Sometimes, police culture makes the news even when someone hasn’t been murdered

So this story from Austin, Texas has been making the rounds:

The Austin police academy is the training ground for the city’s next generation of officers — an intensive eight-month period that experts said sets the tone for a law enforcement career.

But a group of former cadets said they do not think the training is in line with Austin’s values and creates a culture that spills onto the street.

So what isn’t “in line with Austin’s values,” exactly? Well, one cadet…

…said instructors told her and other cadets they would “punch them in the face” if they said they wanted to be police officers to help people.

Okay, they’re big fans of The Untouchables. What else?

…an instructor telling cadets about how he watched two women fight from his car instead of intervening “to get a laugh out of it.”

That may or may not be more serious, depending on the definition of “fight.” If you follow cop-outrage news, you know that the more usual problem is cops inserting themselves into situations where they can only make things worse. Without details, we don’t know whether or not the cop sitting in his car and laughing was the least worst thing he could have done.

…instructors repeatedly degraded the homeless and prostitutes, referring to them as “cockroaches” and suggesting they “find a transient” if they were bored and wanted a felony arrest.

Okay, that’s serious, because we already see too much of that kind of mindset.

The department denies everything, of course.

Originally posted on May 3, 2018.

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