer guarding his home.

Bravo, Mr. Mayor.  Bravo. 

You knew the backlash from police officers would come.  However, just like an attorney at a jury trial blurts out an exclamation he knows will be objected then sustained by the judge, the attorney knows the damage will be done.  The judge can instruct the jury to strike the actions from their notes, but the attorney knows the controversial exclamation is already seared into the brains of the jury. 

He knew exactly what he was doing.  He played the BLM movement like a fiddle as he tap danced on the tattered & tired backs of his police force.  

Government Violence: A Necessary Power

Back to that opening quote….

“Its true.

“I am a killer.

“I am a trained killer.

“I am a professional killer.

“I work with many professionally trained killers.”

-Anonymous American Law Enforcement Officer

To the average citizen, it seems harsh.  But we have to feed reality to the people we govern and allow them to make their own decisions based on those truths.  Truth is a moral responsibility.  If the mayor won’t provide his citizens with truth, then perhaps I can here.  

Steven Pinker is a Canadian-American cognitive psychologist and popular science author.  In his book The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined, Pinker makes a point of the importance of government’s control on violence.  As he explains in an interview with New Scientist about the government’s influence on the decline of violence:

I don’t think there is a single answer. One cause is government, that is, third-party dispute resolution: courts and police with a monopoly on the legitimate use of force. Everywhere you look for comparisons of life under anarchy and life under government, life under government is less violent.”

In his book and more compactly stated in this interview, Pinker states that the government has a monopoly over violence.  They control who can and cannot use violence.  An act of violence such as the death penalty in the United States of America, for example, is one form of the government’s rights to use violence over it’s population.  This government controlled violence, he surmises, is a necessary phenomenon in order maintain a level of peace amongst a society.  

Whether you agree with Steven Pinker’s theory that violence is declining in today’s society or not, a few thing are certain.  Governments around the world and throughout history have always used this power over its population.  Some of these governments have been assigned by the people, while others have been assumed by individuals in totalitarian form.  

Among another truism that stems from Steven Pinker’s theory, is that police are an entity of the government who are absolutely, explicitly and undeniably trained to use force.  For many, this reality is a hard pill to swallow.   People who become police officers are in fact trained how to kill another human being.  

Many synonyms for “kill” have been inserted to soften up the message for the masses.  Police academies often train recruits to use the phrase, “I shot to stop the suspect’s actions” rather than use the word “kill”.  While not wrong in and of itself, it creates this bubble that is supposed to set a type of parental censorship.  To the best of my ability, what I can come up with is that this bubble is designed to safeguard the people from any form of shock.  

But softening up reality diverts from the truth.  With the violent truth finally being exposed on YouTube and other internet platforms, the public seems to be outraged at a reality that has been there from the beginning.  In the same way helicopter-parents shelter their children, who then go into adulthood ill prepared for the realities of how unfair life can be, the general public has been sheltered about the realities of police using deadly force. 

It seems to have reached a tipping point.  The bando has been plastered for decades and our society is top heavy with years of layering with these un-truths and softer messages.  Those plastering that heavy bando at the top consist of bad politics and equally bad politicians.  

The comedic way politicians can never give a straight answer makes them synonymous with liars. Just like pathological liars who must live in society with other people, they have to keep lying in order to maintain their original narrative.  By disguising the truth, our politicians have setup our society for a cyclical pattern of lies and future exponential failure.  It’s just too bad that it all comes down on the good ones: our police force and the population’s innocent silent majority.   

“Killer Cops”: The Accuracy of the Signs

Homicide is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “one who kills a human being”.  Homicide is categorized by two types.  The first is justifiable homicide and the second is unjustifiable homicide, which has sub degrees of varying circumstantial murders.  

The type of murder a government entity, i.e., police or military, is trained to apply is justifiable homicide.  That is to say, when necessary to save a life or to prevent serious bodily injury.  I hope we can all agree that there are very bad people walking amongst us who will hurt other innocent people without a second thought.  Unless I am completely and utterly disillusioned, I believe we can all also agree that having a police force with the tools and authority to use deadly force and prevent innocent people from being hurt or killed by those bad people, is an important authority to have.   

The illegal use of this force under color of authority, albeit quite obviously criminal, holds a fine line between justifiable and unjustifiable homicide. This fine line treads on murky waters at best. 

Allow me to tread that murky water with a few wafts of my hand, in order to settle some of that the cloudy sediment.

Our governments use tax payer money to:

  • Build shooting ranges
  • Purchase firearms
  • Purchase ammunition
  • Train people on how to use those tools effectively

They train police recruits how to “stop” someones actions.  In other not-so-friendly terms, they train people how to affectively kill another human being.  

