Saturday, September 27, 2014

Ferguson Cops Wear 'Us-Versus-Them' Bracelets and Remove Their Name Tags

The Justice Department sent a letter to Ferguson cops this week after federal investigators saw many Ferguson cops wearing 'us-versus-them' bracelets and concealing their identities while on duty and in uniform.  See the article in the link above.  Among other things, the Justice Department said the bracelets had upset and agitated people and reinforce the very 'us versus them' mentality that many residents of Ferguson believe exists.  The Justice Department also said, "The failure to wear name plates conveys a message to community members that, through anonymity, officers may seek to act with impunity."

Just over 10 years ago, here in Sacramento, the AG Expo was held on the grounds of the State Capitol.  Most of the uniformed cops at that event concealed their badge numbers and name plates.  It's an old but common pattern.  The cops' goal is to reduce their risk of being held accountable when they anticipate a higher likelihood that they'll violate the law (such as by using excessive force or making unlawful arrests, etc.).