Skip to Content

Few Bad Apples, A

I was asked:

“Isn’t blaming all cops for the actions of some the same as blaming all Muslims for the actions of ISIS?”

No. It might be the same, if every mosque funneled their money into ISIS. It might be the same if every time ISIS did something horrible, Muslims banded together to send them money and prayers.

All cops are bad isn’t just anarchist drivel, it’s a statement of how we think the world should be interpreted. Prominent that every law, if enforced, risks leading to the death of the violator by police. The job of police extends very much beyond “protecting” people. They enforce (again, meaning threaten to kill people) laws simply to curb against disruptions to social order - the hippies among you will consider the legality of pot one of these laws, the conservatives might look toward traffic citations.

Even the “good” cops, the ones who never draw their gun and “never would”, are serving as revenue collection for the rest of the system. If a girlscout is selling cookies to raise money for lynchings, it suddenly makes the sale of cookies much less innocuous.

On top of this, the laws of our country are disproportionately enforced. No matter how you draw the line, whether it be racial or based on class, the laws are not enforced equally. This has the very real consequence of bad (either immoral or incompetent) police killing or otherwise harming people simply because they happen to fall on the wrong side of some arbitrary line.

On top of all this, we know the system is a continuation of white supremacy. We can trace the routes of sheriffs back to slave-catchers. In 2006, the FBI conceded that many departments across the country were infiltrated and now being ran by known white supremacists. In 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, and 2015, leaked KKK member rosters were compared to members of police forces across the country, and the overlap was stunning.

So that “good” cop - the person who’s just there to stop drunk drivers? They’re threatening to kill black, or poor, or poor black people, if those poor black people don’t contribute money to not just the same systems of oppression that helped solidify the correlation between “poor” and “black,” but literally the same living humans that wear a badge during the day, and a hood at night.

All cops are bad. Their behavior is an extortionary threat of violence being used to raise money to sustain and cultivate systems of racial and class supremacy. And this isn’t new, it isn’t a conspiracy theory. It is built into the foundation of their existence, and confirmed by outside sources.

“The policemen or soldiers are only a gun in the establishments hand. They make the racist secure in his racism.” - Huey Newton

Editorial and License Information

My name is emsenn and I wrote this essay for the benefit of the commons. To the extent possible under law, I have waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to it. If you're viewing it on a remote server, you're encouraged to download your own copy. Essays like this are made possible with financial support from readers like you. Thank you. To read more of my work and to learn more about me, visit