Thursday, July 31, 2014

Hi, my name is- How to grow a cop

A little perspective on where I came from. I grew up in a family of cops. I would end up being fourth generation law enforcement. I idolized the cops I grew up around, they were the epitome of old school southern cops. They took absolutely no shit, but also had the understanding that there was the letter of the law, then there was the spirit of the law. Meaning an officers greatest asset was his discretion. I had a lot of respect for them. We can already see why this didn't end well for me. Modern police aren't trained that way anymore, its all about the "stats". No modern department in their right mind has "quotas" anymore, at least not officially. They get around that now cancerous term by keeping "stats" which is nothing more than keeping tabs on how many stops you made, how many citations were written, how many warnings were given, how many cars you impounded, warrants cleared, etc, etc. They'll tell you that there isn't a "quota" but I guarantee if your numbers are on the low side you're going to be having a one on one with your supervisor in the near future. What determines the low side you ask? Guess that depends on how many road nazi assholes you work with. Policing is now graded on a curve. If they're writing 50 citations a shift and you come in with 5 verbal warnings, someones ass is about to be gnawed upon. It doesn't matter that you were out actually trying to stop a crime with an actual victim, there's no paper trail or revenue in that.

Back to my point, growing up around a majority of cops was an interesting ordeal. Now most of these guys weren't your everyday tail light chaser, these were all tactical guys. These guys were the ones that started the first SWAT teams in the area. Most were prior military with special forces experience. Vietnam, Panama and the first Iraq war were where most of them cut their teeth. I'd go to their training days and be a role player in the scenarios they'd run. My job was to come up with ways to screw them up without getting my ass beat too bad. I toted a lot of ass beatings, but I was good at fucking them up too.

By the time I turned 18, I could clear a house like a seasoned SWAT operator. I had been taught throughout my teens about policing. I knew a lot about tactics, law, law theory, and most importantly I knew, or at least had a small understanding of the cutthroat politics that can come into play at times. I was taught to be tough but fair. Don't start none, wont be none kind of mentality. Never initiate, but if someone puts his hands on you, you put them in the fucking hospital. This was my upbringing. This was my childhood.

But there's gotta be a twist right? Of course there is. When I wasn't running around playing kindergarten cop or jerking off to Die Hard for the thousandth time, I was smoking weed and studying history, politics, and counter culture. When I say studying counter culture, I don't mean I listened to some Grateful Dead and made hemp jewelry. I was reading Aldous Huxley, Timothy Leary, Albert Hoffman, Ken Kesey and Terence McKenna. Learning everything I could about everything I shouldn't was an addiction. Especially when it came to studying psychedelics. I was beyond intrigued about the promising medical studies of the 50's and 60's showing unbelievable accounts of psychedelics curing age old disease like depression, anxiety and alcoholism. My senior thesis was on how psychedelics had molded our society and art. Aced that bitch. My "why are we not funding this" question was answered when I started reading more into the politics at play and about the CIA's human experiments with hallucinogens. Unfortunately for me, I grew up pre internet so I was under the impression that the news and the history books at school were telling me the truth.

So there I am, an 18 year old walking contradiction. I could write an operation order for taking down a drug house. I new the foundations of constitutional law. I  could also speak at length on the origins of LSD, psilocybin, mescaline, DMT and ayauasca. I knew how to safely conduct a traffic stop while quoting Hunter S. Thompson.

So I did what any sane, logical person would do in my situation. I joined the Marines.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

I guess thats why they call it the blues- The beginning of the end

Imagine if you will a hotel. And not a nice, fluffy pillow, comfortable bed, flat screen tv, working toilets kind of hotel but a “met you on the internet, might end up dead” kind of establishment. Some context, I’ve been staying at this particular hotel on and off for about 10 years and know of at least 3 confirmed deaths there, but I digress. Now take this bed bug infested shit hole and place it in the south. Now I’m not talking about sweet tea, pecan pie, and slutty college girls with cute southern drawls south. This is deep south, majority black, wrong turn end up dead, non-southerners need a translator south. It’s a special town filled with special people. But the award for the specialist little sycophant in the town goes to the thousands of police officers, sheriff’s deputies, state alphabet soup agencies, corrections officers and troopers that attend the public safety training facility for various courses of instruction every week. Every enforcement agency in the state (minus the few larger agencies with their own training centers) sends their employees there for either an entry level certification or for continuing education. It’s basically the equivalent of a small dick/wish I was born with a dick convention but everyone has a gun and is state sanctioned to use it. If you've ever been on a firing line when officers are doing their required firearms re-qualification, you know what a frightening prospect this is.

So there I was… sitting in a chair in my hotel room. The chair appears to be a goodwill buy circa 1993 and the matching table could give you a splinter that would kill a glittery vampire. I am attending a week long sexual assault investigations class. It’s Monday evening after the first day of class and I am drinking… heavily (This is a running theme throughout my life as a slave, mass alcohol consumption but fear not, we’ll get into that subject quite a bit in the future). Now at this point in my life I was a heavy drinker, I would even say a functional alcoholic but this time was different. I sat staring at the two double beds in my room whose comforter looked like a Muppet bukkake had been its inspiration. I take another huge pull from the vodka bottle- “I wonder if they fuck in a shitty hotel like this”… unwelcomed thoughts invading my mind, not drinking enough to drown them out. “I bet they do, I bet his friends take turns as well”… goddammit, another long pull. As thoughts of the love of my life being gangbanged slowly die with my liver, a clarity falls over me. You know the type when you have just the right amount of fermented poison circulating in your body that certain revelation come to you out of the blue and you can finally logically work through some issues? Well this wasn't that. This is when I finally realized that my entire life was a lie, when the dam began to break. All the pieces of the puzzle that I had known but ignored were finally starting to fall into place. I was drunk, in a horrible hotel, and in a horrible town. My career, which I had lied to myself for years about, was a sham. I was an agent of pain and destruction. The good intentions that had been the fuel for my crimes against humanity did not inoculate me from the truth anymore. I had thrown my fiancĂ© out of the house the day after we had booked a wedding venue. Only eight days had passed since the discovery of her infidelity. Only a year had passed since my encounter with death that left me physically and emotionally broken. Everything I had worked for in my life was crumbling before my eyes. As these thoughts sprinted through my mind, a little ditty by Elton John played on the radio. 

This was just the beginning. Little did I know things were about to get worse. Much worse than I could have ever imagined. I’m glad I didn't know that night in that shitty hotel room what was coming my way, I don’t think I would've seen Tuesday morning.