This kind of systemic fuckery is exactly why ACAB has been and remains accurate. If cops with moral fortitude are removed from their posts for standing up to cops without it, then the system is selecting for bastard cops and those that allow bastard cops to thrive.


This is accurate. I don’t subscribe to ACAB, but I see the logic in it, and this certainly seems to be the case for it. The only time we hear about “good” cops are in these cases.

The fallacy I see, and the reason I don’t subscribe to ACAB is that any “good” cops that exist that aren’t in this situation (of being fired), go pretty much unnoticed by everyone. Nothing they do is newsworthy. The other, more personal reason that I have to not subscribe to ACAB, is that doing so would shatter the faith I have in our entire society to govern itself. IMO, one of the first and most important parts of living in a functional society is the laws and the enforcement of those laws. Police are the front line of enforcement, on the streets with the innocent and perpetrators alike. If they’re unable or unwilling to do the job as detailed in the laws of the society, all criminal cases are suspect, both in what’s prosecuted and very importantly, what isn’t.

If they’re intentionally not bringing in criminal law breakers, and intentionally bringing in otherwise innocent persons (at least in regards to any criminal charges), then the courts, where Justice actually happens, can’t effectively do their job at ensuring that criminals are put into detention facilities, and innocent people are released.

Cops make mistakes. They’re humans like everyone else, and the court should be keeping them in check. Making sure that when they charge an innocent person, that person is set free, and when they charge someone who is guilty, they convict them accurately with all the punishments required as dictated by the laws, written by the government which we all vote for.

Government and the laws on the books, all mean nothing if there’s no way to enforce those laws. The police are just the first step in criminal cases, without them doing the job, the whole system is useless.


1: “Expect the best and people will rise to the occasion.”

2: Good police officers like in OP are fired every month. 800,000 cops in the US… there is a police department trying to fire their good cop(s) RIGHT NOW! Why plaster ACAB everywhere and risk discouraging them?

I do imagine many would argue even the fired officer (Taisyn Crutchfield) was a bastard but that gets tough to defend.

btw here’s the footage of the incident


No. Fuck the police.



I struggle with this myself, and I choose to look at it as a semantics issue. The point of ACAB is to highlight that bad cops are empowered by colleagues and departments who let them do that they want. It’s a condemnation of tolerating bad apples vs pruning them out. I think of it like the Nazi example – when 4 people happily sits down at the table with 6 overt Nazis, you end up with 10 Nazis. ACAB is condemning those 4 as enablers of the 6 and allowing them to persist.

So I agree, but I don’t think literally every cop is a bastard. There are some good people who are trying to use their position to change things while still helping the public – just like Crutchfield. It’s not worth the effort to specifically exclude them though because that’s not where change is going to come from. The good cops are fighting a losing battle. We’ll only see things fixed if there’s sweeping federal legislation to reform police.

And in that sense, ACAB is useful. It reminds people that these aren’t just a couple cops that needing weeding out, its entire systems and institutions. We can’t solve this by addressing only a few bad apples – we need to change the whole bunch. Now it might be that the only ones we throw away are the bad ones, and the rest of the bunch proves capable of realizing the problem. But you still have to address the whole bunch at once.


Maybe I can help you understand while I feel ACAB despite letting myself have cop friends. The problem is one of elevated responsibility.

Imagine a gang for a minute. Ever seen any good gang documentaries? A lot of “members” of the less insane gangs aren’t really criminals in that they just hang out and hang around. But they are in one of two real buckets, buckets that we can judge them for.

  1. They are fully aware of many of their members are criminals, maybe even rapists and murderers, but take no action about it because they feel they can’t OR EVEN because “I’ve never actually met the members who did this. Our group is really big”.
  2. They are not fully aware that the gang they are part of commits crimes. In this case, they are being willfully ignorant.

For police it’s the same. I live in an area where the cops are generally not going around abusing minorities for the hell of it. The breakdown here are the “Thin Blue Line folks” (bullet point number 2 above), and the “we’re good cops, so why would we go start trouble elsewhere?” (bullet point number 1 above) folks.

If I’m part of a subsidiary of a large organization, and my parent organization is allows for criminal enterprise, I am either complicit or fighting it.

Now the one exception I would allow for ACAB are cops who try to walk the fine line between forcing change and not getting fired. I may not agree with them in their passivity, but if in full honesty they believe they are being the most positive force for change they can without no longer being a force for change at all, I suppose I can give them that. I don’t believe I’ve met a cop like that in person in my entire life.


I can definitely appreciate your words here. I can’t fault anyone for subscribing to ACAB. I would agree that the whole institution should be torn apart and rebuilt from the ground up. I don’t realistically think that will happen, but I would support it if it did.

I understand your viewpoint, I’m not sure I agree with everything, but I understand it.

The underlying issues that caused the problem described in the OP, are definitely a good argument for ACAB. You have also made good points, and it’s all valid. I won’t argue the facts, and I don’t have enough information to do so. I’m about as far from police paying attention to me as you can get. I live in an extremely rural area; it’s quiet, and I work from home. The regional police service drives through my little town maybe two or three times a day (from what I’ve heard) and I almost never even see the police unless something happens… Like someone finds that a house is being used to cook drugs, which has unfortunately happened, not far from me, or there’s a major fire or something, and they’re directing traffic.

The last time I even saw police in my area was a few months ago when they were surrounding a farmers field just outside of town. I can only guess that they chased someone into the field and lost them; I truly have no idea.


cops who try to walk the fine line between forcing change and not getting fired. I may not agree with them in their passivity, but if in full honesty they believe they are being the most positive force for change they can without no longer being a force for change at all,

What’s wild to me is that this is a movie trope that cops still perpetuate today. Dirty and corrupt cops and departments continue to exist, and just like in the movies you have some genuinely good people who are trying to do the best they can and change things.

I wonder almost if we need a campaign to extol that rare virtuous cop archetype so that more officers actually try to be like that. Either way we need sweeping legislation and cleaning house. Keep funding levels the same but mandate better cop pay + higher training requirements so that we have high quality people applying. Good jobs attract good people.


I think you link to some seriously deep facts about police. The irony is that in many areas (northeast) a lot of cops were Irish because they couldn’t get other jobs (racism), and they were neither particularly respected nor particularly free to be abusive. Boston, however, now has a fairly large police-racism problem against black people.

There is the fact that being a cop isn’t the best job, and the bigger fact that trying to be a good job basically dials the shit factor to 11. I guess it’s like the military in that it takes a particular kind of people to be a cop.

Think about it this way. You spend your days ruining others’ day over “the rules”, and sometimes you need to use force to lock a human in a cage. Not out of any weakness, but I couldn’t do that. I have too much sympathy for people. Physically overpowering somebody that just wants to get away and to safety. That’s just a non-starter for someone with my disposition.

So how do you get people like me who care about everyone into the police force? I feel like pay wouldn’t even be the start of it. I wouldn’t be a cop if it were the last job on earth.


I think a lot of it is going to come down to a cultural change. The toxic culture that currently exists needs to be replaced by one that is compassionate and focused on service. You shouldn’t be locking a human in a cage unless it is absolutely necessary for the well-being of others. I couldn’t lock away someone with a drug charge or who was provoked into a fight, but I can lock away someone who was actively and purposely hurting people. Mercy needs to be granted where possible, but it cannot come at the cost of the innocent.

At the end of the day, someone still submits to the police when arrested, whether willingly or because they’re already handcuffed. Handcuffs should be used sparingly, as a way to stop violent individuals until they calm down. Otherwise, or after the person is calm, they shouldn’t be forcibly detained. I think 90% of people would quietly go through the process, and that it could go as high as 99% if people had faith the process was quick and fair.

We will still need prisons for individuals who refuse help or remain violent. But the footprint of that could easily shrink by an order of magnitude. Most cases could be resolved with mandatory rehabilitation and mental healthcare. And as we have a more equitable and compassionate system, hopefully we’ll stop needing prisons entirely.

This is all very idealistic, but if we’re able to make reforms and changes to policing, we should be able to implement a lot of what I described. In short though, to address your point, we need police to be public guardians more than law enforcement.


I think a lot of it is going to come down to a cultural change

Which is where, to me, police needs to be largely defunded. You will never have a compassionate organization where seizure-by-force is a common occurence… but there are times where seizure-by-force is strictly necessary. IMO, that should be the only purpose left to police, emergent defence or executing a high-risk warrant. Everything civil should be reconciled to an unarmed department that specialized in compassionate management. As silly as it sounds, “unarmed cops” will save lives, possibly even cop lives.

