George Graham

Good Cops, Bad Cops



I wouldn’t want to be a cop. I don’t have the stomach for it. It’s a dirty job. But somebody – as the saying goes – has to do it.

There is the danger, for one thing. You could be gunned down in a shoot-out with a ferocious criminal, or even on a routine traffic stop. And there are the long stretches of boredom. Waiting behind a bush for some unlucky motorist to miss a light or press a little too hard on the gas pedal, for example.

As a cop, you have to be prepared to be disliked. It goes with the territory. Nobody enjoys having their mistakes pointed out. Especially when the critique comes with a fine or jail time.

Just doing your job as a cop often means being considered a jerk.

Of course, there are the relatively rare occasions when cops are lauded. When they pull a kid from a submerged car or arrest some sinister serial killer, for example.

But most of us have short memories, and the good cops are quickly forgotten when a bad cop makes the headlines.

Recently, a lot of bad cops have been spotlighted in incriminating videos. And people are mad as hell. There can be no justification for killing unarmed – and often helpless – suspects of any ethnic origin. And it is especially infuriating when it seems one race is being especially targeted.

So it is understandable when Quentin Tarantino lets off steam. At a recent rally against “police brutality,” (photo above) the acclaimed motion picture director declared:

When I see murders, I do not stand by . . . I have to call a murder a murder and I have to call the murderers the murderers. I’m a human being with a conscience. And if you believe there’s murder going on then you need to rise up and stand up against it. I’m here to say I’m on the side of the murdered.

Tarantino was just saying what a lot of us are thinking. You might think even the good cops share his outrage.

Instead, several police unions reacted by going on the warpath. They are calling for a boycott of Tarantino’s latest film and planning some other nasty “surprise” to punish him economically.

How dumb is that?

It isn’t going to make the public like cops any better. It’s just going to make more of us think all cops – even the good ones – are jerks.

Click for the Tarantino news story.

Click for a “bad cop” story.

Click for more on police shootings.

About the author


I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for