We've all had mixed experiences with the constabulatory. Some time or other the police have come to our aid or saved our heinies, and most of us have been given at least one youthful break by a cop who probably could have had us hung from the yardarm. Almost all of us, on the other hand, can also relate a tale or two about run-ins with police who have exhibited all the charm, grace and discernment of an armed gas station attendant on the third day of a killer heat wave.
KRCC and Poor Richard's
Have you ever had any run-ins with local police? Only over traffic-related matters. I do my best to avoid cops totally because I have trouble with people who assume their uniforms give them authority over me. Besides, these days most cops are younger than me and I especially hate it when a kid in uniform cops a 'tude with me. I was pulled over in Manitou once for going five-to-ten miles per hour over the speed limit on my motorcycle, and he radiated such hostility that I was genuinely afraid of him. I knew it would go very bad for me if I matched him attitude for attitude, that it would take very little to set him off.
What should the city do about rogue cops? Cops have a stressful job. Some probably need therapy every now and then. Rogue cops, though, should be weeded out, not protected. Cops like that make over-reaction on both sides more likely.
Near North End
union stage hand, photojournalist, bookstore manager
Have you ever had any run-ins with local police? Late one Saturday night I was doing some photography on the plaza next to the Holly Sugar building at Pikes Peak and Cascade. This security guard came up, ordered me to leave, and began shoving me backwards. I was about to poke him a good one when I noticed in the nick of time that he had his gun half-drawn. I called the police, and they sent a squad car over. I was taken aback, however, when the responding officer knew information about me that I hadn't communicated -- things like my wife's name and where she worked, and community projects I'd been involved in. It was obvious that the police had some kind of dossier on me, even though I had no police record and had never been arrested. It was an unforgettable lesson in police power and authority.
Have you had any good experiences with cops? As a photojournalist, I've covered a lot of demonstrations involving farm workers, civil rights, abortion rights, war protests and the like. Some of the participants at these affairs could be very inflammatory and knee-jerk. Many is the time I was able to have a more intelligent conversation with the cops there to keep a lid on things than I was able to have with the demonstrators protesting the injustice.
What should the city do in the case of rogue cops? They should be subject to reprimand, loss of job or even jail to the same extent as anybody else who oversteps the bounds.