PostHeaderIcon Jack Booted Thugs

Recently in a comment section hereabouts, some disparaging remarks were made about the way Southern cops handled 'civil disobedience' by outside agitators, bussed into their cities to stir up racial unrest back in the early '60s. I was a peace officer myself in California back in the late '60s and early '70s. Oh, how our culture has changed since then. Please view these two short and profoundly contrasting recruitment videos at BoingBoing.

How utterly disgusting! Please notice the first one is from a modern Southern city, and the second one is from Newport Beach, CA. I'd say it is about time to drop the stereotype of racist Southerners and their cops. Now, I have lived for a few months twice in Newport Beach. Once in the mid '70s as an entrepreneur, and again in the early '80s, as the captiain of a $3M yacht. Both times, it was a laid back beach town, with no ghettos or much crime that I was aware of. It was totally safe to walk any street, at any time of the day or night. This was Beach Boy country, for Pete's sake!

What you see in the second, is the very reason I gave up the notion of making a career out of police work. We were 'Peace Officers' in the '60s, not 'Law Enforcement Officers.' There were no SWAT teams; we carried a six-shot revolver with 12 extra rounds, which rarely came out of our holster in the presence of a citizen. Our only 'special weapon' was a 12GA five-shot shotgun, kept locked up in the cruiser. Only the motorcycle officers ever wore boots. Citizens didn't get nervous at the sight of us; we were friendly and so were they. Both viewed our jobs as keepers of the peace, not agents of Big Brother trying to catch them committing an infraction.

When the profession started morphing into gung ho Jack Booted Thugs, I bailed out. I wanted no part of that mentality. As the years have passed, they have gotten more and more agessive, and less and less respectable. The Rodney King video was just the beginning, and YouTube today is filled with even more egregious examples. It has become embarrassing to admit I ever was a cop. Why do we put up with this nonsense? â—„Daveâ–º

9 Responses to “Jack Booted Thugs”

  • Excellent piece and posted. I lived in San Clemente from after the fall of Saigon until 1992. Had a boat in Dane Point and went diving as far north as Laguna Beach, but not Newport Beach.

    • Thanks, Brock. I lived for a time in Laguna Beach back in ’96. I went to hang out at Dana Point harbor often. A friend had a small sailboat docked there that he let me play with. Scuba diving was a huge part of my life, when I lived in the Seychelles Islands back in the late 60s. I was the closest thing to a dive shop, because I owned the only compressor on the island. Just to make you jealous, I even got to visit with Jacques Cousteau aboard the M/V Calypso there. 😉 â—„Daveâ–º

  • Greg says:

    …If that was a reaction to what I said… wasn’t quite what I meant. I meant that, back then, those images (whatever the context, done by whomever it was) were nastiness. I simply didn’t wish to see that happen again, to anyone, for any reason.

    That being said, awesome post 🙂

    • Greg says:

      Also, Dave, wow… the Newport one made me cringe for the exact same reasons that the images of the ’60s did (remember I haven’t actually delved into the history of it beyond high school textbooks 😉 ).

      Why on earth would a highlight of a police academy be “setting the dogs” on people? Also, was that guy with his hands on the trunk black? A long time ago, I would have seen that and thought Newport had the better police department (and it rather cool, too), but now, now I cringe at these extreme images. This is clearly not what the police are for, and these images should be shown as a “this is what we do as a last resort,” thing, not a “Oh isn’t it so cool to set the dogs on people and to headlock someone? And battering rams are the coolest things ever.” Sorry, but that one made me feel, not think, or maybe a bit of both 😉

  • Chris says:

    One department want to be peace keepers, and the other law enforcement thru the barrel of a gun. The actual departments probably in the end don’t operate much differently with the exception for the type of person they wish to attract to do the job. Sadly the type of person you put on the street is the type of peace you have kept.

    • Hi Chris. Thanks for stopping by. As kids, we used to play ‘cops and robbers,’ and it didn’t much matter which side you played on to enjoy the game. There is often a fine line between the street gangs and the police, as it takes a similar mindset to be attracted to either. The police are just better trained, disciplined, and equipped; but I suspect that the escalation in the violence and weaponry employed by the gangs, is them trying to keep up with the police power, not the other way round. When I was a cop carrying a revolver, the thugs were packing switchblades. Yeah, they occasionally cut each other, but at least innocent civilians were not getting caught in their crossfire. â—„Daveâ–º

  • Troy says:

    This mess came about in clear response to the demands made by we-the-sheeple. Every time there was the least thing to ruffle some feathers, groups of WTS would scream “there ought to be a law”. “The police have to protect us from this evil.”

    So, we got our “laws” and the police muscle to enforce them. Now, a few are finally waking up to the fact that, a society where everything is regulated by “laws” which are enforced by “police”, is, by definition, what is called A Police State. And, the “police” in such States are invariably “jack-booted thugs”. Who but a thug would want such a job?

    Now, WTS wail “but that is not what we really wanted.” To which I can only respond, next time (if there is such), try using a bit of rational analysis BEFORE you start your whining and bleating.


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