My Pat Robertson arrest and the idea of police self-interest

Regarding a critical attitude toward police and how the United $tates became prison state numero uno in the world percentage-wise, I remember going to a Pat Robertson talk as a reporter.

The cops led by Secret Service shed my scalp unnecessarily in arresting me in the press credentials line, but afterwards they made up a post-hoc rationalization that I had breezed by the phalanx of police on the ground floor of the hotel. (Recently I was under the impression for a year or two that “haunting videos” of the scalp shedding were kept by Secret Service. It appears that was another of my misunderstandings of the ole’ boys’ language.)

I don’t want to say that all the police were completely unreasonable all the time. In fact, the Ann Arbor News said that my story and the police story matched completely when the mayor doubted it was possible such a thing could have happened.

In some details this is an example where Amerikan story-tellers are not liable to get this right. Not to put words in their mouths, but one has to think, “could he have breezed by a phalanx of police if he wanted to?” Especially in an “agitated state”?

I made it upstairs and had stood in the press credentials line to get to the front when the police decided to come up and ask for ID. Why did they not ask at the door? Why was this just after I published a CIA document concerning Ann Arbor police?

In any case, most people are unable to think of any motivations for why police would not be completely neutral or apathetic at all times. True, life is mostly boring for cops and so apathetic is a better stereotype than what we see in Hollywood depictions of cops. However, there is such a thing as police self-interest. Very often arrests, additional false charges and strange depictions come after police misconduct.


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