I think this is an enormously useful and helpful explanation of why cops do what they do. A very simple test, that seems to explain many observed behaviors. Applying it to coerced confessions suddenly made it unnecessary to infer evil intent--it is so obviously easier to nail someone you have in custody than to be sure they are the right person to nail. And all the incentives reward conviction, not correctness. Why work harder? It makes perfect sense.

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Thinking of how medicine, as a profession, has been respected or even revered pretty much forever, even in times and places where it was worse than useless. In Europe, at least, I think that getting medical treatment in the days before the invention of antiseptic would significantly lower your chance of survival, even if you weren't being bled by Theodoric of York, Medieval Barber.

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How many cops do you know personally, Alex?

My neighbor in Cedar Park Texas is a cop (are any of your neighbors, cops?) and he was shot by an 18 year old black kid who'd barricaded himself in his home.

He and his coworkers arrested the kid alive.

Could you have done that Alex?

Have you ever done anything comparably brave?


As a homeless rights advocate and survivor of homelessness, I've seen cops save lives. Yes, some cops are assholes, but so are some homeless people.

In fact, some journalists are assholes, too.

I find it hilarious that a journalist who worked for Gawker is condemning other people for doing what is easy instead of doing what is courageous and right.

Pot, meet Kettle.

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