American Badge Betrayed: Now Available for Purchase
After several months of hard work, my book is finally available for the general public to purchase. This project means a lot to me, and I am hopeful that the general public receives it well. The book is available as an e-book right now for $9.99 and paperback books are available for $15.00 as a pre-sale.
These are the ballistic vests I wore every day for 24 years. Each vest had a service life of approximately six years. I always had a national ensign sewn over the chest plate that covered my heart. That flag was my flag. It served as a personal symbol of the principles I tried to honor and live by. To me, the flag embodied the whole purpose of wearing the armor and going out on the street. There was a flag on the sleeve of the uniform, but I felt it was just a decoration of the police department I worked for. Over the years I found most cops couldn’t give a damn about the flag on the uniform, or the oath we all swore to, for that matter. The flag on my vest was for my own personal integrity.
Once, another cop (who always displayed shamrocks on his costume) saw the flag on my vest and asked, “What the hell is that for?” If you have to ask, then you’ll never understand the answer. My white vest on the left was the one I wore first in 1987. This was long before 9/11 when patriotism became a fad. Flags on body armor are pretty commonplace now, just like the sleeve flag. Anybody can wear it. It’s another thing to live by it.
One cannot truly understand the police culture unless they are fully immersed in it as an officer themselves. An observer looking in from the outside will not be able to comprehend the convoluted matrix that is the police method of operation. If they can, it will take years to grasp the concepts of this esoteric organization. The public has never had the ability to understand the mindset that police officers have. Blatant police misconduct is frequently deemed as justifiable by politicians and leaders in law enforcement. The defense is often steeped in semantics with an elusive legal angle to support the justification. They present their flimsy defense to the public, which leaves citizens bewildered as the excuses defy human logic.
The way events are reported through the media seem only to further baffle one’s ability to understand. The citizens who observe clearly and unequivocally unjustifiable actions are presented with the same disingenuous excuses: “this is police procedure” or “the officer feared for his life”. The abundance of raw iPhone videos capturing police misconduct cannot be refuted, yet police command staff and district attorney’s continue to fall back to those previously utilized excuses that have always worked in the past. But the viewers of these videos are no longer dissuaded by these simple excuses anymore. How did we get to the point of justifying the execution of unarmed, non-threatening citizens? Presently, the police are having a much harder time explaining away and justifying police criminal conduct as a rational response. The system as it is doesn’t serve the police and it clearly doesn’t serve the public.
The culture creates an internal hostile environment that police officers become immersed in. A manifestation of this environment is the predominance of officers with dismal personal lives plagued by divorce and broken homes. The great misnomer is that a police career is a stressful job because of the dangers they encounter. The truth is that the stress is an internal problem. Police stress is created by the police culture itself. Police departments create unspoken codes that are used inside the police realm to justify conduct that is exercised on the general public. The problem is the general public isn’t attuned to and does not adhere to the unwritten rules and double standards that are rooted deep within the police culture. When faced with the most blatant misconduct the police command staff become more defiant, staunchly sticking to their old rhetoric.
It is important to note that the majority of police shootings are completely justifiable given the circumstances that officers face and these incidents legitimize the real dangers encountered by police officers. However, the existence of this real danger cannot be an excuse to nullify the misconduct of others.
Hopefully this book can give the reader an inside look at how dysfunctional the inner police world is. This book will illustrate the aberrations entrenched in the police culture. The police have drifted drastically away from what should be their core principles of truth and justice. The system as it is has reached the point where men who are void of any character or ability, rise to the highest levels of power. It allows the corrupt to rise while the honest are crushed. With this glimpse into the police mentality, one can then try to understand more clearly how we have reached this point of justifiable distrust of law enforcement.