The Social Media Problem

I honestly don’t know what is worse, that some bad apple police officers feel a certain way and don’t mind sharing their views, that others agree with their views, that administrative staff were not aware of or agreed with what their officers were doing, or that it took so long to get this information to the public.

For those who do not know what I am talking about, there was a recent study which was conducted called The Plain View Project. This project took a look at the Facebook posts and comments of current and former police officers from 8 different police departments through out the country. The investigation analyzed the controversial posts that officers had posted or reposted to their pages.

Some time ago, I wrote about the Perception Problem that often plagues law enforcement. And here we are again, shooting our own selves in the foot. Some officers are callously disregarding all of the gains that many agencies have tried to develop between law enforcement and the communities they are sworn to protect. This information is so damaging to the image of police officers that words can’t describe it adequately. Officers have taken an oath to protect people, obey the law and uphold their state and federal constitutions. I’d like to also remind officers of their obligation to uphold a standard of ethics and morals. Posting or agreeing with brutality, extra-legal means of action concerning use of force, subverting the law in favor of taking justice in your own hands, is truly reprehensible and embarrassing to the profession.

It’s sad to see law enforcement moving a few steps forward with consent decrees, community policing and implicit bias training, only to be brought backward by a few fools who want to be tough guys over the keyboard. News flash, you’re a police officer, you’re already tough. Now act like you have some sense and compassion for those you’re sworn to protect.


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