Mercy needs to be granted where possible, but it cannot come at the cost of the innocent

It’s hard to get 2 people to see eye to eye on the purpose of criminal justice. For me, utilitarianism is the only valid reason to deprive a person of liberty: a criminal is still not a lesser human. Either the punishment needs to exhibit a proportional deterrent effect or imprisonment needs to be protecting society from a person who will do worse than kidnap a person for years on end. And while I’m probably more frugal on my sense of justice than you show to be, there are those who think the suffering IS the intent.

This is all very idealistic

But is it? Our crime rate is only about the world average and our violent crime rate on the low end, but our incarceration rate isn’t just the highest in the world, it’s at least 15% higher than the second-highest. Statistically speaking, we could pardon everyone but repeat murderers and still maintain a low crime rate. Heaven forbid we then turn that $80b (about $46k per current prisoner) into a welfare and prevention fund.


Yeah it might be better at this point to just build something new instead of trying to reform the police so extensively. Make them the enforcement arm and cut funding while we replace the overall thing with a much healthier system.

I generally agree with you though, although I’ll admit I probably want punishment from time to time on cases I hear about. Those are a pretty small fraction though of all cases, which is important to keep in mind. Our justice system seems to be designed around that small number of high profile cases. It should be the opposite, where we design the system for the majority of non violent crimes.


I’ll admit I probably want punishment from time to time on cases I hear abou

In fairness, a part of civilization’s responsibility is separating our baser instincts from what we actually do. What we want is not always what is right, even in cases a majority of us want it. That’s why the US’s Founding Fathers spoke of “Tyranny of the Majority”.

I’ve been a victim of crimes before. No violent ones, but there was significant damage for the 20-year-old me who had to deal with the aftermath. My knee-jerk reaction was “I hope they catch the bastard and throw the book at him”. But society isn’t about making our urge for revenge a reality. In fact, justice was historically often the opposite, assigning judgement consequences so that a mob of people with knives and rope would not.

I worked in the search area for the Marathon Bomber. He went to the same college my mother did when she was his age. There was a lot of emotion around that situation as you might imagine. But one thing struck me. Many of the victims’ families pushed against the death penalty because in Massachusetts we don’t really believe in it. We can be above our desire for revenge, seeking instead for the betterment of everyone.

Our justice system seems to be designed around that small number of high profile cases. It should be the opposite, where we design the system for the majority of non violent crimes.

I would say right now it’s designed around solving crime by locking everyone in cages for a long time. As a society, we have a bad habit of “us/them” attitudes with various classes, and criminals are one of them. Once empathy dies, we cannot fathom “what’s fair” and instead focus on “who is that person trying to be soft on crime?” The person advocating for the criminal is seen as “Just as bad”. Hell, just look at the way people think of criminal defense attorneys. Nobody seems to consider that their job is trying to prevent injustice and to keep people from being locked in cages for extended periods of times.


Well said, especially about defense attorneys. A fair justice system requires that someone provide a legal defense for someone who may appear clearly guilty. Likewise, there has to be a prosecutor to provide an opposing argument. In weighing those two arguments against each other, we can understand what really happened, and that’s what both the defense and plaintiff should want.

Revenge is certainly an interesting thing. I think it has its place, and it’s important to know when that is and isn’t. If someone hurts a loved one of mine deliberately and has no remorse, I don’t think I could advocate for forgiveness. If it was an accident or they felt remorse though, I don’t think I’d be capable of vengeance. It would be like murdering someone in cold blood at that point.

Either way, even if they were unrepentant, that’s what we have the justice system for. The person who is wronged probably won’t act rationally until they’ve made their peace with it. We can probably tie that to several global conflicts, where there is no independent arbiter. They just take irrational actions that lead to more violence.


You have a very naive understanding of the function that police performs in our society - I’m going to go ahead and guess that you are not aware of the history of policing? Spoiler alert - it is drenched in the ideology of white supremacism and the politics of colonialism and class warfare.


I’m not concerned with the history of it, so much as their intended task in current times.

There’s a LOT of things that have horrific history, just look at America in general. There are no living persons from those years still living, though we’re still working on getting rid of the mentalities that some had, from current generations. They’re generally a minority


I’m not concerned with the history of it,

Then you have a serious problem - if you don’t want to understand the history of policing, you will never understand their function now because it’s still the exact same function.

