Last night, the counter boy at my local grocery store told me he was leaving the store to attend the police academy in a city 100 miles away. He's been working to pay his tuition at the local community college, where he has completed his 2 yr degree in Criminal Justice. I asked him what he thought of the Constitutionality of New Yorks gun laws in regards to the 2nd Amendment. He asked me "Well, what IS the 2nd Amendment?" Needless to say, I was shocked at this ignorance. But I persevered, assuming that at least they would teach about the 1st, 4th, and 5th Amendments, and how they pertain to things like Miranda warnings and entering houses. After all, this IS a course of study intended to prepare these students for a career in law enforcement. He was clueless, except for the 1st Amendment's guarantee of freedom of speech.
I asked him if he was aware that the Constitution was the justification and limitation for ALL laws- if a law violated the Constitution, the courts could, should, and hopefully WOULD set it aside. He told me this wasn't possible, because "Once a law is made, the courts MUST enforce it, even if they don't consider it a good law, unless the government changes it!" So I asked him what they taught him in college. The answer shocked me. They taught him how to avoid racial profiling. They taught him that he can NEVER try to acertain the immigration status of a person he was questioning for any reson. They taught him how to secure a crime scene for investigators. And how to log, identify, and verify chain of custody for evidence. And they taught him how to testify in court. They didn't even try to teach him HOW laws come to be, nor where they derive their justification, nor even what rights the people they are dealing with have.
Since the store was empty, and I had some time to kill, I probed deeper into his reasons for wanting to be a cop, and what he knew about his chosen profession's responsibilities. So I asked him what he thought of a cop who didn't care if a law he was enforcing was Constitutional or not. He said "He's a good cop. What does it matter if the law is Constitutional or not?" Does this scare you like it does me? Well, I tried to explain why the Constitution matters, but he really didn't care. So I changed the topic a little. I asked him what he thought of a cop who wrote a ticket to a guy doing 35 IN a 35 zone, claiming he clocked him doing 55. Would testifying in court that the guy was doing 55 be comitting perjury? He said NO cop ever did that, but it wouldn't be perjury, because the cop believed it to be true if he WERE to testify that way. When I explained that I was driving right there in town, cruise control set at 35 because my bum-leg has a hard time keeping the gas steady, when a state cop pulled me over and wrote me a ticket for doing 55. And the cop, who was actually driving towards me when he claimed to have radared me AND verified my speed "With my trained eye", testified in court that I was doing 55. His response? "You must have been lying. The cop CERTAINLY wouldn't lie!" It seems he's already learned to back his brothers in blue, right or wrong.
I really hate to wish a person ill, but I must say, I hope he fails out of the police academy, unless they manage to beat that attitude out of him. Sadly, I don't think they will.