Police Shouldn’t Receive Special Treatment

Being a victim is all the rage these days. Because there is no real war on cops some officers have been posting sob stories of people acting rude to them in what appears to be a pathetic attempt to generate some sympathy. Not too long ago an office whined because a Dunkin’ Donuts employee wrote “#blacklivesmatter” on his coffee cup (which that was certainly unprofessional it was also so minor that I, were I in the officer’s position, would have entirely ignored it). A few days ago a police officer claimed he was told to leave Olive Garden because he was carrying a gun:

The staff at an Olive Garden in Kansas City asked a police officer to leave during his own birthday lunch on Sunday. According to KMBC, officer Michael Holsworth was waiting for his family to arrive at the restaurant, dressed in full uniform and with his gun because he was on duty. While he was sitting inside of the Olive Garden, a staff member allegedly asked him to leave, telling the officer they do “not allow guns inside the restaurant.”

The supposed actions of the Olive Garden employee aren’t really newsworthy to me. In fact they shouldn’t have been an issue to the officer since the employee was “just following orders.” What is newsworthy to me is the general sentiment amongst a lot of conservatives. To them the real problem isn’t the establishment haven’t a gun prohibition but that the gun prohibition was enforced against a man with a shiny liability shield pinned to his chest.

Police officers aren’t special and there’s no reason they should expect special treatment. If Olive Garden has a prohibition against carrying firearms in the restaurant then there is no reason an officer should expect to be exempt from it. There is also no reason anybody else should expect officers to be exempt from it. Enforcing the prohibition against an officer is no different than enforcing it against anybody else.

A large contributor to the breakdown of trust in police officers is the immense amount special treatment they enjoy. When they unlawfully shoot somebody it’s not uncommon for them to be fired and receive no further punishment whereas an average individual will usually find themselves in prison. Officers can kidnap people without facing charges even if the kidnapping is later found to be unwarranted by a court. Civil forfeiture laws allow officers to confiscate anybody’s property so long as they can explain why they thought it could be involved in some way to a drug crime.

Conservatives have been decrying the public’s dwindling trust in law enforcement officers and their response has basically been to get on their hands and knees and lick the boots of officers. That is not an effective way to address the problem. And every instance of outrage over rules being applied to police officers specifically just further erodes the public’s trust.