Rootiest, avatar

bastard cops and those that allow bastard cops to thrive

They are the same picture.


Kinda the whole core of “ACAB”, really. 🤌🏼


On Mondays, The Majority Report they had a NYC whistleblower police officer who leaked recordings he made of higher ups admitting to quotas which are illegal.

Many of these abuses happen because unwritten quotas that officers must maintain or they will be disciplined. They must enforce overbearing laws against minority populations to get their quotas and if they enforce them on white populations then they are written up.… the interview about 24:30 into this video but the whole episode is always good to watch.


To anyone living in NY the thought of there not being quotas is laughable.

Like ok Mr.Fuzz tell me again how my seeing cops posted up everywhere trying to catch speeders near the end of every month, but not any other time is somehow not them trying to fulfill their quotas… Better yet tell me how the cop that pulled me over and then lied to the judge about what happened was not about quotas when it also just so happened to be at the end of the month…

Cops are wealth protectors first and tax collectors second. Nowhere does “serve the public interest” play into the roles they’re given by the masters.


Also the standard cop defense of not having quotas isn’t hey can write as many tickets as they want. Which explicitly doesn’t deny the existence of a quota.


And yet… NOTHING was done.

Are you fucking angry enough yet?

Nah, didn’t think so. Same as it ever was, then. 🤷🏼‍♂️


I got pulled over for 5km over the limit once in Toronto. The cop was brand new and he even told me that he had to get his quota. 25 dollar fine as well as a victim surcharge fee on top.

I didn’t even bother fighting it, my time was worth more than the court time wasted with that one.


Look a little deeper next time. Most areas allow for online refutations, and are far cheaper than in-person disputes by court.

Don’t just roll over. That’s the first step. ✊🏽


This was 12 years ago. I had to line up and take a ticket then wait to be called to dispute a parking ticket.



Fedizen, (edited )

we should get her reinstated and get the guy who fired her fired. This is a mission to the Lemmy community.

Edit: apparently she’s already back to work (see reply). Mission accomplished. Good job team.


According to the article she was never fired, but she was on administrative leave for six months and has been reinstated.

When her lawyer announced the lawsuit she was no present because she was out on patrol


I refuse to change my opinion about all of law enforcement over the isolated actions of a few good apples.


I mean, this is literally a prime example of why people insist (correctly) that ALL cops are bad. Because if they’re good for 3 seconds, they get fired or chased out.

GladiusB, avatar

And won’t get hired anywhere else. It’s fucked up that people can cancel someone else with just firing them.


Maybe that’s the real problem the fired cops clearly did the right thing or else they would have gotten suspended with pay.

GladiusB, avatar

It wouldn’t surprise me


this validates your opinion. the good apple has been thrown out by all the other apples, lest it unspoil the whole barrel. it’s a self-healing, antifragile system designed to perpetuate abuse and lawlessness.


You cant be a cop and be a good person.

They are fundamentally opposed like matter and antimatter. and like matter/antimatter, they annihilate eachother on contact.

If you are a good person, and a cop, You will either quickly end up forced to quit/fired as you take a stand against the institutional corruption, casual racism, ethical violations, abuse of people, and more… Or your fellow cops end up arranging your death.

this is why police agencies have gone to court to fight for the right to NOT higher qualified candidates who know the law, who know how to behave, etc etc.

Cause they don’t want respectable cops.

They want under educated highschool bully types who are quick to get down with the corruption if it means they can wax their Authoraween on the poor unsuspecting public.


In corrupt systems being corrupt isn’t an option; it’s mandatory.

A good example of the cadet to pig pipeline is padding overtime. Whenever you see a cop charged with anything, one of the charges will inevitably be “theft of public funds” or some such. That’s padded overtime. But now imagine you’re honest on your timesheet. You look like the laziest cop now.

Same thing for arrests, tickets, or any metric used to gauge performance.


They also love to pick up arrests near the end of their shifts so they can spend hours of milking overtime doing paperwork at your expense.


