HOBART’S GULCH, LOUISIANA — Four off-duty police officers who were working security at a Minnesota Lynx game walked off the job when members of the WNBA team wore t-shirts in protest of racial profiling and police violence against people of color, and Lieutenant Henry Gill says he “completely gets” why they’d do it. Gill has been on his local police force for ten years, and he says the recent events in his state, Minnesota, and Dallas have him thinking “long and hard” about whether it’s worse to be extrajudicially executed, or to be criticized for extrajudicially killing someone.
“Sure, we have tough jobs,” Gill told our reporter, “and sure, you would think that you’d have to have a pretty thick skin to be a cop. But we all know that’s not really true, right? Ever told one of us that you pay our salary? Even though that’s one percent true, we get really pissed about that because it hurts our feelings, which I’d have to say are far more important in the grand scheme of things than a couple of dead suspects who could have been brought in alive.”
Gill insists that “cops’ morale should come before someone’s First Amendment rights” because of just how dangerous the job of a police officer is.
“I mean, yeah, we signed up for the job willingly,” Gill said, “but does that mean we absolutely have to do things by the book and are worthy of critique if we don’t?”
Lt. Gill insists that it’s “far more important for society” that cops be “given carte blanche to do whatever we feel like” than it is to “uphold the very basic principles of “due process and presumed innocence.”
“Call me crazy, but I think it’s far more important for society that we police officers are given carte blanche to do whatever we feel like,” Gill said, “because it’s really, really hard to uphold the very basic principles of due process and presumed innocence. You have to like, not kill them, even if you really, really want to kill them. That’s really hard!”
Criticizing bad cops while defending the good ones isn’t acceptable either, Gill says.
“Is it reasonable to criticize those who don’t do their jobs the right way, while defending the people who do,” Gill asked, “because even if it is, you might make a bad cop upset. And when bad cops get upset they stop policing your neighborhood. Sure, that sounds like a really dickish and unprofessional move that literally goes against the whole idea of policing, but well, why can’t we serve, protect and emotionally blackmail you into letting us become authoritarian, power-hungry a-holes?”
Gill paused and thought for a moment.
“I just wish people would realize their First Amendment rights shouldn’t trump my right to feel good about my job performance, even when I’m really, really shitty at my job,” Gill said as the interview ended.