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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

To Serve and Protect: But Who?




            Now that I have been escorting for a few years, a lot of my world view has changed.  There was a time when I thought that wearing a uniform and a badge reflected on the type of person you are.  I had this delusion because many of my family members were police officers.  And I have to say they were all the police officers that little kids are taught about.  They were good fathers and truly held themselves to higher standards.
            These were people who did not allow their personal feelings determine how they conducted themselves with the public.  They truly did treat all citizens the same and even when arresting people treated them with as much respect as they could.  I remember talking to people who had been in jail and had encounters with them saying, “they can be assholes, but they are fair”.  I thought this described all officers of the law.  They upheld the law despite not always agreeing with it.  These officers were amazing people.
            As many of you know this is not all police officers.  My world shook the first time I heard a police officer use a racial slur. It literally took my breath away.  It was disgusting and I called him out on it.  I filed a complaint, this man had not right to wear that uniform and carry that badge.  I was infuriated. Well, nothing happed to him, no reprimand or anything.  It was the first time I ever began to wonder if all police officers would do what was right. I had only been around good officers, the best really.
            Since the time I heard that first racial slur my view is a little less na├»ve and I realize that police officers are picked from the society at large.  I now know many have grave faults, but until recently I was still never truly fearful of them.  I still had the knowledge that the vast majority of the officers I had been around were great.  I thought I did anyway. 
            During my time as an escort I have learned that many police officers view me as evil.  They will not protect me and they will not protect the patients at the clinic.  Many of them will not respond to complaints at clinics.  I’ve had video of assaults and officers still refuse to make an arrest. It has tarnished my view of the officers.  There are days I wonder exactly when they would make an arrest or if they would were I to get injured.  I now fear that I would be arrested instead of an aggressor.  I know that this has happened in all the areas I have escorted.  The police force is not something you can count on.
            This fact more than any other is what makes escorting dangerous.  You are accepting the risk that the police may not protect you and may even arrest you, when you are clearing in the right.  I know a person who was arrested for telling a protester to leave the private property.  The charges were quickly dismissed, but still the person was handcuffed for not allowing protesters to harass women.
            These are the things I think about when I see officers drive by and wave or give a thumbs up to the protesters.  This week I have wondered if those officers   would uphold the law.  It was unnerving this week because almost every officer who passed by showed support for the protesters.  I always thought they would protect all law abiding citizens……..Now I’m not so sure.

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