Thursday, October 23, 2014

Trust in the "blue code of silence"

in essence, according to the Wikipedia, link,

The Blue Code of Silence (also known as the Blue Shield[1] or Blue Wall[2]) is the idea of an unwritten rule that exists among police officers not to report on a colleague's errors, misconducts, or crimes.

If questioned about an incident of misconduct involving another officer (e.g. during the course of an official inquiry), while following the code, the officer being questioned would claim ignorance of another officer's wrongdoing.
If you asked;
Is a blue code of silence part of the culture of the Albuquerque Police Department?
you would likely get different answers.

Alb Mayor Richard Berry
In particular, you would get a different answer from the Chief of Police and his boss the Mayor, than you will get from the police themselves.  That's why they will never be asked.

The press, those who the mayor chooses to "credential", will not ask the mayor about the blue code of silence.

Nor will they ask his Chief.

According to the Eye on Albuquerque, link;
Not too long ago, the City, APD and Chief Schultz were sued by (APD police officer)Sam Costales. In his suit, Costales claimed that Schultz and the department created an atmosphere where Costales feared for his life and was forced to leave APD.
The Federal suit resulted in a jury trial. In the end, the jury awarded Costales $662,000.00 plus an additional $200,000.00 in attorney’s fees.
Everyone gets why people in gunfights need to be able trust the people fighting next to them.

What at least some people don't get;
Why is the measure of that trustworthiness the willingness to overlook errors, misconducts and even crimes?
If the rules apply to anybody at all, they first have to apply to
the people who establish and enforce the rules.

And the very first rule is and must be;
1.  everybody has to obey the rules.
Rules apply to everybody or they apply to nobody.

There is an actual Pandora's Box, wikilink, opened when "some" people are allowed to except themselves from accountability to the rules;
If it's alright for anybody to break the rules,
it's alright for everybody to break the rules.
Apologists for rule benders will argue;
the privilege of bending the rules applies only to those of us who are smart enough, well educated enough, experienced enough, and just basically good people enough to be trusted to write their own rules.
And they will be distinguished from the rest of us how, exactly?

The practical result of enabling anybody to adjust the line between right and wrong, is that everybody will adjust the lines according to their own values; however good or bad.

The abundantly manifest result of blue codes of silence among police officers is; some number of them will then take advantage of the protection it offers to escape the consequences of their violation people's civil rights.  There are some "bad" cops; they are enabled by the blue code of silence.

If you've been reading Diogenes' six for very long, you know I am fond of pointing out oxymora.  One such;
Trust in a code of silence.
People by their nature, do not handle temptation well.
The opportunity to self-except oneself from the rules is too great a temptation to resist.  You're asking for nothing but trouble.

You can't trust the people who say they are immune to temptation.

It's nonsense on its face.

Renounce the blue code of silence and then, we can talk trust.

photo Mark Bralley

No comments: