The Tarnished History and Image of Police Departments
Posted by Xena
Long before there was a police force in America, there were sheriffs. The office of sheriff has its roots in 9th century England. According to the National Law Enforcement Museum, the early policing system was modeled after the English structure, which incorporated the watch, constables, and sheriffs (derived from the British term, “shire-reeves”) in a community-based police organization. The British system developed from “kin policing” dating back to about 900 A.D., in which law enforcement power was in the people’s hands, and they were responsible for their families or “kin.”) Early law enforcement was reactionary, rather than pre-emptive—the watch usually responded to criminal behavior only when requested by victims or witnesses.
Then called a “reeve,” what is now known as the Sheriff in America, was an individual originally selected by the serfs to be their informal social and governmental leader. The reeve soon became the Kings appointed representative to protect the King’s interest and act as mediator with people.
In the United States, approximately 98 percent of sheriffs are elected. Good, bad or mediocre, what sets the office of sheriff apart from the police force, is that the sheriff’s office is accountable to the citizens through the election process.
Policing however, did not come about through a democratic process. It began as a watch system created in Boston in 1636. Think about the year and ask, what crimes were possibly committed in 1636? The watchers watched for fires. They watched for thieves. Crimes consisted of false worship, Sabbath breaking, cursing or smiting parents, blasphemy, idolatry, witchcraft, murder, adultery, incest, sodomy, bestiality, kidnapping, treason, horse stealing, robbery.
While the formation of municipal police departments in the North were to warn of impeding danger, the Southern states had a different motivation for policing. They started as “slave patrols,” first in the Carolina colonies in 1704, whose primary functions were to (1) chase down, apprehend, and return runaway slaves to their owners; (2) organize a form of terror to deter slave revolts; and (3) maintain a form of discipline for slaves if they violated plantation rules. After the Civil War, the slave patrols evolved into vigilante-style organizations as a means of controlling freed slaves.
The first established American police force was in the city of Boston in 1838. New York City followed in 1845 and Chicago in 1851. By the 1880’s, all major U.S. cities had municipal police forces. Police departments are not accountable to citizens but to a central governmental authority. In most cities, that is the Mayor.
Modern day police forces are not the result of a direct response to crime. According to Spitzer and Scull, (1977), modern police forces in the United States emerged as a response to “disorder.” At different times throughout history, “disorder” was defined by those controlling the economic interests of policing. The economic interests were not crime control but social control. Police departments were established in response to immigrates coming to urban areas. When those immigrants complained of unsafe working conditions, they were deemed to be in “disorder.”
Defining social control as crime control was accomplished by defining “dangerous classes.” Depending on the city, most groups of immigrants were considered “dangerous classes” at some point; the Germans, Irish, Italians and Polish. It was suggested that public drunkenness, worker riots, and hooliganism, were the products of a biologically inferior, unskilled, and uneducated underclass. During this time, the commercial sale of alcohol was a financial interest, while the policing of those drunk in public raised money for the municipality who paid the wages of the police who protected the interests of businesses making and selling alcohol. It was irony and a vicious circle.
Police forces in America were altered, no longer being a reactive enterprise, but a preventative enterprise, particularly by controlling “dangerous classes.” There are people today who demonstrate their belief that police departments are intended to control people based on their perception of “dangerous classes.” One such person was involved in sending extortion threats to this blog that unless I deleted this blog, they would defame me. Failing to instill fear, they changed the extortion demand — unless I reported solely on “Black on black crime” that they would defame me.
In September 2013 after the person I refer to as “Miss Filth” began sending comments to other bloggers in attempt to defame me and advise them that I was deceiving them, I wrote about the harassment.
In July 2014, after more than a year of enduring their threats and harassment, I changed options for this blog so that only those with word press accounts can submit comments.
Miss Filth is now back. Shortly after I reported on a cyber-harasser in November 2014, Miss Filth opened a twitter account. While representing herself as the wife of a police officer and an EMT, she focuses on dishonestly presenting what is written on this blog. Her comments tarnish the image of law enforcement, and demonstrate a tunnel vision where she sees everything in terms of cops vs. Blacks, Blacks vs. cops; all cops are good; all Blacks are bad. She projects that attitude in her comments, disrespecting the many victims of police brutality reported on this blog regardless of their race.
Her twitter timeline shows that 99 percent of the tweets of her own opinions are about this blog. The rest of her timeline consists of retweets. Rather than supporting members of law enforcement, she uses them as a platform to spew racial bigotry and continue her agenda to defame this blog. She is not the wife of a police officer, nor an EMT. Also notice her obsession with me — as someone here pointed out, her Twitter handle blanc_papillon7 is French for white butterfly7.
I would say that this is the last person that law enforcement would want advocating for them.
Just after Kev nominated this blog for an award, Papillion Jane started following him on Twitter. I suspect that he will soon, (if he hasn’t already), receive a direct message or comment to his blog alleging that I’m a “black racist” who uses Whites. Papillion Jane is the same individual who previously accused me of being an old White woman who would run if I saw Trayvon Martin come near me.
(I have the urge to sing “I’m Every Woman” and “We Are The World”.)
Just like Papillon Jane (@blanc_papillon7) has a history of changing her handles while not changing her nature and agenda, police departments in America also have a history. Early American police departments were notoriously corrupt and brutal. They were under the control of mayors and politicians, many of whom used the police force as an intimidation factor during elections.
According to Dr. Gary Potter, professor of online and on-campus courses for the Eastern Kentucky School of Justice Studies, early police departments refused to arm their officers. It was only after officers took it upon themselves to carry firearms that politicians gave in to them. Some police forces today require officers to purchase their own side arms.
It was with organized, paid police forces, that organized crime got a foothold in America. People should still remember Al Capone, who is said to have had at least 50 percent of the Chicago police force on his payroll, along with judges, and then Chicago Mayor, William “Big Bill” Hale Thompson.
“Irish Americans controlled Chicago ward politics — and the police force. When it was founded in 1855, the Chicago Police Department only employed native born men. Within a decade, though, a third of Chicago’s police were Irish, and by 1900 the Irish dominated the department. Famously corrupt, Chicago’s “finest” prevented German Americans from voting, traded favors with Michael Cassius McDonald’s crime syndicate, and avoided setting foot on, much less policing, the city’s roughest streets.”
The political control of the Chicago Police Department is seen in the 1861 law passed by the Illinois General Assembly. It created a police board under the executive department of Chicago, autonomous with the office of the mayor. The mayor was effectively stripped of his power to control the Chicago Police Department. Authority was given to three police commissioners. The commissioners created the office of superintendent to be the chief of police. In 1875, the Illinois General Assembly found that the police commissioners were unable to control rampant corruption within the Chicago Police Department. The legislature passed a new law returning power over the police to the mayor. The mayor was allowed to appoint a single police commissioner with the advice and consent of the city council.
Encyclopedia Britannica is a good source for the problems in the first police forces in America, including corruption that is some cases, disbanded detective divisions.
In the comment section on another post, it was stated:
“Xena, the public seems to be helpless in seeking justice in both of these cases.”
Because of the political structure that is background to police departments, the public does not know who is exactly in charge in the hiring and firing of police officers. Depending on who you ask, the appointment and authority to hire and fire police officers might be with the Mayor of a city, or the Board of Police and Fire Commissioners. Who appoints the Board is also up to question. The only thing that citizens can be sure of is that the Mayor is elected by citizens of the city. If we want answers and changes, make it a campaign issue. Make the Mayor or his/her opponent in the next election, address and provide answers.
Change can also come through state legislatures. Contact the Representative for your district and start discussion on legislation regarding negotiations of union contracts and a chain of authority in the hiring and firing of police officers. Cities are allowed to have their own ordinances, but they still must operate according to state law.
Arbitrators of union contracts do not represent the interests of citizens. They are more than willing to decide that officers terminated for using excessive force be returned to active duty. That is the same as having a non-judicial officer decide that an abuser can return to the household of those abused to repeat the same actions without consequence. Those hearings before arbitrators do not include victim impact statements. Citizens must have a voice.
The most common protest saying is “No Justice. No Peace.” I personally use No Justice, No Trust. That is because when any profession violates law and uses their profession to avoid consequences, citizens find it difficult to trust those professions. The lack of trust has now trickled down to state prosecutors.
The thought that someone such as Miss Filth represents that she’s married to a police officer, and that she has the opinion that all Blacks are thugs, is enough to cause us all concern that there are people with badges carrying guns who do not respect all human life.
Posted on 01/04/2015, in Cops Gone Wild, Cyber-bullying and tagged blanc_papillon7, Chicago, corruption, cyber harassment, divorce, extortion, flightattendentfailures, history, Maple Valley, Papillon Jane, police departments, reputation, sheriff, tarnish, Vicki Pate. Bookmark the permalink. 86 Comments.