I want to highlight this: nearly everyone coming into law enforcement is bombarded with dash cam footage of police officers being ambushed and killed. Over and over and over. Colorless VHS mortality plays, cops screaming for help over their radios, their bodies going limp as a pair of tail lights speed away into a grainy black horizon. In my case, with commentary from an old racist cop who used to brag about assaulting Black Panthers.

To understand why all cops are bastards, you need to understand one of the things almost every training officer told me when it came to using force:

“I’d rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6.”

Officer A. Cab on trauma-bonding.

From a longer essay purportedly by an anonymous former Californian police officer. It describes how all cops are bastards, the systemic forces that ensure all cops are bastards, encourages you to never ever cooperate with bastards, explains why most of the work police actually do doesn’t require bastards at all, and gives some suggestions for ways forward out of bastardry.

For the record, my friend’s dad is a retired cop and his Number #1 piece of advice he tells us re. dealing with cops?

“Don’t.”