Vargas: Protestor's over-the-top hatred for police caught on tape

By Joe Vargas

If you haven’t watched the video featured at the top of this column, please take a minute to do so. A word of warning: there is extensive use of profanity.

This was filmed in front of the Anaheim Police Department during a demonstration at the beginning of the month. I attended the protest to get a sense of local public sentiment post-Ferguson.

Hard to get a gauge on the pulse of the community when only about 40 people show up, but I did find this protestor’s behavior over the top.

From the clip, I am sure you can sense her passion and anger as she berates the officer standing nearby. And yes, in the background, someone decided this was an appropriate event to bring children to.

Her behavior demonstrates not just a dislike, but a real hatred of the police. It’s one thing to have concerns and engage in political discourse regarding the national debate over police actions across the country. It’s even appropriate to exercise your right to protest, if you are so inclined. It is entirely another to have that rise to the profanity-laden explicative seen in the video.

She didn’t seem that approachable even to mainstream media reporters. I wasn’t about to engage her myself for the same reason I don’t acknowledge my 2-year-old grandson when he is having a temper tantrum: it only seems to encourage him.

I am, by nature, empathetic. I try and understand why people feel the way they do and what could cause them to respond the way they do. This and many other protestors’ hatred of the police leave me perplexed.

You won’t see videos like this on the evening news. You will have a very hard time even finding them on the Internet, since most video clips are linked to news sites. It is a newsroom policy not to broadcast profanity, as it might offend someone. I wonder how middle America would respond if, in living rooms across the country, people could see the actual verbal abuse officers are being subjected to.

There doesn’t seem to be much reporting from the officers’ point of view. I did find a few videos of police officers cursing back. These videos do get used and are broadcast over and over again. For those few officers who lash out, there will be consequences for succumbing to the very human urge to speak your mind.

In the Law Enforcement Code of Ethics, which every officer in America subscribes to, there is one part that goes like this: maintain courageous calm in the face of danger, scorn, or ridicule; develop self-restraint; and be constantly mindful of the welfare of others.

I have to hand it to the thousands of police officers across the country who are holding up to that ideal. I know it’s not easy. I just wish the rest of America could see what you have to put up with.