Why Would Anyone Think ‘Contempt of Cop’ is a Good Idea?
Police officers apparently have a name for the actions taken by those who disrespect police officers and seem to be looking to provoke them: Contempt of Cop.
Every time I see a video of someone disrespecting a police officer — exercising “contempt of cop” — there’s always a question that immediately comes to mind: “Why do they think this would end well?”
I had breakfast recently at a neighborhood diner. While I enjoyed what tasted like a home-cooked meal, served far faster than I would have been able to prepare it all, I overheard a snippet of a conversation.
From what I could piece together, one of their staffers wasn’t able to report to work. The reason, apparently, was that she had been stopped by police the night before.
I couldn’t get a clear understanding of the reason for the stop. (And I didn’t really want to ask.) But a waitress was telling a waiter that the woman ended up being taken to jail.
“She was rude to the cops so they took her to jail,” the woman said.
Recently, I saw one of those viral videos of a woman being struck by police officers for refusing to cooperate.
Did the police get out of line? You can argue that all day.
But what I see in the majority of videos where police exercise physical force against someone is that the someone on the receiving end certainly seems to be out of line.
A 2009 essay in Time magazine claimed there’s a phrase in law enforcement that is widely known: “contempt of cop.”
Why would anyone who is rude, disrespectful or disobedient to a police officer possibly think that would end well?
They’re the ones with the civil authority. They’re the ones (though not possibly the only ones) with the firearms. They have the option, when they deem it necessary, to use force.
Granted, the objection often is they use too much force, even deadly force, when they shouldn’t.
But if you honestly believe they’re just looking for an excuse, why would you give them one?
Why would you think that would end well for you?
Chances are, I think, people who are blatantly disrespectful already know they’re in the wrong. So they hope they can cause a situation in provoking police to take the focus off their guilt.
If it were up to me, people who behaved that way would face several times the penalty they would have faced if they’d only have followed orders to begin with.
After all, for every person who exercises “contempt of cop,” they’re making those very officers that much more tense the next time they have to approach someone. And that someone could be you or a member of your family.
If I ever have an encounter with police, you can bet I want everyone to remain calm. I want it to go smoothly.
And if I feel an officer crosses some line, I’ll deal with that, you may be sure. But I’ll deal with the proper way: after the fact, through proper channels.
I certainly have no desire to escalate a situation when my potential adversary is the one presumed to have the law on his side.
Anything less, in my book, is just foolish.
I hope that waitress gets out of jail quickly. And I hope she’ll think about her actions a little more carefully the next time she decides to be rude to a police officer.
I bet she’ll have a lot easier go of it, too.