Letter to the Editor: To the Compliant

In 1930’s Germany the Jews were compliant and showed absolute deference and respect. They ended up in the ovens.

Our way of life here is supposed to be different. Police are supposed to be working for us. We pay their wages. We are their employers. And yet we all too often do not receive the respect we are due. If we look, talk & act as part of the club, we are generally treated well and appropriately, though even this is not always the case. One should remember the old maxim of “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”. The Police are ALWAYS subject to question by their employers. On the otherhand We are all only subject to question by the police under certain circumstances and with all due deference.

Far too many officers don’t believe this and do not act accordingly. Of those officers that do believe in proper deference, they all too often link arms with those that don’t and form the “Blue Wall” and protect the “ best of all possible worlds” illusion.

I was in Junior High School when I had my first interaction with a “law enforcement officer.” At that time the Sheriff of Sacramento County was allowed to create and enforce whatever laws he chose to create. So, we had a curfew, though there was no discernable valid reason for one.

I was walking home after studying with a classmate. It was approximately 15 minutes before curfew and I was 20 some feet from my doorway. The Sheriff’s Deputy rolled up, abruptly stopped, got out of his vehicle and proceeded to throw me up against the vehicle and give me the third degree based on the clear evidence of wrong doing; being a teenager while walking at night. Oh, by the way I’m white.

Unfortunately, over the course of 70 years, my encounters with “Peace Officers” can be counted on maybe five fingers. OTOH encounters with “Enforcement Officers” have been too many to remember. Unfortunately, these officers, all too often, also seem to slip into ‘Judge, Jury and Executioner” mode too easily. Once there, it affects how they act and react with the Public they swore to serve.

Hal Hein
East Quincy