I feel the police are getting a bum rap. They try to do their job, but first they have to check all the rules — rules that change each week — to be sure the criminal has all the rights.
Every night and day, they have to face situations that none of us would like to meet. If they touch a no-good crumb that has bit them, spit on them, kicked them or sworn at them, the police must stand and take it. If a gun is pointed at them and they fire theirs, they’re put through days of courts and fines and even litigation. The criminal has all the rights.
Recently, I decided I’d like to show my small thanks to the man or woman on the beat. I went into the police station and said I’d like to put a bill in an envelope and give one to each police officer to show I appreciate them. I was told that if I tried this, I’d be arrested. Besides the abuse officers take, the councilmen and women don’t want to pay them. I suggest the councilmen give every man on the beat a portion of their paycheck. It was suggested to me that I get a basket of fruit and put it in the office. Somewhere along the way, I seem to have not gotten through my best intentions.
— I. Z. Parks, Camarillo