by Justin Gardner, The Free Thought Project:
As video recordings of police encounters have risen exponentially over recent years, we’ve witnessed a wide range of behaviors in cops. While some do act nobly — such as saving a life or de-escalating a situation — far too many cops behave in inexplicable, even barbaric, ways that result in rights violations, brutality or death.
An interesting report is providing quantifiable insight into this phenomenon. The Pew Research Center conducted a survey of “7,917 sworn police and sheriff’s officers in 54 departments with at least 100 officers.”
The results, while predictable, provide rather troubling data for the law enforcement profession.
About one-in-five police officers nationally (21%) say their job nearly always or often makes them feel angry and frustrated – feelings that are linked to more negative views toward the public. These frequently angry, frustrated officers also are more likely than their colleagues to support more physical or aggressive policing methods…”
Cops who feel angry and frustrated:
“are twice as likely as all other police to say officers have reason to distrust most people”
“have become more callous toward people since taking this job”
“are more likely to have physically struggled or fought with a suspect in the past month”
The mental states of these officers have real effects on the public, which they are sworn to ‘protect and serve.’ But how can angry, frustrated cops protect and serve a community when, according to the survey, almost half of them don’t even believe the people share their values and beliefs?
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