Read “Power of the Powerless” by Václav Havel

pomodoro_longbreak, avatar

Exactly. I’m sure there were nice roving horsemen out on the steppes, but they were still with the pillagers.

be_excellent_to_each_other avatar

Article here:

A month later, police responded to a call regarding Towns’ two children, one of whom was upset over their father’s recent death at the hands of law enforcement. According to the reports, one of the colleagues allegedly put one of the son’s face near a cactus-like plant. Sixteen-minute body camera footage released by the department in June shows Crutchfield subtly shoving the officer, going back and forth with one of the people at the scene.

“Officer Taisyn Crutchfield fortunately followed state-wide police training and intervened to de-escalate the situation. Officer Crutchfield deserved a commendation for her swift and heroic action, avoiding needless violence,” a press release from Crutchfield’s attorney said, the outlet reported. “Instead, she was relieved of duty and punished. Our lawsuit is about righting the wrong that Officer Crutchfield has suffered from.”


“The Pasadena Police Department proudly serves the residents of Pasadena with honor and integrity, and is proud of its diversity throughout all ranks of the Department.”

Like, this fuckin bullshit, “we’re proud of our diversity” shit—it’s so besides the fuckin point that it’s more of an insult than anything.

“Black family firebombed in their homes in the middle of the night by mob of white cops who called themselves ‘The White Knights.’”

Press release: “we have black cops!”

Fuck you. Fuck you fuckin pigs. Goddamn

fmstrat, (edited )

Yes I know Google exists, but how hard is it to include a link with a post? (Not to OP, but to origin).

Does this happen due to quick screenshot and share on mobile?


It’s bad, but more nuanced than an image headline:

According to the reports, one of the colleagues allegedly put one of the son’s face near a cactus-like plant. Sixteen-minute body camera footage released by the department in June shows Crutchfield subtly shoving the officer, going back and forth with one of the people at the scene.

“Officer Taisyn Crutchfield fortunately followed state-wide police training and intervened to de-escalate the situation.

Haven’t watched the video yet, but it’s bad enough without sensationalizing.

EDIT Video summary: Younger brother with anger issues in public after father killed by police. Older brother (who seems more calm) confronting him. Poor mom trying to deescalate.

First officer acts well, tries to defuse. Second officer arrives and immediately begins to detain.

The cactus was all along the wall where detention occurred. The “shoved into cactus” could just be a product of the environment, could be purposeful, angles don’t really show unfortunately, but the actions of officer 2 seem off. When moving the suspect away from the wall he briefly puts his hand near his throat. This could be training, I am not familiar enough with procedure, but none of the other officers do it.

Suspects suitably angry but compliant after being placed in cars.

The deescalation by the pictured officer happened after the boys were in the cars. She attempts to push officer 2 away from the mother after he says the suspects were agresive with officers. This leads me to believe there is a history with officer 2. Unfortunately for her, her action was very late, and was physical against another officer who in that moment was not being aggressive. Another officer separates them and gets them both away from the mother.

Officers (2) were in the wrong and not deescalating properly, but have also likely been conditioned to a dangerous area. Not an excuse, but still a fact that will be considered I’m sure.

Edit 2 I encourage everyone to watch the video. It’s long and boring, but gives good perspective into how most of these cases go. Bad behavior happens because stuff like this is so nuanced and trained from the top down. Its usually not the big things that breed it.


It looks like a lot of this comes down to who was where and when. Officer 2 seems like the “bad cop” that Officer 1 should’ve chastised, and then Crutchfield arrived after the fact and was upset with Officer 2, likely per 1’s testimony – if I’m understanding correctly.

If it was just Officer 1 and Officer 2 that were responding at first, I think this touches on a different issue actually. Officer 1 can’t properly restrain Officer 2 if 1 also has to handle an unruly suspect. If both of them have their hands full, one officer can’t keep the other in check. Perhaps this highlights that in an ideal situation, you have at least 1 extra officer than is necessary for the scenario. The extra officer would then be free to intervene and stop bad cops.


Oh snap! I remember that! And all the collateral damage.


Wait wait wait. Are u insinuating C.Dorner wasn’t as holy good as Jesus Christ?


No, but since you mention it, are you?


Well, actually yes. Because Dorner was even holier!

ramenshaman, (edited )

That’s terrible but I admit that I stopped scrolling b/c she’s cute AF.

Edit: wow this was pretty polarizing. I checked back and I was at +4, then maybe an hour later I’m at -1.


Time and a place dude.


That’s fair. I accept my fate.

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