If you cringed at that last sentence, it is time to stop hiding from the truth simply because it feels better.  

The slogans on the signs people carried during the 2020 civil unrest outbreaks in the U.S. are absolutely true.  

Cops are killers.  They are professionally trained to be killers.  

The mayor was right.   

Cops are killers.  They are professionally trained to be killers.  

There is a misguided conjecture here though.  Instead of communicating truth, he controls the emotions of a misinformed public with impressively deceitful articulation.  He’s a huckster who is exceptional in his craft.  

What the mayor fails to communicate with the public is that this police force, which is filled with professionally trained killers, is also his a necessary force.  Police hold this great responsibility so that society can live relatively free from violence. At the very least, so that they can live freer than they would without them.  We only need to look at the atrocities in Seattle’s CHOP or Atlanta’s recent crime statistics to confirm the obvious.

This police force, filled with professionally trained killers, is also the mayor’s blankie when he sleeps at night.  

Good night, Mr. Mayor.  

Sleep well.  

We’ll continue to be your blankie.

We’ll continue to be parked outside of your home.  

We’ll continue to be…

“The Killers That We Are.”

The American Cop: Mirrors of Masochism

When cops look in the mirror.  They see themselves as helpers of the weak.  They see protectors of the innocent.  They see potential life-saving heroes.  They see the “good guy” in the movie.  They see an oxymoronic image of a peaceful-warrior to the community.  They see themselves as a group who brings calm to chaos and one who represents order, yet is simultaneously trained and willing to fight violently for justice.  

What they do not see in the mirror is a person who wants to bring pain to other people.  They do not see a person who wants to take the life of another human being.  They do not see a person who gets joy from the physical pain they can potentially inflict on others.  

There are no mirrors of masochism in the homes of The American Cop.  

No young man or woman ever stood in line for their police written exam and said to themselves, “I want to be a police officer so I can learn to be a trained killer.”  In the academy, firearm manipulations are taught in robotic fashion.  Recruits learn the fundamentals of shooting in a  very mechanical way.  The paper targets they shoot are faceless.  They shoot at simple silhouettes that don’t shoot back.  Nor do they yell in pain.  

Nor do they bleed.

Just like a society sheltered from the truth of what violent encounters look like and feel like to the average person, certain parts of the academy are designed with the same parental filter.  It goes without saying that this avoidance of reality can cause some serious issues when a police shooting takes place.  Even more importantly for our purposes here, it can cause delayed repercussions in the long term mental health of each individual officer.

What the mayor said about his officers, although true for all the reasons mentioned here, was hurtful to the image of the police.  It came at a particularly sensitive time.  Despite all of this, coppers are a hearty bunch.  

The bitter grumbles that followed in police cars across the city came with a sharp decline in morale.  Officers were stripped of everything from their pride, to their safety and even their money.  Although powerless, most cops took the higher road and kept a positive perspective.  It was the only thing they had control of.  

A deep sigh and a shoulder shrug never felt so satisfying.  

But what comes with this dual self identity of hero vs killer?  How is the average cop affected by the fact that their mortality sits next to death every time their uniform is donned?  How do they deal with the potential killer within themselves?

What comes with those heavy unseen stressors is a subconscious self-blame.  Suppression plagues The American Cop.  But they keep training and pushing forward in what they believe in.  Even with achy backs and while plagued by those scary cop-dreams, many police often speak about how they would never trade their job for any job in the world.  

That constant suppression surfaces in the form of depression, anxiety, PTSD, alcoholism, high blood pressure, stroke, and suicide.  Let alone all of the ailments that are pushed over the edge by stress alone!

Living a life dedicated to the readiness of taking a life is a burden beyond the badge.  

They do so in the hopes that they do not hesitate at the moment of truth.   If the time ever comes where a copper’s sights are aligned and their finger has pulled the slack off of the trigger,  we can only hope all of the training can be used to properly extinguish a life in order to save a life.

But why do cops push on?  Why do they continue despite personal deterioration of their health?  

As I visualize homes across the country, I see police officers putting on their uniforms with pride.  I see them in front of mirrors taking one last look at themselves.  While they don’t take joy using force in order to protect the innocent, they understand and accept the personal pains that await them in the future.  

While maybe it is true that there are no mirrors of masochism in the homes of The American Cop, 

I can say with confidence and with saddened eyes:

There are most certainly mirrors of masochism inside the hearts of The American Cop.


Remain aware of yourselves.  Be active in noticing the changes within you over the years.  Realize who you are becoming.  Embrace those who support you through it all.  And most importantly, look out for each other out there on the streets. 

-Tom Ludlow


(Follow-up coming soon: Mitigating the stress factors of public perception)