Good cops in bad t-shirts – when police revel in violence
THE police in the US of A are armed. They are able to dispense ultimate justice at the flick of a trigger finger. This makes them powerful. It should make them cautious and respctful of their badge. However, it can also make them gung-ho, threatening, bellicose and militaristic.
Radley Balko is author of the forthcoming book, Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces. He’s compiled examples of slogan-heavy T-shirts sold and won by police officers. These include T-shirts that see men as quarry and children as animals:
An anonymous public defender sent Gothamist this photo of an NYPD warrant squad officer wearing a t-shirt with a pretty quote from Ernest Hemingway.
In 2008, the Denver police union was caught selling these shirts in advance of the Democratic National Convention.
The back of a commemorative DNC T-shirt sold by the Denver Police Protective Association bears the slogan “We Get Up Early to Beat the Crowds – 2008 DNC.” The shirt was purchased froom the DPPA office Thursday, Sept. 25, 2008.
In a 2011 investigative series on police shootings, the Las Vegas Review-Journal revisited a 2003 case in which LVPD Officer Brian Hartman shot and killed a man named Orlando Barlow. Hartman shot Barlow in the back, as he was on his knees, unarmed, and attempting to surrender. According to the Review-Journal, Hartman and the other officers in his unit celebrated the shooting by printing up t-shirts “depicting Hartman’s rifle and the initials B.D.R.T. (Baby’s Daddy Removal Team), a racially charged term and reference to Barlow, who was black and who was watching his girlfriend’s children before he was shot.”
In the late 2000s, Daytona Beach, Florida, Police Chief Mike Chitwood sold t-shirts depicting his department as a “scumbag eradication team.”
As sported by San Jose, California PD’s tactical unit.
. The police-gear retailer Bullet-50, which according to its out-of-date information page is run by San Fransisco PD officer Joseph Salazar, features shirts that label the wearer a “death dealer,” and a “thug hunter.”
Posted: 1st, July 2013 | In: Fashion, Key Posts, News Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink