Here is disturbing footage of an American police officer beating a civilian, in front of other police officers.
"Oh, that's just a rogue bad apple police officer beating up a civilian whilst we do nothing to intervene," the other police officers must be thinking.
And, sadly, one can quite imagine an English police officer doing just the same thuggery, whilst their colleagues - usually so very quick to arrest for "public order offences" and "breaches of the peace" - happily look on.
A uniformed police force is better than the alternative of a plain-clothed "secret" police force.
Vesting coercive powers in trained professionals is better than having private armies on the streets.
And public order situations can be very stressful (though that is why expect professional police officers not to just become thugs when under pressure).
But all this said, and for all the good work certain officers do with their powers of coercion and arrest, the people who are police officers share one important quality.
And that is this: ultimately, police officers are the people who want to put on uniforms so as to coerce members of the public.
It is right to be wary of such people - however much they loathe and evade and obstruct being scruitnised and their motives being questioned.
This is not to deny that certain good works can only be achieved by uniformed individuals exercising coercive powers.
But, it must be remembered that police officers only exercise their coercive powers, and wear their uniforms, on our behalf - even if many officers (especially the ones who anonymously blog, comment, and tweet) seem to forget this.
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