Copping an Attitude

At the bus barn the other morning, some of the drivers were talking about the recent police beating of Robert Davis in New Orleans. As in “He had it coming,” “You know he was asking for it,” “Too bad the horse didn’t stomp his ass too.”

Okay, so I work with racists. Who doesn’t?

Had Robert Davis been white, I expect my co-workers would have said something like “Well, he shouldn’t have copped an attitude.” Matter of fact, I bet that’s exactly what they’d say.

Something I’ve been meaning to ask: when did Americans start thinking this way? That if a cop jacks you up and you’re anything other than obsequious, the cop is entitled to beat you to the ground, zap you with a taser, or break your skull with a baton?

This way of thinking seems totally un-American to me. I’m not condoning resisting arrest (clearly, in that case you can expect retribution), but I have to ask: as an American, can’t I have any damn attitude I want?

And isn’t Robert Davis American too?

© 2005 – 2006, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.

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2 thoughts on “Copping an Attitude

  • Dick 10/15/05 3:31 AM

    I firmly believe that what went on in New Orleans was the rare exception in law enforcement. But let’s face it, the New Orleans cops were out of control on this one. Obvviously, something set the cops off, probably Davis’s attitude. That does not justify what they did.

    As for your co-workers, how much frustration with their personal lives were you hearing?

    It is worth remembering that Na’Orlans finest leave a lot to desired and are not typical of cops. The only time a member of my family ever spent in jail was in the Big Easy. On the way to Central, the cop told him that he was going in the slammer unless he had $500 dollars in his wallet. Said member of family responded with a request to stop at the nearest ATM. The cop said “That dog don’t hunt here.” Then there was their memorable performance in Katrina.

    Robert Davis lost situational awareness and forgot who he was dealing with. In the Big Easy, that could be a fatal mistake.

  • 8 Yellow Snow 10/19/05 10:30 AM

    I just finished John Steinbeck’s “Travels with Charley.” It was written in 1960. The last 25 pages cover his stop in New Orleans during mandatory segregation of the schools there. It seems as though things have not really changed at the core of the matter. Nobody said it would be Easy.

    By the way (and speaking of dogs from other blogs here), my wife and I have a dog named Charly. We travel. I should write a book.

    8 Yellow Snow
    Bruce Gulde

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